Studies of Distance Learning

The COVID-19 global pandemic prompted school closures across the United States, requiring students to attend school remotely. With the goal of providing relevant information to educators and administrators, the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) conducted a rapid evidence review to report on what works in distance learning programming. The process began with a call for nominations of rigorous research that evaluates the effectiveness of distance learning practices or products.

This page includes all products created for the Rapid Evidence Review of Distance Learning, including: (1) studies nominated from the original call, (2) studies included from screening, with their relevant entries from ERIC and the What Works Clearinghouse Reviews of Individual Studies Database, (3) the WWC Rapid Evidence Review of Distance Learning Programs Report, (4) the WWC Rapid Evidence Review of Distance Learning Programs Report – Technical Appendix, and (5) all supporting materials.

Publication of this citation list is provided to the field as a way to highlight the breadth of research available. Inclusion within this list is not an endorsement of the intervention or the study by the WWC, IES, or the US Department of Education. If the studies have been reviewed by the WWC, then a link to the study review page is included. Note that not all of the studies listed would be eligible for WWC review or meet WWC standards.

Displaying 37 results.

Baker, Rachel, Evans, Brent, Li, Qiujie, Cung, Bianca  (2019) Does Inducing Students to Schedule Lecture Watching in Online Classes Improve Their Academic Performance? An Experimental Analysis of a Time Management Intervention
Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1216401
Research in Higher Education, v60 n4 p521-552 Jun 2019


Peer reviewed: Yes
Full text available on ERIC: No
Reviewed as Part of Distance Learning Rapid Review: Yes
Direct Link

Bernacki, M. L., Vosicka, L., Utz, J. C., & Warren, C. B.  (2020) Effects of digital learning skill training on the academic performance of undergraduates in science and mathematics
Journal of Educational Psychology
Peer reviewed: Yes
Full text available on ERIC: No
What Works Clearinghouse Reviewed: Does not meet WWC standards
Reviewed as Part of Distance Learning Rapid Review: Yes

Bernacki, M. L., Vosicka, L.k, & Utz, J.C.  (2020) Can a brief, digital skill training intervention help undergraduates “learn to learn” and improve their STEM achievement?
Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1249831
Journal of Educational Psychology, v112 n4 p765-781


Peer reviewed: Yes
Full text available on ERIC: No
What Works Clearinghouse Reviewed: Does not meet WWC standards
Reviewed as Part of Distance Learning Rapid Review: Yes
Direct Link

Bernacki, Matthew L., Vosicka, Lucie, Utz, Jenifer  (2017) Web-Delivered Training to Improve Learning and Achievement for Underrepresented and First-Generation STEM Learners
Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED597059
AERA Online Paper Repository, Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Antonio, TX, Apr 27-May 1, 2017)


Peer reviewed: Yes
Full text available on ERIC: No
Reviewed as Part of Distance Learning Rapid Review: Yes
Direct Link

Bruchok, Christiana, Mar, Christopher, Craig, Scotty D.  (2017) Is Free Recall Active: The Testing Effect through the ICAP Lens
Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1136375
Journal of Interactive Learning Research, v28 n2 p127-148 Apr 2017


Peer reviewed: Yes
Full text available on ERIC: No
Reviewed as Part of Distance Learning Rapid Review: Yes
Direct Link

Chen, Cheng-Chia, Huang, ChingChih, Gribbins, Michele, Swan, Karen  (2018) Gamify Online Courses with Tools Built into Your Learning Management System (LMS) to Enhance Self-Determined and Active Learning
Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1191480
Online Learning, v22 n3 p41-54 Sep 2018


Peer reviewed: Yes
Full text available on ERIC: Yes
Reviewed as Part of Distance Learning Rapid Review: Yes

Chingos, Matthew M., Griffiths, Rebecca J., Mulhern, Christine  (2017) Can Low-Cost Online Summer Math Programs Improve Student Preparation for College-Level Math? Evidence from Randomized Experiments at Three Universities
Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1159782
Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, v10 n4 p794-816 2017


Peer reviewed: Yes
Full text available on ERIC: No
Reviewed as Part of Distance Learning Rapid Review: Yes
Direct Link

DeBoer, Jennifer, Haney, Casey, Atiq, S. Zahra, Smith, Casey, Cox, David  (2019) Hands-On Engagement Online: Using a Randomised Control Trial to Estimate the Impact of an At-Home Lab Kit on Student Attitudes and Achievement in a MOOC
Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1203328
European Journal of Engineering Education, v44 n1-2 p234-252 2019


Peer reviewed: Yes
Full text available on ERIC: No
Reviewed as Part of Distance Learning Rapid Review: Yes
Direct Link

Dennis, A. R., Abaci, S., Morrone, A. S., Plaskoff, J., McNamara, K. O.  (2016) Effects of E-Textbook Instructor Annotations on Learner Performance
Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1106615
Journal of Computing in Higher Education, v28 n2 p221-235


Peer reviewed: No
Full text available on ERIC: No
Reviewed as Part of Distance Learning Rapid Review: Yes
Direct Link

Heppen, Jessica B., Walters, Kirk, Clements, Margaret, Faria, Ann-Marie, Tobey, Cheryl, Sorensen, Nicholas, Culp, Katherine  (2011) Access to Algebra I: The Effects of Online Mathematics for Grade 8 Students. NCEE 2012-4021
Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED527394
National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance
Peer reviewed: Yes
Full text available on ERIC: Yes
What Works Clearinghouse Reviewed: Meets WWC standards without reservations
Reviewed as Part of Distance Learning Rapid Review: Yes

Huang, Xiaoxia, Mayer, Richard E.  (2019) Adding Self-Efficacy Features to an Online Statistics Lesson
Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1217663
Journal of Educational Computing Research, v57 n4 p1003-1037 Jul 2019


Peer reviewed: Yes
Full text available on ERIC: No
Reviewed as Part of Distance Learning Rapid Review: Yes
Direct Link

Izzo, Margo Vreeburg, Yurick, Amanda, Nagaraja, Haikady N., Novak, Jeanne A.  (2010) Effects of a 21st-Century Curriculum on Students' Information Technology and Transition Skills
Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ889963
Career Development for Exceptional Individuals, v33 n2 p95-105 Aug 2010


Peer reviewed: Yes
Full text available on ERIC: No
Reviewed as Part of Distance Learning Rapid Review: Yes
Direct Link

Kennedy, Michael J., Deshler, Donald D., Lloyd, John Wills  (2015) Effects of Multimedia Vocabulary Instruction on Adolescents with Learning Disabilities
Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1047703
Journal of Learning Disabilities, v48 n1 p22-38 Jan-Feb 2015


Peer reviewed: Yes
Full text available on ERIC: No
Reviewed as Part of Distance Learning Rapid Review: Yes
Direct Link

Kim, Heesung, Ke, Fengfeng, Paek, Insu  (2017) Game-Based Learning in an OpenSim-Supported Virtual Environment on Perceived Motivational Quality of Learning
Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1158816
Technology, Pedagogy and Education, v26 n5 p617-631 2017


Peer reviewed: Yes
Full text available on ERIC: No
Reviewed as Part of Distance Learning Rapid Review: Yes
Direct Link

Kim, Yanghee  (2013) Digital Peers to Help Children's Text Comprehension and Perceptions
Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1013602
Educational Technology & Society, v16 n4 p59-70 2013


Peer reviewed: Yes
Full text available on ERIC: No
Reviewed as Part of Distance Learning Rapid Review: Yes
Direct Link

Kloos, Heidi, Sliemers, Stephanie, Cartwright, Macey, Mano, Quintino, Stage, Scott  (2019) MindPlay Virtual Reading Coach: Does It Affect Reading Fluency in Elementary School?
Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED596283
Online Submission, Frontiers in Education v4 n67 Jul 2019


Peer reviewed: Yes
Full text available on ERIC: Yes
Reviewed as Part of Distance Learning Rapid Review: Yes

Lou, Anna J., Jaeggi, Susanne M.  (2020) Reducing the Prior-Knowledge Achievement Gap by Using Technology-Assisted Guided Learning in an Undergraduate Chemistry Course
Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1242801
Journal of Research in Science Teaching, v57 n3 p368-392 Mar 2020


Peer reviewed: Yes
Full text available on ERIC: No
Reviewed as Part of Distance Learning Rapid Review: Yes
Direct Link

Lynch, Kathleen, Kim, James S.  (2017) Effects of a Summer Mathematics Intervention for Low-Income Children: A Randomized Experiment
Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1129002
Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, v39 n1 p31-53 Mar 2017


Peer reviewed: Yes
Full text available on ERIC: No
Reviewed as Part of Distance Learning Rapid Review: Yes
Direct Link

MacKenzie, Lydia M.  (2019) Improving Learning Outcomes: Unlimited vs. Limited Attempts and Time for Supplemental Interactive Online Learning Activities
Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1237507
Journal of Curriculum and Teaching, v8 n4 p36-45 2019


Peer reviewed: Yes
Full text available on ERIC: Yes
Reviewed as Part of Distance Learning Rapid Review: Yes

McGuire, Patrick, Tu, Shihfen, Logue, Mary Ellin, Mason, Craig A., Ostrow, Korinn  (2017) Counterintuitive Effects of Online Feedback in Middle School Math: Results from a Randomized Controlled Trial in ASSISTments
Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1159690
Educational Media International, v54 n3 p231-244 2017


Peer reviewed: Yes
Full text available on ERIC: No
Reviewed as Part of Distance Learning Rapid Review: Yes
Direct Link

Meyer, Bonnie J. F., Wijekumar, Kausalai K., Lin, Yu-Chu  (2011) Individualizing a Web-Based Structure Strategy Intervention for Fifth Graders' Comprehension of Nonfiction
Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ914858
Journal of Educational Psychology, v103 n1 p140-168 Feb 2011


Peer reviewed: Yes
Full text available on ERIC: No
Reviewed as Part of Distance Learning Rapid Review: Yes
Direct Link

Meyer, Bonnie J. F., Wijekumar, Kay, Middlemiss, Wendy, Higley, Kelli, Lei, Pui-Wa, Meier, Catherine, Spielvogel, James  (2010) Web-Based Tutoring of the Structure Strategy with or without Elaborated Feedback or Choice for Fifth- and Seventh-Grade Readers
Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ871741
Reading Research Quarterly, v45 n1 p62-92 Jan-Mar 2010


Peer reviewed: Yes
Full text available on ERIC: No
Reviewed as Part of Distance Learning Rapid Review: Yes
Direct Link

Moradi, Moein, Liu, Lin, Luchies, Carl, Patterson, Meagan M., Darban, Behnaz  (2018) Enhancing Teaching-Learning Effectiveness by Creating Online Interactive Instructional Modules for Fundamental Concepts of Physics and Mathematics
Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1200769
Education Sciences, v8 Article 109 2018


Peer reviewed: Yes
Full text available on ERIC: Yes
Reviewed as Part of Distance Learning Rapid Review: Yes

Nye, Benjamin D., Pavlik, Philip I., Jr., Windsor, Alistair, Olney, Andrew M., Hajeer, Mustafa, Hu, Xiangen  (2018) SKOPE-IT (Shareable Knowledge Objects as Portable Intelligent Tutors): Overlaying Natural Language Tutoring on an Adaptive Learning System for Mathematics
Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1181934
International Journal of STEM Education, v5 Article 12 2018


Peer reviewed: Yes
Full text available on ERIC: No
Reviewed as Part of Distance Learning Rapid Review: Yes
Direct Link

Perry, S. Marshall  (2014) A Delayed Treatment Control Group Design Study of an After-School Online Tutoring Program in Reading
Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED600863
IGI Global
Peer reviewed: Yes
Full text available on ERIC: No
What Works Clearinghouse Reviewed: Meets WWC standards without reservations
Reviewed as Part of Distance Learning Rapid Review: Yes
Direct Link

Roschelle, Jeremy, Feng, Mingyu, Murphy, Robert F., Mason, Craig A.  (2016) Online Mathematics Homework Increases Student Achievement
Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1194398
AERA Open, v2 n4 Oct-Dec 2016


Peer reviewed: Yes
Full text available on ERIC: Yes
What Works Clearinghouse Reviewed: Meets WWC standards without reservations
Reviewed as Part of Distance Learning Rapid Review: Yes

Selhorst, Adam L., Bao, Mingzhen, Williams, Lorraine, Klein, Eric  (2017) The Effect of Online Discussion Board Frequency on Student Performance in Adult Learners
Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1165472
Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, v20 n4 Win 2017


Peer reviewed: Yes
Full text available on ERIC: No
Reviewed as Part of Distance Learning Rapid Review: Yes
Direct Link

Spichtig, Alexandra N., Gehsmann, Kristin M., Pascoe, Jeffrey P., Ferrara, John D.  (2019) The Impact of Adaptive, Web-Based, Scaffolded Silent Reading Instruction on the Reading Achievement of Students in Grades 4 and 5
Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1208260
Elementary School Journal, v119 n3 p443-467 Mar 2019


Peer reviewed: Yes
Full text available on ERIC: No
Reviewed as Part of Distance Learning Rapid Review: Yes
Direct Link

Stanley, Denise, Zhang, Yi  (2018) Student-Produced Videos Can Enhance Engagement and Learning in the Online Environment
Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1181370
Online Learning, v22 n2 p5-26 Jun 2018


Peer reviewed: Yes
Full text available on ERIC: Yes
Reviewed as Part of Distance Learning Rapid Review: Yes

Suppes, Patrick, Holland, Paul W., Hu, Yuanan, Vu, Minh-thien  (2013) Effectiveness of an Individualized Computer-Driven Online Math K-5 Course in Eight California Title I Elementary Schools
Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1023953
Educational Assessment, v18 n3 p162-181 2013


Peer reviewed: Yes
Full text available on ERIC: No
Reviewed as Part of Distance Learning Rapid Review: Yes
Direct Link

Terrazas-Arellanes, Fatima E., Gallard M., Alejandro J., Strycker, Lisa A., Walden, Emily D.  (2018) Impact of Interactive Online Units on Learning Science among Students with Learning Disabilities and English Learners
Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1173826
International Journal of Science Education, v40 n5 p498-518 2018


Peer reviewed: Yes
Full text available on ERIC: No
Reviewed as Part of Distance Learning Rapid Review: Yes
Direct Link

Terrazas-Arellanes, Fatima E., Strycker, Lisa A., Walden, Emily D., Gallard, Alejandro  (2017) Teaching with Technology: Applications of Collaborative Online Learning Units to Improve 21st Century Skills for All
Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1164500
Journal of Computers in Mathematics and Science Teaching, v36 n4 p375-386 Oct 2017


Peer reviewed: Yes
Full text available on ERIC: No
Reviewed as Part of Distance Learning Rapid Review: Yes
Direct Link

Wijekumar, Kausalai Kay, Meyer, Bonnie J. F., Lei, Puiwa  (2012) Large-Scale Randomized Controlled Trial with 4th Graders Using Intelligent Tutoring of the Structure Strategy to Improve Nonfiction Reading Comprehension
Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ986753
Educational Technology Research and Development, v60 n6 p987-1013 Dec 2012


Peer reviewed: Yes
Full text available on ERIC: No
What Works Clearinghouse Reviewed: Meets WWC standards without reservations
Reviewed as Part of Distance Learning Rapid Review: Yes
Direct Link

Wijekumar, Kausalai, Meyer, Bonnie J. F., Lei, Puiwa  (2017) Web-Based Text Structure Strategy Instruction Improves Seventh Graders' Content Area Reading Comprehension
Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1149967
Journal of Educational Psychology, v109 n6 p741-760 Aug 2017


Peer reviewed: Yes
Full text available on ERIC: No
What Works Clearinghouse Reviewed: Meets WWC standards with reservations
Reviewed as Part of Distance Learning Rapid Review: Yes
Direct Link

Wijekumar, Kausalai, Meyer, Bonnie J. F., Lei, Pui-Wa, Lin, Yu-Chu, Johnson, Lori A., Spielvogel, James A., Shurmatz, Kathryn M., Ray, Melissa, Cook, Michael  (2014) Multisite Randomized Controlled Trial Examining Intelligent Tutoring of Structure Strategy for Fifth-Grade Readers
Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1041354
Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, v7 n4 p331-357 2014


Peer reviewed: Yes
Full text available on ERIC: No
Reviewed as Part of Distance Learning Rapid Review: Yes
Direct Link

Winburg, Karin, Chamberlain, Barbara, Valdez, Alfred, Trujillo, Karen, Stanford, Theodore B.  (2016) Impact of Math Snacks Games on Students' Conceptual Understanding
Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1095367
Journal of Computers in Mathematics and Science Teaching, v35 n2 p173-193 Apr 2016


Peer reviewed: Yes
Full text available on ERIC: No
Reviewed as Part of Distance Learning Rapid Review: Yes
Direct Link

Zeglen, Eric, Rosendale, Joseph A.  (2018) Increasing Online Information Retention: Analysing the Effects of Visual Hints and Feedback in Educational Games
Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1189435
Journal of Open, Flexible and Distance Learning, v22 n1 p22-33 2018


Peer reviewed: Yes
Full text available on ERIC: Yes
Reviewed as Part of Distance Learning Rapid Review: Yes

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