Review of Distance Education Research (2000 to 2008): Analysis of Research Areas, Methods, and Authorship Patterns

Olaf Zawacki-Richter, Eva Maria Bäcker, Sebastian Vogt, The International Review of Research in Open, Distance Learning, Dec 25, 2009
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Distance education research remains deeply entrenched in the teacher-student paradigm. So reads this study of 695 research articles in five leading journals over the last decade. The work is characterized, it seems to me, by a strong resistance to change. "The dearth of articles dealing with issues especially on the meso level (management, organization, and technology) is disappointing. In order to guide practice, practitioners in the field should not rely on under-informed trial and error..." Maybe so, but the bias in editorial selection tends overwhelmingly to small surveys of class-based practice.
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