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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

Justus J. RANDOLPH

University of Joensuu, Department of Computer Science P.O. Box 111, FIN-80110, Joensuu, Finland E-mail: justus.randolph@cs.joensuu.fi

Abstract

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.

Keywords:

distance education, methodological review, research methodology


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