Why Isn’t There More Cross-Institutional Research?

April, 2018 | Presentation by Tanya Joosten, Rachel Cusatis, and Lindsey Harness at the Online Learning Consortium in Nashville, TN

Cross-institutional research is important because the results provide greater generalizability since the students come from different institutions and backgrounds and the courses are from different disciplines and taught by different instructors. The increase in diversity of the sample provides greater generalizability in the results.
The National Research Center for Distance Education and Technological Advancements (DETA Research Center, http://www.uwm.edu/deta) spent three years designing research models and conducting rigorous research in higher ed across numerous institutions (2-year and 4-year) to help us identify effective instructional and institutional practices in online and competency-based education programs. Data from student surveys, institutionally warehoused data, and interviews allowed us to gather qualitative and qualitative data for analysis to better understand what actually is influencing student outcomes in online and competency-based education programs.
This session will focus on sharing lessons learned from all aspects of research, including establishing research models, survey instrument development, data sharing agreements, data collection, data sharing, measure validation, factor analysis, and instrument refinement.  Through the experience of conducting the rigorous research, the DETA Center identified procedures and processes that help and facilitate cross-institutional research as well as those that provide obstacles. From this learning experience, an array of tools were developed to provide the larger research community with a resource in the DETA’s empirical research process.
The session will challenge participants to take the information shared from DETA and strategize how to bring them back to their institutions as a means to advance procedures and research endeavors in a hope to advance DETA cross-institutional research.
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