Top 10 digital education articles of 2017

The top research of 2017 as selected by the NIDL

This month’s reading group is on Thurs 1st of February 6pm at the UCL Arena Centre, Floor 10, 1-19 Torrington Place.

We’ll be each be reading our personal selections from the 100% open access top ten articles of 2017 as reviewed by the National Institute for Digital Learning (Republic of Ireland). That way we should between us manage to read a good range (no problem if we overlap with anyone else, though). Then when we meet we’ll each summarise what we’ve read and we can discuss together.

Here are some questions to help focus the reading and discussion.

  • What are your expectations about the article? Do you have any particular questions you hope it will answer?
  • How is the article relevant to your practical world of digital education, or to your own practice?
  • What did you find most valuable or striking about the article?
  • Do you have any questions after reading the article?

You can find all of the top ten articles along with background to NIDL’s review exercise at

NIDL’s Top 10

  1. Spring, K. J., & Graham, C. R. (2017). Blended learning citation patterns and publication networks across seven worldwide regions. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology33(2), 24–50.
  2. Zawacki-Richter, O., Alturki, U., & Aldraiweesh, A. (2017). Review and Content Analysis of the International Review of Research in Open and Distance/Distributed Learning (2000-2015). International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning18(2). Retrieved from
  3. Bozkurt, A., Akgün-Özbek, E., & Zawacki-Richter, O. (2017). Trends and Patterns in Massive Open Online Courses: Review and Content Analysis of Research on MOOCs (2008-2015). The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning18(5).
  4. Picciano, A. G. (2017). Theories and Frameworks for Online Education: Seeking an Integrated Model. Online Learning21(3), 166–190.
  5. Smith, S. U., Hayes, S., & Shea, P. (2017). A Critical Review of the Use of Wenger’s Community of Practice (CoP) Theoretical Framework in Online and Blended Learning Research, 2000-2014. Online Learning21(1), 2000–2014.
  6. Henderikx, M. A., Kreijns, K., & Kalz, M. (2017). Refining success and dropout in massive open online courses based on the intention–behavior gap. Distance Education38(3), 353–368.
  7. McGreal, R. (2017). Special Report on the Role of Open Educational Resources in Supporting the Sustainable Development Goal 4: Quality Education Challenges and Opportunities. International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning18(7). Retrieved from
  8. Fredericksen, E. E. (2017). A National Study of Online Learning Leaders in US Higher Education. Online Learning21(2).
  9. Bozkurt, A., Kilgore, W., & Crosslin, M. (2017). Bot-teachers in hybrid massive open online courses (MOOCs): A post-humanist experience. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology34(3), 39–59.
  10. Dichev, C., & Dicheva, D. (2017). Gamifying education: what is known, what is believed and what remains uncertain: a critical reviewInternational Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education (Vol. 14). International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education.

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