Online Distance Education – Towards a Research Agenda

Last week my colleague Olaf Zawacki-Richter and I did the closing keynote at the European Distance Education Network Annual meeting in Zagreb Croatia.  The conference was great and it was my first visit to Croatia- but hopefully not my last.

Our keynote celebrated the recent launch of our new open access book from Athabasca University Press (available at http://www.aupress.ca/index.php/books/120233.  Our slide show presented the  methods by which we identified the most published topics in the major distance education journals. Olaf has updated this list covering 5 major journal’s from 2000-2011. I was pleased to see that Canadian researchers were the most prolific!

Once we identified the 17 most researched issues, we contacted the scholar(s) who we believed was the most qualified to write a chapter on that topic. We asked them to highlight the issues, the major unresolved questions and their suggestions for a research agenda that would advance our knowledge and practice related to this issue. I’m pleased to say that we had a very good response and I think the book will be very useful for students and scholars for some years to come.

The Table of Contents is:

Foreword  Otto Peters
Introduction Research Areas in Online Distance Education  Olaf Zawacki-Richter and Terry Anderson

Part I Macro-level Research: Distance Education Systems and Theories

  • 1 Internationalization and Concepts of Social Justice: What Is to Be Done? Alan Tait and Jennifer O’Rourke
  • 2 Globalization, Culture, and Online Distance Learning  Charlotte N. Gunawardena 
  • 3 Distance Education Systems and Institutions in the Online Era: An  Identity Crisis  Sarah Guri-Rosenblit
  • 4 Online Distance Education Models and Research Implications Terry D. Evans and Margaret Haughey
  • 5 Methods of Study in Distance Education: A Critical Review of Selected Recent Literature
  • Farhad Saba

part II Meso-level research: Management, Organization, and Technology

  • 6 Organization and Management of Online and Distance Learning Ross Paul
  • 7 The Costs and Economics of Online Distance Education Greville Rumble
  • 8 The Use of Technology in Distance Education Gráinne Conole
  • 9 Innovation and Change: Changing How we Change Jon Dron
  • 10 Professional Development and Faculty Support Margaret Hicks
  • 11 Learner Support in Online Distance Education: Essential and EvolvingJane E. Brindley
  • 12 Quality Assurance in Online Distance Education Colin Latchem

 

part III Micro-level Research: Learning and Teaching in Distance
Education

  • 13 Major Movements in Instructional Design – Katy Campbell and Richard. A. Schwier
  • 14 Interaction and Communication in Online Learning Communities: Toward an Engaged and Flexible Future – Dianne Conrad
  • 15 Quantitative Analysis of Interaction Patterns in Online Distance Education – Allan Jeong
  • 16 From the Back Door into the Mainstream: The Characteristics of Lifelong Learners – Joachim Stöter, Mark Bullen, Olaf Zawacki-Richter, and Christine von Prümmer
  • 17 Student Dropout: The Elephant in the Room – Alan Woodley and Ormond Simpson
  • Conclusion Towards a Research Agenda – Terry Anderson and Olaf Zawacki-Richter

The complete book and individual chapters are available for free download, but of course we love paper purchasers ($39.95 for a 500 page text!) Thanks to all authors and to EDEN hosts!

2 thoughts on “Online Distance Education – Towards a Research Agenda

  1. Congratulations Terry and Olaf!!
    I’ve been long waiting for this book I’m sure will be useful for all researchers in Online Distance Education.
    I’m downloading!!
    Best Regards
    Raidell Avello

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