The SAGE Handbook of E-learning Research


Caroline Haythornthwaite, Richard Andrews, Jude Fransman & Eric M. Meyers

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  • Front Matter
  • Subject Index

    Part II: THEORY






  • Copyright

    List of Figures

    List of Tables

    Notes on the Editors and Contributors


    Caroline Haythornthwaite is Professor and past Director at the School of Library, Archival and Information Studies, The iSchool at The University of British Columbia. She joined UBC in 2010 after 14 years at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and 10 years in the computing industry. She has an international reputation in research on e-learning, virtual community, and distributed knowledge from a social network analysis perspective, and the impact of computer media and the Internet on work, learning and social interaction. Current initiatives includes her role as a founding member of the Society for Learning Analytics Research (, and research on social media and learning. Major publications include E-learning Theory and Practice (2011, with Richard Andrews), The SAGE Handbook of E-learning Research, first edition (2007, with Richard Andrews), The Internet in Everyday Life (2002, with Barry Wellman), and journal special issues on ‘New Media, New Literacies, and New Forms of Learning’ for the International Journal of Learning and Media (2014, with Eric Meyers) and ‘Learning Analytics’ for the American Behavioral Scientist (2013, with Maarten de Laat and Shane Dawson).

    Richard Andrews is Professor in Education and Head of the School of Education and Lifelong Learning at the University of East Anglia (UEA), Norwich, UK. His previous posts include Professorships in English and Education at the universities of York, Hull, Middlesex and, most recently, UCL Institute of Education in London, where he was Dean of the Faculty of Children and Learning. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and an elected Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences; a member of the All Souls Group, Oxford; and a network member of the Centre for Science and Policy at the University of Cambridge. He has been Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; a visiting professor at New York University's Steinhardt School; and Visiting Academic and the Chinese University of Hong Kong. His books for Sage include E-learning Theory and Practice (with Caroline Haythornthwaite) and the Sage Handbook of Digital Dissertations and Theses (edited with Erik Borg, Stephen Boyd Davis, Myrrh Domingo and Jude England). He is chair of the international advisory board for the Cambridge School Shakespeare, and co-editor of the series.

    Jude Fransman holds a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship at the Institute of Educational Technology in the Open University. Her dual research interests focus on academic literacies in the `Digital University’ and practitioner engagement with research. She is currently leading a project to explore civil society practitioners’ use of digital resources to engage with research ( ). She also coordinates an ESRC-funded seminar series on the `politics of evidence’ in research partnerships between universities and international NGOs ( She was a previous winner of a Newer Researcher's Award from the Society of Research into Higher Education (SRHE) which supported a study on academic identity in the digital university ( She has conducted consultancies for a variety of international organisations and continues to act as a special advisor on literacy for UNESCO.

    Eric M. Meyers is an Assistant Professor at the School of Library, Archival and Information Studies—The iSchool@UBC. His research, at the intersection of information science and the learning sciences, explores how young people engage socially with digital information systems as they work, learn, and play. His recent work has focused on how crafting and prototyping activities in informal learning settings, specifically Maker Camps and library-based coding and crafting programs, support the development of design literacies and computational thinking, the skills and attitudes that facilitate understanding of today's complex information and communication technologies. He recently edited journal special issues on “Digital Literacies in Informal Contexts” in Learning, Media and Technology (2013, with Ruth Small and Ingrid Erickson) and “New Media, New Literacies, and New Forms of Learning” in International Journal of Learning and Media (2014, with Caroline Haythorthwaite). His research, teaching and service have garnered international awards in the field of Library and Information Science, including the Jesse Shera Award for Distinguished Published Research (2008), the Eugene Garfield Dissertation Prize (2012), and the Pratt-Severn Faculty Innovation Award (2015).


    Agostinho, Shirley is an Associate Professor in the School of Education at the University of Wollongong. Her academic career spans more than 15 years being employed in positions such as instructional designer, project manager, post-doctoral fellow, research fellow, lecturer and now senior lecturer. Shirley has expertise in the design, development, implementation, evaluation and research of learning environments supported by the use of information communication technologies. Research in learning design has been a main focus for Shirley since 2000, with a particular interest in documenting teaching and learning practice to facilitate sharing, adaptation and reuse.

    Anderson, Terry is emeritus Professor and former Canada Research Chair in Distance Education at Athabasca University. He has published widely in the area of distance education and educational technology and author of numerous books and papers and is a former Charles E. Wedemeyer Award winner. Terry founded CIDER - the Canadian Institute for Distance Education Research and, for many years, was editor of the International Review of Research on Distance and Open Learning. Terry is active in provincial, national, and international distance education associations and is a regular keynote speaker at many international conferences. An inveterate innovator in e-learning, in 1992, Terry organized the first virtual conference ever held. Terry's blog, the “Virtual Canuck”, is accessible at

    Bayne, Sian is Professor of Digital Education, in the School of Education at the University of Edinburgh. She directs the Digital Education Research Centre, and teaches on the MSc in Digital Education. Her research interests revolve around educational change as we become more and more enmeshed with the digital. Current particular interests are around posthumanism and online education, the geographies of distance education, open education and multimodal academic literacies. Twitter: @sbayne, Web:

    Bennett, Sue is Professor in the School of Education at the University of Wollongong. Sue has more than 20 years of experience teaching in Australian universities. She began her academic career as an instructional designer, working closely with teaching staff to develop effective learning designs for face-to-face, online and distance learning. She graduated with a PhD in Education in 2002 and has worked as a full-time teaching and research academic since. Sue is an internationally-recognised research leader in the area of learning design, with a special interest in supporting university teachers to improve their design practices and to integrate information and communication technologies effectively into their teaching.

    Bhimani, Nazlin is the Research Support and Special Collections Librarian at the UCL Institute of Education in London. She completed her education in Canada, earning a MA in musicology from the University of British Columbia and a masters in library science from the University of Western Ontario. She also has a masters in the History of Education from University College London. Nazlin has worked in academic and special libraries in the UK and in Canada, focussing on research support, teaching information literacy skills and rare books and special collections. She is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in the UK. Nazlin is a tutor on the Information and Literature Searching module taken by doctoral students and teaches on other postgraduate programmes at the UCL Institute of Education. She has been involved in several externally funded research projects studying online user behaviour in the use of digital resources by HE students. Nazlin has co-authored several reports and has written chapters for books, articles and blog posts on her areas of expertise.

    Brutt-Griffler, Janina is Professor in English language education, Director of the Center for Comparative and Global Studies in Education and Chair of the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy at the State University of New York at Buffalo. Dr. Brutt-Griffler's research focuses on English as a global language, second language acquisition, language policy and higher education. She is the author of the award winning book World English: A Study of its Development as well as English and Ethnicity, and Bilingualism and Language Pedagogy and numerous peer-refereed articles. Dr. Brutt-Griffler has been on the Graduate Faculty of a number of leading research universities in the US and Europe. Her work in the area of graduate student preparation led her to lead the University at Buffalo's participation in the innovative EU TransAtlantic Doctoral Training program of a consortium of the world's best doctoral institutions. She has served as the Principal Investigator on a number of research grants, and worked on as a researcher on the U.S. Department federal grants. Professor Brutt-Griffler is also the Editor of The International Journal of Applied Linguistics (with Wiley-Blackwell).

    Burn, Andrew is Professor of English, Media and Drama at the University College London Institute of Education, and director of the DARE research group (Digital Arts Research Education). His research is mostly in digital media and young people's creative work in different media, including film, animation and videogames. His many funded research projects include collaborations with the British Film Institute, the British Library and Shakespeare's Globe. He is director of MAGiCAL projects, a software enterprise developing creative tools in games and animation for young people. Before entering Higher Education, he was a teacher for 24 years, and assistant principal of the first specialist media arts school in the UK. His books include Childrens’ Games in the New Media Age (Ashgate), and Making New Media (Peter Lang).

    Chapelle, Carol A. is Distinguished Professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Iowa State University, where she teaches in the doctoral program in applied linguistics and technology. Professor Chapelle's research into technology for language learning has led her into many facets of applied linguistics including the study of multimodal communication, and language assessment—an exploration that fostered the conception of the field's first comprehensive, ten-volume Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics (Wiley-Blackwell, 2013). In addition to editing the encyclopedia, she is co-editor of the Cambridge Applied Linguistics Series, she has served as editor of TESOL Quarterly (1999-2004), and has served as president of the American Association for Applied Linguistics (2006-2007). Her recent awards include the 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award in Language Testing given by the University of Cambridge and the International Language Testing Association as well as the 2015 Distinguished Scholarship and Service Award from the American Association for Applied Linguistics.

    Cook, John is Professor of Learning Innovation at UWE Bristol, UK. John has over 14 years’ previous experience as a full-time lecturer at various Higher Education Institutions. He has over 10 years’ project management experience and has been part of research and development grant proposals that have attracted over £5 million in competitive external funding. EC-funded FP7 examples include MATURE IP and Learning Layers IP. In addition, he has published and/or presented around 280 refereed articles and invited talks in the area of Technology Enhanced Learning, having a specific interest in several related areas: hybridity in learning, informal learning, mobile learning in all sectors, augmented reality, 3D web and visualisations, social web, and work-based learning. John is a founding member of The London Mobile Learning Group ( He was Chair/President of the Association for Learning Technology (2004–06) and Chair of ALT's Research Committee (2008–2012). For more information see:

    Dawson, Shane is Professor of learning analytics and Director of the Teaching Innovation Unit at the University of South Australia. His primary research area focuses on the analysis of learner trace data derived from educational and social technologies to improve learning and teaching quality. Shane is a co-editor of the International Journal for Learning Analytics and a founding executive member of the Society for Learning Analytics Research.

    de Laat, Maarten is a Professor of Professional Development in Social Networks at the Open University of the Netherlands. His work is concentrated on exploring social learning strategies and networked learning relationships that facilitate learning and professional development in educational institutes and professional organizations. His research addresses social capital, with a specific interest in informal learning and knowledge creation through (online) social networks and communities and the impact technology, learning analytics and social design has on the way these networks and communities work, learn and create value. He has published and presented his research extensively in international research journals, books and conferences. On the subject of Networked Learning he has edited a book on The Design, Experience and Practice of Networked Learning published by Springer in 2014. Maarten is co-chair of the biannual International Networked Learning Conference.

    Domingo, Myrrh is a Lecturer in Contemporary Literacies in the Department of Culture, Communication and Media at the UCL Institute of Education. She researches social and digital literacy practices with a particular focus on design and development of language, learning and identity in multimodal environments. Her recent studies and publications translate her areas of specialization for schools, industries and institutions pursuing innovative methods to work with people of diverse participation backgrounds.

    Dron, Jon is a professor at Athabasca University (Canada's open university), where he is a member of the Technology Enhanced Knowledge Research Institute and Chair of the School of Computing and Information Systems. He is also an Honorary Faculty Fellow in the Centre for Learning and Teaching, University of Brighton, UK. Jon has received both national and local awards for his teaching, is author of various award-winning research papers and is a regular keynote speaker at international conferences. Jon's research in learning technologies is highly cross-disciplinary, including social, pedagogical, technological, systemic and philosophical aspects of technology and learning design & management. Jon's blog is accessible at

    Eynon, Rebecca is an Associate Professor at the University of Oxford, where she holds a joint academic post between the Oxford Internet Institute (OII) and the Department of Education. Since 2000 her research has focused on ethics, education, learning and inequalities, and she has carried out projects in a range of settings (higher education, schools and the home) and life stages (childhood, adolescence and late adulthood). Rebecca is co-editor of Learning, Media and Technology. Prior to joining Oxford in 2005 Rebecca held positions as an ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Sociology, City University; as a Research Fellow, Department of Education, University of Birmingham and as a Researcher, Centre for Mass Communication Research, University of Leicester.

    Fry, Jenny is a senior lecturer in the Department of Information Science at Loughborough University. Her research has been focused on the disciplinary shaping of scholarly communication and digital scholarship. She received her Ph.D. in Information Science in 2003 from the University of Brighton and since then has held postdoctoral research fellowships at the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, Amsterdam, and in the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina, Chapel-Hill. Before joining the Department of Information Science she was a research fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford.

    Gašević, Dragan is a Professor and Chair in Learning Analytics and Informatics in the Schools of Education and Informatics at the University of Edinburgh. He is the current President and a co-founder of the Society for Learning Analytics Research. His research centers on analytics methods for understanding and enhancement of meta-cognitive, self-regulatory, and social aspects of learning in group and solo activities.

    Gilbert, Sarah is a PhD student at the iSchool at the University of British Columbia. Her research areas include social media, with particular emphasis on exploring why people contribute to online crowd and community enterprises as well as informal learning via social media, social network analysis, and Internet research. Sarah holds a BA degree (History) from Mount Allison University and an MLIS degree from Dalhousie University. At Dalhousie, her Master's thesis identified software design elements that could support students as they research and write a paper, and contributed to a research project exploring texting in higher education classrooms. She is currently involved in research projects that explore faculty use of social media, student engagement in Massive Online Open Courses, and informal learning through backchannel Twitter discussions during conferences.

    Goodfellow, Robin worked at the Open University's Institute of Educational Technology from 1996 to 2015. He was principal investigator for the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)-funded seminar series ‘Literacy in the Digital University’ from 2009-2011 which brought together many of the researchers referenced in this chapter. His published research has included work on computer-assisted language learning, literacies and learning technologies, learning cultures in online education, and most recently, digital scholarship.

    Gourlay, Lesley is Head of the Department of Culture, Communication & Media, and Director of the Academic Writing Centre at UCL Institute of Education. Her background is in Applied Linguistics, and her current research interests include academic literacies, multimodality and digital mediation in higher education, focusing on meaning-making, textual practices, digital literacies and multimodality. Her recent publications have focused on the relationships between sociomaterial perspectives and practices in higher education, with an emphasis on the role of textuality and meaning-making. She is a member of the Executive Editorial Board of the journal Teaching in Higher Education.

    Halverson, Richard is a Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis in the UW-Madison School of Education. He studies how technologies are changing, and can change, practices of teaching and learning in and out of schools. He co-directs the Wisconsin Collaborative Education Research Center and the Comprehensive Assessment of Leadership for Learning (CALL) project. He is a former high school teacher and administrator, and earned an MA in Philosophy and a PhD in the Learning Sciences from Northwestern University. He is co-author (with Allan Collins) of Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology: The Digital Revolution and Schooling in America.

    Jones, Chris is a Professor of Research in Educational Technology at Liverpool John Moores University (UK). His research focuses on the application of the metaphor of networks to the understanding of learning in higher education. Chris was the principal investigator for a UK Research Council funded project “The Net Generation encountering e-learning at university” and he has published over 70 journal articles, book chapters and refereed conference papers connected to his research. He is the author of Networked Learning: An educational paradigm for the age of digital networks, Springer, 2015. Chris has also edited two books on this subject - Networked Learning: Perspectives and Issues published by Springer in 2002 and Analysing Networked Learning Practices in Higher Education and Continuing Professional Development. Sense Publishers, BV in 2009.

    Kim, Namsook is Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy and Assistant Director in the Center for Comparative and Global Studies in Education at the State University of New York at Buffalo. She has more than 20 years professional experience in training educators and education leaders in the transformative intersections of language and culture in the context of globalization, multilingualism and multiculturalism, teaching language and culture to multilingual students, and assisting international business, in the US and Korea. She coordinates the Education Studies graduate program focus area in Comparative and Global Education. Dr. Kim's professional service includes membership of the American Educational Research Association and of bias and sensitivity committee of the New York State Education Department and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), a group of 12 states collaborating to develop high quality, computer-based K-12 assessments aligned with the new Common Core State Standards.

    Lea, Mary R. is an Honorary Associate (Reader in Academic and Digital Literacies) at the Open University. She has researched and published widely in the field of academic literacies. More recently she has taken this literacies lens to the workings of an increasingly digital university and, subsequently, begun to interrogate and reappraise methods and methodologies in relation to these new contexts. The co-edited volume with Robin Goodfellow (Literacy in the Digital University: Critical Perspectives on Learning, Scholarship and Technology, SRHE/Routledge, 2013) captures this approach.

    Locke, Terry is Professor of Arts and Language Education in the Faculty of Education at the University of Waikato. His research interests include the literacy/technology nexus, disciplinary literacies, teaching writing, teaching literary texts and critical literacy in educational contexts. His most recent book is Developing Writing Teachers (Routledge, 2015), and he is editor-in-chief of the journal English Teaching: Practice and Critique.

    Lockyer, Lori is Professor and Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation Chair in Teacher Education in the School of Education at Macquarie University and Chief Investigator in the ARC-SRI Science of Learning Research Centre. Lori's research focuses on teaching and learning with technology in school, university and professional learning environments. Lori is interested in understanding the learning processes and outcomes for learners engaged in technology-supported tasks. Lori has also been working in the area of learning design for over a decade, this involves investigating teacher thinking and practices. Lori draws these two research areas together - how learners learn and how teachers teach with technology - through the integration of concepts and approaches from the fields of learning analytics and learning design.

    Looseley, Rhiannon is the Digital Learning Project Manager at the Museum of London. A graduate from the University of Warwick, she has higher degrees in Modern History (University of Reading) and Museum Studies (University of Leicester). Previously working at the British Postal Museum & Archive, in two previous roles at the Museum of London and on the committee of the Museums Computer Group, Rhiannon has ten years’ experience of using digital technology to enhance museums’ learning potential. In her current role she is jointly responsible for the museum's digital learning strategy, taking a particular lead on online learning resources and the use of technologies in facilitated learning. Publications include conference papers for the Museums and the Web conference (2009 and 2015) and a chapter in K. Beale (ed.), Museums at Play: Games, Interactions & Learning, (MuseumsEtc, 2011). She has spoken at various conferences on best practice in museum online learning.

    Oliver, Martin is Professor of Education and Technology in the Department of Culture, Communication & Media at the UCL Institute of Education, and is Head of the Centre for Doctoral Education. His research explores the use of technology in Higher Education, including work on students’ sociomaterial study practices, the curriculum and digital scholarship. He has edited the journals Learning, Media & Technology and Research in Learning Technology, as is a past president of the Association for Learning Technology.

    Paulin, Drew is a doctoral student at The iSchool at The University of British Columbia. With a background in interaction design, pedagogy, and sociology, Drew is interested in the reciprocal relationship between design and learning behaviours. His research focuses on social media, e-learning, learning analytics, learning networks, and peer-generated approaches to online learning. As Manager of Learning Design and Innovation at The Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia, Drew was responsible for exploring and integrating instructional and learning design strategies at the course and program level, with a particular emphasis on innovative approaches to participatory and collaborative learning. He is currently the Academic Director of the Information and Data Science Program at the University of California, Berkeley. In 2014, Drew was a finalist for the IMS Global Learning Impact Award for his work in implementing and evaluating an adaptive e-learning platform at The Sauder School of Business.

    Paulus, Trena M. is a Professor of Qualitative Research Methods at the University of Georgia in the Department of Lifelong Education, Administration and Policy. She has published extensively on topics related to computer-mediated communication, qualitative research, and online learning. Her recent book, Digital Tools for Qualitative Research, explores the use of new technologies across the qualitative research process. She is currently exploring the applicability of language-based qualitative research methodologies to understanding online text and talk. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Georgia she was an Associate Professor at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville for 11 years, where she taught in the instructional design & technology program and coordinated the graduate certificate in qualitative research methods. Dr. Paulus holds a Ph.D. in Education from Indiana University and a M.A. in applied linguistics from Ohio University.

    Rae, Juno is the Digital Learning Programmes Manager at the British Museum. She studied BA History of Art at Goldsmiths, University of London and completed an MA in Museums and Galleries in Education at the UCL Institute of Education. Throughout her studies and career she has specialised in museum based Elearning. Her previous roles include Digital Learning Programme Coordinator at the Museum of London, freelance educator and committee member of the Digital Learning Network. In her current role she is responsible for managing the development and delivery of facilitated, self-led and video conference digital learning sessions, workshops and activities to engage schools, families and young audiences with the museum and its collection. She has spoken at several conferences on the provision of digital learning museum resources.

    Rogers, Tim is an academic developer within the Teaching Innovation Unit at the University of South Australia. His research centres on the implementation of learning analytics from a systems perspective. His background is in organizational behaviour, action research, and the philosophy of the social sciences.

    Savin-Baden, Maggi, Professor of Education, University of Worcester, has researched and evaluated tutor and student experience of learning for over 20 years and gained funding (Leverhulme Trust, JISC, Ministry of Defence) to research the effectiveness of learning in new electronic and immersive spaces. She is an experienced evaluator not only of curricula but also of research and research methodologies and an expert in the development of innovative and creative scenarios designed for learning. Maggi has published over 50 research publications and 13 books, and is currently writing two more. In her spare time she runs, rock climbs and attempts to be a triathlete.

    Schreurs, Bieke is promovenda at the Welten Institute, Research Center for Learning, Teaching and Technology at the Open University of the Netherlands. Her research focuses on how professionals learn (in the workplace) through (online) networks. She investigates the possibility of social learning analytics in online networks and how network visualisations could inform stakeholders to optimize knowledge creation and informal learning. She also does research on possible antecedents of knowledge creation and informal learning through networks in organisations. Her aim is to get insights into the dynamics of informal learning in networks to inform organisations about possible strategies to optimize the knowledge creation, sharing and retention within and beyond the organisational borders.

    Schroeder, Ralph is a full Professor at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford. Ralph was formerly Professor in the School of Technology Management and Economics at Chalmers University in Gothenburg (Sweden). He completed his PhD about Max Weber at the LSE in 1988. His publications include Rethinking Science, Technology and Social Change (Stanford University Press, 2007) and Being There Together: Social Interaction in Virtual Environments (Oxford University Press, 2010). He is also the author of ‘An Age of Limits: Social Theory for the 21st Century’ (Palgrave Macmillan 2013) and, with Eric T. Meyer, of ‘Knowledge Machines: Digital Transformations of the Sciences and Humanities’ (MIT Press 2015).

    Sharples, Mike is Professor of Educational Technology in the Institute of Educational Technology at The Open University, UK. He also has a post as Academic Lead for the FutureLearn company. His research involves human-centred design of new technologies and environments for learning. He inaugurated the mLearn conference series and was Founding President of the International Association for Mobile Learning. He is Associate Editor in Chief of IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies. He has authored over 300 papers in the areas of educational technology, science education, human-centred design of personal technologies, artificial intelligence and cognitive science.

    Steinkuehler, Constance is Professor of Curriculum and Instruction in the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She studies the effects of game technologies and digital media on learning and assessment in and out of schools. Steinkuehler is a founding fellow of the Games+Learning+Society (GLS) and chairs the annual Games, Learning & Society Conference. She served as Senior Policy Analyst in the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) at the White House Executive Office, advising on policy matters about video games and learning. Constance's work has been supported by MacArthur Foundation, the Spencer Foundation and the National Science Foundation. She is co-author (with Sasha Barab and Kurt Squire) of Games, Learning and Society: Learning and Meaning in the Digital Age.

    Taylor, Josie was Director of the Institute of Educational Technology, The Open University, from 2007 – 2013. Her research focuses on understanding the ways in which people learn from complex media (traditional and digital) and how best to design those media to support learning. This entails close study of what people do with technology, how they respond to it, how they appropriate it and how that dialectical process of appropriation in turn affects and changes their behaviour. Developing our theories to account for the richness of behaviour we observe in learners is also a priority. She has advised on strategies for e-learning and effective pedagogy nationally and internationally, and on evaluation methodology.

    Tombs, Gemma is a Senior Research Assistant for the Disruptive Media Learning Lab, with a particular focus on digital technologies. Her research expertise includes pedagogical design for digital technologies, educators’ experience of digital technologies, and the socio-cultural impact of new educational technologies. Gemma has published 12 peer-reviewed research publications in digital pedagogy. She has recently completed her doctoral studies in pedagogical design for virtual worlds.

    Vavoula, Giasemi is Lecturer in Museum Studies at the University of Leicester, UK, where she is joint Postgraduate Research Director and teaches and supervises research in digital heritage. She has a background in human-centred design and technology-enhanced learning, and has researched and published widely in these areas, particularly mobile learning design and evaluation. Her research interests currently focus on the role of digital technology in fostering and sustaining learning and engagement with culture and heritage. She is particularly interested in the new models of participation and engagement enabled by social media and the issues that surround their design and sustainability, as well as the ways in which digital technology is transforming our experiences of heritage and culture.

    Whitworth, Andrew is Senior Lecturer in the School of Environment, Education and Development at the University of Manchester. He has been the Programme Director for the MA in Digital Technologies, Communication and Education since 2007. In 2012 this programme won a Blackboard Catalyst award for its innovative work in building learning communities with distance learners. He is the author of Radical Information Literacy (Chandos, 2014) and Information Obesity (Chandos, 2009) and was one of the authors of the 2012 UNESCO Moscow Declaration on Media and Information Literacy.

    Wise, Alyssa Friend is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University and Coordinator of the Educational Technology & Learning Design Program. She has over 15 years teaching and course design experience at the secondary and post-secondary level including face-to-face, blended and online classes, and has published extensively on topics related to collaboration and online learning. Her research focuses on studying and supporting productive interactions between individuals’ efforts and groups’ collective development of ideas in online discussion environments. Recent efforts have explored the creation and pedagogical implementation of learning analytics to support online discussion activity. Dr. Wise holds a Ph.D. in the Learning Sciences and M.S. in Instructional Systems Technology, both from Indiana University.


    The editors of this volume wish to thank the UK's Economic and Social Research Council for funding for the research seminar series, ‘Dialogue and Communities of Enquiry in E-learning in Higher Education’ [award reference: RES-451-26-0314], hosted at the University of York, that led to the first edition of this handbook. Caroline Haythornthwaite thanks the Canadian Social Science and Humanities Research Council for the grant with Anatoliy Gruzd on ‘Learning Analytics for the Social Media Age’ that has helped support research complementary to the current edition. Jude Fransman's time was supported by an SRHE (Society of Research into Higher Education) Newer Researcher's award and a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship.

    Caroline Haythornthwaite greatly appreciates the ongoing collaboration, discussion and learning with Anatoliy Gruzd, Drew Paulin and Sarah Gilbert, the handbook editors, and colleagues on the executive of the Society for Learning Analytics Research (, all of whom have helped and continue to help shape her ideas and research directions.

    Richard Andrews is grateful to Gunther Kress, Carey Jewitt, Jeff Bezemer, Sara Price, Diana Laurillard, Andrew Burn, Myrrh Domingo and other colleagues in the London Knowledge Lab at the UCL Institute of Education for conversations about multimodality, new technologies and learning. For editorial work on the second edition, he is grateful to Anglia Ruskin University for a research sabbatical in 2015.

    Jude Fransman would like to thank Eileen Scanlon, Martin Weller, Mary R. Lea, Robin Goodfellow and other colleagues at the Institute of Educational Technology, Open University for insights into open learning; also, digital scholarship and literacies in the ‘Digital University', as well as the conveyors of the Digital University network in the Society of Research into Higher Education (Lesley Gourlay, Kelly Coate and Ibrar Bhatt), particularly for discussions around methodology.

    Eric M. Meyers would like to thank his research collaborators and colleagues at the University of British Columbia, notably Lisa Nathan from the School of Library, Archival and Information Studies, as well as Marlene Asselin, Theresa Dobson and Samia Khan of the Faculty of Education, and Nassim JafariNaimi at Georgia Tech. He is also deeply grateful to the students who challenge his ideas and press him to be a better teacher and researcher.

    The editors also wish to thank the SAGE editors and production staff Marianne Lagrange, Judi Burger, Matthew Oldfield and Sushant Nailwal.

    And, last but not least, we thank all contributors to the handbook for their efforts and scholarship in creating this collection.

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