Vol. 12, No. 6 of the International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning continues to evolve the concept of the online, web-based journal.
Quite apart from a wide range of articles and four book reviews (more on this below) Terry Anderson and his team have added two new features:
At the bottom of the Index page, there are eight special and regional focus issues. As Terry says in his editorial:
a special topic issue in an online journal can remain alive as new content is developed. These new articles can be hyperlinked to the special issue in a regular issue or more tightly focused and aggregated for inclusion within the special issue. You can read these articles or check out the summary included in the special issue editorial. This attention to the special issue is a means to keep these topical issues alive, and indeed we have added two new articles to the Prior, Experiential, and Informal Learning in the Age of Information and Communication Technologies issue.
This is a very interesting development and extremely useful for researchers focused on such topics.
The second feature is a little more controversial. In the editorial, Terry lists the 20 articles from the journal to date with the most downloads. Terry recognizes that this is an imperfect measure of ‘popularity’ but it is good to see a journal trying to use web data analytics. This is an area which I am sure will become more sophisticated. It will likely also become invaluable for promotion and tenure committees (although I am not confident they will use such tools wisely).
However, I’m not too sure what to make of the results. (Terry wisely decided not to comment.) The most downloaded article by far was ‘Conceptual Integration in Online Interdisciplinary Study: Current Perspective, Theories, and Implications for Future Research‘, by James Morrison of the University of Oklahoma, and it is hard to see why this article would have generated such a large number of downloads, as interesting as the article is. This had almost double the number of downloads of the next article (‘An Assessment of the Effectiveness of e-learning in Corporate Training Programs’) which was much more closely followed by the other articles. Now here’s a nice topic for research! If you have an explanation for why this particular article was so outstanding, please send it on a postcard (or online comment) to me and I’ll pass them on to Terry and all other prospective authors.
There is no particular theme for this edition (which makes it harder to do a review) so I’ll just recommend that you read Terry’s editorial or the abstracts to help you choose. Here are the articles:
|The importance of interaction for academic success in online courses with hearing, deaf, and hard-of-hearing students||HTML PDF MP3 EPUB|
|Gary L Long, Carol Marchetti, Richard Fasse||1-19|
|Examining motivation in online distance learning environments: Complex, multifaceted and situation-dependent||HTML PDF MP3 EPUB|
|Maggie Hartnett, Alison St. George, Jon Dron||20-38|
|Factors that impact student usage of the learning management system in Qatari schools||HTML PDF MP3 EPUB|
|Ramzi Nasser, Maha Cherif, Michael Romanowski||39-62|
|Quality assurance in Asian distance education: Diverse approaches and common culture||HTML PDF MP3 EPUB|
|Insung Jung, Tat Meng Wong, Chen Li, Sanjaa Baigaltugs, Tian Belawati||63-83|
|Literacy at a distance in multilingual contexts: Issues and challenges||HTML PDF MP3 EPUB|
|Christine I Ofulue||84-101|
|Distance students’ readiness for social media and collaboration||HTML PDF MP3 EPUB|
|Bruno Poellhuber, Terry Anderson||102-125|
|Applying the community of inquiry framework to an online professional practice doctoral program||HTML PDF MP3 EPUB|
|Swapna Kumar, Kara Dawson, Erik W Black, Catherine Cavanaugh, Christopher D Sessums||126-142|
|Applying constructionist principles to online teacher professional development||HTML PDF MP3 EPUB|
|Nathaniel Mark Ostashewski, Doug Reid, Susan Moisey||143-156|
|ODL and the impact of digital divide on information access in Botswana||HTML PDF MP3 EPUB|
|Olugbade Oladokun, Lenrie Aina||157-177|
|Increased technology provision and learning: Giving more for nothing?||HTML PDF MP3 EPUB|
|Book review – Bridging the knowledge divide: Educational technology for development|
Special and regional focus issues
This is another excellent set of articles, and IRRODL is beginning to leave most other journals in the field way behind in both relevance and innovation in publishing. Well done, Terry and team!