Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology

Volume 29(2) Spring / printemps 2003

Editorial - CJLT / RCAT One Year On

Rick Kenny

The 2002 calendar year saw the first full year of the publication of the journal under the new name, Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology/ La Revue Canadienne de L'Apprentissage et de la Technologie. We were able to re-establish a regular publication schedule for the journal and published three solid issues. The first issue, Volume 28-1 (Winter), which contained 3 articles and 2 book reports, was the slimmest. However, we had, by the time the first issue was mailed out, managed to solicit a number of new articles for review and had also agreed on the publication of a special issue on Learning Objects. As a result, the subsequent issues have been more extensive. Volume 28-2 (Spring) was edited by Mary Kennedy and was based largely on papers solicited from the 2001 AMTEC annual conference. That issue consisted of 5 articles and 2 book reports. V28-2 also featured the first set of research reports edited by Katy Campbell of the University of Alberta.

Volume 28-3 was perhaps our most successful issue yet. This was a special issue on Learning Objects, edited by Griff Richards of the British Columbia Institute of Technology. This issue featured 8 articles on this very "hot" topic, as well as 2 research reviews and a book review "conversation" between David Wiley, a well-known scholar in this area, and Brian Lamb, Learning Objects Coordinator at UBC. At the request of Dr. Richards and Canarie, we printed twice the normal number of copies (1000) of the issue and 500 copies were distributed across Canada and internationally. As well, there have since been a number of requests for additional purchases of V28-3. I think it is safe to say that this theme issue has given CJLT / RCAT invaluable exposure. To date (March 2003), two issues, V29-1 (Winter) and this issue, V29-2 (Spring), have been published in 2003 and we have received to date nearly 15 manuscripts for V29-3, the Fall theme issue on Constructivism and Online Learning.

In addition, February saw the launch of our new journal website ( The CJLT / RCAT website was announced on a number of listservs and has already attracted considerable attention. While the announcement was only made in late February, the journal website received 157 visits and 11 695 hits that month and jumped to 1540 visits and 53 374 hits in March (an average of 49 visits and 1721 hits per day). This figure then remained steady in April at 1557 visits and 36 613 hits (a daily average of 51 visits and 1220 hits). To date, the special issue on Learning Objects has been attracting the most attention, representing 13 of the top 30 CJLT URLs by number of hits and holding down the top 9 CJLT URLs by amount downloaded. All in all, we are feeling confident that our journal is back to its former, vigorous self!

While we hope to see an increase this year, we received a total of 28 articles in 2002 and were able to publish 13 for an acceptance rate of 46.4%. While the acceptance rate may seem high to some, the Editorial staff has pursued an active policy of working with authors to revise manuscripts rather than reject them outright. In fact, 3 of the manuscripts published in 2002 had first been returned to the authors for major revision and resubmitted for a second peer review. 12 articles published were in English and 1 paper in French. In this regard, we have been able to attract two well-known francophone scholars from Québec (Aude Dufresne and Gilbert Paquette) to the CJLT Editorial Board and hope to increase the number of French manuscripts in the future. We have also been able to recruit several excellent younger scholars from Canada and the United States; a fact, which I think, bodes well for the future of the journal.

In this issue, we again present five very different and interesting articles. The first article, Accessible Computer Technologies For Students With Disabilities in Canadian Higher Education, by Catherine Fichten et al., presents two survey studies that explore how well English and French speaking colleges and universities in Canada address availability and access to new computer and information technologies for individuals with disabilities.

The second article, The Development of Media Literacy among Grade Five Teachers and Students - A Case Study, by Winston Emery and Rachel McCabe, is the second of two articles (The first was published in Volume 29 - 1) about a qualitative study of the implementation of a media literacy curriculum project in three inner city school Grade 5's in Montreal. In this paper, the authors describe the development of technological literacy among the teachers and students as they learned about two Media Literacy concepts.

The third article, by Michael Szabo, is titled, . Case Study of Institutional Reform Based on Innovation Diffusion Theory Through Instructional Technology. This paper discusses a theory-based system of educational reform through instructional technology, the Training, Infrastructure and Empowerment System (TIES), which was developed and piloted in a research university during the late 1990s, and reports on a qualitative research study of this implementation.

The fourth article is Content and Community Redux: Instructor and Student Interpretations of Online Communication in a Graduate Seminar, by Richard Schwier and Mary Dykes. This paper describes the experiences of an instructor and teaching assistant who employed online communication strategies in a graduate seminar and expands on the findings reported in an earlier article (Schwier & Balbar, 2002, CJLT V28-2). Here, they examine how the instructors constructed and refined structured discussions of content with synchronous and asynchronous communication at the graduate level.

The fifth and final article is Virtual Ethnography: Interactive Interviewing Online as Method, by Susan Crichton and Shelley Kinash. This paper explores the notion of a virtual form of ethnography and suggests that online, textual interactive interviews are worthy of research consideration. They support their argument by reporting on three research projects - drawing examples from almost ten years in the evolution of Internet supported conferencing software - in which this approach was used.

ISSN: 1499-6685