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The Evolving ABCs of e-Learning

Glossary: A–H, I–O, P–Z

In 2020, online education underwent a seismic shift as the global pandemic forced more than 1.2 billion students worldwide into remote learning scenarios. This abrupt disruption stressed the limits of our digital capabilities, but it also catalyzed innovations that are now redefining what virtual teaching and learning can achieve.

As emerging technologies like virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and immersive multimedia transform online education, accessing a roadmap for navigating this new frontier is critical. Our series, "ABCs of Online Teaching and Learning: A Glossary of Modern E-Learning Principles and Strategies," provides that vital guide. Rather than presenting a static alphabetical glossary, this series offers a living resource that will expand and evolve alongside the rapid pace of change in digital education. Articles will be published on a rolling basis as new principles, strategies, and technologies emerge, ensuring recency, relevance, and timeliness. We invite you to revisit this glossary frequently, as its content will continually broaden to reflect cutting-edge research, innovative practices, and the latest advancements in online teaching and learning.

Our focus extends beyond mere definitions. Each entry provides actionable, practical guidance that can be readily implemented to enhance the online learning experience. By grounding our insights in current best-practice research while embracing emerging technologies and pedagogies, we aim to stimulate both critical discourse and tangible practice. This synergistic approach—where research informs practice, and practice shapes new areas of inquiry—fuels the advancement of online education.

Ultimately, this glossary series seeks to inspire educators, administrators, and researchers to think critically about the evolving nature of digital learning. We hope to catalyze conversations that challenge assumptions, foster innovation, and drive the continuous improvement of online teaching and learning strategies. Through this collaborative effort, we can collectively navigate the complexities of online education, ensuring that it remains a dynamic, responsive, and transformative force.

As we embark on this journey through the ABCs of online teaching and learning, we invite you to join us in exploring new frontiers, embracing change, and shaping the future of e-learning together.

—B. Jean Mandernach, Ph.D.


Call for proposals remains open.

ABCs of Online Teaching and Learning: A glossary of modern e-learning principles and strategies

Prospective authors are invited to submit articles for the “ABCs of Online Teaching and Learning,” which will offer a comprehensive, alphabetical exploration of key concepts in digital education. Each letter of the alphabet serves as an innovative organizational tool, guiding readers on topics from A for asynchronous learning—detailing best practices in accommodating varied schedules and time zones—through Z for zone of proximal development—which explores the application and significance of this educational theory in the realm of online learning. Each article will elucidate a keyword or phrase, creating an extensive glossary of modern e-learning principles and strategies.

The goal is to create an inclusive and comprehensive exploration of essential concepts in digital education, effectively structured through an alphabetical framework. We aim to provide readers with a valuable, practically-oriented guide that covers the breadth of e-learning by linking each letter of the alphabet to a critical keyword or concept in the domain. By focusing on specific instructional technologies and their role in e-learning, we hope to deliver pragmatic insights and innovative strategies that enhance online teaching and learning. Ultimately, our goal is to support and inspire educators, policy makers, and researchers in navigating and contributing to the rapidly evolving world of online education.

Prospective authors interested in contributing are encouraged to submit manuscripts that distinctly identify a target letter and corresponding keyword pivotal to online pedagogy. In line with the issue's emphasis on practical utility, each article should focus on a specific instructional technology, theory, or pedagogy and examine its role in e-learning, offering an insightful analysis of its implementation and impacts.

As part of the unique approach to organizing this special issue, "ABCs of Online Teaching and Learning," we have implemented a pre-approval process for authors to "claim" their keyword. This ensures a diverse array of topics and prevents multiple submissions for the same keyword. Here's how it works:

  1. Authors first review the list of potential keywords linked with each letter of the alphabet, then decide on the keyword they wish to write about.
  2. They then submit a keyword claim form via This form includes the chosen keyword, a brief rationale explaining why this keyword is of interest, and an outline of the instructional technology to be addressed. The form also requires the authors' contact information.
  3. The editorial team reviews the claim form to check the suitability of the topic and its fit within the broader special issue. If the keyword is already claimed, authors will be informed and encouraged to select a different keyword.
  4. Once the claim is approved, authors receive a confirmation email with further instructions for manuscript submission. This approval secures their keyword for the special issue.

This pre-approval step is designed to streamline the submission process, guarantee a wide-ranging exploration of online teaching and learning, and ensure every article provides unique insights and value to our readers.

You can review potential keywords at:

(All terms that are not highlighted are still available)

Contact Information

If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact the Special Issue Editor: B. Jean Mandernach, PhD; Grand Canyon University (; 308.293.1252)