I know many of you have been interested in knowing some more details of our grant proposal and our efforts over the next 3 years.
In this post, I am including our presentation (see below) here and a link to our handout. We have 7 goals and numerous activities that we will be conducting over the next few years to assist in accomplishing these goals.
The first year is really about building the foundation to conduct research on distance education. As a field, we are quite fragmented in our theories and methods. As @anya1anya was mentioning in the key note this morning, we have hard scientist and social scientists all studying learning. The diversity in paradigmatic lenses leads to heterogeneity in our research goals, research questions, measure, instrumentation, statistical methods, qualitative methods, and more. Therefore, we are looking to develop a research model in the first year to help us build coherency in the field and create a shared language for us to be able to talk to each other and to then collaborate on rigorous research. Think of it as a how-to research DE. Our outcomes of the first year will include what we are calling research tool kits that we will disseminate through our DETA community blog and through our partner ELI. It is about giving instructors and institutions the tools to conduct research.
A vehicle to make this happen is going to be a DE research summit to be held at the ELI Annual Meeting in Anaheim. We will be inviting up to 50 folks that have expertise in distance education, online learning, research, practice, administration, disability and accessibility, competency-based education and more to help us determine what are our desired DE outcomes and results, what is student success, and what are key research questions we should be asking. Considering these research questions, we will be developing a framework of inquiry to guide areas of investigation and standard measures and instrumentation.
Although amazing ambitious, we are also looking to create a "cloud open data" system. This means: 1.) it will be hosted somewhere by someone, maybe rackspace, 2.) we want it to be open for any institution or instructor to share their data or for any individual or institution to retrieve data to better understand a population of students, certain type of institution, an instructional or institutional interventions, and so on. Not only will this data allow us to facilitate cross-institutional research for this grant. It will allow us to build the infrastructure to propel DE research for years and years...and maybe years. Now, there will be lots of implications to developing this, but oh so necessary based on current societal and educational research trends.
Now, I am not in this post going to get into the rest of the grant, but this is a good taste for now. Don't hesitate to contact me with any questions or to provide input. Cheers, all!
Don't forget to catch us at the ELI Annual Meeting in Anaheim on February 10th.
Checck out http://www.educause.edu/events/eli-virtual-annual-meeting-2015/2015/national-distance-education-and-technological-advancement-deta-research-center-in.