The Routledge Online Teaching & Learning Series


“It’s not about technology, it’s about learning.” – Stephen Anspacher

This quote could be the mission statement of this series. Educational innovations whether technological, pedagogical, philosophical, or sociological; come and go. Too often we embrace new technologies and approaches to education while missing the point – “it’s about learning.” Technology itself will not solve our educational shortcomings. For example, buying hundreds of iPads for a school system will not improve things without first asking why, how will they improve learning, how they might be used, or are they better than other  alternatives. All of the books in this online teaching and learning series place learning first. Online learning can be every bit as good as onsite learning provided we keep this focus. The standards we have provided stress this commitment. The rationale for each standard is provided.


Teachers need simple, straightforward guidance on how to create an online or blended course so that subject matter remains the central focus of their efforts. They need to understand how to engage students as easily with online teaching as they do in the classroom. The books in the series are hands-on and practical. They are informed by theory, but not about theory.

Simplicity and Design

“For the foreseeable future, complicated technologies will continue to invade our homes and workplaces, thus simplicity is bound to be a growth industry.” – John Maeda

Consumers can usually find an array of easy-to-follow books on computers and technology. Educators have not been so lucky. Simplicity of design helps cut through the technological mire and save time. It opens the mind and pleases the eye. The series models simple and intelligent design, and provides abundant examples of good online course design.

Guides in the Series

Essentials of Online Course Design: A Standards-Based Guide – 2nd Edition
Essentials for Blended Learning: A Standards-Based Guide
Essentials of Online Teaching: A Standards-Based Guide – Due out in 2015

– From Marjorie Vai, co-author and series editor