Research and Resources

Many faculty want to explore the research and best practices for online teaching and learning.  We've provided a non-exhaustive list of research in this field--and please check back!  This is an evolving site and we're always posting something new!

Topic: Managing Large(r) Enrollment Online Courses

Strategies for Managing Large Online Classes  Authors: Elison-Bowers, P., Sand, J., Rose Barlow, M., & Wing, T. of Boise State University.  Key elements discussed which are important in meeting the needs of the distant learners through large online course design are: effective communication, use of teaching assistants and multiple sections, teaching technique ssuccessful in large online sections and professional practice in the online classroom.

Virtual Sections: A Creative Strategy for Managing Large Online Classes  Author: Lisa Panagopoulos, Page 7 of the Faculty Focus Special Report: 11 Strategies for Managing Online Courses.  As a way to avoid having students possibly feel overwhelmed and inundated in an online course, I came up with a simple solution to managing the challenge of such a large course—creating virtual sections. The “virtual section” is a way to achieve all the benefits of a smaller class within a large class.

Topic: How People Learn Online

How People Learn Online

This site presents research from the University at Albany’s “How People Learn Online” research group. This includes information on the people, projects, publications, and funding sources for this research project.

Topic: Online Teaching & Learning

Online Teaching (Zhu, Dezure, & Payette, 2003)

This paper from the University of Michigan's CRLT explores key questions to consider when planning an online course and provides guidelines for effective instructional practices.

Designing Good Questions for Online Discussions (Penn State)

Excellent source for learning how to use questions more effectively to facilitate critical thinking and to focus, redirect, and deepen discussions.

Instructional Strategies for Online Courses (Illinois Online Network)

An ever-changing collection of articles about instructional strategies for online teaching (including Tip of the Month), basic resources, and spotlight issues. As this site is well-maintained, it is worth occasionally checking in to see the newest material.

Teaching College Courses Online vs. Face-to-Face (Smith, Ferguson & Caris, 2001, T.H.E. Journal)

This article describes the differences between teaching online and teaching face-to-face courses.

Random Thoughts on Teaching & Learning

In 1993, Professor Louis Schmier began to share his musings on the internet: his personal and professional rites of passage, his beliefs about the nature and purpose of an education, a commemoration of student learning and achievement, his successful and not so successful experiences, a proclamation of faith in students, and a celebration of teaching. These electronic sharings are called “Random Thoughts”.

Topic: Resources for Teaching Online

Virtual Resource Site for Teaching with Technology (University of Maryland University College)

This website includes two modules. Module 1 explains how to select the appropriate media to accomplish specific learning objectives Module 2 describes pedagogical strategies that promote interaction in the online environment.

Online Course References (Raritan Valley Community College)

Online references on the following topics: instructor and student roles, building online learning communities, online course design, examples of online courses and degree programs, online/distance education information for faculty, online conferences.