Time factor in e-Learning: impact literature review

Begoña Gros, Elena Barberà, Paul A. Kirschner

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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    Purpose Time factor research in the e-learning field has gained significance due tot the influence it has on the teaching and learning process and its administration. The aim of this study was to undertake systematic research on the literature available, to investigate the different approaches and to study the resulting research topics. Method We conducted a systematic literature search of studies from two impact journals; the first one is the British Journal of Educational Technology from January 2007 to May 2009 and the second one, the Computers and Educational Journal, from January 2008 to May 2009. We grouped identified articles in three common areas in e-learning: teaching and learning process; educational organization, management and policies and technological learning resources. A total of 646 papers have been analysed in terms of presence of the temporal factor in their research proposals. Results In the analysis, from a total of 55 research papers that treat the temporal factor in some way in the studies presented, we included: 28 papers in the teaching and learning process criteria, 11 papers in organization, management and policies in e-learning and 16 papers in learning resources in e-learning. Almost all the papers deal with formal education (mostly undergraduate) and they are methodologically more frequently quantitatively oriented. It cannot be said that the time factor is more commonly understood as and independent or dependent variable in learning as a whole because the approach changes regarding the different areas of analysis. Amongst other qualitative results they point to contents related to time participation and time perception in a communication and interaction framework. Conclusion More than giving specific or definitive conclusions (variety and partiality of scopes in time topics but converging trends in some issues related the methodological approach) the study offers relevant questions related to the validity of the some of the research components and gives the second research phase its meaning.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)16-31
    Number of pages26
    JournaleLC Research Paper Series
    Publication statusPublished - 2010


    • e-learning
    • time
    • pedagogy
    • research review
    • organization of education


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