The Theory and Practice of Online Learning

Written by: Terry Anderson (Athabasca University)

This educational textbook is available online as a free PDF, a printed version from Athabasca University Press or as a Kindle ebook from Amazon. Athabasca is a name I see frequently when searching for materials to add to The Free Textbook List. It is little wonder that they would have in their library of offerings a textbook that shares the expertise, knowledge and enthusiasm that the faculty and staff have for online learning.

The editor, Terry Anderson is a professor and Canada Research Chair in Distance Education at Athabasca University. His text, The Theory and Practice of Online Learning includes essays by educators and scholars working in the field of distance education. It was the winner of the 2010 Charles A. Wedemyer Award, an award for “distinguished contributions to the scholarship and practice of distance education.”

The series of papers and essays contained within this work span the disciplines of psychology, sociology, economics, business and technology. The authors discuss distance learning as it is seen by practitioners in their primary fields of expertise. The also combine the ideas of those in academia with those professionals in the field. It blends scholarship and research with careful consideration to the economics of the business of education.

Table of Contents for Theory and Practice of Online Learning

Front Matter
Table of Contents
Foreword to the Second Edition
PART I: Role and Function of Theory in Online Education Development and Delivery
1. Foundations of Educational Theory for Online Learning
2. Towards a Theory of Online Learning
3. Situating Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) in an Online Learning Environment
4. Understanding e-Learning Technologies-in-Practice through Philosophies-in-Practice
PART II: Infrastructure and Support for Content Development
5. Developing an Infrastructure for Online Learning
6. Technologies of Online Learning (E-learning)
7. Characteristics of Interactive Online Learning Media
8. “In-Your-Pocket” and “On-the-Fly:” Meeting the Needs of Today’s New Generation of Online Learners with Mobile Learning Technology
9. Social Software to Support Distance Education Learners
PART III: Design and Development of Online Courses
10. The Development of Online Courses
11. Value Added – The Editor in Design and Development of Online Courses
12. Making Relevant Financial Decisions about Technology in Education
13. The Quality Dilemma in Online Education Revisited
PART IV: Delivery, Quality Control, and Student Support of Online Courses
14. Teaching in an Online Learning Context
15. Call Centres in Distance Education
16. Library Support for e-Learners: e-Resources, e-Services, and the Human Factors
17. Supporting the Online Learner
18. Developing Team Skills and Accomplishing Team Projects Online

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The Theory and Practice of Online Learning

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