A Meta-Analysis on the Effects of Synchronous Online Learning on Cognitive and Affective Educational Outcomes
Synchronous online learning (SOL) provides an opportunity for instructors to connect in real-time with their students though separated by geographical distance. This meta-analysis examines the overall effect of SOL on cognitive and affective educational outcomes, while using asynchronous online learning or face-to-face learning as control groups. The effects are also examined for several moderating methodological, pedagogical, and demographical factors. Following a systematic identification and screening procedure, we identified 19 publications with 27 independent effect sizes published between 2000 and 2019. Overall, there was a statistically significant small effect in favor of synchronous online learning versus asynchronous online learning for cognitive outcomes. However, the other models were not statistically significant in this meta-analysis. The effect size data were normally distributed and significantly moderated by course duration, instructional method, student equivalence, learner level, and discipline. Implications for educational practice and research are included.
*indicates articles that were included in the meta-analysis.
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