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.

تقديمات حديثة

  • Online Learning Volume 25, Issue 2 (June 2021)

    Knight, Sturdy (The Online Learning Consortium, 2021-06-22)
    OLJ 25(2), June 2021
  • Taking Away Excuses to Quit: The Role of Supports in Completion and Learning in Online Professional Development for Teachers

    Oregon Department of Education; Oregon State University Ecampus Research Fellowship grant; Understanding Language at Stanford University; Kenji Hakuta; Hsiaolin Hsieh; Betsy Williams,; Lisa Zerkel; Rutherford-Quach, Sara; Thompson, Karen; Rodriguez-Mojica, Claudia; et al. (The Online Learning Consortium, 2021-06-01)
    Online courses, particularly in the massive open online course (MOOC) format, have been lauded for their potential to democratize access to educational opportunities but criticized for their markedly low completion rates. Yet educators continue to enroll in online courses, including MOOCs, in high numbers. For teachers at under-resourced schools, free online courses may be the only professional development option. It thus remains important to understand whether online courses, in their various formats, can serve as vehicles to support teacher learning and whether this can happen on a large-scale. Extending prior research that explores the relationship between contextual factors, engagement, and learning in online settings, this mixed-method study examines outcomes in a MOOC designed for teachers of English learners (ELs). In particular, the study identifies and examines structural and social supports that were available to some course participants (release time, stipends, participating with colleagues, and having a facilitator who convened face-to-face meetings) and investigates whether these local conditions were significantly related to completion and learning. Findings indicate that participants who received more supports were significantly more likely to complete the course. While participants, on average, showed evidence of learning, participants receiving supports did not show evidence of learning more than other participants. This is potentially due to omitted variable bias because participants who completed the course without supports may differ from participants who completed the course with supports in important, unaccounted for ways. This study extends prior research about how learning environments impact online learning experiences and suggests that structural and social supports may be useful in facilitating MOOC completion.
  • Moderating Relationships: Non-Designer Instructor’s Teaching Presence and Distance Learners’ Cognitive Presence

    Silva, Laura; Shuttlesworth, Mary; Ice, Phil (The Online Learning Consortium, 2021-06-01)
    Distance learning enrollments in higher education continue to grow, and academic leaders increasingly use non-designer instructors (NDIs) to meet demand. NDIs have little control over some aspects of teaching presence, including course design through instructional media resources included in a predesigned master course. This study used the Community of Inquiry (COI) survey to investigate (a) do distance learners’ perceptions of their NDIs’ teaching presence predict their cognitive presence; and (b) does distance learners’ use of instructional media resources moderate the relationship between their perceptions of NDIs’ teaching presence and learners’ cognitive presence. Multiple regression results indicated that perceptions of NDIs’ teaching presence predicted learners’ perceptions of cognitive presence, but learners’ use of instructional media failed to moderate that predictive relationship. Limitations and directions for future research are discussed.
  • Faculty Perceptions on Accessibility in Online Learning: Knowledge, Practice and Professional Development

    Guilbaud, Thelma C; Martin, Florence; Newton, Xiaoxia (The Online Learning Consortium, 2021-06-01)
    This study examined the level of readiness of faculty in designing and delivering accessible online courses to meet the needs of all learners, including students with disabilities. A total of 182 tenured/non-tenured full time, part-time, adjunct and clinical faculty from three public universities of different sizes were surveyed to gauge their awareness, understanding, and practices related to disability laws, quality standards, utilization of tools, and professional development support. Results from the study indicated an uneven level of readiness by faculty regarding online learning accessibility. Results from the study showed that professional development training in online learning had a very significant influence on accessibility knowledge and practice. Also, high perceptions of knowledge for institutional policy and terminology and low perception of accessibility laws and standards were found. It is also found that training on disability-related laws and regulations provided by higher education institutions was insufficient and at times, does not align with the faculty’s schedule. Given the results of the study, it is recommended that higher education institutions reorient their approach to supporting faculty who teach online and develop a comprehensive strategy to reach the goal of helping all students, including students with disabilities, to fully engage online learning. The findings from this study have implications for course development and implementation to support students with disabilities. 
  • Professional Development and ICT: English Language Teachers’ Voices

    Kohnke, Lucas (The Online Learning Consortium, 2021-06-01)
    While technology use is becoming increasingly common in education, teachers remain reluctant to use it and hesitant on how best to incorporate it into their teaching and practice.  There is a strong demand from institutions for English language teachers to cope with the changing landscape of teaching in the 21st century.  This explorative study investigated Hong Kong tertiary teachers’ beliefs on continuing professional development activities to enhance their teaching.  The study had a two-phase research design, with an initial questionnaire (N = 58) followed by semistructured interviews (N = 12) to unpack the participants’ hidden voices.  The findings illustrated that most teachers are enthusiastic about professional development activities, though there is a misalignment between what universities value and reward and what teachers see as most beneficial for enhancing their teaching practices.  The results suggested that professional development activities should focus on sharing good teaching practice (e.g., informal chats, mentoring) within universities rather than on rewarding attending conferences and on-off, nonintegrated workshops.
  • The Community of Inquiry in Writing Studies Survey: Interpreting Social Presence in Disciplinary Contexts

    Conference on College Composition and Communication; Stewart, Mary K.; Hilliard, Lyra; Stillman-Webb, Natalie; Cunningham, Jennifer M. (The Online Learning Consortium, 2021-06-01)
    This article applies the Community of Inquiry (CoI) framework to a particular disciplinary context: first-year writing (FYW). Students enrolled in online FYW courses across three institutions (n = 272) completed a version of the CoI survey that was slightly modified to fit the disciplinary context of writing studies. A factor analysis was conducted to determine how well the CoI in Writing Studies data aligned with typical CoI survey research; teaching presence and cognitive presence loaded onto single factors, but the social presence items divided into multiple factors. The authors put their findings in conversation with other scholarship about social presence, especially Carlon et al. (2012) and Kreijns et al. (2014), and advocate for differentiating between survey items that relate to “social presence,” “social comfort,” “attitude,” and “social learning.” They also recommend that future disciplinary uses of the CoI Survey include survey items that ask students to report on the extent to which they engaged in the types of social learning that the discipline values.
  • Introduction to Volume 25, Issue 2

    Shea, Peter (The Online Learning Consortium, 2021-06-01)
  • Realistic Job Preview as an Alternative Tool to Improve Student Readiness for Online Learning

    Latheef, Zahir Ibrahim; Robinson, Robert; Smith, Sedef (The Online Learning Consortium, 2021-06-01)
    Readiness for online learning has been established as a key component of student success in online classes. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has underscored how vital being prepared for online can be. This paper highlights an orientation technique widely used in the business field, namely Realistic Job Preview (RJP), as a method to prepare students for what online learning might be like. Our research proposes an RJP would help students adapt to their new role as online learners. For the purposes of this study, we developed a video providing a realistic preview of online learning following recommendations from RJP research. We then conducted a mixed methods study to examine student perceptions of our realistic preview video and an online readiness self-assessment. Overall, our findings provide strong evidence for the use of RJP as a strategy to improve student readiness for online learning.
  • Examining Students’ Online Course Perceptions and Comparing Student Performance Outcomes in Online and Face-to-Face Classrooms

    Spencer, Dan; Temple, Traci (The Online Learning Consortium, 2021-06-01)
    Through the use of existing grade and student survey data, this study investigated online courses offered at a public four-year university. Specifically, the study explored differences in student success rates between online and face-to-face courses for traditional undergraduate students as well as the climate of student perceptions towards online courses. Our general results suggest that students performed better in, and had higher levels of preference toward, traditional face-to-face formats. However, overall perceptions of online courses were positive, with students viewing instructional technologies as reliable and easy to use, as well as reporting that online technologies facilitated prompt feedback, enhanced their problem-solving skills, and met their learning needs. Alongside this, students exhibited positive views towards their instructors’ skill level and use of technology to support academic success. Logistic regression analyses of differences in student success across instructional formats revealed interaction effects with variables of age (nontraditional/traditional), aid status and whether or not courses were taken to fulfill general education or major requirements, suggesting a more complex effect of instructional format across student subpopulations. The variability in the results observed in the current study warrant further exploration before definitive conclusions on the impact of instructional format on student outcomes and perceptions can be made.
  • Taking Away Excuses to Quit: The Role of Structural Supports in Completion and Learning within Online Professional Development

    Oregon Department of Education; Oregon State University Ecampus Research Fellowship grant; Understanding Language at Stanford University; Kenji Hakuta; Hsiaolin Hsieh; Betsy Williams,; Lisa Zerkel; Rutherford-Quach, Sara; Thompson, Karen; Rodriguez-Mojica, Claudia; et al. (The Online Learning Consortium, 2021-06-01)
    Online courses, particularly in the MOOC (Massive Online Open Course) format, have a mixed reputation due to their potential to democratize access to educational opportunities and their markedly low completion rates. Yet educators continue to enroll in online courses, including MOOCs, in high numbers. For teachers at under-resourced schools or of under-served populations, free online courses may be their only professional development option. It thus remains important to understand if and how online courses, in their various formats, can serve as vehicles for supporting teacher learning and whether this can happen on a large-scale. This mixed-method study examines completion and learning outcomes in a MOOC designed for teachers of English Learners (ELs). In particular, the study identifies and examines face-to-face, structural supports that were simultaneously available to some course participants and investigates whether these were significantly related to completion and learning within the course. Findings indicate that participants who received more structural supports were significantly more likely to complete the course. While participants, on average, showed evidence of learning within the course, participants receiving structural supports did not show evidence of learning more than other participants did. This is potentially due to omitted variable bias that suggests participants who completed the course without structural supports may differ from participants who completed the course with structural supports in important, unaccounted for ways. This study contributes to research on blended learning within the context of teacher professional development, suggesting that blended learning may be useful in supporting MOOC completion, particularly for certain teacher populations.
  • Learner Presence Matters: A Learner-Centered Exploration into the Community of Inquiry Framework

    National Louis University; Honig, Catherine A; Salmon, Diane (The Online Learning Consortium, 2021-06-01)
    In the present study we explored the Community of Inquiry (CoI) framework, a theoretical structure identifying processes leading to effective online learning, within one particular learning context. Drawing from research supporting the significance of three presences—teaching, social, cognitive presence—we add to a line of research on a potential fourth presence, learner presence. We employed a mixed-method approach to investigate learner perceptions, thoughts, and actions in MBA online/blended courses. Stimulated recall interviews with individual learners regarding their course experience highlighted three qualities of the learners’ presence in their courses: intentions, metacognition, and peer monitoring. They also pointed to ways in which certain facets of the three CoI presences supported these qualities. The findings prompted questions for further CoI research investigating learner presence and suggested implications for learner-centered course design and online instruction. 
  • Exploring the Impact of an Open Access Mindfulness Course with Online Graduate Students: A Mixed Methods Explanatory Sequential Study

    Murphy, Jackie Lyn (The Online Learning Consortium, 2021-06-01)
    As enrollment in online graduate education increases, retention continues to be problematic for many colleges and universities across the United States.  Non-traditional students, who represent the majority of online graduate student enrollment, have unique issues related to persistence considering they often must juggle the demands of graduate school with work and families.  The competing demands can lead to increased levels of perceived stress, which can impact academic performance due to increased mind wandering and decreased attention.   Mindfulness is a practice that has been shown in the literature to decrease levels of perceived stress and mind wandering, therefore, the integration of mindfulness practice could have a positive effect on student persistence in online graduate education.  Therefore, an online open access mindfulness course was created at one large urban university. The purpose of this explanatory sequential study was to explore the impact of teaching mindfulness to online graduate students.  Self-report levels of perceived stress and mind wandering were significantly lower after students completed Module One of an open access mindfulness course.  Self-reported perceived persistence levels were found to be significantly higher after Module One with students in the first or second quarter of their program, students with little or no mindfulness experience, and students who meditated four or more times a week.  Furthermore, students interviewed felt that the course provided excellent foundational information about mindfulness that could be immediately applied, and therefore should be a requirement for all incoming students. 
  • Piloting Learning Analytics in a Multidisciplinary Online Program

    Nyland, Rob; Croft, Benjamin; Jung, Eulho (The Online Learning Consortium, 2021-06-01)
                Learning analytics is a recent innovation that holds promise for improving retention in fully online programs. However, only a few case studies exist to show models for and outcomes of the implementation of learning analytics systems. This paper reports on a learning analytics implementation in a fully online, multidisciplinary program designed for nontraditional students using a pilot planning group with stakeholders from various roles. The processes for selecting reports, creating communication structures, and evaluating outcomes are outlined. Overall, faculty and advisors were positive about the project and found the reports to be helpful. The results suggest that the actions most often triggered by learning analytics reports were emails to students. Evaluation results suggest that the implementation of the learning analytics program and the interventions enacted had a positive impact on student success, though we acknowledge that it is difficult to isolate the impact of the learning analytics tool itself. We also address several challenges that came along with the implementation of learning analytics including understanding the efficacy of interventions, data security, and ethics.
  • Motivations among Special Education Students and their Parents for Switching to an Online School: Survey Responses and Emergent Themes

    Tonks, DeLaina; Kimmons, Royce; Mason, Stacie L. (The Online Learning Consortium, 2021-06-01)
    Research focusing on the experiences of special education students in online K–12 schools is scant despite growing numbers of enrollments. This study utilized an emailed survey to understand the motivations and experiences of a group of special education students (n = 30) and their parents (n = 29) while enrolled in an online K–12 school in the U.S. Responses indicated that the three most compelling reasons for choosing the school were flexibility, previous poor fit, and teacher availability. Qualitative analysis of open-ended responses produced two major themes—prior experiences and affordances of the learning environment—with sub-themes related to bullying, personnel, academics, disabilities and accommodations, health considerations, lack of support, self-determination, and the where, when, and how of online learning. These findings may help policy makers enact policies and online educators adapt their approach to better meet the needs of K–12 students with special needs.
  • Functionality, Impact, and Satisfaction of a Web-Based and Mobile Application Support Program for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder

    Lamar University: Presidential Visionary Initiative; Bellon-Harn, Monica; Manachaiah, Vinaya (The Online Learning Consortium, 2021-06-01)
    This paper presents the functionality, impact and satisfaction of a self-management web-based or mobile application student support program (i.e., College Connect) for post-secondary students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (PSS-ASD) in the United States. Five professionals and four successful college graduates with ASD evaluated College Connectand completed an intervention satisfaction rating and an ePlatform performance questionnaire. College Connect and ePlatform function was modified based on reviewers’ feedback. Following modification, the program was piloted with three high school seniors and one freshman at a two-year college with ASD. Results pointed toward strengths and limitations of the program protocol and future directions.
  • Designing Educational Videos for University Websites Based on Students’ Preferences

    Alfayez, Zainab (The Online Learning Consortium, 2021-06-01)
    Recent developments have seen a significant increase in the number of educational videos being made, mostly for use as a resource in a range of educational levels and different specializations. Indeed, currently, many universities either provide videos as supplementary resources or, indeed, offer entire courses as online learning materials. The qualitative study this paper presents was conducted to answer the following questions: “How have educational videos (lectures/tutorials) published on YouTube affected the university students’ studies at both postgraduate and undergraduate levels?” and “would it be better to upload these types of videos onto a university website?” The aim was to explore the experiences of students from two universities (one a high- ranking university and one from a developing country) regarding online educational videos and to assess the extent to which these kinds of videos influence their studies. The data collection method used was individual interviews with students from two different universities to gather their perspectives, their opinions, and their aspirations regarding such videos. The results section analyzes and discusses the students’ varied opinions. Based on the research findings, several recommendations are made to develop a useable design to add videos to university websites. Finally, the research discussed how this study’s findings contribute during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Investigating E-Learning Motivational Strategies of Higher Education Learners against Online Distractors

    N/A; Erarslan, Ali; ŞEKER, Meral (The Online Learning Consortium, 2021-06-01)
    Exploring higher education learners’ e-learning experiences and the challenges they encounter is required to equip them with necessary skills and strategies to attain their academic goals (Cooper & Corpus, 2009). By identifying the types of and the frequency of exposure to distractors, the study was specifically geared towards finding out the level of motivational self-regulated strategies, including volition and goal commitment strategies, employed against online distractors during e-learning by higher education learners. The data were gathered through a questionnaire developed after a comprehensive literature review and semi-structured interviews (n = 38). The questionnaire was completed by higher education learners (n = 279), who were found to implement goal commitment and volition strategies at moderate levels despite the high frequency of exposure to distractors. The overall findings imply that equipping learners with motivational e-learning strategies encompassing goal commitment and volition strategies is necessary. This will require more in-depth research conducted to explore the role of self-regulated strategies in predicting learner engagement in the context of online learning.
  • Powerful or Powerless? Chief Online Education Officers’ Legitimate Power over Online Program Quality in U.S. Higher Education Institutions

    Maryville University; Laws, Georgianna (The Online Learning Consortium, 2021-06-01)
    As the online higher-education market continues along its trajectory of steady growth, it becomes increasingly competitive.  Since quality sets online programs apart in the current competitive market, it is a priority for higher-education institutions.  Consequently, presidents and provosts at many U.S. higher education institutions have been placing the quality of online program administration under the purview of a new role known under the umbrella term of chief online education officer (COEO).  However, when looking for empirical research to help calibrate the COEO role in a way that maximizes its influence on quality, senior leaders find a gap in the literature.  The purpose of this quantitative, correlative, non-experimental study was to ask COEOs from all over the nation to use the Online Learning Consortium Quality Scorecard (QSC) to share their perceptions of the quality of their institution’s online program.  Additionally, COEOs were asked to self-assess their ability to influence quality based on their legitimate power and to describe environmental factors that could potentially impact their legitimate power.  Key findings indicate a strong, positive correlation between overall legitimate power and overall quality, as well as between overall legitimate power and the hierarchy of COEO job titles (E1).  Additional environmental factors significantly correlated with legitimate power categories included the number of units making a full report to the COEO (E3) and the breadth of COEO’s current portfolio of responsibilities (E12), among others.  Finally, data indicate that the hardest quality category to influence is technical support.

    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.

عرض المزيد