WWC review of this study

An evaluation of accelerated learning in the CMU Open Learning Initiative course “Logic & Proofs”

Schunn, C. D., & Patchan, M. (2009). Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh, Learning Research and Development Center.

  • Quasi-Experimental Design
    , grade

Reviewed: August 2019

No statistically significant positive
Meets WWC standards with reservations
Academic achievement outcomes—Indeterminate effect found for the domain
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
Significant? Improvement

Final Exam: Fall 2007 and Spring 2008

Open Learning Initiative (OLI) vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample;
276 students





Evidence Tier rating based solely on this study. This intervention may achieve a higher tier when combined with the full body of evidence.

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.

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This study takes place at Carnegie Mellon University, a large top-tier public research institution in the US, in a "logic and proofs" course.

Study sample

Demographic breakdowns are not reported, but the author did indicate that there were no major differences on gender, year, GPA, major, prior experience with logic courses, prior experience with formal proofs, or prior experience with web-based or programming environments.

Intervention Group

Students in the intervention condition received online instruction through OLI that, in general, mirrored the content of the course taught in the traditional (comparison) sections. The authors note that the OLI sections included several additional topics not covered in the comparison sections. The authors report findings on the final exam from the course. This outcome falls under the academic achievement domain. Baseline equivalence was established on cumulative GPA prior to the semester when the study took place.

Comparison Group

Students in the comparison condition received instruction in the traditional face-to-face format.

Support for implementation

The study does not provide details on implementation support for OLI.


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