Online Distance Education

Towards a Research Agenda

Edited by Olaf Zawacki-Richter & Terry Anderson
Categories: Education, Society and Social Sciences
Series: Issues in Distance Education
Publisher: Athabasca University Press
Paperback : 9781927356623, 320 pages, June 2014

Table of contents

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

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

Globalization, Culture, and Online Distance Learning / Charlotte
N. Gunawardena

Distance Education Systems and Institutions in the Online Era: An
Identity 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 of
Selected 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 / Greville

The Use of Technology in Distance Education / Gráinne

Innovation and Change: Changing How we Change / Jon

Professional Development and Faculty Support / Margaret

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

Quality Assurance in Online Distance Education / Colin

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

Major Movements in Instructional Design / Katy Campbell and
Richard. A. Schwier

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

Quantitative Analysis of Interaction Patterns in Online Distance
Education / Allan Jeong

From the Back Door into the Mainstream: The Characteristics of
Lifelong Learners / Joachim Stöter, Mark Bullen, Olaf
Zawacki-Richter, and Christine von Prümmer

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

Conclusion Towards a Research Agenda / Terry Anderson and Olaf


A systematic overview of the major issues, trends, and areas of priority in online distance education research. In each chapter, international experts provide an overview of one timely issue in online distance education, summarizing research, discussing theoretical insights, posing questions and directions for future research, and discussing the implications for distance education practice as a whole.

Intended as a primary reference and guide for distance educators, researchers, and policymakers, aspects of distance education practice that have often been marginalized, including cost and economics, concerns surrounding social justice, cultural bias, the need for faculty professional development, and the management and growth of learner communities are addressed

At once soundly empirical and thoughtfully reflective, yet also forward-looking and open to new approaches to online and distance teaching, this text is a solid resource for researchers in a rapidly expanding discipline.