Research Areas in Distance Education: A Delphi Study


  • Olaf Zawacki-Richter FernUniversität in Hagen



Distance education, research areas, literature reviews, Delphi study


This study had three purposes: Firstly, to develop a categorization of research areas in distance education; secondly, to identify the most important research areas in distance education; and thirdly, to identify the most neglected research areas in distance education. Based on a literature review and a Delphi study, three broad levels or perspectives with 15 research areas were derived to organize the body of knowledge in distance education. Prospective researchers can use the results to identify gaps and priority areas and to explore potential research directions.

Author Biography

Olaf Zawacki-Richter, FernUniversität in Hagen

Olaf Zawacki-Richter holds a Ph.D. from the School of Education at Oldenburg University (Germany). Olaf is faculty member in the MBA in Educational Management offered by the Faculty of Education at Oldenburg University. He is also teaching in the rank of an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Online Master of Distance Education programme, jointly offered by University of Maryland University College (USA) and Oldenburg University where he was a member of the academic staff of the Centre for Distance Education from 1999 to 2003. Between 2003 and 2007 Olaf worked as project manager at the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management in Frankfurt. Early in 2007 Olaf returned to the University of Oldenburg and joined the team of the Division of Continuing Education and Educational Management. In September 2009 Dr. Zawacki-Richter started a fixed term professorship in educational technology at the FernUniversity in Hagen.



How to Cite

Zawacki-Richter, O. (2009). Research Areas in Distance Education: A Delphi Study. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 10(3).



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