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Intellectual roots of distance education: a progressive knowledge domain analysis
Bozkurt, Aras

Published11 November 2019
JournalDistance Education
Volume 40, Issue 4, Pages 497-514
CountryTurkey, Asia

Distance education (DE) is a constantly evolving and advancing field, and as such, its intellectual network and dynamics need to be investigated and explored. In this regard, this study reviewed a total of 1685 articles and 51,940 references through social network analysis for a bibliometric examination of the DE field. The findings indicate that DE is an interdisciplinary field and part of mainstream education. The progressive knowledge domain analysis revealed that the intellectual roots of DE stem from generic social learning theories, after which DE-related theories began to emerge following the foundation of open universities. The research concludes that there was a paradigm shift that resulted from developments in online networked technologies in the 2000s, at which time DE started to gradually evolve into sixth generation ubiquitous DE.

Keywords distance education · open and distance learning · online networked learning · intellectual network · bibliographic analysis

Study designBibliometric
Data analysisSocial network analysis
Study aim"If these invisible intellectual ecologies can be made visible, and hidden patterns in meta-narratives can be revealed, then we can systematically investigate these ecologies and identify, map, and report the roots of these intellectual ecologies, how they evolved, and what affected their evolution, and thereby make projections on where they are heading."
Finding"The fourth and final pivotal contribution and the one with the greatest impact was made by Garrison, Anderson, and Archer (2000, 2001), who introduced the community of inquiry (CoI) model and its three elements: cognitive presence, social presence, and teaching presence. The value of the CoI lies in its potential to provide effective learning experiences in computer-based, online educational spaces."
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