We are pleased to present this Online Learning Journal special issue devoted to learning analytics for online teaching and learning. The nine papers contained here provide a range of information including reviewing the literature, examining frameworks in development, presenting a large scale analysis on the effectiveness of learning modalities from the PAR Framework, examining an international study of learning, and providing real-world learning analytics case studies on transfer, facilitation, and medical education. Each of these papers provides new and informative research that we hope can help readers make decisions about applying analytics within the context of their own online teaching and learning environments.
While research studies on analytics are beginning to populate journals and conferences, many of those articles are aimed at a more limited audience of researchers. This collection of articles presents readers with information about designing environments within online learning while also highlighting studies that expand upon what exists in currently published research. The authors here represent a significant contribution to practical decision making for administrators, insights for faculty teaching online courses, and works for other researchers to build upon.