Trends of E-Learning Research from 2000 to 2008: Use of Text Mining and Bibliometrics

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This study investigated the longitudinal trends of e-learning research using text mining techniques. Six hundred and eighty-nine (689) refereed journal articles and proceedings were retrieved from the Science Citation Index/Social Science Citation Index database in the period from 2000 to 2008. All e-learning publications were grouped into two domains with four groups/15 clusters based on abstract analysis. Three additional variables: subject areas, prolific countries and prolific journals were applied to data analysis and data interpretation. Conclusions include that e-learning research is at the early majority stage and foci have shifted from issues of the effectiveness of e-learning to teaching and learning practices. Educational studies and projects and e-learning application in medical education and training are growing fields with the highest potential for future research. Approaches to e-learning differ between leading countries and early adopter countries, and government policies play an important role in shaping the results.