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Research in online learning environments: Priorities and methodologies


Computers & Education Volume 57, Number 1, ISSN 0360-1315 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


Due to increasing demand for education and training in the information age, online learning and teaching is becoming a necessity in our future. However, lack of research goals to understand impact of online learning environments on students is a problem in research on online learning environments. We identified four main research goals to pursue in online learning environments based on their impact on learner achievement, engagement, and retention (opposite of attrition). Those goals are (a) enhancing learner engagement & collaboration, (b) promoting effective facilitation, (c) developing assessment techniques, and (d) designing faculty development programs. Current promising work in those areas is presented. Four methods that are common in the instructional technology literature are recommended to pursue those goals. Formative research and developmental research are relevant for all four. Although appropriate for any of the goals, experimental research is a better fit for goals b and c, and activity theory is useful for goals a and b.


Oncu, S. & Cakir, H. (2011). Research in online learning environments: Priorities and methodologies. Computers & Education, 57(1), 1098-1108. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved January 27, 2023 from .

This record was imported from Computers & Education on January 29, 2019. Computers & Education is a publication of Elsevier.

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