The Online Learning Consortium's premier journal dedicated to the development and dissemination of new knowledge at the intersection of pedagogy, emerging technology, policy, and practice in online environments.


The library contains articles of Online Learning as of vol. 1(1997) to current.

Recent Submissions


    Betts, Kristen; Welsh, Bill; Hermann, Kelly; Pruitt, Cheryl; Dietrich, Gaeir; Trevino, Jorge; Watson, Terry; Brooks, Mike; Cohen, Alex; Coombs, Norman (The Online Learning Consortium, 2013-10-09)
    Approximately 11% of all postsecondary students reported having a disability in 2008. Although the percentage of students with disabilities in 2008 closely reflects the percentage reported in 2004, the U.S. Government Accountability Office states that recent legislative changes have the potential to increase the diversity and number of students with disabilities pursing higher education. To support students with disabilities enrolled in higher education and in online learning, it is important to understand disabilities and the resources students need to actively engage in their courses and to achieve their academic goals. This article includes collaborative responses from a diverse group of leaders at eight higher education institutions and organizations who work with disability services and have experience in online learning. Some of the contributors also have disabilities so the collective responses build upon research, professional experience, and personal experience. For this article, the ten contributors answered 20 questions regarding disabilities and online student success as well as provided recommended practices. This article is designed to be interactive. It includes screenshots, simulation links, video demonstrations, and resources to provide a more detailed understanding of disabilities, accessibility, and support resources. JALN readers are encouraged to interact with the simulations and to watch the demonstration videos as a way to learn more about disabilities and supporting online student success.
  • Navigating Turn-Taking and Conversational Repair in an Online Synchronous Course

    Earnshaw, Yvonne (The Online Learning Consortium, 2017-12-01)
    In face-to-face conversations, speaker transitions (or hand-offs) are typically seamless. In computer mediated communication settings, speaker hand-offs can be a bit more challenging. This paper presents the results of a study of audio communication problems that occur in an online synchronous course, and how, and by whom, those problems are resolved. Data were collected from chat transcripts and audio transcripts from a graduate level discourse and conversation analysis course that used WebEx, an audioconferencing software application that also has a chat channel. Using a conversational analysis approach, data were analyzed to identify when speaker hand-offs occurred to determine related patterns of confirmation strategies and repair sequences. Findings showed several different approaches to smooth speaker hand-offs. In cases where hand-offs were not smooth, corrections were attempted by either fixing the problem or moving on. There were also instances in which parties encountered technical difficulties with the audio or Internet connectivity. Parties used the chat channel to indicate they were having trouble. The instructor’s role was to troubleshoot, call upon students, and move the discussion along. This study provides some insight on how chat can be used in a discussion-based, online synchronous course to identify technical difficulties with a called-upon speaker and how the correction is made.
  • Examining Distance Learners in Hybrid Synchronous Instruction: Successes and Challenges

    Romero-Hall, Enilda; Rocha Vicentini, Cristiane (The Online Learning Consortium, 2017-12-01)
    This paper reports on a case study investigating distance learners participating in graduate-level hybrid synchronous instruction. This research helps inform the design of hybrid synchronous instruction in which face-to-face and distance learners engage in class sessions. Data were collected using electronic journals, individual interviews, and a focus group. The results of the data analysis provide evidence that in this case, hybrid synchronous instruction improved the study habits of distance learners. On the other hand, the case study results also revealed that there are challenging pedogogical aspects which the distance learners had to overcome during hybrid synchronous instruction. Among such challenges were the interactions, relationships, and communication exchanges between distance learners, their face-to-face counterparts, and the instructor.
  • Pre- and inservice teacher satisfaction with online collaborative mentoring for technology integration: Applying the Kano quality attributes

    Dorner, Helga; Kumar, Swapna (The Online Learning Consortium, 2017-12-01)
    This study examines Hungarian pre- and inservice teachers’ satisfaction (n=154) with the Mentored Innovation Model (MIM), an online collaborative mentoring model focused on technology integration. The Kano model was applied to results from two surveys to identify conditions in the MIM that most contribute to overall satisfaction with online mentoring. Self-efficacy with technology was identified as a must-be attribute. Online communication was a one-dimensional attribute contributing to linear increase of mentees’ satisfaction, although preservice and inservice teachers’ perceptions about the mentor’s activity in the MIM differed. The results reinforce the importance of online communication during online collaborative mentoring.
  • Impact of a Web-Based Adaptive Supplemental Digital Resource on Student Mathematics Performance

    Sharp, Laurie A.; Hamil, Marc (The Online Learning Consortium, 2018-03-01)
    Much literature has presented evidence that supplemental digital resources enhance student performance with mathematics. The purpose of this study was to explore the impact of a web-adaptive digital resource, Think Through Math©, on student performance with state-mandated annual standardized mathematics assessments. This study utilized a quantitative research design and conducted multiple regression analyses among 723 students from a north Texas school district that showed high-levels of use with Think Through Math© during the 2015-2016 school year. Data from Think Through Math© reports and annual standardized mathematics assessments were collected and analyzed from elementary, intermediate, junior high, and high school campus levels. Results of the multiple regression analyses were reported for each campus level, as well as several statistically significant and positive associations.
  • Customizable Modalities for Individualized Learning: Examining Patterns of Engagement in Dual-Layer MOOCs

    Crosslin, Matt; Dellinger, Justin T.; Joksimovic, Srecko; Kovanovic, Vitomir; Gasevic, Dragan (The Online Learning Consortium, 2018-03-01)
    Dual-layer MOOCs are an educational framework designed to create customizable modality pathways through a learning experience. The basic premise is to design two framework choices through a course - one that is instructor guided and the other that is student-determined and open. Learners have the option to create their own customized pathway by choosing or combining both modalities as they see fit at any given time in the course. This mixed-methods study sought to understand the patterns that learners engaged in during a course designed with this pathway framework. The results of the quantitative examination of the course activity are presented, as well as the categories and themes that arose from the qualitative research. The results of the analysis indicates that learners value the ability to choose the pathway that they engage the course in. Additional research is needed to improve the technical and design aspects of the framework.
  • No Significant Difference - Unless you are a Jumper

    Fendler, Richard J; Ruff, Craig; Shrikhande, Milind (The Online Learning Consortium, 2018-03-01)
    Much of the e-education literature suggests that there is no significant difference in aggregate student learning outcomes between online and face-to-face instruction. In this study, we develop a model that forecasts the grade that individual students would have most likely earned in the alternate class setting. Students for whom the difference between the actual grade received in one class format (for example, online) and the forecasted grade in the other class setting (for example, face-to-face) is one full letter grade or higher are called “jumpers.” Our findings indicate that jumpers are numerous, suggesting that whereas no significant difference may exist between instruction settings at the aggregate level, at the individual level, the choice between settings matters. These results have important implications for the no significant difference literature and strongly support the need for refined course setting advisement for students.
  • Meaningful gamification and students’ motivation: A strategy for scaffolding reading material

    National University of Singapore; Tan, Lynette (The Online Learning Consortium, 2018-06-01)
    Gamification is an innovative pedagogical strategy where digital games are used in an educational setting and as an aid to learning. Recent publications on gamification in the classroom investigate the concept of “meaningful gamification” where, in line with Ryan and Deci’s self-determination theory, competency, autonomy and relatedness are prioritized (Ryan and Deci, 2000, p. 68). The paradigm of meaningful gamification works well as a catalyst in motivating students to read background material and grasp key concepts that facilitate a flipped classroom, and this study measures the impact of this intervention by meaningful gaming on students’ motivation at a higher education level. The context for this study is the module ‘Women in Film’, which is part of the Ideas and Exposition Programme at the Centre for English Language Communication, National University of Singapore.
  • Book review of Transactional Distance and Adaptive Learning

    Ko, Susan (The Online Learning Consortium, 2018-06-01)
    This is a book review of Saba and Shearer's Transactional Distance and Adaptive Learning: Planning for the Future of Higher Education.
  • Adaptive Learning: A Stabilizing Influence Across Disciplines and Universities

    University of Central Florida Division of Digital Learning, Realizeit, Colorado Technical University; Dziuban, Charles; Howlin, Colm; Moskal, Patsy; Johnson, Connie; Parker, Liza; Campbell, Maria (The Online Learning Consortium, 2018-09-01)
    This study represents an adaptive learning partnership among The University of Central Florida, Colorado Technical University, and the platform provider Realizeit.  A thirteen-variable learning domain for students forms the basis of a component invariance study. The results show that four dimensions: knowledge acquisition, engagement activities, communication and growth remain constant in nursing and mathematics courses across the two universities, indicating that the adaptive modality stabilizes learning organization in multiple disciplines. The authors contend that similar collaborative partnerships among universities and vendors is an important next step in the research process.
  • Emerging Technologies: It’s Not What YOU Say – It’s What THEY Do

    Cook, Vickie S; Gregory, Rhonda L. (The Online Learning Consortium, 2018-09-01)
    This paper is provided for OLC 2018 Special Edition from a 2018 InnovatePresentation in Nashville Tennessee.   We will explore various emerging technologies at the writing of this article. It is important to note that, the authors believe that learning is not a complete circle when evaluated by what educators do, the technologies we use, nor how we communicate our knowledge to our students.  Learning is only successful when we fully assess the impact of our preparations and presentations on student outcomes.  Students need the opportunity to actively participate in the doingof learning.  Modeling the literacies needed to skillfully enable us to meet the needs of our future world through strong use of technologies in a huetagogical setting enables learning success.
  • Introduction to the Special Issue: Best Papers Presented at the OLC 2017 Accelerate Conference on Online Learning and the Innovate 2018 Conference

    Picciano, Anthony G (The Online Learning Consortium, 2018-09-01)
    Introduction to the Special Issue: Best Papers Presented at the OLC 2017 Accelerate Conference on Online Learning and the Innovate 2018 Conference
  • Remembrance - Ben Arbaugh

    Shea, Peter (The Online Learning Consortium, 2018-09-01)
    On June 16th, 2018 family, friends, and the world of online learning scholarship lost Dr. John Benard Arbaugh, known to everyone as “Ben”.  Ben was a pioneer in online learning with more than 80 publications including 17 best article or best paper awards.  Ben was also a member of the OLJ Editorial Board.  Many of us knew Ben for his scholarship on the Community of Inquiry model and for his work as an evaluator on national projects such as the Predictive Analytics Framework (PAR).   Ben’s passing is felt by the many colleagues and coauthors with whom he worked around the world.  He was a true mentor, teacher, scholar and friend.  We will miss him.
  • Introduction to Section II

    Shea, Peter (The Online Learning Consortium, 2018-09-01)
    This issue of Online Learning contains four papers from our regular submission process for the journal.  The studies in this section examine facilitation of productive discourse, uses of social media, interaction, and student success in online learning environments.
  • #DigPed Narratives in Education: Critical Perspectives on Power and Pedagogy

    Koseoglu, Suzan; BOZKURT, Aras (The Online Learning Consortium, 2018-09-01)
    This mixed methods study addresses a knowledge gap in the nature and effects of networked scholarship. We analyze #DigPed, a Twitter hashtag on critical pedagogy, through the lens of Tufekci’s Capacities and Signals framework in order to understand (1) how educational narratives develop and spread on #DigPed, and (2) the nature of their capacities. Using Social Network Analysis and thematic analysis of content, we identify three prominent narratives in the network and discuss the network structures from a critical perspective. Based on the findings, we propose pedagogic capacity—the power to initiate a productive and potentially transformative educational discourse, within one’s self and within communities—as an additional lens to explore the spread and impact of critical narratives in education. Findings confirm the view that networked spaces are organized by hidden hierarchies marked by influence.

    Laster, Stephen (The Online Learning Consortium, 2019-01-25)
    Developing and delivering curricula that are integrated and that use blended learning techniques requires a highly orchestrated design.While institutions have demonstrated the ability to design complex curricula on an ad-hoc basis, these projects are generally successful at a great human and capital cost.Model-driven design provides a sustainable approach that reduces some of the cost of complex curriculum development and improves the sustainability of curriculum innovation.Systems thinking is a perspective for going beyond events, to looking for patterns of behavior, and to seeking underlying systemic interrelationships which are responsible for the patterns of behavior and the events. Model-driven design provides the ability to share models and learning units beyond the borders of the institution.

    Pelz, Bill (The Online Learning Consortium, 2019-01-25)
    This main goal of this article is to propose three principles of how to make online teaching and learning more effectively.

    Lim, Doo Hun; Morris, Michael L.; Kupritz, Virginia W. (The Online Learning Consortium, 2019-02-11)
    This study investigates differences in instructional and learner factors between two groups of learners exposed to online only and blended delivery formats, respectively, in an effort to compare learning outcomes and other instructional variables between online and blended delivery methods. Findings indicated that no significant differences existed in learning outcomes; however, significant differences existed in several instructional and learner factors between the two delivery format groups. Discussions about improving online or blended delivery method are presented based upon the research findings.

    Haavind, Sarah (The Online Learning Consortium, 2019-02-11)
    One of the more challenging aspects of teaching online is promoting content-focused, collaborative dialogue among students. How do we move discussants beyond initial brainstorming toward more focused, deepened dialogue that clearly supports a course’s instructional goals? Garrison and Anderson’s framework for communities of inquiry illuminates the critical interplay among social presence, cognitive presence and teaching presence for learning in asynchronous, online courses. This paper describes aspects of teaching presence in Virtual High School™ classes: explicit teaching of how to engage in collaborative dialogue; collaborative activity designs and evaluation rubrics; and feedback that, supported by attention to maintaining social presence, helped to promote substantive, collaborative dialogue orcognitive presence.

    Moloney, Jacqueline F.; Hickey, Charmaine P.; Bergin, Amy L.; Boccia, Judith; Polley, Kathleen; Riley, Jeannette E. (The Online Learning Consortium, 2019-02-11)
    Drawing on the University of Massachusetts experience in developing successful blended local programs, this paper suggests guiding principles that include mission-driven responsiveness to local contexts and partnerships; using low-cost marketing strategies available through local relationships and brand; attending to students’ preferences for blending face-to-face and online services and instruction throughout the college experience; supporting faculty in working with partners to develop local blended programs; and providing activities that anchor students to the campus and program.

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