Winter 2007     ISSN 1096-1453     Volume 11, Issue 4     Editorial (2)
Online Learning   
An online teacher mentioned “Web 2.0” to me two years ago.  I had not heard the 
expression but soon found it that it means a second generation of web applications 
allowing interactivity from participants rather than read-only websites.  The phrase 
was first used by Tim O’Reilly, the founder of O’Reilly Media, at a web conference 
in 2004.  This concept is certainly apt.  Much of online learning takes place by 
interactive applications such as blogs, wikis, and course management systems 
(Blackboard, WebCT, Moodle, or eCollege, to mention a few).

This issue of Academic Exchange Quarterly contains a number of articles focusing on 
ways to use Web 2.0 applications in online instruction.  Ekaterina Nemtchnova, an 
associate professor at Seattle Pacific University, has written an excellent article 
“Increasing Collaboration with Blog and Wiki.”  Blogs (a shortened version of “web 
logs”) and wikis (a noun referring to collaborative websites) are useful tools for 
engaging students collaboratively.  With imagination and creativity, an instructor 
may use these tools to build a community among his or her students.  The students 
share their ideas as the instructor observes and occasionally provides feedback.

Laura Talabere, a nursing professor at Capital University, discusses the helpful 
uses of Blackboard in her article “Using Blackboard to Augment Classroom Teaching.”  
Attaching course management systems to face-to-face classroom instruction is an aid
to traditional delivery.  Blackboard supplementation encourages students to share 
their ideas and to grow as a community both online and on campus.

Gokhan Gercek and Naveed Saleem, professors at the University of Houston at Clear 
Lake, have written in their article titled “Environmental Factors in Small Business 
Computing” that the computing infrastructure of businesses, especially that of small
businesses, is crucial to the success of information systems within organizations.  
Business majors taking courses in computer literacy must be made aware of the 
importance of community-building applications within their companies.

Jowati Juhary, a lecturer in communications technology at the National Defence 
University of Malaysia, follows this concept of enhancing organizational skills 
by discussing in his article “Online Strategies for Military Cadets” the significance 
of online instructional techniques for military cadets.  Few organizations require 
more community building than the military, and certain online strategies explained 
in Juhary’s article help the cadets achieve this goal.

The above are just a few of the excellent articles on Multimedia, E-Learning, or 
Online Learning in this Winter 2007 issue.  The contributors have offered their 
readers a varied range of digital literacy methods which can enhance teaching.  
They are practitioners of the Web 2.0 revolution defined by O’Reilly and are using 
their knowledge to help not only their students but also their colleagues.  Enjoy 
this issue and implement the new ideas recommended by the authors.
Dr. Ben Varner
Professor of English at University of Northern Colorado
CFP for the next ONLINE issue Online Learning Winter 2008.