I was pleased to see a report by P. J. Benoit, W. L. Benoit, J. Milyo, and G. J. Hansen, entitled: ‘The Effects of Traditional vs. Web-Assisted Instruction on Student Learning and Satisfaction’. Columbia, Missouri: University of Missouri, 2006. Their central finding, that there was ‘no significant difference in amount of learning from traditional and web-assisted instruction’ (page 54) should add one more useful addition to the No Significant Difference Web site. See:
http://www.nosignificantdifference.org/ The study was funded by a grant from the Andrew Mellon Foundation, which has supported a range of research on learning and the Internet.
In many areas of the social sciences, a finding of no significant difference is disappointing. In contrast, with respect to Web-assisted learning, it is encouraging of efforts to move more learning activities online in ways that complement face to face, classroom experiences, and permit instructors to move work out of the classroom that can be done online in ways that free classroom time for more valuable activities, such as the discussion of readings.