Online Learning Journal Top 10 of 2016


Peter Shea, PhD, Editor in Chief, Online Learning Journal, and Associate Provost and Associate Professor, SUNY Albany

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In our 20th year of publication, this year’s Online Learning Journal issues were our largest to date and covered a variety of topics pertinent to our field, including issues focused on learning analytics, OLC conferences, the 20th anniversary of OLJ, and a collaboration with the American Education Research Association Online Learning SIG. The Top 10 Articles of 2016 are listed below and will be featured on OLC social media channels (Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn) through the end of the year. In addition to articles featuring research from emerging and established scholars, OLJ hosted two webinar series focused on learning analytics and digital scholarship with thought leaders, researchers and journalists from the online learning field. Lastly, members from Online Learning provided further exposure of the journal through participation in the EDEN RW9 Editors’ Panel and the OLJ Panel at OLC Accelerate at which Inside Higher Ed’s Doug Lederman moderated renowned researchers Terry Anderson, Mark Brown, Peter Shea (me) and Karen Swan.

While it is important that we pause to celebrate the significant 2016 Online Learning milestones, we also look forward to the future with a renewed spirit of innovation, continuous improvement, and growth for our next twenty years. For 2017, this includes additions to our editorial board, a continued focus on current research, new webinar series, and OLJ panels at OLC Innovate in April and OLC Accelerate in November. On behalf of the editorial team, we thank you for your continued readership and contributions to OLJ and invite you to join us in 2017 as a reader, watcher, attendee, reviewer or author. We hope you have a restful holiday season that leaves you energized to begin 2017.  

2016 Online Learning Journal Top 10 Article Downloads

10. West, D.; Heath, D.;  & Xi’an, H.H., (2016). Let’s talk learning analytics: A framework for implementation in relation to student retention, Online Learning 20 (2)

9.  Izwann, S.I. & Albion, P.R. (2016). Assessing the reliability of merging Chickering & Gamson’s seven principles for good practice with Merrill’s different levels of instructional strategy (DLISt7), Online Learning 20 (2)

8.  Wilson, M.; Gochyyev, P.; & Scalise, K. (2016). Assessment of learning in digital interactive social networks: A learning analytics approach, Online Learning 20 (2)

7.  Oakley, B.; Poole, D.; & Nestor, M. (2016). Creating a sticky MOOC, Online Learning 20 (1)

6.  Picciano, A. (2015). Planning for online education: A systems model, Online Learning 19 (5)

5. Phirangee, K.; Epp, C.D.; & Hewitt, J. (2016). Exploring the relationships between facilitation methods, students’ sense of community, and their online behaviors, Online Learning 20 (2)

4.  Hixon, E.; Barczyk, C.; Ralston-Berg, C.P.; & Buckenmeyer, J. (2016). The impact of previous online course experience on students’ perceptions of quality, Online Learning 20 (1)

3. Avella, J.; Kebritchi, A.M.; Nunn, S.G.; & Kanai, T. (2016). Learning analytics methods, benefits, and challenges in higher education: A systematic literature review, Online Learning 20 (2)

2. James, S.; Swan, K.; & Daston, C. (2016). Retention, progression, and the taking of online courses, Online Learning 20 (2)

1. Shea, P. (2016).  Introduction: 20 years of online learning research, Online Learning 20 (1)


About Peter Shea

Dr. Peter Shea is Associate Provost for Online Learning and Associate Professor in the School of Education and the College of Computing and Information at the University at Albany, State University of New York. His research focuses on the development of communities dedicated to learning in online environments. He has published widely on this topic in journals such as Computers and Education, JALN, Internet and Higher Education, The Journal of Educational Computing Research, Interactive Learning Environments and others. He is past director of the SUNY Learning Network, the online education enterprise of the 64 campus and 400,000 students in the SUNY system. Peter’s research has been supported by the US Department of Education and The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. He has been co-recipient of three national awards for online learning, faculty development and online programs from EDUCAUSE and the Online Learning Consortium.


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