The Journey from Chaos to Clarity: Teaching Research Fully Online

Concurrent Session 2
Streamed Session

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Brief Abstract

This session will tell the story about the development of a two course research methods sequence and present a framework for teaching research methods fully online. The story of the design process will take attendees on a journey through the conceptualization, initial design, formative evaluation, and redesign of the courses.

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Extended Abstract

The presenters had a challenge: To redevelop a research methods course that was part of a two course sequence. The first course was the research methods course and the second was the capstone project course where students would implement their planned research. Additionally, this was to be a fully online endeavor that was part of a nationally ranked Master's of Education program. Previous attempts to teach this course in a fully online format had resulted in low student evaluations and low student performance in relation to course goals. For the students and for the teaching faculty, it was a chaotic experience.  Through the use of a framework that emphasized the implementation of critical course components that included: scaffolding, differentiation, effective communication across multiple levels, accessibility, pacing, and uniting course content with research processes, we were able to turn the chaos into clarity for students and instructors. During this session, we will share our story about the initial need for this course redesign, the goals that guided the course design processes, major barriers that occured during course design that required critical problem solving and divergent solutions, projected student outcomes, and our general framework for developing and teaching research in the fully online format. This framework has the potential to support higher education professionals as they seek to develop and teach similar methodolgy courses and other courses where project development is required of the students. We will take attendees on a journey through the conceptualization, initial design, formative evaluation, and redesign of the courses- from chaos to clarity. 

During the session, presenters will:

  • Discuss practical experiences about developing research methods courses in the asynchronous online learning space
  • Articulate how practical experience and foundational theories of education led to the development of an interactive framework for developing research courses in the online environment
  • Provide an interactive experience to participants that will help them explore the possibilities of moving their research courses online and/or further developing their current online research courses 

We will provide additional audience engagement:

  • Through the use interactive polling to poll the audience about key concepts within the presentation
  • Provide the session attendees with an interactive framework workspace as a lens to evaluate their own context
  • Interact one-on-one with attendees to define possible contextual barriers to moving research courses online and ideate possible solutions to those barriers