Comparison of the effectiveness and efficiency of various forms of distance learning - an experimental study

Przemysław Kusztelak, Anna Pacholak


The aim of this paper is to compare various forms of distance learning in terms of the effectiveness and efficiency of teaching and their subjective evaluation by students. Three forms of remote teaching were analysed for the elective general university course in the winter semester of the 2020/2021 academic year: G1 - with all materials embedded on an e-learning platform for fully asynchronous learning - and with no live meetings, but specially prepared video tutorials replacing them, G2 - with materials embedded on an e-learning platform and lectures conducted synchronously through videoconferences (without video recordings), G3 - with materials embedded on an e-learning platform, synchronous lectures via video conferences and their recordings available afterwards. Final grades, a record of activity at the e-learning platform and the results of questionnaires collected from all participants of the course were taken into account when carrying out the statistical analysis. The analysis proved that the most effective form of learning (the lowest number of hours devoted to learning in order to pass the subject, as well as the percentage of students who completed the course) was the one applied in group G1. According to the opinions of the students, the highest level of satisfaction from the classes was recorded for group G2.

The research brings various implications for practice or policy: for teachers interested in improving the effectiveness of their online teaching; for teachers preparing an intervention with the aim of improving students' remote learning engagement and its quality; supporting teachers' research engagement in the improvement of educational standards and systems; and learning planners can use these insights helpful in planning online learning projects.

Keywords: distance education, e-learning, online teaching, video lecture, student engagement, effectiveness, experimental study


  • Adedoyin, O. B., & Soykan, E. (2020). Covid-19 pandemic and online learning: the challenges and opportunities. Interactive Learning Environments.
  • Bubaš, G., Čižmešija, A., & Kovačić, A. (2019). Comparative analysis of the use of video lectures and web 2.0 applications in a hybrid university course environment: a case study.
  • Cheong, Ch., Coldwell-Neilson, J., MacCallum, K., Luo, T., & Scime, A. (2021).COVID-19 and education: Learning and teaching in a pandemic-constrained environment. Informing Science Press.
  • Dahlstrom, E., Brooks, Ch., Grajek, S., & Reeves, J.(2015). ECAR study of undergraduate students and information technology, 2015. Educause.
  • Galwas, B. (Ed.). (2020). Panorama e-edukacji w Polsce. Oficyna Wydawnicza Politechniki Warszawskiej.
  • Kalpokaite, N., & Radivojevic, I. (2020). Teaching qualitative data analysis software online: a comparison of face-to-face and e-learning ATLAS.ti courses. International Journal of Research & Method in Education, 43(3), 296-310.
  • Kopp, M., Gröblinger, O., & Adams, S. (2019). Five common assumptions that prevent digital transformation at higher education institutions. In INTED2019 Proceedings.13th International Technology, Education and Development Conference (pp.1448-1457). IATED.
  • Leszczyński, P., Charuta, A., Łaziuk, B., Gałązkowski, R., Wejnarski, A., Roszak, M., & Kołodziejczak, B. (2018). Multimedia and interactivity in distance learning of resuscitation guidelines: A randomised controlled trial. Interactive Learning Environments, 26(2), 151-162.
  • Maatuk, A, Elberkawi, E.K., Aljawarneh, S., Rashaideh, H., & Alharbi, H. (2022). The COVID-19 pandemic and E-learning: challenges and opportunities from the perspective of students and instructors. Journal of Computing in Higher Education, 34, 21-38.
  • Naim, A. (2022). Relevance of online learning in higher education.American Journal of Pedagogical and Educational Research,1.
  • Pacholak, A. (2020). Digital university from student perspective: a step forward.
  • Pallavi, D. R., Ramachandran, M., & Chinnasamy, S. (2022). An empirical study on effectiveness of e-learning over conventional class room learning - acase study with respect to online degree programmes in Higher Education. Recent Trends in Management and Commerce, 3(1), 25-34.
  • Turnbull, D., Chugh, R., & Luck, J. (2021). Transitioning to E-Learning during the COVID-19 pandemic: How have Higher Education Institutions responded to the challenge? Education and Information Technologies, 26, 6401-6419.
  • Yousef, A. M. F., Chatti, M. A., & Schroeder, U. (2014). Video-based learning: A critical analysis of the research published in 2003-2013 and future visions. In eLmL 2014, The Sixth International Conference on Mobile, Hybrid, and On-line Learning (pp. 112-119).

Przemysław Kusztelak

The author is a professor at the University of Warsaw, Faculty of Economic Sciences. He specialises in educational economics, experimental economics and data analysis.

Anna Pacholak

The author, MSc, works in the Digital Competence Centre at the University of Warsaw. She has been engaged in a number of educational projects involving e-learning and digital teaching. Her main scope of interest is focused on open access education, digital education, motivation aspects in the learning process, new technologies for education, psychology of learning and positive psychology in the education process. She is the author of scientific papers; EDUCAUSE Annual Conference reviewer.

About the article


The article is in the printed version on pages 4-13.

pdf read the article (English)

How to cite

Kusztelak, P., & Pacholak, A. (2022). Comparison of the effectiveness and efficiency of various forms of distance learning - an experimental study. e-mentor, 4(96), 4-13.