Research Summit - Part 2: Our Research Incubator - Finding Answers to our Questions

Workshop Session 2

Brief Abstract

Connected to our shared work in Research Summit Part 1: The Questions of our Time, participants will explore ways to incubate their research with a variety of methods and approaches, including opportunities to conduct, collaborate on, and publish research through the OLC Research Center. 


Dr. Nicole Weber is an Assistant Professor in the Educational Foundations Department at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater where she also coordinates the Instructional Design and Learning Technology (IDLT) master’s degree program. Prior to her current position, she served as the Associate Vice President (AVP) of Learning with the Online Learning Consortium (OLC), working closely with staff and global partners to advance professional learning opportunities, continuous improvement efforts, and research in support of quality digital, blended, and online learning. Before joining OLC, she was the Director of Learning Technology at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater where she led online and blended faculty development efforts, technology training for the digital learning ecosystem, and emerging technology exploration and evaluation, collaborating across the institution to support student learning and success. With a depth of experience leading global, national, and campus initiatives that support continuous improvement of digital, blended, and online learning, Dr. Weber has presented widely at conferences in the field, as well as published various blogs, reports, playbooks, and articles sharing her work. Dr. Weber holds a B.A. in English from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, a M.S. in Cultural Foundations of Education from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and a Ph.D. in Urban Education specializing in Social Foundations of Education with an emphasis on designing engaging digital learning environments. Her research interests focus on the impact of technology on the learning environment and research-driven practices for effective digital, blended, and online learning, support, and leadership.
Angela Gunder is the Chief Academic Officer and VP of Learning for the Online Learning Consortium. In this role, she is responsible for gathering, curating, and leveraging the intellectual capital created by and disseminated through OLC. Prior to her position at the OLC, Angela served as the Director of Instructional Design & Curriculum Development for the Office of Digital Learning, managing and mentoring the team that builds the fully-online programs for The University of Arizona. Her over fifteen-year career as a designer for higher education informs her instructional design practice, where she leverages her expertise in web design, usability, visual communication, programming, and standards-based online learning. She is an Associate Editor for the Teacher Education Board of MERLOT, and the recipient of the 2018 MERLOT Distinguished Service Award, the organization’s highest honor. She is also the recipient of two Online Learning Consortium Effective Practice Awards for the creation of a framework for personal learning networks, and for the creation of exploratory installations of education technology, respectively. In 2019, Dr. Gunder was named an OLC Fellow for her dedication to service, innovation, and scholarship in support of student success in online learning. Her research interests include open educational practices, digital literacies, narrative in online course design, and emerging technology for second language acquisition. She holds a B.S. in Computer Science and Fine Art from Fordham University, a M.Ed. in Education Technology from Arizona State University. Angela completed her Ph.D. in Teaching, Learning and Sociocultural Studies at The University of Arizona, where in 2020 she was named an Erasmus Scholar by the College of Education for her commitment to the college, the university and to the community. Pronouns: she/her/hers
Dylan Barth is the Assistant Vice President (AVP) of Learning and a Co-Director of the Institute for Emerging Leadership in Online Learning (IELOL) at the Online Learning Consortium (OLC). Dylan provides strategic vision and oversight for professional development, research and publications, and the Quality Scorecard Suite at OLC. He has 20+ years of experience teaching in higher education and 12+ years working in faculty and instructional development. Dylan holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with an emphasis on masculinities in contemporary post-apocalyptic fiction.
Catherine A. Manly is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the City University of New York Graduate Center and teaches for Bay Path University. She earned her PhD in higher education from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She brings a social justice lens to quantitative investigation of transformational innovation. Her research aims to improve affordable postsecondary access and success for students underserved by traditional higher education, particularly through the changes possible because of online and educational technologies. Her dissertation investigated the effectiveness of using multiple modalities when presenting course content (one aspect of Universal Design for Learning) for improving student learning outcomes in online courses. She was formerly the Director of Educational Technology and Distance Learning at Manchester Community College, and she worked in the Information Technology Department at Amherst College.

Extended Abstract

Connected to our shared work in Research Summit Part 1: The Questions of our Time, participants will explore ways to incubate their research with a variety of methods and approaches, including opportunities to conduct, collaborate on, and publish research through the OLC Research Center. 

During this session, participants of all research experience levels will engage in a series of activities that will: 

  • Explore methods (i.e., quantitative, qualitative, and mixed method) and related data collection approaches (e.g., surveys, interviews, focus groups) that commonly support investigation of research questions related to teaching and learning;  
  • Share tools (e.g., DETA Research Toolkit) for digging deeper into research; 
  • Showcase a few current examples of research being conducted around teaching and learning, highlighting different methods and approaches;  
  • Determine effective methods and data collection approaches that would help to answer their topic’s research question; 
  • Discuss publication venues for disseminating research to various audiences; and
  • Create space for sharing and establishing next steps (maybe you just found your very own research team!).