chapter
10 Pages

Introduction

Ten years have passed since we first solicited chapters for Online Education:

Global Questions, Local Answers. During this time, the scope of online instruc-

tion in professional and technical communication has more than doubled. When

our first book was published in 2005, we reported that 22 U.S. colleges and

universities offered online courses or degrees. An informal survey of members

of the Council for Programs in Scientific and Technical Communication in 2009

revealed that the number had increased to 56 institutions offering programs

or individual courses online. A total of 40 U.S. programs offered at least one

degree completely online of those 56. Considering this growth, we wondered

how online pedagogy and learning have changed since we collected the essays

for Online Education: Global Questions, Local Answers: how have faculty,

students, online courses, and programs evolved in the last 10 years, and what

have we learned about online education in technical communication that can

sustain and improve these programs over the next 10 years? Specifically, we set

out to answer a number of questions in our second collection, Online Education

2.0: Evolving, Adapting, and Reinventing Online Technical Communication:

1. Have we moved beyond the theory-building stage we described in our

first book to a more theory-based instruction? If so, what theories are we

using, and which ones work best in application?