Research Articles that Show Distance Education Works

tweeted the following today:

“Asked to create list of research articles, journal articles, or other “credible” evidence that distance ed works. What would you include?”

I have been asked similar questions in the past. While I usually start by saying that as a whole research on distance education and online learning is still in its infancy, the following are a few articles I point to. These tend to be literature reviews or meta-analyses.

  • Bernard, R. M., Abrami, P. C., Lou, Y., Borokhovski, E., Wade, A., Wozney, L., Wallet, P. A., Fiset, M., & Huang, B. (2004). How Does Distance Education Compare With Classroom Instruction? A Meta-Analysis of the Empirical Literature. Review of Educational Research, 74(3), 379-439.
    Retrieved from

  • Tallent-Runnels, M. K., Thomas, J. A., Lan, W. Y., Cooper, S., Ahern, T. C., Shaw, S. M., & Liu, X. (2006). Teaching courses online: A review of the research. Review of Educational Research, 76(1), 93-135.
    Retrieved from

  • Larreamendy-Joerns, J., & Leinhardt, G. (2006). Going the distance with online education. Review of Educational Research, 76(4), 567-605.
    Retrieved from

  • Means, B., Toyama, Y., Murphy, R., Bakia, M., & Jones, K. (2009). Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning: A Meta-Analysis and Review of Online Learning Studies. U.S. Department of Education.
    Retrieved from

  • Zhao, Y., J. Lei, B. Yan, C. Lai, & H. S. Tan. (2005). What makes the difference? A practical analysis of research on the effectiveness of distance education. Teachers College Record 107 (8):183684.

Did I miss any? What would you include? Please comment.

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