Publishing e-learning research in higher education

If you’ve resolved to publish more of your e-learning research in the New Year, you may find useful a list of peer-reviewed journals that publish papers in our e-learning field with special reference to higher education. I’ve not included US journals because they seldom take foreign contributions, but all on my list have an international readership. Each one contains a statement of themes covered and the preferred types of article. The editor will usually respond to enquiries about the relevance of a new topic to his or her journal.

Some journal web sites carry an ‘impact factor’ related to how often their articles are cited by other authors. Broadly speaking a factor above 1.0 indicates a journal that commands more respect and attention than those with factors below 1.0. There’s more here if you want to understand the virtues and problems of impact factors of journals.

Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education

Association for Learning Technology Journal

British Journal of Educational Technology (1.041)

Computers & Education (2.190)

European Journal of Open, Distance & E-learning

Higher Education Quarterly

Innovations in Education & Teaching International (0.250)

International Review of Research in Open & Distance Learning (Canadian)

Journal of Computer Assisted Learning (1.065)

Journal of Further & Higher Education

Studies in Higher Education (0.938)

Teaching in Higher Education (0.500)

There are also solely online journals, such as the Journal of Interactive Media in Education (JIME, from the Open University).

A good principle to adopt as a researcher is to write up every project you are engaged in and try to find a suitable peer-reviewed journal. When you submit an article, even if it is rejected, you are likely to get some useful feedback, but it’s worth asking a colleague or two to have a look at your article before submission.

BDRA researchers have published recently in:

British Journal of Educational Technology (5 papers)

Electronic Journal of e-Learning (1 paper)

European Journal of Open, Distance & E-learning (1 paper)

International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (1 paper)

Journal of the Higher Education Academy Engineering Subject Centre (1 paper)

Journal of Lifelong Learning in Europe (1 paper)

Reflecting Education (1 paper)

Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education (1 paper)

Good luck!

David Hawkridge


Do students use feedback?

Today at a lunch party to welcome two new colleagues (Welcome, Terese and Tania!) and to congratulate a colleague on her marriage (Congrats, Sandra!), a few of us found ourselves making small talk about giving feedback to students. (It was pretty deep stuff for small talk, but that’s the way things go around here!) Anyone who has ever given feedback to students on assignments will know the amount of effort required to do so, and the concomitant sense of vague curiosity you feel, as you wonder to what extent the student will engage with it.

Our Head of Engineering and ex-Pro-Vice-Chancellor, John Fothergill, told us of a strategy he had implemented in a recent course, in which 10% of the marks for every assignment were given for evidence that the student had responded to feedback given for the previous assignment.

Another strategy he had tried was to require each student to review a peer’s assignment according to a given set of assessment criteria. He then marked the students’ reviews of their peers’ work, rather than their actual assignments. This had the effect of ensuring that the students took more care than usual to familiarise themselves with the assessment criteria while writing their assignments.

These are relatively simple strategies to implement, with a potentially powerful impact on the teaching and learning process. Does anyone else have anecdotes or strategies to share about getting students to think carefully and critically about the assessment criteria and the feedback they receive?

Gabi Witthaus, 6 July 2009

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