Research into online learning and distance education

Here I provide the original article, usually accompanied by a post where I discuss the research

The Canadian survey of online learning and distance education

Bates, T. (2018) A new survey of online learning in Canadian universities and colleges for 2018 Online Learning and Distance Education Resources, June 5

Bates, T. (2018) The 2017 national survey of online learning in Canadian post-secondary education: methodology and results International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education, 15:29

Bates, T. (ed.) (2017) Tracking Online and Distance Education in Canadian Universities and Colleges: 2017 Vancouver BC: The National Survey of Online and Distance Education in Canadian Post-Secondary Education.

Bates, T. (2017) Results from the Canadian survey of online learning now availableOnline Learning and Distance Education Resources October 19

Bates, T. (2017) Ontario funds research and innovation in online learning, Online Learning and Distance Education Resources, March 21

eCampus Ontario (2017) Research and Innovation: Funded Projects Toronto ON: eCampus Ontario. (This is one of the primary sources of funding of the national survey of online learning in Canadian universities and colleges.)

Bates, T. (2017) Building a national survey of online learning in CanadaOnline Learning and Distance Education Resources, December 2


Other surveys of online learning in Canada

Martel, C.  (2015) Online and distance education capacity of Canadian universities Montreal QC: EduConsillium

Bates, T. (2015) A national survey of university online and distance learning in CanadaOnline Learning and Distance Education Resources, March 23. (This post provides a link to the original EduConsillium report).


Conseil supérieur de l’éducation (2015) La formation à distance dans les universités québécoises: un potential à optimiser Québec: Gouvernement du Québec

Bates, T. (2017) A report on university distance education in Québec Online Learning and Distance Education Resources, February 15


Ontario (2011) Fact Sheet Summary of Ontario eLearning Surveys of Publicly Assisted PSE Institutions Toronto: Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities

Bates, T. (2011) Hard data on online learning in Ontario Online Learning and Distance Education Resources, February 26


U.S. surveys of online learning and distance education

Taylor-Straut, T. (2018) Distance Education Enrollment Growth – Major Differences Persist Among Sectors Boulder CO: WCET, 1 March

Bates, T. (2018) Dispelling some myths about distance education in the USAOnline Learning and Distance Education Resources, January 13


Poulin, R. (2018) Distance Ed Growth – Access is a Big Motivator, but it’s Complicated, WCET Frontiers, February 1

Bates, T. (2018) Is distance education stealing on-campus students?Online Learning and Distance Education Resources, January 13


Seaman, J.E., Allen, I.E., and Seaman, J. (2018) Grade Increase: Tracking Distance Education in the United StatesWellesley MA: The Babson Survey Research Group

Bates, T. (2018) Distance Education on a Roll in the USAOnline Learning and Distance Education Resources, January 23


Digital Learning Compass (2017) Distance Education Enrolment Report 2017 Wellesley MA

Bates, T. (2017) Latest data on USA distance education enrolmentsOnline Learning and Distance Education Resources, May 5


Straut, T.T. and Poulin, R. (2015) Highlights of Distance Education Trends from IPEDS Fall 2014, WCET Frontiers, 21 December

Bates, T. (2016) In the USA, fully online enrollments continue to grow in 2014 Online Learning and Distance Education Resources, January 4


Straut, T. and Poulin, R. (2015) IPEDS Fall 2013: Higher Ed Sectors Vary Greatly in Distance Ed Enrollments Boulder CO: Western Co-operative for Educational Technologies

Straut, T. and Poulin, R. (2015) IPEDS Fall 2013: Distance Education Data Reveals More Than Overall Flat Growth Boulder CO: Western Co-operative for Educational Technologies

Straut, T. and Poulin, R. (2015) IPEDS Fall 2013: Less than Half of Fully Distant Students Come from Other States Boulder CO: Western Co-operative for Educational Technologies

These reports should be read in conjunction with these equally valuable posts:

Hill, P. and Poulin, R. (2014) Investigation of IPEDS Distance Education Data: System Not Ready for Modern Trends Boulder CO: Western Co-operative for Educational Technologies/e-Literate

Bates, T. (2015) Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics: WCET’s analysis of distance education enrolments in the USA Online Learning and Distance Education Resources, March 15. This post pulls together and summarises the results of the above reports.


U.S.Department of Education (2014) Web Tables: Enrollment in Distance Education Courses, by State: Fall 2012Washington DC: U.S.Department of Education National Center for Education Statistics

Hill, P. and Poulin, R. (2014) A response to new NCES report on distance education e-Literate, June 11

Haynie, D. (2014) New Government Data Sheds Light on Online Learners US News, June 13

Bates, T. (2014)  WCET’s analysis of U.S. statistics on distance education Online Learning and Distance Education Resources, June 13. This post pulls together and summarises the results of the above reports.


Allen, I. and Seaman, J. (2014) Grade Change: Tracking Online Learning in the United States Wellesley MA: Babson College/Sloan Foundation

Bates, T. (2014)  Tracking online learning in the USA – and Ontario Online Learning and Distance Education Resources, January 19


Allen, I.E. and Seaman, J. (2013) Changing Course: Ten Years of Tracking Online Education in the United States  Wellesley MA: Babson College/Quahog Research Group

Bates, T. (2013) Measuring the growth of online learning: the Babson College 2012 surveyOnline Learning and Distance Education Resources, January 13


Allen, I. and Seaman, J. (2011) Going the Distance: Online Education in the USA 2011 Wellesley MA: Babson Survey Research Group

Bates, T. (2011) Online enrollments in the USA grow 10% in 2011; OERs becoming acceptedOnline Learning and Distance Education Resources, November 9



Allen, I. and Seaman, J. (2010) Class Differences: Online Education in the United States 2010 Babson Park MA: Babson Survey Research Group/Sloan-C

Bates, T. (2010) Some key findings from this year’s Sloan survey of online education in the USAOnline Learning and Distance Education Resources, November 16


Allen, I. and Seaman, J. (2010) Learning on Demand: Online Education in the United States Babson Park MA: Babson College Survey Research Group

Bates, T. (2010) Online education continues its hot paceOnline Learning and Distance Education Resources, January 27


Brazil survey of distance education

ABED (2016) 2015 Brazilian Census for Distance Learning: Analytical Report on Distance Learning in Brazil São Paulo, Brazil: Associação Brasileira de Educação a Distância (ABED)

Bates, T. (2016) A survey of distance education in Brazil Online Learning and Distance Education Resources, November 4


Books and resources

Zawacki-Richter, O. and Anderson, T. (eds.) (2014) Online Distance Education: Towards a Research Agenda Athabasca AB: AU Press, pp. 508

Bates, T. (2014) Review of ‘Online Distance Education: Towards a Research AgendaOnline Learning and Distance Education Resources, October 18.

The UKOU Library still maintains the archives of the International Centre for Distance Learning, which  was created and maintained from the early days of the Open University by the OU Institute of Educational Technology with the aim of promoting distance learning worldwide. To access the ICDL collection contact the University Archive team to arrange an appointment.


Research methodology

Chandler, D. (2016) New initiatives accelerate learning research and its applications MIT News, February 2

Bates, T. (2016) MIT aims to expand its research into learning Online Learning and Distance Education Resources, February 2


Lopes, V. and Dion, N. (2015) Pitfalls and Potential: Lessons from HEQCO-Funded Research on Technology-Enhanced Instruction Toronto ON: Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario

Bates, T. (2016) Lessons about researching technology-enhanced instruction Online Learning and Distance Education Resources, February 2. My post criticises strongly the research methods used in this study.


Bates, T. (2014) The dissemination of research in online learning: a lesson from the EDEN Research WorkshoOnline Learning and Distance Education Resources, November 5. An analysis of why research in online learning is generally not known or used by practitioners.


Tamim, R. et al. (2011) What Forty Years of Research Says About the Impact of Technology on Learning: A Second-Order Meta-Analysis and Validation Study Review of Educational Research, Vol. 81, No. 1

Bates, T. (2012)  40 years of comparative research on technology for teaching: ‘weak’ results Online Learning and Distance Education Resources, January 18. 


Bates, T. (2008) The World of eLearning Research: an overview of current research, pdf/slides. This report, based on a 2006 literature search of 2,000 research papers across 65 journals, plus 28 books/reports, in English, French and Spanish, was developed for the Universidad de Guadalajara for its planning of its then new Master in Educational Technology. It is interesting to compare this report with The dissemination of research in online learning: a lesson from the EDEN Research Workshop eight years later: not much had changed!


Research on aboriginal online education

Simon, J. et al. (2014) Post-secondary distance education in a contemporary colonial context: Experiences of students in a rural First Nation in Canada IRRODL, Volume 15, Number 1

Bates, T. (2014)  Research on Distance Education for First Nations/aboriginals, from IRRODL, Vol. 15, No. 1 Online Learning and Distance Education Resources, February 25.


Research on online learner characteristics

Bates, T. (2014) EDEN Research papers: learner characteristics Online Learning and Distance Education Resources, November 7. The post provides a brief summary of the issues but also a link to the research papers themselves.


Research on online course design

Bates, T. (2014) EDEN Research papers: course design Online Learning and Distance Education Resources, November 7. The post provides a brief summary of the issues but also a link to the research papers themselves.


Research on quality of online learning

Bates, T. (2014) EDEN Research papers: quality and assessment Online Learning and Distance Education Resources, November 7. The post provides a brief summary of the issues but also a link to the research papers themselves.


Research on OER and MOOCs

Bates, T. (2014) EDEN Research papers: OER and MOOCs Online Learning and Distance Education Resources, November 7. The post provides a brief summary of the issues but also a link to the research papers themselves.


Bates, T. (2014) Special edition on research on MOOCs in the journal ‘Distance Education’ Online Learning and Distance Education Resources, August 14. 


Ferdig, R. et al. (2014) Findings and reflections from the ‘K-12 Teaching in the 21st Century’ MOOC Lansing MI: Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute

Bates, T. (2014) Research from the Michigan Virtual University on a connectivist MOOC Online Learning and Distance Education Resources, March 30.


Hollands, F. and Tirthali, D. (2014) MOOCs: Expectations and Reality New York: Columbia University Teachers’ College, Center for Benefit-Cost Studies of Education, 211 pp

Bates, T. (2014) A balanced research report on the hopes and realities of MOOCs Online Learning and Distance Education Resources, May 15. 


Ho, A. et al. (2014) HarvardX and MITx: The First Year of Open Online Courses Fall 2012-Summer 2013 (HarvardX and MITx Working Paper No. 1), January 21

Bates, T. (2014) A review of a Harvard/MIT research paper on edX MOOCs Online Learning and Distance Education Resources, January 21. 


Research on the use of social media in online learning

Bates, T. (2014) EDEN Research papers: social media Online Learning and Distance Education Resources, November 7. The post provides a brief summary of the issues but also a link to the research papers themselves.


Research on learning analytics

Bates, T. (2014) EDEN Research papers: social media Online Learning and Distance Education Resources, November 7. The post provides a brief summary of the issues but also a link to the research papers themselves.


Research into faculty development

Bates, T. (2014) EDEN Research papers: faculty development Online Learning and Distance Education Resources, November 7. The post provides a brief summary of the issues but also a link to the research papers themselves.


Research into organisational issues

Bishop, M. and Keehn, A. (2015) Leading Academic Change: An Early market Scan of Leading-edge Postsecondary Academic Innovation Centers Adelphi ML: William E. Kirwan centre for Academic Innovation, University System of Maryland

Bates, T. (2015) Research on ‘academic innovation centres’ supporting online learning Online Learning and Distance Education Resources, November 3