Online Distance Education provides a systematic overview of the major issues, trends, and areas of priority in online distance education research. In each chapter an international expert or team of experts provides an overview of one relevant issue in online distance education, discussing theoretical insights that guide the research, summarizing major research on the topic, posing questions and directions for future research, and discussing the implications for distance education practice as a whole. Intended as a primary reference and guide for distance educators, researchers, and policymakers, Online Distance Education takes care to address aspects of distance education practice that until now have often been marginalized, including issues of cost and economics, social justice implications, cultural impacts, faculty professional development, and the management and growth of learner communities. At once soundly empirical and thoughtfully reflective, yet also forward-looking and open to new approaches to online and distance teaching, this text is a solid resource for researchers in a rapidly expanding discipline.
Olaf Zawacki-Richter is professor of educational technology at the University of Oldenburg, and also teaches in the online Masters of Distance Education and E-Learning program offered jointly by the University of Oldenburg and the University of Maryland, University College. Terry Anderson is professor and researcher in the Technology-Enhanced Knowledge Research Centre at Athabasca University. His research interests focus on interaction and social media in educational contexts. He is the editor of The Theory and Practice of Online Learning, 2nd ed., winner of the 2009 Charles E. Wedemeyer Award.
“It is impossible in this short review to represent the breadth and depth of the chapters in this volume. Suffice it to say at this point that there is a cornucopia of recommendations for research agendas or projects throughout the chapters. Journal editors as well as faculty, who research and teach in online distance education, may find that this book increases their awareness of the research gaps. [...] This volume is an eye-opener, and it should be on the desk or device of every distance education researcher and student.”