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

  • OLJ June 2022 26(2)

    Rice, Mary Frances (The Online Learning Consortium, 2022-06-01)
    Full Issue
  • Community of Inquiry Framework: Research Trends Between 2000-2020

    OLPAK, Yusuf Ziya (The Online Learning Consortium, 2022-06-01)
    The current study aimed to understand the trend in the community of inquiry that many researchers have been working on for over 20 years. Within the scope of this aim, 102 studies were reviewed with regards to some variables: most preferred keywords and words in abstract, year of publication, authors, journals, geographical distribution, academic disciplines, research methods, course delivery methods, participant type, and references. The findings demonstrate that the articles reviewed were from 216 authors in 20 countries. Most of the studies were from the Social Sciences field, and the continent with the most studies was North America. Quantitative research methods were mostly preferred in the studies, and the study group of a great of majority the studies were higher education students. Finally, various recommendations were made for future research after determining gaps that exist in the current literature.
  • Facilitating Cognitive Presence Online: Perception and Design

    McCarroll, Julie; Hartwick, Peggy (The Online Learning Consortium, 2022-06-01)
    In this paper, we focus on perceived cognitive presence (CP) in three sections of an intermediate level English for Academic Purposes (EAP) course facilitated online. The researchers intend to demonstrate how lesson design, scaffolding, and a blend of synchronous and asynchronous delivery create perceived CP. Data was collected from the CoI survey (Arbaugh et al., 2008), administered to both student and instructor participants, as well as an analysis of the lesson plans. Focusing on the survey questions related to the four phases of CP, researchers assigned numerical values to responses reported by participants (cf. Arbaugh et al., 2008). Student participants consistently reported lower levels of CP than teachers in the triggering event and exploration phases. Student participants in two of the three sections also reported lower levels of the integration and resolution phases than the teacher, but students in the third section reported higher levels. Moreover, student-reported experiences of CP in all four phases, except the exploration phase, increased with each iteration of the lesson plan. In addition, we analyze the weekly lesson plans in relation to the four phases of CP. Results demonstrate the relationship between lesson plans and perceived CP and will help to inform best practices in online learning contexts.  
  • Relationships Between Online Student Engagement Practices and GPA Among RN-to-BSN Students

    None; Rioch, Kathryn E.; Tharp, Jennifer L. (The Online Learning Consortium, 2022-06-01)
    The purpose of this quantitative, correlational study was to investigate the relationships between perceived online student engagement and self-reported grade point average (GPA) among post-licensure, undergraduate nursing students. Participants for this study were RN-to-BSN students at a mid-sized university in the Midwest. Approximately 110 students were contacted for participation, with 27 complete student responses (N= 27). Study participants were predominately 36 years or older (63%), full-time students (55.6%), and female (77.8%). The Community of Inquiry survey instrument by authors Arbaugh et al. (2008) measured perceived student engagement. Significant, positive correlations among the variables of cognitive presence (rs= .467, p= .014), teaching presence (rs= .448, p= .019), and self-reported GPA were determined among RN-to-BSN students. Significant effect differences were found between student engagement groups and self-reported GPA (p< .05); thus, within this study, student engagement significantly related to academic outcomes. Subsequently, the utilization of institution standards that heighten online student engagement could relate to improved student academic outcomes for RN-to-BSN students.
  • From Emergency Remote Teaching (ERT) to Sustained Remote Teaching (SRT): A comparative semester analysis of exchange students’ experiences and perceptions of learning online during COVID-19

    Stewart, William H.; Baek, Youngkyun; Lowenthal, Patrick R. (The Online Learning Consortium, 2022-06-01)
    The COVID-19 pandemic caused universities worldwide to close campuses, forcing millions of teachers and students to resort to Emergency Remote Teaching (ERT) and learning. Though necessary, the sudden move to remote delivery marked a significant departure from the standards and norms in distance education. In Korea, the pandemic coincided with the start of the 2020 academic year. Though ERT was new and unplanned during the first semester of the year, it became Sustained Remote Teaching (SRT) in the second. Through the lens of performance improvement theory, we sought to determine if students’ experiences and perceptions with learning remotely via SRT would change over time as a result of institutional preparedness and faculty support/experience. In total, 140 (Spring) and 93 (Fall) exchange students rated their perceptions of Teaching and Learning Processes, Student Support, and Course Structure with their ERT/SRT learning experiences via an electronic survey. An independent-samples one-way ANOVA indicated several statistically significant benchmarks, though results are interpreted as minor real world improvement. Implications for ERT/SRT policy and future research in the context of specific student groups are discussed.
  • Effect of Feedback with Video-based Peer Modeling on Learning and Self-efficacy

    The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative DAF, an advised fund of Silicon Valley Community Foundation (DRL-1229004) and the California Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (contract OPR18115).; Eghterafi, Wadi; Tucker, Mary C.; Zhang, Icy (Yunyi); Son, Ji Yun (The Online Learning Consortium, 2022-06-01)
    In this study, we examined the effect of video-based feedback designed to highlight a peer engaging in effective thinking processes on self-efficacy beliefs and learning outcomes (performance on a delayed quiz). Students in an introductory statistics course participated in an online learning activity where they received feedback in one of three randomly assigned conditions: a video of a peer demonstrating the process of arriving at a correct answer (mastery condition), a peer making mistakes then self-correcting those errors before arriving at a correct answer (coping condition), or a screenshot of a peer’s correct worked example (as a control). Results indicated that students who watched the mastery videos, but not the coping videos, rated their self-efficacy higher and scored higher on a class quiz taken more than a day after the feedback intervention than students who viewed a worked example. However, students in the two video conditions did not significantly differ in terms of either self-efficacy and quiz performance. The results of this study, although modest in scope, illustrate how the design of feedback could lead to noticeable differences in student learning.
  • Book Review: Leading the eLearning Transformation of Higher Education: Leadership Strategies for the New Generation, 2nd ed. Gary E. Miller and Kathleen S. Ives (Eds.)

    Olcott, Jr., Don (The Online Learning Consortium, 2022-06-01)
    Olcott, D. J.  (2022).  Book Review: Leading the eLearning transformation of higher education: Leadership strategies for the new generation, 2nd ed. Gary E. Miller and Kathleen S. Ives (Eds.). Online Learning, 26(2), 1-7.
  • The Effects of Nudges on Students’ Use of the Diagnostic Assessment and Achievement of College Skills

    U.S. Department of Education; Franklin Jr, David W; Bryer, Jason; Lui, Angela M; Andrade, Heidi L; Akhmedjanova, Diana (The Online Learning Consortium, 2022-06-01)
    The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of nudges on online college students’ use of the Diagnostic Assessment and Achievement of College Skills (DAACS), a suite of free, online assessments, feedback, and resources designed to optimize student success in college. The results indicate that the nudges had an effect on students’ completion of the DAACS and on accessing the feedback. The effectiveness varied by type of nudge and the order in which a series of nudges was sent. Simply sending the nudges did not have a direct effect on academic outcomes, but students who responded to one series of nudges were more successful than those who did not.

    Shea, Peter (The Online Learning Consortium, 2022-06-01)
  • Improving Retention Factors and Student Success Online Utilizing the Community of Inquiry Framework’s Instructor Presence Model

    University of Arizona Global Campus (AKA Ashford University); Rebecca Hayes; Rosser-Majors, Michelle L; Rebeor, Sandra; McMahon, Christine; Wilson, Andrea; Stubbs, Stephanie L; Harper, Yolanda; Sliwinski, Laura (The Online Learning Consortium, 2022-06-01)
    Considerable research on effective instruction in the virtual classroom exists. Yet very little is known about the extent to which instructor presence (IP) based on the Community of Inquiry model (CoI), are directly related to retention and student success. CoI includes three components of IP: teaching (TP), cognitive (CP), and social (SP). These IP engagement strategies have been suggested to improve outcomes if effectively applied in the virtual classroom. Attrition rates, retention, engagement, and student and instructor success rates are critical aspects of an effective virtual classroom and identifying practices that support these efforts is essential. This study suggests that CoI engagement strategies, when applied by instructors to the online classroom effectively, can improve factors associated with retention and success. To prepare instructors, we designed and utilized a series of seven self-paced interactive modules. With the training, the educators were able to engage with students more effectively by integrating best practices associated with IP. Course dropout rates and student success rates both significantly improved (p = .05; p < .001 respectively) after these engagement strategies were more efficaciously integrated into the classroom by the trained instructors.
  • A Comparison of Three Assessment Types on Student Engagement and Content Knowledge in Online Instruction

    Randall, Lynda; Jaynes, Jessica (The Online Learning Consortium, 2022-06-01)
    The research described in this article focuses on determining the effectiveness of Bongo in promoting student retention of concepts in online learning. This study used both quantitative and qualitative measures to examine the effectiveness of student video presentation assignments on student retention of learning and perceptions of the assignment’s contributions to learning. The quantitative methods compared the effects of three treatment conditions (independent reading, Bongo video presentation, and Bongo video presentation with Auto Analysis) on retention of concepts (quizzes administered two weeks after the presentation recordings). Qualitative analysis of student perceptions of the perceived value of Bongo in general, and specifically the Auto Analysis tool, were accomplished through video surveys, transcription, and analysis.  Analysis of the data provided strong support for the use of Bongo to increase student retention of concepts, and also revealed that students held favorable perceptions of the value and utility of the tool.
  • Face-to-face vs. Online Asynchronous Teaching in a Conservation Biology Course

    University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte Green Initiative Fund; Wells, Carrie; Pass, Michelle; Walsh, Jane (The Online Learning Consortium, 2022-06-01)
    In order to be effective, e-learning environments should include a diverse range of pedagogical practices and should focus on active learning student-centered pedagogical. Therefore, it should not be the delivery medium, but rather the instructional methods that facilitate proper learning. Courses that incorporate effective instructional methods will support better learning than courses that do not use effective methods, regardless of the mode of delivery. We compared a traditionally taught face to face Conservation Biology course, Biol 4244/5244, for Biology majors to a fully online asynchronous e-learning course designed using essentially the same materials but varying course delivery. The Biol 4244/4244 course is designated by the University of North Carolina at Charlotte as a “writing-intensive course”, where communication is a significant part of the course learning experience. We found no significant differences in learning outcomes, regardless of the method of course delivery. Overall, we feel that this study indicates that online instruction in this type of course is a viable alternative to face-to-face instruction.
  • Academic Performance in Distance Education: Quizzes as a Moderator Variable and Students’ Perception and Expectation through Linguistic Analysis

    Parte, Laura; Mellado, Lucía (The Online Learning Consortium, 2022-06-01)
    This study sheds light on the relation between assessment modalities and student behavior through linguistics styles, and academic performance. First, we examine the effect of assessment modalities (self-evaluation quizzes and summative quizzes) on academic performance. Using two modalities of online quizzes, we mainly focus on the student participation, student behavior (the work pacing and time management), type of assessment, and student characteristics. Second, we analyze the student behavior through linguistic styles and third, we examine the levels of anxiety and the expectation of success during the course. Specifically, we compare the linguistic styles of high performing students and low performing students and changes in anxiety levels and expectation of success. Methodologically, this study includes a static and dynamic perspective and combines quantitative analysis with a qualitative approach. The participants are students enrolled in Managerial Accounting for Tourism course in the academic year 2019–2020. The results show that both quizzes modalities are positively associated with academic performance. The linguistic analysis shows differences in the language between high performing students and low performing students. Finally, a pattern of changes on the students’ expectations of success and levels of anxiety are identified during the course.
  • The Impact of Attitudes, Beliefs, and Cognitive Reflection on the Development of Critical Thinking Skills in Online Students

    Simonovic, Boban; Vione, Katia; Fido, Dean; Stupple, Edward; Martin, James; Clarke, Richard (The Online Learning Consortium, 2022-06-01)
    Learning and development of critical thinking (CT) skills in higher education is essential for academic achievement. The following experiment is the first to examine the effect of online student’s perceptions and attitudes towards CT across dimensions of confidence, valuing, misconceptions, cognitive reflection, and authors writing. Furthermore, a CT intervention was developed, and the effects of the intervention examined with an aim to help students improve their grade point average. The analyses demonstrated that student’s confidence and cognitive reflection predict academic achievement. Moreover, the online CT intervention was associated with improved students’ CT attitudes, skills, and academic performance. Significant interactions were observed between time (pre- and post-intervention) and intervention in cognitive reflection, confidence, beliefs, and attitudes related to CT, and student grade point average (GPA, as a measure of student’s performance on online modules). It was concluded that the CT can be taught and that an intervention based on “how to think” rather than a “what to think” mixed approach can help online students develop CT, strengthen their confidence in CT and help students improve their academic performance in an online setting.
  • Online Presentations with PowerPoint Present Live Real-Time Automated Captions and Subtitles: Perceptions of Faculty and Administrators

    Orellana, Anymir; Arguello, Georgina; Kanzki-Veloso, Elda (The Online Learning Consortium, 2022-06-01)
    Captioning of recorded videos is beneficial to many and a matter of compliance with accessibility regulations and guidelines. Like recorded captions, real-time captions can also be means to implement the Universal Design for Learning checkpoint to offer text-based alternatives to auditory information. A cost-effective solution to implement the checkpoint for live online presentations is to use speech recognition technologies to generate automated captions. In particular, Microsoft PowerPoint Present Live (MSPL) is an application that can be used to present with real-time automated captions and subtitles in multiple languages, allowing individuals to follow the presentation in their preferred language. The purpose of this study was to identify challenges that participants could encounter when using the MSPL feature of real-time automated captions/subtitles, and to determine what they describe as potential uses, challenges, and benefits of the feature. Participants were full-time faculty and administrators with a faculty appointment in a higher education institution. Data from five native English speakers and five native Spanish speakers were analyzed. Activities of remote usability testing and interviews were conducted to collect data. Overall, participants did not encounter challenges that they could not overcome and described MSPL as an easy-to-use and useful tool to present with captions/subtitles for teaching or training and to reach English and Spanish-speaking audiences. The themes that emerged as potential challenges were training, distraction, and technology. Findings are discussed and further research is recommended.
  • An Overnight Educational Transformation: How did the Pandemic Turn Early Childhood Education Upside Down?

    Aslan, Sinem; Li, Qi; Bonk, Curtis J.; Nachman, Lama (The Online Learning Consortium, 2022-06-01)
    Since the spring of 2020, many early childhood education programs (pre-K, K, 1st, and 2nd grades) had to close as governments around the world took serious measures to slow down the transmission of COVID-19. As a result, the pandemic forced many early childhood teachers to start teaching online and continue supporting their students remotely. Unfortunately, there were few lessons that these teachers could learn from experience to cope with this change since online learning in early childhood settings had been scarce until the outbreak of the pandemic. In response, the goal of this interview study was to investigate how early childhood teachers in public and private schools implemented online learning during the pandemic, the challenges they encountered when teaching online, and their suggestions to address these challenges. The results showed that the teachers did not sit still and patiently wait for the re-opening of the schools. Instead, they took assorted initiatives to support their students’ learning and development remotely. They faced several challenges on the way but also suggested various methods to address these challenges through developmentally appropriate technology use. The results of this study have implications for teachers when early childhood programs return to normal. The study creates opportunities for future research to gain greater understanding of the design and implementation of online learning activities with young learners.
  • Predicting social presence in videoconference-supported LMS courses: Mediation through L2 writing and speaking strategies

    Bailey, Daniel; Almusharraf, Norah; Almusharraf, Asma (The Online Learning Consortium, 2022-06-01)
    The issue addressed here concerns how second language (L2) speaking strategies mediate the relationship between L2 writing strategies and the social presence component of the community of inquiry (CoI) framework within the context of fully online courses that combined learning management system (LMS) for writing tasks and videoconferencing for live classroom discussion. L2 writing strategies related to planning and reviewing contribute to composing tests that students want to upload, present, and discuss, and this sharing is expected to foster classroom social behaviors and consequent language gains. For the current study, a cross-sectional survey of 256 university students was initiated to investigate the mediating effect L2 speaking strategies have on the relationship between L2 writing strategies and social presence. The results indicated positive path coefficients between review strategies and speaking strategies, review strategies and social presence, planning strategies and speaking strategies, and speaking strategies and social presence. Further, speaking strategies explain the relationship between planning strategies and social presence, indicating full mediation. Partial mediation was found for the path between review strategies and social presence. Recognizing how L2 writing and speaking strategies relate to one another and how that relationship influences a CoI illustrates the interconnectivity between language skills. Evidently, increased attention to planning and reviewing strategies results in a final composition worth sharing and discussing, and such sharing and discussion are building blocks to a vibrant social presence.
  • Understanding the Lived Experience of Online Learners: Towards a Framework for Phenomenological Research on Distance Education

    Becker, Jonathan; Schad, Michael (The Online Learning Consortium, 2022-06-01)
    Not all instructors in higher education enter the classroom with teaching experience, but all have observed teaching in higher education from the perspective of a student. This “apprenticeship of observation” that Lortie (1975) wrote about decades ago at least gives instructors the opportunity to empathize with their students, an important disposition for successful instructors. As more and more instructors are being asked to teach via distance education, they are being asked to do so with no online teaching experience and no or limited experience as an online student. One way, then, for them to develop empathy for online students and become a better online instructor would be to read systematic explications of the lived experiences of online learners. Phenomenology as a research design is purposeful towards gaining an understanding of “lifeworlds.” There is a small but growing body of phenomenological research on distance education, but most of the work is thin, not consistent with core principles of phenomenological research, and not tailored to the uniqueness of the distance education environment. This article makes the case for more phenomenological research on distance education and works towards a framework for this kind of research.
  • A Case Study Approach to Exploring Resilient Pedagogy During Times of Crisis

    Clum, Katie; Ebersole, Elizabeth; Wicks, David; Shea, Munyi (The Online Learning Consortium, 2022-06-01)
    In response to the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 and the ensuing public health crisis, thousands of higher education institutions (HEIs) worldwide have had to grapple with rapid pivots to emergency remote online learning modalities with relatively little time to prepare, and the need to maintain these modalities continues to extend longer than most institutions anticipated. However, this is not the first time HEIs have had to enact an emergency switch to online learning in a time of crisis, and there is perhaps much to be learned from examining the experiences of institutions that have been through this before. Resilient pedagogy is an emerging field in education, but it is intrinsically tied to online learning in a crisis insofar as it describes the ability to intentionally and effectively shift instructional tactics given a change in environment or context. Using a case study approach, this paper explores indicators of resilient pedagogy in emergency pivots to online learning following crisis situations—including the COVID-19 pandemic—in the United States, New Zealand, and South Africa. The data informing this research are qualitative, derived from interviews with faculty members and students in each higher education context. 

    Mayadas, Frank; Picciano, Anthony G. (The Online Learning Consortium, 2019-02-11)
    Blended learning can be seen as the means to achieving a greater sense of “localness” on the part of colleges and universities. Blended learning has been evolving for several years and while definitions vary from one institution to another, it is defined in this paper essentially as a combination of face-to-face and online learning. Localness is a term used at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation as part of a new funding initiative to support academic programs designed to strengthen a college or university connection to its core constituencies. The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationship of blended learning and “localness”.

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