Online Learning journal – Call for Proposals: Special Issue on K-12 Online Education

Originally posted by MVLRI, on February 09, 2015

A special issue of Online Learning, the official journal of the Online Learning Consortium (formerly Sloan-C), will be published in December 2015. This issue will focus on K-12 online learning.

Submission deadline: June 30, 2015

Online Learning promotes the development and dissemination of new knowledge at the intersection of pedagogy, emerging technology, policy, and practice in online environments. The journal has been published for nearly two decades, and is known to many by its former name, theJournal of Asynchronous Learning Networks. With the rebranding of Sloan-C to the Online Learning Consortium there has been an interest in broadening the scope of the journal. One of the areas of focus in the journal this year is the field of K-12 online learning. This special issue, to be guest edited by professors Michael Barbour and Anissa Lokey-Vega, is a step in embracing and serving the K-12 community through advancement of new scholarship in this area.

Within the past four years all 50 states and the District of Columbia have developed significant online learning opportunities for K-12 students (Watson, Murin, Vashaw, Gemin, & Rapp, 2013). K-12 online student enrollments in the US have grown from approximately 40,000 to more than four million in a period of 15 years (Ambient Insights, 2011; Clark, 2001). Similar growth has occurred internationally, particularly in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and several Asian nations (Barbour, 2014). While there is a developing body of research that supports the practice of K-12 online learning, most scholars agree that practice is out-pacing the availability of useful research (Cavanaugh, Barbour, & Clark, 2009; Hill, Wiley, Nelson, & Han, 2004; Rice, 2006).

The focus of this special issue of Online Learning is to present rigorous research specific to the context of K-12 education including systematic inquiry into promising practices, various schooling models, measures of quality, teacher preparation, and teacher professional development.

Examples of potential topics for this special issue include, but are not limited to, the effective design, delivery, and support of K-12 online learning; building bridges between pre-college and higher education through online education; effective models of blended learning; effective practice in supporting exceptional K-12 learners; longitudinal outcomes for K-12 online learners; studies of teacher preparation and teacher professional development practices, and emerging research methods in K-12 online or blended learning.

Important Dates
Submissions for this special issue are due June 30, 2015, and should be submitted via the Open Journal System for the Online Learning Consortium at The anticipated publication of the issue is December 1, 2015.

Instructions for Submitting

  • To submit a manuscript please visit the Open Journal System website and create an account/log into your account. Please be sure that your profile’s “author” box is checked.
  • When you have logged into your account, go to the User Home page and select [New Submission]. Please choose the Section entitled: K-12
  • Authors with questions may contact Anissa Lokey-Vega ( or Michael Barbour ( about the special issue. For technical questions regarding manuscript submission contact Beth Meigs (

Call for Reviewers
If you are interested in becoming a reviewer for this special edition of the journal, please click on the link below to register for OJS, the journal review system for Online Learning, to apply.

  • Register for OJS
  • Provide contact information and under “Register as,” select “Reviewer: willing to conduct peer review of submissions.” In the space provided, indicate your interest in K12 issues.


  • Ambient Insight. (2011). 2011 Learning technology research taxonomy: Research methodology, buyer segmentation, product definitions, and licensing model. Monroe, WA: Author. Retrieved from
  • Barbour, M. K. (2014) History of K-12 online and blended instruction worldwide, in R. Ferdig and K. Kennedy (Eds.) Handbook of Research on K-12 Online and Blended Learning, (pp. 25-50). Retrieved from
  • Cavanaugh, C., Barbour, M. K., & Clark, T. (2009). Research and practice in K-12 online learning: A review of literature. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 10(1). Retrieved from
  • Clark, T. (2001). Virtual schools: Trends and issues – A study of virtual schools in the United States. San Francisco, CA: Western Regional Educational Laboratories. Retrieved from
  • Hill, J. R., Wiley, D., Nelson, L. M., & Han, S. (2004). Exploring research on Internet-based learning: From infrastructure to interactions. In D. H. Jonassen (Ed.), Handbook of research on educational communications and technology (2nd ed.). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers.
  • Rice, K. L. (2006). A comprehensive look at distance education in the K-12 context. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 38(4), 425-448.
  • Watson, J., Murin, A., Vashaw, L., Gemin, R., Rapp, C. (2013). Keeping pace with K-12 online and blended learning: A guide to policy and practice. Evergreen, CO: Evergreen Consulting. Retrieved from


In the News: Why are Gibault students adding online classes to their already busy schedules? “It’s worth it”

Why are Gibault students adding online classes to their already busy schedules?
News-Democrat February 9, 2015

Several students at Gibault Catholic High School in Waterloo discuss their experiences with the online coursework the school offers in collaboration with the state of Illinois. BNDVIDEO

WATERLOO — Whether it’s learning a new language or how to do computer programming, students at Gibault Catholic High School had the opportunity this semester to take an online elective class through the Illinois Virtual School.

And eight students at Gibault jumped at the chance, even though it meant more work, better time management and collaboration with teachers and classmates across the state.

Sophomore Matthew Lock is taking Mandarin Chinese. “It like it,” he said. “It’s actually pretty hard, but I’m enjoying it.”

Matthew said he’s learned how to say “Nín hǎo” so far, which means hello, and to write a few Chinese characters.

“Learning a language online is really self-dependent,” he said. “I have to definitely…

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