A Literature Review to Explore E-Learning in Universities


  • Teresa Anna Rita Gentile University of Catanzaro
  • Ernesto De Nito University of Salerno
  • Rocco Reina University of Catanzaro
  • Anna Maria Melina University of Catanzaro




E-learning, universities, design of e-learning, e-learning design, higher education


The article aims to provide a literature review on e-learning and e-learning design in the university context. The aim, more precisely, is to investigate the type of attention that researchers give to e-learning and e-learning design and what are the next trends in e-learning in the university context. The literature review focused on the analysis of two international journals: Internet and Higher Education (I&HE) and Computer & Education (C&E). These journals have been selected from an international ranking on the SCImago Journal & Country Rank (SJR) portal. The investigation takes place at two specific times: (1) a first selection based on keywords on the journal sites; (2) a second selection phase to choose the most consistent studies through abstract analysis. This research makes it possible to contribute, through a review of the literature, to make a mapping of the evolution of e-learning design and e-learning studies within universities at international level, taking as a survey reference a fairly long period of time in the analysis of the articles (from 1997 to 2018).



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Al Qahtani, A.A., and Higgins, S.E. (2013), “Effects of traditional, blended and e-learning on student achievement in higher education”, Computer Aided Learning Journal, 29 (3): 220–234.

Al-Adwan, A., and Smedley, J. (2013), “Explore the acceptance of e-learning by students using the technology acceptance model in Jordanian universities”, International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology, 9 (2): 4.

Alhabeeb, A., and Rowley, J. (2018), “Critical success factors of e-learning: Comparing the perspectives of academic staff and students”, Computer and Instruction, 127: 1–12.

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Awidi, I.T., Cooper, M. (2015), “Using gaps in management procedures to improve the implementation of e-learning in Africa”, Computer and education, 90: 64–79.

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Darab, B., and Montazer, G.A. (2011), “An eclectic model for assessing e-learning readiness in Iranian universities”, Computer & Education, 56 (3): 900–910.

Duan, Y., He, Q., Feng, W., Li, D., and Fu, Z. (2010), “A study on the intention to adopt e-learning from the point of view of adopting innovation: A case in point in China”, Computer & Education, 55 (1): 237–246.

Elkaseh, A.M., Wong, K.W., and Fung, C.C. (2016), “Perceived the ease of use and perceived usefulness of social media for e-learning in Libyan higher education: a modeling analysis of the structural equation”, International Journal of Information and Education Technology, 6 (3): 192–199.

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Huang, E.Y., Lin, S.W., Huang, T.K. (2012), “What kind of learning style leads to online participation in the e-learning environment in blended mode? A study on the instructions for use of the software”, Computer & Education, 58(1): 338– 349.

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Islam, N., Beer, M., Slack, F. (2015), “The challenges of e-learning faced by academics in higher education”, Journal of Education and Training Studies, 3 (5): 102–112.

Jones, C., Ramanau, R., Cross, S., Healing, G. (2010), “Net generation” or “Digital Natives”: Is there a distinct new generation entering the university? Computer & Instruction, 54(3): 722–732.

Kim, Y.J.J., Kim, J.H., Li, M.H. (2015), “Web-Enhanced Teaching and Learning Vehicle Preference in Landscape Architecture Construction Studio Courses”, Giornale dell’e-learning e dell’istruzione superiore, 2015: 1–8.

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Muzio, J.A., Heins, T., and Mundell, R. (2002), Experiences with reusable e-learning objects: From theory to practice”, Internet and higher education, 5(1): 21–34.

Nichols, A.J., Levy, Y. (2009), “Empirical evaluation of the persistence of university students-athletes in e-learning courses: A case study of an institution of the US National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA)”, Internet and higher education, 12(1): 14–25.

O’Droma, M.S., Ganchev, I., McDonnell, F. (2003), Architectural and functional design and evaluation of e-learning VUIS based on the proposed IEEE LTSA reference model. Internet and higher education, 6(3), 263–276.

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Paechter, M., Maier, B., and Macher, D. (2010b), “Students’ expectations and e-learning experiences: Their relationship to learning outcomes and course satisfaction”, Computer and education, 54(1): 222–229.

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Parkes, M., Stein, S. and Reading C. (2015), “Preparing students for university e-learning environments”, Internet and higher education, 25: 1–10.

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Smith, G.G., Heindel, A.J., and Torres-Ayala, A.T. (2008), “E-learning commodity or community”: Disciplinary differences between online courses. Internet and higher education, 11(3-4): 152–159.

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Wu, H.Y., Lin, H.Y. (2012), “A hybrid approach to develop an analytical model to improve the quality of e-learning service”, Computer & Education, 58 (4): 1318–1338.




How to Cite

Gentile, T. A. R., De Nito, E., Reina, R., & Melina, A. M. (2020). A Literature Review to Explore E-Learning in Universities. PuntOorg International Journal, 5(1), 42–55. https://doi.org/10.19245/25.05.pij.5.1.4