COIL is proud to have supported the Exploring an Innovative Framework of Evolving Best Practices for Effective Online Learning project through our Research Initiation Grant Program.
Recently online education has become increasingly popular due to the enabled any time/place/pace learning paradigm that is convenient for learners. Despite offering a higher level of convenience for learners to learn, online education has confronted new challenges in maintaining learners’ engagements. The literature reveals that the attrition rate in online education is generally 15% higher than the corresponding resident education. Indeed, best practices for online teaching/learning have evolved over the years. However, each online class is different to some degree. A tool to help the instructor apply appropriate means to monitor, interpret, and accordingly retune the best practices in real time would improve online learning further.
In this proposed research, mechanisms used to cultivate/nourish the needed self-discipline and determine best practices for active learning to compensate for the missing on-campus pedagogical engagements will be investigated. Based on the results of this research, approaches to find and identify progress and potential problem areas for individual students in an online class will be developed. More importantly, the results of this study will help to determine a new framework for online education in which best practices can be adjusted in a real-time, integrative, and evolving manner, aimed at achieving effective learning outcomes.