Learning Together Online: Research on Asynchronous Learning Networks

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Starr Roxanne Hiltz, Ricki Goldman
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2005 - Education - 296 pages
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This book is about the past and future of research on the effectiveness of learning networks (also known as "e-learning" or "online learning" or "Web-based learning"). Learning networks are groups of people using computer technology, communicating and collaborating online to build knowledge together. Over the past decade there has been an explosion not only of online courses, but also of studies on them.

In Learning Together Online: Research on Asynchronous Learning Networks, leading researchers in the field use an integrated theoretical framework, which they call "Online Interaction Learning Theory," to organize what past research shows and where future research is going. It models the variables and processes that are important in determining the relative effectiveness of online learners working to reach a deeper level of understanding by interacting with each other and with the texts under investigation.

Now that there have been hundreds of studies and thousands of courses offered online, what does the empirical evidence show? This book addresses the question directly by presenting what is known from research results about how to design and teach courses effectively online, ranging from the organizational context and characteristics of students to learning theories and research design methods. It also provides a research agenda for the next decade.

Learning Together Online: Research on Asynchronous Learning Networks is both a textbook for graduate students and a professional reference for faculty teaching online, researchers conducting studies, and graduate students taking courses about learning technologies who need to know the state of the art of research in the area of online learning.

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About the author (2005)

Starr Roxanne Hiltz was born in Little Rock, Arkansas, and educated at Vassar College and Columbia University, where she received an M.A. (1964) and Ph.D. (1969) in sociology. She has taught at Upsala College and Rutgers University, as well as the New Jersey Institute of Technology, where she holds the title of Distinguished Professor in the Departmentof Computer and Information Science. Hiltz has also served as director of the Collaborative Systems Laboratory and associate director of the Computerized Conferencing and Communications Center, both at New Jersey Institute of Technology. Hiltz's book Network Nation (1978), which was co-authored with Murray Turoff, received the "TSM Award" of the Association of American Publishers for the Best Technical Publication, and quickly became the standard reference in the field of computer-mediated communications (CMC). The first part of this work covered the nature of computerized conferencing; the second part dealt with its potential applications and impacts; and the third part discussed the future of computerized conferencing and its regulation. The second edition of Network Nation (1993) contains new material on superconnectivity developments during the last fifteen years, and updates on the future. Hiltz is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and has received major grants from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Mental Health, the Annenberg Foundation and Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and the Sloan Foundation. In 1990 she was recipient of the Electronic Networking Association's Rodale Award for Creative Achievement. Her research focuses on video and the virtual classroom.

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