(focus: English-language post-secondary education)
It seems that a new journal on e-learning opens every week (this list was compiled in January 2008 – and sure enough, another one opened this week!). This is not necessarily good news. It is not difficult to create even a refereed online journal – find a few colleagues from different institutions who think similarly and peer-review each other’s articles. The result is often narrowly focused articles of a poor quality. It is now nothing short of a nightmare for students to find good articles relevant to their study on e-learning, because the relevant articles are likely spread across so many different journals. We now have a publication culture that puts more emphasis on publication than on the needs of the readers. What is needed in this field are fewer but more selective publications focused on quality and inter-disciplinarity.
As with all journals, the likely value of a journal will depend on your interests. I have to admit that I am not really interested in journals that focus on computer science in the e-learning area, especially if the authors do not base their work on actual educational applications, or if the majority of articles do not draw on any pedagogical or educational theory. For this reason I have not rated journals, because your interests are likely to be different from mine, and some of the key computer science journals that publish on e-learning are thus missing from this list. For a more comprehensive list of journals, see Doug Holton’s excellent EdTechDev blog.
For many academics, journals need to be recognized by a particular professional body, such as the IEEE, to count towards tenure and promotion. I don’t particularly agree with this system, because e-learning draws from many disciplines, and I would like for instance to see computer scientists (who tend to be driven by IEEE requirements) publishing in educational journals (which don’t count for promotion and tenure for computer scientists), and vice versa. My list draws heavily, but not exclusively, on journals recognized by the American Educational Research Association . The descriptions below are usually taken from the journal web site.
Lastly, there are some excellent journals on e-learning in other languages, particularly Spanish. I had to draw the line somewhere, so focused on English-language journals. Depending on the response to this web site, I may add a list of Spanish, French, Chinese and Scandinavian journals on e-learning later – better still, send me a link to such a list!