Trends in distance education research: A content analysis of journals 2009-2013
Keywords:open and distance learning, Distance education trends, distance education issues, research evaluation, content analysis
This study intends to explore the current trends in the field of distance education research during the period of 2009-2013. The trends were identified by an extensive review of seven peer reviewed scholarly journals: The American Journal of Distance Education (AJDE), Distance Education (DE), The European Journal of Open, Distance and e-Learning (EURODL), The Journal of Distance Education (JDE), The Journal of Online Learning and Technology (JOLT), Open Learning: The Journal of Open, Distance and e-Learning (OL) and The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning (IRRODL). A total of 861 research articles was reviewed. Mainly content analysis was employed to be able to analyze the current research. Also, a social network analysis (SNA) was used to interpret the interrelationship between keywords indicated in these articles. Themes were developed and the content of the articles in the selected journals were coded according to categories derived from earlier studies. The results were interpreted using descriptive analysis (frequencies) and social network analysis. The reporting of the results were organized into the following categories: research areas, theoretical and conceptual frameworks, variables, methods, models, strategies, data collection and analysis methods, and the participants. The study also identified the most commonly used keywords, and the most frequently cited authors and studies in distance education. The findings obtained in this study may be useful in the exploration of potential research areas and identification of neglected areas in the field of distance education.
How to Cite
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence. The copyright of all content published in IRRODL is retained by the authors.
This copyright agreement and use license ensures, among other things, that an article will be as widely distributed as possible and that the article can be included in any scientific and/or scholarly archive.
You are free to
- Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format
- Adapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially.
The licensor cannot revoke these freedoms as long as you follow the license terms below:
- Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.
- No additional restrictions — You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits.