From the Editor's Desk                                       

Each issue of the Journal of Educators Online (JEO) we try to bring you important new research on topics related to online teaching, learning and administration. We continue doing so via open-access to all scholars without any fees for publishing or for journal subscriptions. It is important to be able to offer an international academic publishing venue for scholars that is rigorous and committed to carrying forward the legacies of interdisciplinary online learning far into the future. We will endeavor to continue to strive for excellence publishing articles that provide quality scholarly contributions to the fields of blended, and mobile and e-learning.

Since this issue starts a new year I’m going to take this next paragraph to address an issue that scholarly journals, such as the Journal of Educators Online, must continue to address, and that is the issue of what constitutes rigorous scholarly research. Scholarly research requires

a systematic investigation, including research development, testing and evaluation, designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge. So the important thing to remember about the definition for research is “designed to contribute to generalizable knowledge. (S. Loess Perez, Institutional Research Board Chair, DePaul University 2015)

Speaking at the 3rd World Conference on Research Integrity in Montreal in 2013, VéroniqueKiermer

of the Nature Publishing Group listed increasing problems with scholarly papers that were published missing control tests, had issues in experimental designs, and with reporting statistics. “It’s both an issue of rigor and the design and execution of these experiments, but also precision in reporting these experiments so they can be interpreted properly.”*These thoughts are reminders to us as scholars that a study must be systematic AND designed to contribute to generalizable (or transferable) knowledge.

*E. Gibney. (12 May 2013). Research paper ‘sloppiness’ on the increase, warns publisher. Times Higher Education. https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/research-paper-sloppiness-on-the-increase-warns-publisher/2003771.article

We begin this year with articles that again demonstrate that educational issues for online educators faced in one country areoften familiar themes for educators in many other countries. Issues with topics,such as, learning management systems, formative evaluations, andhelping teachers better use social networking in their teaching, are growing challenges in online courses.

The first article by Jennifer Peterson looks at the importance of ongoing formative evaluations in online courses. The second article by Cheryl Davis and Thomas Zane addresses how online student learning might be increased through observations of reading response comparisons. In the third article a topic not often covered in online research, music, is addressed. The timely topic of assessment of user experiences in learning management systems is discussed in the fourth article. The fifth article brings in aspects of how to provide insights and cues to help teachers use social networking in their classes. The sixth article hones in more on social presence and using critical thinking and social presence in several online learning environments. We were intrigued by the topic of the seventh article which was a look at both teacher passion and teaching modality. We finish the issue with a slight change from a concept paper we usually close with to present a very interesting article on the use of visual aids, A Comparison of Student Evaluations Before and After Embedding Visuals Into Video Lectures byKristine Fish, Jungwon Mun, and RoseAnnA’Jontue of California State Polytechnic University.

Once again, thank you for making the Journal of Educators Online (JEO) an important contributor to academic research globally. We look forward to your continued support and invite you to send us your submissions for future issues of JEO.

Best wishes,

Ruth Gannon Cook
Editor

Journal of Educators Online is published at www.thejeo.com in January and July of each year.  If you have a scholarly paper you would like considered for peer review publication, please contact the editor, Ruth Gannon Cook at rgannonc@depaul.edu.  Committed to excellence, the Journal of Educators Online is disseminated online without charge as a contribution to the body of research on topics related to online education and as a useful resource for educators, students, administrators and policy makers in all disciplines.

The Journal of Educators Online, Volume 13, Number 1, January 2016