Theories and models of and for online learning


  • Caroline Haythornthwaite
  • Richard Andrews
  • Michelle M. Kazmer
  • Bertram C. Bruce
  • Rae-Anne Montague
  • Christina Preston



For many years, discussion of online learning, or e-learning, has been pre-occupied with the practice of teaching online and the debate about whether being online is 'as good as' being offline. The authors contributing to this paper see this past as an incubation period for the emergence of new teaching and learning practices. We see changes in teaching and learning emerging from the nexus of a changing landscape of information and communication technologies, an active and motivated teaching corps that has worked to derive new approaches to teaching, an equally active and motivated learning corps that has contributed as much to how to teach online as they have to how to learn while online, with others, and away from a campus setting. We see the need for, and the emergence of, new theories and models of and for the online learning environment, addressing learning in its ICT context, considering both formal and informal learning, individual and community learning, and new practices arising from technology use in the service of learning. This paper presents six theoretical perspectives on learning in ICT contexts, and is an invitation to others to bring theoretical models to the fore to enhance our understanding of new learning contexts.




How to Cite

Haythornthwaite, C., Andrews, R., Kazmer, M. M., Bruce, B. C., Montague, R.-A., & Preston, C. (2007). Theories and models of and for online learning. First Monday, 12(8).