Identification of general effects for open education is hindered by differences in the implementation of open education programs. This paper identifies seven features of open education programs that may or may not be present. Effect size estimates are used to identify more and less effective open education programs from a large sample of studies of the effectiveness of open education. The data are then examined to determine which features differentiate the more effective open education programs from the less effective programs. Programs that are more effective in producing nonachievement outcomes attitude, creativity, and self-concept) are found to be characterized by four features: emphasis on the role of the child in learning, use of diagnostic (rather than norm-referenced) evaluation, individualized instruction, and the presence of manipulative materials. The same features did not differentiate the programs that produced a high level of academic achievement. Examination of data from studies that measure both academic achievement and nonachievement outcomes suggests that open education programs are generally not effective in producing both types of outcomes.
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