Creating and diffusing online and blended instructional and institutional practices from data and evidence

Concurrent Session 1

Brief Abstract

Come discuss turning evidence into practice using findings from a large cross-institutional distance education study conducted by the National Research Center for Distance Educaiton and Technological Advancements (DETA) and funded by the U.S. Department of Education.

Extended Abstract

We often hear people discuss data-driven decisions or evidence-based practices, yet many times the data and evidence that is driving our decisions and our practices within our educational institutions lacks the rigor of empirical research.

The DETA Research Center spent 2 years designing research models and conducting rigorous research in higher ed across a dozen institutions (2-year and 4-year) to help us identify effective instructional and institutional practices in blended and online courses and programs. The research models including guides to research, survey instrumentation packet, data codebooks, shared definitions, and operationalizations of variables were shared in the DETA Research Toolkit.

The data from student surveys and institutionally warehoused data allowed us to gather empirical findings as to what actually works for the students, in particularly underrepresented students, rather than administrators, instructors, or instructional support staff deciding on anecdote, experience, or assumptions based on partial or inaccurate data.

This sessions brings those cross-institutional findings in blended and online learning and ask the participants — what do we do next? This working groups will takes these finding from this large on distance education (blended, online, and competency-based education) and challenges the participants on determining how to interpret these findings, turn them into practice, and develop diffusion processes across the institution. Results alone are useless.

Let’s talk about how to interpret these results and determine what they mean for us and our institutions.

Let’s talk about whether or not we can turn these results into practices in our organizations, and if so, what practices would we develop.

Let’s talk about how we would diffuse these innovative practices across our institutions for students, instructors and faculty, support staff, and administrators.