If There Is No Significant Difference, Why Should We Care?

Sharmila Basu Conger, Western Cooperative for Educational Telecommunications


In the early 1900’s, as correspondence courses came into vogue, there was a question that weighed on the minds of educators: could students learn as well at a distance as they could face to face? As with most controversial issues, there were proponents and opponents on both sides. Both sides were eager to gather evidence to substantiate their claims – and thus began the movement in media comparison studies (MCS) in education. In these studies, researchers looked to compare student outcomes for two courses that were delivered through two different methods, thereby identifying the “superior” method for teaching effectiveness.

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