Kjell E., Judith Schoenholtz-Read (SAGE Publications, Second Edition edition May 2009) provides an overview of e-learning well grounded in academic theory and research.
Some e-learning handbooks provide essentially a cookbook step-by-step guide to using a particular software package the teach little about education, whereas others are so full of pedagogy jargon that they are all but unintelligible. This work is at the latter end of the scale, with free use of terms and numerous references. However, it is readable and provides useful ammunition for those (such as myself) defending e-learning against the charge that it is shallow and lacking in academic rigour. The introduction provides a good overview of where adult e-learning is at and how we got there. It should be noted that this book is about adult learning (that is androgogy), not teaching children.
After the introduction, the chapters can be read in any order, being grouped into themes but largely independent. I found "Revisiting the Design and Delivery of an Online Graduate Program" by Judith Stevens-Long and Charles Crowell, of particular value. This discusses the use of online discussion for small groups of mature students. This is how I teach and it was very useful to find the history and intellectual underpinnings of this approach, derived from the UK's Open University, so well laid out.
The book is not perfect, in particular Moodle is mentioned several times, but the description of its origins a little odd. It acknowledges Martin Dougiamas as having created Moodle. But it suggests that he was only vaguely aware of the pedagogy it related to. Anyone who has read the Wikipedia entry for Moodle will see that Martin set out to write a PHD thesis on "The use of Open Source software to support a social constructionist epistemology of teaching and learning within Internet-based communities of reflective inquiry" and that there was a very clear theory underpinning Moodle. As to if Moodle actually depends on any such theory is a separate issue. ;-)
Table of ContentsFrom: Handbook of Online Learning, Kjell Erik Rudestam and Judith Schoenholtz-Read, Sage, 2010
Preface 1. The Flourishing of Adult Online Education: An Overview Kjell Erik Rudestam and Judith Schoenholtz-Read Part I. Changing Philosophies and Theories of Online Learning 2. Presence in Teleland Gary Fontaine and Grace Chun 3. The Challenges of Culture and Community in Online Academic Environments Jeremy J. Shapiro and Shelley K. Hughes 4. Evolving Technologies Robin Mason and Frank Rennie 5. Applying Social Systems Thinking and Community Informatics Thinking in Education: Building Efficient Online Learning Design Culture in Universities Pierre-Leonard Harvey 6. Media Psychology Controls the Mouse That Roars Bernard Luskin and James Hirsen 7. Globalization in Online Learning Janet Poley 8. Online Learning Research Yolanda Gayol 9. Uncertain Frontiers: Exploring Ethical Dimensions of Online Learning Dorothy Agger-Gupta Part II. Implementation of Online Learning 10. Revisiting the Design and Delivery of an Interactive Online Graduate Program Judith Stevens-Long and Charles Crowell 11. Candlepower: The Intimate Flow of Online Collaborative Learning Barclay Hudson 12. Designing and Developing Web-Based Intelligent Tutoring Systems: A Step-by-Step Approach With Practical Applications Kay Wijekumar 13. Synthesizing Higher Education and Corporate Learning Strategies Bruce LaRue and Stephanie Galindo 14. Teaching Action Research at a Distance Jenny Edwards and Sue Marquis Gordon 15. Beyond the Looking Glass: What Faculty and Students Need to Be Sucessful Online Rena M. Palloff and Keith Pratt 16. Teaching Professionals to Be Effective Online Facilitators and Instructors: Lessons From Hard-Won Experience Leni Wildflower 17. Leadership and Management of Online Learning Environments in Universities Anna DiStefano and Judy Witt 18. Accrediting Online Institutions and Programs: Quality Assurance or Bureaucratic Hurdle? Ralph Wolff 19. Virtual Libraries in Online Learning Stefan Kramer Index About the Editors About the Contributors