Karen Swan


The second session of the Sloan-C Summer Workshop focused on research and how it might help us meet this challenge. In particular, presenters in this session were charged with addressing what the research to date can tell us about student, faculty and institutional change, what directions for future research seem most promising, and what we really need to do to move research on online learning to more rigorous and more informative levels.
The papers they wrote are collected in this section. They include: a critical review of what the research literature can tell us about blended learning relative to each of Sloan-C’s five pillars of quality in online learning; two papers on one of the more promising lines of research in online learning, research involving the Community of Inquiry framework; an intriguing look at what very large data sets and innovative methodologies can tell us about our students and their reactions to blended course offerings; and an equally provocative thought piece on research on online learning in general which asks us to reconsider how we frame that enterprise, arguing that research on online education might generate more meaningful outcomes. The papers are both informative and thought-provoking, and although they may generate more questions than they answer, they clearly suggest directions for future research that could move our
understanding of online education forward in interesting and important ways.


The Five Pillars,Community of Inquiry,Reactive Behavior,Ambivalence,Generations

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Garrison, D. R., T. Anderson and W. Archer. Critical inquiry in a text-based environment: Computer conferencing in higher education. The Internet and Higher Education 2: 87–105, 2000.

Shea, P. J., A. M. Pickett and W. E. Pelz. A follow-up investigation of “teaching presence” in the SUNY Learning Network. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks 7(2): 61–80, 2003.

Richardson, J. C. and K. Swan. Examining social presence in online courses in relation to students' perceived learning and satisfaction. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks 7(1): 68–88, 2003.

Dziuban, C. D., P. D. Moskal and E. K. Dziuban. Reactive behavior patterns go online. Journal of Staff, Program, and Organizational Development 17(3): 171–182, Fall 2000.


Copyright (c) 2019 Karen Swan