This book is about the past and future of research on the effectiveness of learning networks (also known as "e-learning" or "online learning" or "Web-based learning"). Learning networks are groups of people using computer technology, communicating and collaborating online to build knowledge together. Over the past decade there has been an explosion not only of online courses, but also of studies on them. In Learning Together Online: Research on Asynchronous Learning Networks, leading researchers in the field use an integrated theoretical framework, which they call "Online Interaction Learning Theory," to organize what past research shows and where future research is going. It models the variables and processes that are important in determining the relative effectiveness of online learners working to reach a deeper level of understanding by interacting with each other and with the texts under investigation. Now that there have been hundreds of studies and thousands of courses offered online, what does the empirical evidence show?
This book addresses the question directly by presenting what is known from research results about how to design and teach courses effectively online, ranging from the organizational context and characteristics of students to learning theories and research design methods. It also provides a research agenda for the next decade. Learning Together Online: Research on Asynchronous Learning Networks is both a textbook for graduate students and a professional reference for faculty teaching online, researchers conducting studies, and graduate students taking courses about learning technologies who need to know the state of the art of research in the area of online learning.
Publisher: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Inc