Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning | SRI International

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Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning

Learning that takes place over the Internet is a fast-growing trend in K–12 education. SRI’s research and evaluation examine the effectiveness of different models of online learning relative to each other and to traditional face-to-face courses.

SRI's systematic review of rigorous research in the report Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning: A Meta-Analysis and Review of Online Learning Studies found that online learning can be an effective alternative to face-to-face instruction. Read the report.

Unfortunately, earlier research produced little rigorous evidence addressing the effectiveness of online learning environments specifically for secondary school students. SRI is filling this gap through a series of studies funded by the U.S. Department of Education that focus on high school students. The studies will provide policymakers and practitioners with valid, reliable data on the effectiveness of online learning for these students in their states and districts. SRI's work will also examine how online learning can improve the cost-effectiveness of instruction.

SRI’s research designs include experiments using random assignment, quasi-experiments using statistical techniques to control for preexisting group differences, and surveys and interviews of students, teachers, and administrators.