Online Distance Education
320 pages, 6 x 9
10 tables, 34 figures
Release Date:30 Jun 2014

Online Distance Education

Towards a Research Agenda

Athabasca University Press
Online Distance Education: Towards a Research Agenda offers asystematic overview of the major issues, trends, and areas of priorityin online distance education research. In each chapter, aninternational expert or team of experts provides an overview of onetimely issue in online distance education, summarizing major researchon the topic, discussing theoretical insights that guide the research,posing questions and directions for future research, and discussing theimplications for distance education practice as a whole. Intended as aprimary reference and guide for distance educators, researchers, andpolicymakers, Online Distance Education addresses aspects ofdistance education practice that have often been marginalized,including issues of cost and economics, concerns surrounding socialjustice, cultural bias, the need for faculty professional development,and the management and growth of learner communities. At once soundlyempirical and thoughtfully reflective, yet also forward-looking andopen to new approaches to online and distance teaching, this text is asolid resource for researchers in a rapidly expanding discipline.
In the past, most laymen, practitioners, and even experts in the field described distance education very simply as a form of learning in which physical proximity is replaced by distance and oral dialogue by mediated communication. This simplistic understanding still lingers in many people's minds. This volume demonstrates instead that online distance education is a comprehensive, many-sided process and a multifunctional system. Otto Peters, FernUniversität in Hagen

Olaf Zawacki-Richter is professor of educationaltechnology at the University of Oldenburg, and also teaches in theonline Masters of Distance Education and E-Learning program offeredjointly by the University of Oldenburg and the University of Maryland,University College.

Terry Anderson is professor and researcher in theTechnology-Enhanced Knowledge Research Centre at Athabasca University.His research interests focus on interaction and social media ineducational contexts. He is the editor of The Theory and Practice ofOnline Learning, 2nd ed., winner of the 2009 Charles E. WedemeyerAward.

Foreword - Otto Peters

Introduction Research Areas in Online Distance Education / OlafZawacki-Richter and Terry Anderson

part I   Macro-levelResearch: Distance Education Systems and Theories

Internationalization and Concepts of Social Justice: What Is to BeDone? / Alan Tait and Jennifer O'Rourke

Globalization, Culture, and Online Distance Learning / CharlotteN. Gunawardena

Distance Education Systems and Institutions in the Online Era: AnIdentity Crisis / Sarah Guri-Rosenblit

Online Distance Education Models and Research Implications /Terry D. Evans and Margaret Haughey

Methods of Study in Distance Education: A Critical Review ofSelected Recent Literature / Farhad Saba

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

Organization and Management of Online and Distance Learning /Ross Paul

The Costs and Economics of Online Distance Education / GrevilleRumble

The Use of Technology in Distance Education / GráinneConole

Innovation and Change: Changing How we Change / JonDron

Professional Development and Faculty Support / MargaretHicks

Learner Support in Online Distance Education: Essential and Evolving/ Jane E. Brindley

Quality Assurance in Online Distance Education / ColinLatchem

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

Major Movements in Instructional Design / Katy Campbell andRichard. A. Schwier

Interaction and Communication in Online Learning Communities:Towardan Engaged and Flexible Future / Dianne Conrad

Quantitative Analysis of Interaction Patterns in Online DistanceEducation / Allan Jeong

From the Back Door into the Mainstream: The Characteristics ofLifelong Learners / Joachim Stöter, Mark Bullen, OlafZawacki-Richter, and Christine von Prümmer

Student Dropout: The Elephant in the Room / Alan Woodley andOrmond Simpson

Conclusion Towards a Research Agenda / Terry Anderson and OlafZawacki-Richter

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