Open Access online research links

This is a collection of free, almost-free and sometimes-free websites that publish peer-reviewed articles and studies that relate to education, learning, web technology and the online world.

Many of these links were found in posts from Online Learning Update, which also exists here.  Some links were found via the Directory of Open Access Journals.  This list will be updated when additional resources are found, and readers are encouraged to add suggestions in the comments.

Free:

Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education ( CITE )

“Established with funding from a U.S. Department of Education … grant, CITE Journal makes possible the inclusion of sound, animated images, and simulation, as well as allowing for ongoing, immediate dialog about theoretical issues.”

The European Journal of Open, Distance and E-Learning ( EURODL )

“an online journal on distance and e-learning, publishes the accounts of research, development and teaching” “free to readers and contributes to the Open Content movement.”

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Student attitudes about hybrid online classes

From “Attitudes, beliefs and attendance in a hybrid course,” by E. Yudko, R. Hirokawa and R. Chi, Computers & Education, Volume 50, Issue 4, May 2008, Pages 1217-1227, doi:10.1016/j.compedu.2006.11.005:

Student attitudes towards combining distance learning techniques with traditional lecture tend to be positive.

While students may believe that these hybrid courses have a negative impact on attendance, they do not self-report an actual impact.

Students do believe that they benefit from this technology, but the belief is strongest in those who are most computer/Internet literate.

These conclusions support the idea that the integration of online technology with traditional classes can enhance the learning experience for students.  This study notes:

An important result because students spend more time engaged when they have positive attitudes about the delivery method (Pan et al., 2005).

The “positive” reaction reported in this study suggests an answer for how educators can improve motivation in their students: design classes to reflect how students use the Internet.  The conclusion that the perception of a “benefit” from the hybrid course increases in students with greater computer and Internet literacy seems to underline this idea.

These conclusions suggest that efforts to increase computer and Internet literacy can improve the student learning experience in hybrid online courses.  For example, this study notes that “students who are most appreciative of these additions to a course are those with the best computer skills” and:

… students tend to recommend a greater level of computer/Internet preparedness prior to taking online courses (Richards & Ridley, 1997). In other words, helping students to develop strong computer/Internet skills prior to taking distance education classes may be critically important to improving student engagement.

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The Internet can promote a happier, healthier life

From the Associated Press on September 21, 2008:

[Kathy] Leeds is one of about 500 people enrolled for the fall semester in a telephone-based educational program for homebound seniors called DOROT University Without Walls, believed to be the largest program of its kind in the country.

While the DOROT program is currently “telephone-based,” it is an example of what the Internet is capable of, if institutions were inclined to develop online educational programs that include the technological advancements that are currently available.

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