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Is it Live or is it Internet? Experimental Estimates of the Effects of Online Instruction on Student Learning

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Author Info

  • David N. Figlio
  • Mark Rush
  • Lu Yin

Abstract

This paper presents the first experimental evidence on the effects of live versus internet media of instruction. Students in a large introductory microeconomics course at a major research university were randomly assigned to live lectures versus watching these same lectures in an internet setting, where all other factors (e.g., instruction, supplemental materials) were the same. Counter to the conclusions drawn by a recent U.S. Department of Education meta-analysis of non-experimental analyses of internet instruction in higher education, we find modest evidence that live-only instruction dominates internet instruction. These results are particularly strong for Hispanic students, male students, and lower-achieving students. We also provide suggestions for future experimentation in other settings.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16089.

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Date of creation: Jun 2010
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16089

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  1. Byron W. Brown & Carl E. Liedholm, 2002. "Can Web Courses Replace the Classroom in Principles of Microeconomics?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 444-448, May.
  2. Colleen Donovan & David N. Figlio & Mark Rush, 2006. "Cramming: The Effects of School Accountability on College-Bound Students," NBER Working Papers 12628, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. P. Navarro & J. Shoemaker, 2000. "Policy issues in the teaching of economics in cyberspace: research design, course design, and research results," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 18(3), pages 359-366, 07.
  4. Figlio, David & Loeb, Susanna, 2011. "School Accountability," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Is live or Internet instruction better?
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2010-08-09 14:39:00
  2. Undervisning på nätet
    by Niclas Berggren in Nonicoclolasos on 2010-08-31 02:44:02
  3. Experimental Estimates of the Effects of Online Instruction on Student Learning
    by Martin Ryan in Geary Behaviour Centre on 2011-03-14 16:38:00
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Cited by:
  1. Xu, Di & Jaggars, Shanna Smith, 2013. "The impact of online learning on students’ course outcomes: Evidence from a large community and technical college system," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 46-57.

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  1. Economic Logic blog

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