Online Learning Efficacy Research Database

Oregon State University LogoOne of the challenges with working with faculty new to online teaching and learning is helping them to understand that learning modality (online or off) is not a factor in student success. Oregon State University is meeting this challenge with its Online Learning Efficacy Research Database:

“This Ecampus Research Unit project is a searchable resource of academic studies of education efficacy across modalities. Filter by discipline or journal to find research in your subject area of interest.”

Researchers can search by modality, peer-reviewed, research sample size, education range, date range, and by journal.

I have relied for years on the No Significant Difference database but they have not been updated in four years and they seem to be pretty well tied to their hard copy book which was published in 2001. NSD includes studies from 1928 to 2013, but the OLERD only includes studies from 1998 through the present. I think this is more relevant to online learning and the current questions being asked about it.

I would recommend this database for instructional designers and elearning folks working with faculty and administrators who might be new to online learning or have to bring research-based answers to their departments:

Skepticism for online education remains a significant barrier to engaging faculty in online teaching and learning initiatives. We repeatedly receive questions from faculty about whether online environments are equivalent to the face-to-face environment in terms of learning outcomes. (from the OLERD FAQ)

This database is meant to provide faculty, administrators of distance education programs and other relevant stakeholder groups a way to quickly and easily search the literature on the topic of online learning efficacy.

I will definitely be following and promoting this project.

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