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Title: A Systematic Mapping of E-Learning Research: An Interdisciplinary and Multi-paradigmatic Perspective from the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya
Author: Peters, Mitchell  
Perez-Navarro, Antoni  
Fàbregues, Sergi  
Others: Universitat Oberta de Catalunya. Estudis d'Informàtica, Multimèdia i Telecomunicació
Universitat Oberta de Catalunya. Estudis de Psicologia i Ciències de l'Educació
Keywords: e-learning
systematic mapping
educational technology
systematic review
interdisciplinary research
Issue Date: 11-Oct-2022
Publisher: Academic Conferences International Ltd
Citation: Peters, M.J., Pérez Navarro, A. & Fàbregues, S. (2022). A Systematic Mapping of E-Learning Research: An Interdisciplinary and Multi-paradigmatic Perspective from the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya. Electronic Journal of e-Learning, 20(4), 451-466. doi: 10.34190/ejel.20.4.2327
Published in: Electronic Journal of e-Learning, 2022, 20(4)
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Abstract: E-learning research is a dynamic and ever-expanding interdisciplinary field. Research in this area is often conducted at the intersection of social science, cognitive science, learning sciences, as well as engineering and computer science. Common concerns in the field include ambiguity and confusion toward how best to approach methodological design as well as tensions around whether the field is coherent or fragmented. E-learning research has been characterized as a multi-paradigmatic knowledge field with distinct theoretical foundations and a horizontal knowledge structure composed of “specialist” languages. There has been a remarkable increase in systematic literature reviews in the field, representing a burgeoning research industry. Although there is a clear division between technical and social scientific approaches, there is a scarcity of literature which attempts to synthesize the evidence on how e-learning research is conducted across disciplines and within distinctive research communities from a multi-paradigmatic perspective. The objective of the current study is to systematically map research done in the field of e-learning in higher education at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC) within the frame of an institutional analysis. The aim is to identify key features and distinctive approaches to research across disciplines in this area from a multi-paradigmatic perspective. A systematic mapping review has been conducted, synthesizing research published between 2015-2020 by authors affiliated with the UOC. The study identified 291 articles, the majority of which use quantitative approaches following both design-based research methods as well as design and development research aims across three distinct research areas (a) educational research, (b) discipline-based education research and (c) learning engineering research. Fragmentation was identified across distinct research areas and communities of practice, particularly between research aims and the methods used to achieve these aims. By empirically examining the claims about methodological capacity and coherence in e-learning research, recommendations are offered for reorienting the field by: (a) increasing interdisciplinary collaboration through integrated research agendas; (b) supporting the expanding profession of the ‘learning engineer’; and (c) promoting methodological capacity, clarity and innovation.
Language: English
ISSN: 1479-4403MIAR
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