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Teaching Online in Texts and Technology


This research guide introduces a knowledge base of theories and practices in online education in the areas of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and Continuing Education (CE). This knowledge base specifically focuses on those instances in which dissemination of didactic knowledge is mandatory, learners are typically adult, motivation to transfer is not always high, and constructivist principles are not always easily applied.


Prepared by Leslie Thornhill

Recommended Resources

 This guide is partitioned into three sections: Foundational Learning Theories; Research and Case Studies; and Professional Organizations, Practitioners, and Publications. Where applicable, links are provided to UCF Library materials or www sources.

 Foundational Learning Theories for Adult Online Learning

Hofmann, Jennifer. “Making Bloom’s Taxonomy fit for Virtual Learning.” Body Language in the Band Width. Body Language in the Band Width, 26 Apr. 2013. Web. Hofmann’s article is an overview of how Bloom’s Taxonomy—and more specifically Church’s adaptation of the Taxonomy in 2009—can be applied to training and learning technologies. Hofmann visits each of the theoretical learning levels and offers specific, practical applications grouped by learning objective, assessment activity, and delivery technology.

 Merriam, Sharan B., Rosemary S. Caffarella, and Lisa Baumgartner. Learning In Adulthood: A Comprehensive Guide / Sharan B. Merriam, Rosemary S. Caffarella, Lisa M. Baumgartner. n.p.: San Francisco : Jossey-Bass, c2007., 2007. UCF Libraries Catalog. Web.  This book, intended for educators of adults, chronicles foundational work in adult learning theory including that of Knowles, McClusky, Illeris, and Jarvis. The authors incorporate more recent research on andragogy that includes sociocultural considerations, online learning environments, and self-directed learning. Newer theories, such as non-Western approaches to adult learning, are also discussed.

 Research and Case Studies

Long, Lori, Cathy Dubois, and Robert Faley. "A Case Study Analysis Of Factors That Influence Attrition Rates In Voluntary Online Training Programs." International Journal On E-Learning 3 (2009): 347. Academic OneFile. Web. This study is helpful for understanding the influence of motivational factors in an online employee training course. The researchers examine reasons for employee attrition and completion and conclude that in addition to course design, contextual factors strongly influence online training success or failure. The study offers recommendations for identifying and adapting to contextual barriers.   

 Olson, Bradley G., Marvin Mata, and Tiffany Koszalka. "Implementing An Online Curriculum For Medical Education: Examining The Critical Factors For Success." International Journal On E-Learning 12.2 (2013): 197-208. Education Full Text (H.W. Wilson). Web. This case study details an online training process for medical residents, a group for whom asynchronous learning is beneficial for time management and who must absorb a significant amount of didactic material. The authors conclude that online delivery material is ideally designed specifically for an online learning environment, and they review the delivery qualities that worked best for this particular learning group.

 Patti, Paul A. "The Invisible Classroom: Learning Style and Learner Satisfaction in a Virtual, Audioconferenced Technical Training Environment." Order No. 3398693 Capella University, 2010. Ann Arbor: ProQuest. Web. Patti’s dissertation looks at the effectiveness of a synchronous online audio-conferenced technical training classes as implemented by a software company for its employees. This empirical study summarizes areas of student satisfaction and dissatisfaction with the audio conferencing method and makes recommendations accordingly.

 Park, Ji-Hye, and Choi Hee Jun. "Factors Influencing Adult Learners' Decision To Drop Out Or Persist In Online Learning." Journal Of Educational Technology & Society 12.4 (2009): 207-217. Academic Search Premier. Web. Park and Jun’s research looks at the role contextual and organizational support play in the successful completion of adult online learning experiences. The authors suggest that program designers and online instructors should understand the importance of relevance when teaching adults online.

 Professional Organizations, Practitioners, and Publications

 ASTD. American Society for Training and Development, 2013. Web.  ASTD is a professional international association that focuses on all aspects of training and development, including in the e-learning environment. The site includes downloadable “State of the Industry” reports since 2009. Various conference links are also included as are links to publications and research for members.  “Communities of Practice” offers links to various industry blogs. In addition, ASTD publishes professional training titles for which links are included.

 Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). AACE, 2013. Web. The website is maintained by the international, non-profit AACE organization, which states its mission as “advancing Information Technology in Education and E-Learning research, development, learning, and its practical application.” Of particular interest to CPD and CE education are the Association’s annual conferences, EdMedia World Conference on Educational Media and Technology, and E-LEARN World Conference on E-Learning. Each of these conference site pages archives current field research from past conferences since 2008 in the form of papers, videos, and corporate demos. Scheduled presentations for upcoming conferences are noted as well.

 The eLearning Guild. The eLearning Guild, 2014. Web. This is a membership-based organization for the eLearning professional community. The Guild is the publisher of Learning Solutions Magazine, in which some archived articles are available without subscription through the site. The site also maintains a Research Library and hosts online events and conferences for its members.

 International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI). ISPI, 2014. Web. ISPI centers on Human Performance Theory (HPT), which expands the scope of organizational training to incorporate an ongoing process of systematic analysis, evaluation, design, implementation, and evaluation. While many resources on the site require membership in the organization, links are provided to the organization’s publications, PI Journal,and PI Quarterly, each which is accessible alternately through Wiley Online Library database of the UCF Library. The site details ISPI’s annual conference. Its collaboration page includes a calendar of upcoming events, and RSS feed for announcements, and a scrolling discussion page. The site also includes links to industry blogs.