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e-Learning and the Science of Instruction: Proven Guidelines for Consumers and Designers of Multimedia Learning by Richard E. Mayer, Ruth C. Clark

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2.3. What Is Good Research?

We recommend that e-learning courses incorporate methods that are based on high-quality research. We favor evidence-based practice—the idea that instructional techniques should be based on research findings and research-based theory. Shavelson and Towne (2002, p. 1) eloquently summarize the argument for evidence-based practice in education: "One cannot expect reform efforts in education to have significant effects without research-based knowledge to guide them."

Certainly, it is easier to base courses on the design recommendations of experts, but it's always worthwhile to ask, "Yes, but does it work?" Until fairly recently, there was not much of a research base concerning the design of e-learning environments. However, ...

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