Online Learning

Vol 25, Issue 2 (2021)

As we celebrate the 25th anniversary of Online Learning we are committed to publishing high quality studies in the broad field of online learning. This second issue of 2021 contains 16 papers on a wide range of topics. This research is organized into sections on faculty development, empirical studies, blended learning, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), k-12 online education, and student issues in online education environments.

We hope you will read and share this special issue and join us as we continue to celebrate 25 years of Online Learning!

Vol 25, Issue 1 (2021)

You probably know that the Online Learning Consortium publishes a peer-reviewed scholarly journal called Online Learning (OLJ). But did you know that this journal is entering its 25th year of publication? First published in 1997 as the Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks (JALN), the journal changed names (and merged with MERLOT’s Journal of Online Learning and Teaching) in 2014. To celebrate twenty-five years of excellence in systematic investigations of online education we will present a special issue in March 2021 edited by Dr. Shanna Smith Jaggars.

The articles in this Special Issue provide a rich portrait of the teaching and learning challenges which characterized the initial COVID-19 emergency transition in Spring 2020, and detail the approaches of administrators and teachers as they attempted to overcome those challenges. Along the way, these studies provide lessons in terms of how to better prepare for future public emergencies, as well as how to improve student success more generally, in both online and in-person settings. Throughout the issue, readers will also see a multitude of challenges related to the “digital divide” – or the fact that students have unequal access to reliable high-speed Internet and other academic technologies, due to underlying inequalities in household income and regional infrastructure.

The Special Issue is organized into three sections: the first includes a selection of full-length manuscripts focused on teaching, learning, and student support challenges in the U.S.; the second provides a series of brief case studies which delve into how specific courses or programs managed the transition; and the third provides a set of international perspectives.

We hope you will read and share this special issue and join us in celebrating our first 25 years of Online Learning!

Peter Shea, PhD
Editor: Online Learning
Department of Educational Theory and Practice
University at Albany, State University of New York

Vol 24, Issue 4 (2020)

We are pleased to announce the release of volume 24, issue 4 of the Online Learning Journal (OLJ). This special issue features a selection of papers submitted to the American Educational Research Association annual meeting. The American Educational Research Association (AERA) comprises an international membership spanning more than 96 countries. AERA’s mission is to advance knowledge, scholarly inquiry, and the use of research to improve education practice and policy. The organization’s more than 25,000 members work in fields such as higher education, research institutes, schools, government agencies, corporations, and nonprofit organizations.

The purpose of the AERA-Online Teaching and Learning Special Interest Group (AERA-OTL SIG) is to provide a forum for interested AERA members to discuss issues and advance research relevant to online teaching and learning. Members include researchers and practitioners from a variety of fields, resulting in an eclectic and vibrant group of professionals with the shared goal of bridging research and practice to advance the understanding of education.

The papers in the first section of this special issue represent a select group of submissions from the AERA 2020 annual meeting. The eight papers included in this special issue consist of a variety of research topics, designs, and frameworks. The special edition is arranged in four categories: affordances of digital technologies for student learning; intentional design and delivery of online courses to support student needs and learning outcomes; strategies to predict and support student success; and online program quality.

In addition to our special issue on papers from the American Educational Research Association OTL-SIG, this issue also contains six studies from our regular submission process. These papers examine a range of issues surrounding student support and self-regulation, online doctoral programs, academic integrity, faculty development, and online faculty satisfaction.

We invite you to read and share this issue with colleagues and to consider submitting your own original work to Online Learning.

Click here to access VOL 24, NO 4 (2020).

Peter Shea, PhD
Editor: Online Learning
Department of Educational Theory and Practice
University at Albany, State University of New York

Vol 24, Issue 3 (2020)

We are pleased to announce the publication of the third quarterly issue of Online Learning (OLJ) containing two sections, one devoted to the best paper from recent OLC conferences, and one from our regular submission process. Section one of this issue was edited by Patsy Moskal of the University of Central Florida, Laurie Dringus of Nova Southeastern University, Paige McDonald of George Washington University and Karen Swan University of Illinois Springfield. In introducing the conference section these editors write:

The Online Learning Consortium (OLC) sponsors two annual conferences devoted to furthering the OLC mission of creating community and knowledge around quality online, blended, and digital learning while driving innovation. These conferences are known as premiere gatherings for faculty, instructional designers, administrators and others who teach or support those who teach in online and blended learning.

The 2019 OLC Accelerate conference marked the 25th anniversary of this international conference. The event was held November 19-22 in Orlando, Florida’s Walt Disney World Dolphin and Swan Resort with 1,623 onsite and over 1,000 virtual attendees from 13 countries, 49 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico. 

Little did we know that 2020 would bring new adventures and challenges! OLC Innovate, originally scheduled for March 31-April 3, 2020 was postponed and reimagined after COVID-19 forced its Chicago venue to close. With a quick pivot and fantastic planning by the OLC team, the conference went virtual June 15-26 with 370 presenters and contributors and 5,500+ attendees from nearly 500 organizations/institutions, representing 35 countries, all 50 states, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico.

Each year we highlight articles from a selected few presentations from these conferences for publication in Online Learning. The five selections here represent a variety of topics from varied institutions of higher education.

In addition to the special section on papers presented at recent conferences sponsored by the Online Learning Consortium, this issue of OLJ also contains articles from our regular submission process. These eight papers appear in three sections broadly related to faculty and student issues as well three papers on blended learning.

We invite you to read and share this issue with colleagues and to consider submitting your original work to Online Learning. You can review the latest issue here: