The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning is planning a Special Issue on Technology Enhanced Information Retrieval for Online Learning  (

Online learning has been developed for over decades and has become an important tool for education. Many tutors design web-based teaching materials and share them in the learning management systems. Learners develop knowledge from those materials, tutor supports, and the collaborations with other learners in distance in the online learning environment and platforms. While information technology changes rapidly and the variety of online learning activities increase, especially with the aid of social network and Web 2.0 tools that are available to instruction designers, we may need to consider how to provide learners personalized pedagogical service which can help them learn more efficiently. In order to have such personalized service, both course contents and learner’s characteristics need to be well analyzed. How to retrieve useful information from learning materials, data stored in the learning management systems, and discussions and interactions among learners and how to design and use information retrieval technologies to improve learner’s online learning performance become interesting and important topics. The purpose of this special issue is to explore how models, theories, and solutions of information retrieval and content analysis can be used in online learning and what benefits users can receive from such systems and agents.

Guest Editors (in alphabetical order): Dr. Maiga Chang, Dr. Rita Kuo, Dr. Gene Loeb and Dr. Bolanle Olaniran

Suggested topics:

IRRODL cordially invites authors to submit high quality manuscripts for any application domain as long as the core of the manuscript belongs to:

  • Affect sensing from text
  • Culture in information retrieving
  • Data mining in learning content
  • Evaluation models for NLP/IR/IE/Ontology-based research and systems
  • Human computer interaction issues and challenges that NLP/IR/IE/Ontology-based solutions for online learning may have
  • Individual knowledge acquisition from user behavior analysis
  • Information retrieval and extraction algorithms
  • Information retrieving and processing computing tools, systems, and applications for online learning
  • Intelligent tutoring agents/systems based on NLP, Information Retrieval (IR), Information Extraction (IE), and Ontology
  • Knowledge navigation in learning content
  • Learning content analysis by semantic web technology
  • Learning style and learning preferences in data retrieval
  • Mobile dissemination and retrieval
  • Multi-agent based information processing systems and applications
  • Not-so-successful cases and the lessons learnt
  • Ontology learning
  • Practical experiences in using & deploying NLP/IR/IE/Ontology-based research for online learning
  • Questioning and Answering applications and systems
  • Social Network Analysis based on Content Analysis of activities happened in Web 2.0 applications
  • Social networks and interactions in learning communities
  • Successful cases of applying NLP/IR/IE/Ontology-based research to online learning

Important dates and manuscript guidelines:

All submissions have to follow International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning (IRRODL) research article guidelines (and should be submitted online by April 30, 2012). All submissions will be reviewed by at least three peer reviewers, and the final camera-ready manuscripts have to be revised by the author(s) according to reviewer comments before resubmitting by June 1, 2012.

The important dates are

  • April 30, 2012: Submission deadline
  • July 15, 2012: Review result notification

IRRODL research article guidelines at:

Please submit your article to the IRRODL site at after registering as an author and hopefully also offering to be a reviewer by clicking the reviewer category in the enrollment form and noting your area of research expertise.




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