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Research on Distance Education: In Defense of Field Experiments


Distance Education Volume 27, Number 1, ISSN 0158-7919


This article extends the issues and arguments raised in Bernard, Abrami, Lou, and Borokhovski ("Distance Education", 25(2), 175-198, 2004) regarding the design of quantitative, particularly experimental research in distance education. A single experimental, study from the distance education literature is examined from six different perspectives to show the differences between preexperiments, true experiments, and quasi-experiments in terms of their impact on interpretability and generalizability (i.e., internal and external validity). Arguments for and against experimentation are discussed and the article ends with a description of meta-analysis, the quantitative synthesis of experimental research, and its potential for providing answers to questions that no single study can adequately address. (Contains 4 tables and 1 figure.)


Abrami, P.C. & Bernard, R.M. (2006). Research on Distance Education: In Defense of Field Experiments. Distance Education, 27(1), 5-26. Retrieved October 26, 2020 from .

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