by Keith Richards

General Sites and Databases

International Centre for Distance Learning
This site includes an outstanding database of DL literature.

Commonwealth of Learning
The provides an excellent introduction to open and distance learning as well as an extensive glossary of key terms.

University of Idaho Engineering Outreach
This offers a very readable basic introduction that links to short but informative discussions of key issues by Barry Willis.

International Forum of Educational Technology and Society
As its name suggests, this is a discussion forum, publishing useful summaries of its online discussions at:
It also publishes a journal (see below).

Distance Learning Resource Network
This is a very rich site developed by the US Department of Education.
The site map covers a lot of territory, though contents are pitched at a fairly basic level:

Education-line provides
This may seem like an odd one to choose because it doesn't specifically cover DL. However, the results if you search under 'distance education' make it worth including, quite apart from the fact that it's an extremely rich source of articles and reports on education generally. Here's the blurb: 'Education-line provides an internet medium through which authors can present early versions of their work and interested parties can keep abreast of topical issues in educational research. The focus of Education-line is on texts which are relevant to the study, practice and administration of education at a professional level. Texts are supplied for addition to the collection by their authors, often as a result of presentations made at conferences. The database marries the strengths of traditional bibliographic discovery tools, like the British Education Index, with automatic, online full text delivery of the documents referenced in the collection. The service allows for the identification of texts on very specific topics or within general fields.'

Other Sites

Tony Bates (University of British Columbia)
This is the homepage of an international leader in the field of technology in DE. It includes a useful collection of his papers.

Success factors in materials-based learning
This is Derek Rowntree's page, based on his book, Making Materials-Based Learning Work. It has an excellent list of relevant features, linked to brief summaries.

The Moderator's HomePage
developed by Mauri Collins and Zane L. Berge
The page is accurately described by the developers, Mauri Collins and Zane L. Berge, as 'a growing set of resources for moderators and moderators-to-be of online discussion in both academic and non-academic settings.' There are problems with some of the links, but enough work to make it a rich resource.

Online Journals (Full text)

Educational Technology & Society

The Technology Source
This is published by Michigan Virtual University. The case studies make particularly good reading.

e-Journal of Instructional Science and Technology (e-JIST)
Its blurb describes it as 'an international multi-faceted publication with content likely to be of interest to policy makers, managers, investors, professional staff, technical staff, and academics within education and training.' There's a strong focus on instructional materials.

Interactive Educational Media

Journals (Abstracts Only)

Journal on E-Learning (IJEL)
[Previously International Journal of Educational Telecommunications (IJET)]

Journal of Distance Education

Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks

International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning

Some downloadable publications

The Changing Faces of Virtual Education
A study on the latest "macro developments" in virtual education, conducted with funding provided by the Department for International Development, London, UK. Dr. Glen Farrell, Study Team Leader and Editor. The Commonwealth of Learning, 2001. ISBN: 1-895369-75-4. All available and downloadable at: http://www.col.org/virtualed/

CREAD: Cultural and ethical issues in international DE
Tony Bates.
A Spanish version is available at:

Theoretical Challenges for Distance Education in the 21st Century: A Shift from Structural to Transactional Issues
Randy Garrison. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning.

Current Developments and Best Practice in Open and Distance Learning
Armando Rocha Trindade, Hermano Carmo and José Bidarra

Issue 11/2 of ReCALL on language learning through DL
September 1999, Edited William Howarth