Volume 18, Issue 3 - October 2014


Peter Shea, PhD
Editor: Online Learning
Associate Provost for Online Education & Associate Professor, Educational Theory and Practice and CCI University at Albany, State University of New York

On behalf of the Online Learning Consortium (OLC) and our Editorial Board I am pleased to invite you to enjoy the inaugural issue of Online Learning, the official journal of OLC. This issue marks the transition from our previous title, the Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, and highlights our intentions to build on the nearly two decades of insight and wisdom collected in JALN. With the launch of our new name we retain our goal of bringing the most important developments in online education to our readers. We believe that this first issue demonstrates our commitment toward continuous improvement with eight new articles investigating crucial and timely topics in the field.

Why do Institutions Offer MOOCs?

Fiona M. Hollands, Teachers College, Columbia University
Devayani Tirthali, Brown University

By reviewing the literature and interviewing 83 individuals knowledgeable about massive open online courses (MOOCs), we investigate the goals of institutions of higher education that are currently developing and delivering such courses. We identify six major goals for MOOC initiatives: extending reach and access, building and maintaining brand, improving economics...

The Role of Enrollment Choice in Online Education: Course Selection

Claire Wladis, Borough of Manhattan Community College at the City University of New York
Katherine Wladis, Borough of Manhattan Community College at the City University of New York
Alyse C. Hachey, Borough of Manhattan Community College at the City University of New York

There is well-documented evidence that online retention rates are lower than face-to-face retention rates. However, most past research on online retention focuses on student characteristics, with little knowledge existing on the impact of course type. This study uses a matched sample of 2,330 students at a large urban community college...

Exploring the use of Discussion Strategies and Labels in Asynchronous Online Discussion

Fei Gao, Bowling Green State University

Drawing on research in constrained online discussion environments and strategy instruction, this approach combines explicit instruction on discussion strategies with the use of post type labels. In a trial of this approach in an online course, students actively used the discussion strategies and post type labels in their discussions. Analysis...

Transformation of Online Teaching Practices Through Implementation of Appreciative Inquiry

Bruce A. Johnson, American Public University System

The purpose of this case study was to explore the application and outcome of appreciative inquiry as an online instructional strategy for the development of three specific factors: adult learner motivation, engagement, and performance. Appreciative andragogy was an original phrase developed for this study and is an adaptation of appreciative...

Teaching Presence in Online Education: From the Instructor’s Point-of-View

Kristi A. Preisman, Peru State College

Most often the topic of creating presence in online education is viewed from the student perspective (Oztok & Brett, 2011). The purpose of this mixed methods research was to look at the creation of teaching presence from the vantage point of a lone ranger instructor (Anderson, 2004). Based on data collected from...

Digging Beneath the Surface: Analyzing the Complexity of Instructors' Participation in Asynchronous Discussion

Lane Whitney Clarke, University of New England
Audrey Bartholomew, University of New England

The purpose of this study was to investigate instructor participation in asynchronous discussions through an in-depth content analysis of instructors’ postings and comments through the Community of Inquiry (COI) framework (Garrison et. al, 2001). We developed an analytical tool based on this framework in order to better understand what instructors...

Collaboration in E-Learning: A Study Using the Flexible E-Learning Framework

C. Vandenhouten, University of Wisconsin- Green Bay
S. Gallagher-Lepak, University of Wisconsin- Green Bay
J. Reilly, University of Wisconsin- Green Bay
P. Ralston-Berg, Penn State World Campus

E-Learning remains a new frontier for many faculty. When compared to the traditional classroom, E- Learning requires the talents of many team members from a variety of departments as well as the use of different teaching and learning strategies. Pedagogy as well as team configurations must change when moving to...

A National Survey of Faculty Development Evaluation Outcome Measures and Procedures

Katrina A. Meyer, The University of Memphis
Vicki S. Murrell, The University of Memphis

This article presents the results of a national study of 39 higher education institutions that collected information about their evaluation procedures and outcome measures for faculty development for online teaching conducted during 2011-2012. The survey results found that over 90% of institutions used measures of the faculty person’s assessment of...