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Learning Online: What Research Tells Us About Whether, When and How

Learning Online: What Research Tells Us About Whether, When and How

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Publication Date: March 24th, 2014
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At a time when more and more of what people learn both in formal courses and in everyday life is mediated by technology, Learning Online provides a much-needed guide to different forms and applications of online learning. This book describes how online learning is being used in both K-12 and higher education settings as well as in learning outside of school. Particular online learning technologies, such as MOOCs (massive open online courses), multi-player games, learning analytics, and adaptive online practice environments, are described in terms of design principles, implementation, and contexts of use.

Learning Online synthesizes research findings on the effectiveness of different types of online learning, but a major message of the book is that student outcomes arise from the joint influence of implementation, context, and learner characteristics interacting with technology--not from technology alone. The book describes available research about how best to implement different forms of online learning for specific kinds of students, subject areas, and contexts.

Building on available evidence regarding practices that make online and blended learning more effective in different contexts, Learning Online draws implications for institutional and state policies that would promote judicious uses of online learning and effective implementation models. This in-depth research work concludes with a call for an online learning implementation research agenda, combining education institutions and research partners in a collaborative effort to generate and share evidence on effective practices.

About the Author

Dr. Barbara Means directs the Center for Technology in Learning at SRI International. Dr. Means is an educational psychologist whose research focuses on ways to use technology to support students' learning of advanced skills and the revitalization of classrooms and schools. A fellow of the American Educational Research Association, she is regarded as a leader in defining issues and approaches for evaluating the implementation and efficacy of technology-supported educational innovations.Dr. Marianne Bakia is a senior social science researcher with SRI International's Center for Technology in Learning, where she leads research and evaluation projects that explore online learning and other educational technology policies and programs. Prior to joining SRI, Dr. Bakia worked at the Federation of American Scientists and the Education Unit of the World Bank.Dr. Robert Murphy is a principal scientist with SRI International's Center for Technology in Learning, where he designs and conducts large-scale experimental and quasi-experimental evaluations of widely adopted educational programs and technologies. Prior to joining SRI, he was a research graduate fellow at the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University, a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar at the University of Dublin - Trinity College, and a research engineer at United Technologies Research Center in East Hartford, Connecticut.