Research Support through the Miami University Regionals E-Campus Fellowship Program
Concurrent Session 6
The Miami University Regional E-Campus Research Fellowship program supports and promotes faculty scholarship on topics related to online learning. Fellows receive support from the fellowship planning team which includes experienced faculty as well as E-Campus administration and staff from grants and development and the library.
Started in 2016, the Miami University Regional E-Campus Research Fellowship program supports and promotes faculty scholarship on topics related to online learning. The need for a research support program emerged as the Miami University regional campuses markedly expanded our offerings of online courses and degrees. With the increase in online courses, programs, and faculty teaching online, E-Campus recognized an opportunity for supporting the scholarship of online teaching and learning, and created the E-Campus Research Fellowship program.
The session will include a brief overview of the program processes, examples of successful fellowship projects, and an overview of the next phase of the program which involves seeking research collaborations with scholars from other institutions. Thus an important reason for bringing this topic to an Emerging Ideas session is the opportunity to meet attendees and discuss the fellowship program as well as discover opportunities for collaboration.
Those faculty seeking a fellowship submit a research proposal for review by the planning team led by the E-Campus Research Fellowship Coordinator (the session presenter). Interested faculty apply in the spring semester with a new cohort selected each year. In addition to faculty who apply directly to the fellowship program, faculty who are engaged in an E-Campus Faculty Learning Community (E-FLC)can enter the fellowship program after completing their E-FLC project.
The program has a structured but flexible format. After selection to the program, the fellows meet with the planning team and the coordinator to discuss the fellow’s project ideas. Next, the fellows complete a statement of work form to kick off their projects. Twice a year, fellows submit an update report to the planning team, and when a fellow completed their project, they submit a final report.
Throughout the term, fellows receive support from the planning team which includes experienced faculty as well as E-Campus administration and staff from grants and development and the library. Fellows attend semiannual meetings with the planning team and their cohort members to discuss research progress and areas for collaboration and support. Fellows also are encouraged to meet one-on-one with the program coordinator with questions and concerns.
Specific areas of support include Institutional Review Board (IRB) guidance, Qualtrics and SPSS training and consulting, and feedback on research methods, data collection, and more. Additionally, fellows receive help on identifying dissemination opportunities including conferences and journals.
Example Fellowship Research Topics
The following are project topics that fellows have completed or are in the process of completing.
- Collective Feedback Studies in Online Writing Instruction
- Social interactions in a newly launched online pre-k teacher program
- Using reflection and Agile methods to improve group projects
- Redesigning online discussion forums to enhance cognitive presence
- Online learning satisfaction/experience
- Service Learning in online courses
Research fellows are highly encouraged to present their findings (and research in progress) on campus as part of the Miami University Regionals opening day workshops at the beginning of each academic year. Since the fellows’ topics are directly related to online teaching and learning, they apply to a wide variety of faculty meaning that new technologies, practices, and approaches that emerge from research projects directly benefit the campus community. This local impact is a critical aspect of the fellowship program. Additionally, fellows are encouraged to present their findings at a conference and/or submit their work to an academic journal. These dissemination activities can help pre-tenure faculty improve their scholarship portfolio as well as provide a wider audience for their work.
Goals for Emerging Ideas Session
- Share the structure and processes of the program with interested parties from other institutions
- Discuss how the program could be implemented at other institutions
- Meet faculty who have an interest in collaborating on future research projects.