Call for Chapters: Cases on Teaching With Online Discussions

Call for Chapters

Proposals Submission Deadline: May 31, 2019
Full Chapters Due: September 28, 2019
Submission Date: December 24, 2019


In this digital age, faculty, teachers and teacher educators are increasingly expected to adopt and adapt pedagogical perspectives to support student learning in instructional environments featuring online or blended learning. This is important given the increasing growth in many forms of online and blended learning in higher education, teacher education and K-12 education (Seaman, Allen & Seaman, 2018; Barbour & Unger Harrison, 2016; Educause, 2019). The pedagogical perspectives required for online and blended teaching often require new skills. One highly adopted element of online and blended learning involves the use of online learning discussions. We are focusing on discussion-based learning because research suggests it offers a rich pedagogical context for creating learning opportunities as well as a great deal of flexibility for a wide variety of learning and learner contexts. Conceptually, a value of discussion-based environments lies in the possibilities they afford for interaction. Learner interaction has long been considered one of the most critical components of distance education courses (Kang & Im, 2013; Moore, 1989; Woo & Reeves, 2007). By exchanging ideas and information with their peers and instructor(s), students can construct new knowledge and develop deeper understandings of key concepts. As post-secondary and, increasingly, K-12 institutions cope with the rapid growth of online learning, and an increase in the cultural diversity of learners, it is critical to understand, at a detailed level, the relationship between online interaction and learning, and how educationally effective interactions might be nurtured, in an inclusive way, by instructors. As educational technologies proliferate, new tools that support interaction like video, audio, and real-time interaction will continue to emerge, calling for understandings of their effects and both commonalities and differences in discussion-based learning. The overall goal of this book is to give a comprehensive picture of the current landscape of online discussion-based learning across different educational settings.


In this edited volume of cases, we seek to identify promising designs, pedagogical and assessment strategies, conceptual models and theoretical frameworks that support discussion-based learning in online and blended environments. In particular, we invite contributions including, but not limited to the following issues.
• Different methodological and empirical considerations and including issues like assessment and data tracking.
• A variety of theoretical and conceptual frameworks including, but not limited to, the learning sciences, Community of Inquiry (COI), Computer Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL), Computer Mediated Communication (CMC), Critical Theory and others.
• Different geographical regions or cultural contexts and settings and how these contexts impact online pedagogy and learning
• Different areas of instruction – pre-service, in-service, and continuing professional development as well as graduate and undergraduate
• Different types of educational experiences – online, blended, virtual, cyber, e-learning, hybrid, flipped learning experiences
• Different settings or content areas (such as liberal arts including language arts, social studies and STEM/STEAM education (mathematics, engineering, science, technology) and grade levels (elementary, secondary, higher education; teacher education).
• Illustrations of supporting online learning discussions through the use of artificial intelligence applications.

Target Audience

Books such as this one are especially important for compiling high-quality, up-to-date, scholarly cases that can support and enhance the effective design of online courses incorporating current and emerging digital tools to meet the evolving needs of diverse learners in a variety of sectors. The cases will be valuable for post-secondary faculty, K-12 and teacher educators as well as educational designers in educational and business settings, in providing a clearer vision of effective ways to teach online in the 21st century. Thus, this book is intended for:
? Teacher educators
? Post-secondary faculty and instructors
? Educational designers and developers
o Pre-service
o In-service (in educational or business settings)
o Professional development
? Instructional technology faculty
? Distance learning instructional designers and faculty

Recommended Topics

Recommended Topics include but are not limited to the following
1. The design of online discussion environments. While these have been popular since the early 2000s, potential limitations have been identified, such as Hewitt’s (2005) argument that the design of linear threaded discourse means that people tend to focus on the newest entries rather than deepening and extending existing threads. Some researchers have used graphical user interfaces. Others are building discussions into learning with multipurpose tools such as Seesaw or Sesame. How is current research and design dealing with the issue of deepening discussion?
2. Pedagogical strategies for encouraging deep learning. Monitoring and guiding online discussion is more potentially time consuming for instructors because of the large volume of generated material. How are instructors managing that issue currently and do those strategies differ across various education sectors?
3. Issues of assessment: On the one hand discussion environments offer a rich landscape for innovative assessment of many kinds: self, peer and instructor, and assessment for, of, and as learning. However, online discussions also can proliferate and so need pedagogical strategies to organize and make use of this online material in productive ways. Automated online tracking tools can potentially provide increasingly varied, and valuable, views of online learning practices for both individuals and groups. They can also support innovative teaching practices. What kinds of tools are being developed, or are needed, and how are they useful in these various contexts?
4. What are the different theoretical frameworks currently being used in online learning discussion environment research. They include social constructivism, and more recently, new literacies and social practices. What might these different frameworks offer in helping us understand the online learning context more deeply?
5. There are several conceptual models currently in the field which focus on different aspects of the teaching and learning process, including models such as Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC); Computer-supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL); Community of Inquiry (COI) for example. What does current research tell us about the usefulness of these models? Are there additional promising conceptual models? If so, what added value do they provide to our understanding of online interaction in learning and teaching?

Submission Procedure

Scholarly researchers and practitioners are invited to submit on or before May 31, 2019, a chapter proposal of 1,000 to 2,000 words clearly explaining the subject, mission and concern of the proposed case. Submissions should be made through the link at the bottom of this page. Authors of accepted proposals will be notified by June 30th, 2019 about the proposal status along with identification of guidelines for the case development. Authors will be expected to adhere to these guidelines exactly. Full cases are to be submitted Sept 28, 2019. All submitted cases will be reviewed on a double-blind review basis. Contributors will also be requested to serve as reviewers for this project. Chapters with multiple authors are welcome, even encouraged.

Note: There are no submission or acceptance fees for manuscripts submitted to this book publication, Cases on Teaching with Online Discussions


This book is scheduled to be published by IGI Global (formerly Idea Group Inc.), publisher of the “Information Science Reference” (formerly Idea Group Reference), “Medical Information Science Reference,” “Business Science Reference,” and “Engineering Science Reference” imprints. For additional information regarding the publisher, please visit This publication is anticipated to be released in 2020.

Important Dates

We anticipate the following production process and timeline:

Chapter Proposal Submission Deadline – May 31, 2019
Notification of Acceptance – June 30, 2019
Authors Submit First Draft of Chapters Due – Sept 28, 2019
Blind Peer Review Process – October 1-November 12, 2019
Peer Review Results Returned to Authors – November 26, 2019
Authors Send Final Full Chapters Due – December 24, 2019
Target Book Release – June 2020


Inquiries Can be Forwarded To
Lesley Wilton, University of Toronto,