Teaching Essentials

Research on Blended Learning

Large Scale Research

In 2010 the United States Department of Education published the results of a meta-analysis that examined all published research between 1996 and 2006 into the effectiveness of fully online and blended learning versus traditional face to face learning. This analysis found that students taking online courses performed modestly better on average those students taking face to face courses, and those taking blended courses that combine online and face to face instruction fared better than both online or face to face students. These effects were larger for courses that were instructor led or collaborative in nature.

The University of Central Florida moved into online and blended learning heavily in the mid-1990s and has rigorously studied its effects since. It has found higher grades and lower withdrawals being achieved in blended courses versus face-to-face courses.

More Readings

The New Media Consortium’s NMC Horizon Report: 2015 Higher Education Edition.

Canadian institutions have written some excellent reports on blended and online learning. Two of note include:

  1. The University of Manitoba’s Blended and Online Learning Task Force published a report on and set of recommendations for blended and online learning at the University.
  2. Queen’s University Senate Academic Planning Task Force produced a Draft Report on Virtualization and Online Learning in 2013. It is extensively researched.

Tony Bates is a well respected Canadian academic and researcher in the field of distance education. His 2020 Vision: Outlook for online learning in 2014 and way beyond is an interesting thought exercise into the future of education.

Ithaka research: Bowen, Chingos, Lack & Nygren, 2012. Interactive Learning Online at Public Universities: Evidence from Randomized Trials.

The Clayton Christensen Institute has excellent information on blended learning.