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INFORMATICS IN EDUCATION, 2007, Vol. 6, No. 1, 179-188
© Institute of Mathematics and Informatics,

ISSN 1648-5831

What's the Difference, Still? A Follow up Methodological Review of the Distance Education Research


University of Joensuu, Department of Computer Science P.O. Box 111, FIN-80110, Joensuu, Finland E-mail:


A high quality review of the distance learning literature from 1992-1999 concluded that most of the research on distance learning had serious methodological flaws. This paper presents the results of a small-scale replication of that review. A sample of 66 articles was drawn from three leading distance education journals. Those articles were categorized by study type, and the experimental or quasi-experimental articles were analyzed in terms of their research methodologies. The results indicated that the sample of post-1999 articles had the same methodological flaws as the sample of pre-1999 articles: most participants were not randomly selected, extraneous variables and reactive effects were not controlled for, and the validity and reliability of measures were not reported.


distance education, methodological review, research methodology

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