Table of Contents
ISRN Education
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 640802, 11 pages
Review Article

Time in e-Learning Research: A Qualitative Review of the Empirical Consideration of Time in Research into e-Learning

1E-learn Center, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC), Roc Boronat 117, 6th Floor, 08018 Barcelona, Spain
2Department of Developmental and Educational Psychology, University of Barcelona, Passeig de la Vall d’Hebron 171, 08035 Barcelona, Spain

Received 8 December 2011; Accepted 3 January 2012

Academic Editor: K. Capps

Copyright © 2012 Elena Barbera and Marc Clarà. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Time has been argued by several influential approaches as essential for understanding learning and teaching processes. In e-learning, however, the traditional time limits of such processes are modified, which implies challenges and possibilities for e-learning research. This paper is aimed at understanding how time is included in empirical e-learning research literature. With this aim in mind, the paper presents a qualitative review of 24 e-learning papers. Five issues are analysed: the conception of time, its inclusion in an explicative model, its inclusion in the research process, the analytical units, and the data used in the study of time. Based on our analysis, we discuss some implications and potentialities for e-learning research on the relations between time and learning.