The Editors of the Online Learning journal wish to invite researchers to publish in a special issue devoted to the lessons learned about online learning from the COVD-19 crisis, including the challenges faced by teachers and students in the unexpected transition to distance learning, institutional or community supports which helped teachers and students successfully adapt to online learning, and insights to apply as educators move forward with online learning (in both “emergency” and “business as usual” contexts).

Online Learning (OLJ) is the Online Learning Consortium’s (OLC) scholarly journal providing readers with rigorous peer-reviewed research in a variety of educational contexts from K-12 to higher education in the United States and internationally. The journal is currently engaged in an extended effort to further develop quality and rigor in systematic inquiry in online learning in support of the larger mission of the Online Learning Consortium.  OLC is the leading professional organization devoted to advancing quality online learning by providing professional development, instruction, best practice publications, and guidance to educators, online learning professionals, and organizations around the world.

About the Special Issue: Topics for the special issue include but are not limited to research on:

  • Instructor or learner readiness for emergency transition
  • Teacher education or professional development to support emergency transition
  • Assessing challenges and successes of the transition
  • Technologies that impacted the success of transition
  • Non-academic factors that impacted the success of transition
  • Maintaining social, teaching, or cognitive presence in a time of emergency
  • Learner achievement, satisfaction, and retention in a time of emergency
  • Designing for culturally-diverse learners in a time of emergency
  • The distinction between planned versus emergency-transition online courses
  • How emergencies provide lessons for “business as usual” online learning
  • How “business as usual” online learning best practices can inform planning and preparation for future emergencies

Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods research articles (including systematic reviews) are welcome.

Submission Guidelines
To notify us of your intent to submit, please send your abstract for review to Shanna Jaggars, jaggars.2 at

Invited authors will submit full manuscripts through the Open Journal System (OJS), the OLC journal system. When submitting be sure you select section corresponding to the Special Issue on COVID-19

Author Guidelines include general APA Style 6th or 7th edition except for the single-spacing requirement. Papers should be about 6,000-8,000 words. The Guide for Authors can be found here:

For detailed assistance with APA style, refer to Purdue Online Writing Lab:

Please note that contributors will also be requested to serve as reviewers for this project. 

Preliminary Timeline:

  • Indicate intention to submit to Special Issue by July 10th (Send author information, contact details, and abstract to Shanna Jaggars)
  • Invited authors notified by July 24th
  • Submit full manuscript through the OLC journal system by September 18th
  • Manuscripts sent out for review between September 21-23rd
  • Return reviews to editors on October 9th
  • Feedback from special issue editors by October 23rd
  • Return revised articles to editors by November 20th
  • Additional revisions as requested (date TBD)
  • Send manuscripts for copyediting on December 18th (absolute last day to be included)
  • Special Issue published March 2021 (anticipated)

 *Final acceptance notifications will not be delivered until after revised manuscripts have been submitted.

Special Issue Editors
Dr. Shanna Jaggars