A meta-analysis of the effectiveness of telecourses in adult distance education

Krisanna Lou Machtmes, Purdue University


The study used meta-analytic procedures to examine all the experimental research literature that involves the used of video telecourses, to instruct in the higher education arena. Weighted effect size analysis procedures were used in this study. The study included experiments utilizing both one-way and two-way audio and video. The purpose of this study was to find answers to several specific questions concerning the effectiveness of instruction via television and video, as well as the various factors that enhanced or hindered the delivery method. Telecourses from all academic environments were included in this study. ^ Specific search criteria and procedures led to the identification of 19 studies. A composite effect size of −0.01 was found with the outcome variable student achievement. Considerable heterogeneity was associated with the composite effect size (H = 47.927, df = 18, p = .0002). However, in the last decade when modern technology was used this effect size was +.23 for distance education, moderately more effective than the usual classroom instruction ^ Instructional features that impacted student achievement were: type of interaction during the broadcast, type of course and the physical learning environment of the remote learners. Two way interaction was found to be the best method of interaction between the learners and the instructor. ^ Other research and methodological features that had an impact were: the availability of psychometrics and the gender of the author of the study. As technology changed through the years the effect size increased and became positive. Female authors had a positive effect size, however, this result is confounded with the decade of the study. ^ Most studies failed to provide information about the attrition rate of the learners either traditional or distance. The lack of attrition information cast a shadow on the results. The effect size of the studies increased and became positive as technology has improved. ^ This research supports the use of video telecourses as a means of providing quality instruction. Educators should view this form of technology as a useful teaching tool. Courses can be viewed in real time or videotapes can be viewed at the students leisure. ^




Major Professors: Jerry L. Peters, Purdue University, J. William Asher, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Education, Tests and Measurements|Education, Adult and Continuing|Education, Educational Psychology|Psychology, Psychometrics|Education, Technology of|Education, Higher

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