Using a Text Mining Approach to Examine Online Learning Research Trends of the Past 20 Years (1997-2016)

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The purpose of this research is to identify longitudinal trends relevant to online learning research within 15 highly regarded, peer-reviewed publications in educational technology and online education. Online instruction has become a popular form of education delivery across academic institutions. A review of literature on the topic shows that missing from the corpus is a trend analysis focused in online learning research across multiple journals. Previous efforts of establishing trends in online learning are narrow in focus using only one journal or a shortened time frame. This metatrend analysis employed text mining techniques to examine twenty years (1997-2016) of published ... continued below

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Keahey, Heather Lynn December 2017.

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  • Keahey, Heather Lynn

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Description

The purpose of this research is to identify longitudinal trends relevant to online learning research within 15 highly regarded, peer-reviewed publications in educational technology and online education. Online instruction has become a popular form of education delivery across academic institutions. A review of literature on the topic shows that missing from the corpus is a trend analysis focused in online learning research across multiple journals. Previous efforts of establishing trends in online learning are narrow in focus using only one journal or a shortened time frame. This metatrend analysis employed text mining techniques to examine twenty years (1997-2016) of published research in an effort to establish past, present and emerging trends within published literature. A general bibliometric analysis is offered highlighting prolific and yearly journal publications. Meaningful trending terms used during the twenty-year time period were identified and analyzed. A cluster analysis performed on the extracted data provides a single layer taxonomy regarding online learning research. Time trends within the clusters were identified to offer a more in-depth analysis. Trends revealed during the research indicate a changing relationship of online learning and distance education. A strong emphasis on students and learning was noted as a consistent trend throughout the literature. Emerging categories recognized include openness and mobility, game-based learning, and MOOCs. The intention of the research is to offer an overview of trends in online learning research in order to contribute to the ongoing dialogue concerning the development and delivery of online education.

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  • December 2017

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  • Jan. 27, 2018, 7:36 a.m.

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Keahey, Heather Lynn. Using a Text Mining Approach to Examine Online Learning Research Trends of the Past 20 Years (1997-2016), dissertation, December 2017; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1062905/: accessed October 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .