Research trends in the field of e‐learning from 2003 to 2008

Hermann Maurer (Institute for Information Systems and Computer Media, Graz University of Technology, Graz, Austria)
Muhammad Salman Khan (Institute for Information Systems and Computer Media, Graz University of Technology, Graz, Austria)

Interactive Technology and Smart Education

ISSN: 1741-5659

Publication date: 13 April 2010



The purpose of this paper is to provide a scientometric and content analysis of the studies in the field of e‐learning that were published in five Social Science Citation Index (SSCI) journals (Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, Computers & Education, British Journal of Educational Technology, Innovations in Education and Teaching International and Educational Technology Research and Development) and two conferences (Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia & Telecommunications and IEEE International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies) from 2003 to 2008 to realize hidden research trends using an internally built visualization tool.


The 7,759 original papers gathered from five journals and two conferences were further classified in 14 main research areas based on 150 concepts clusters. The internally built visualization tool, which is primarily based on animated bubble chart and pie chart, facilitated the task of analyzing the trends of contributions in the field over the years.


Different research areas that are evolving or diminishing across the globe, most discussed research areas, most prolific researchers, leading institutions and nations. In addition to that these trends have also been analyzed across journals and conferences.


The results in this study will allow novice and experienced educators, researchers, policy makers in the field of e‐learning to study what kind of different research areas exist and to identify different research trends over the last six years.



Maurer, H. and Salman Khan, M. (2010), "Research trends in the field of e‐learning from 2003 to 2008", Interactive Technology and Smart Education, Vol. 7 No. 1, pp. 5-18.

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