I’ve been wanting to curate a research collection that points to effective practices in online instruction. Well, now is the time. In conjunction with an upcoming series of iTeachU Live chat events that I’ll be running from UAF eCampus entitled “What Does the Research Say?”, we’ll need a site to serve as a collection point for research and a continuing asynchronous  point for discussion.


I have a desire to accomplish quite a few things with this endeavor, but to be realistic and effective myself, I will  focus on the following:

  1. research
  2. effective
  3. directly relates to the online class
  4. results that are not wishy washy
  5. be a resource primarily for the online instructor and degree program organizers


The bulk of education research is wishy-washy. Sample sizes are small, results are often non-conclusive or have low correlation. Research questions do not directly address the needs of instructors who teach online classes at the University of Alaska. Some research  is based on vendor specific solutions.

How do the challenges get addressed?

  • Look for research studies based on large N sizes, or results that are repeatable
  • Initially demand that highlighted research have conclusive high correlation results (later we may point to research and index it as generating Null results, like the IES.ED.GOV site does)
  • Focus on research that does have transferable results to our work, or smartly adapt the results where possible
  • Filter out work done in areas that involve specific vendor based solutions

I think there will be areas of study within Human Behavior, Physiology, Psycology, as well as web design, that will provide material of high interest. Pure Pedagogy too.

Initial Steps

  • Review some of the features of the Institute of Education Sciences website, and particular, its small post-secondary collection:,Postsecondary
  • Develop a short list of initial research topics to investigate based on criteria
    • shows effective results
    • based on post-secondary practices
    • useful for individual instructors or degree program organizers
  • tackle the website design mechanics of a new site to be housed at
  • develop proposed agenda for iTeachU events for Spring 2017 that would mirror initial curation areas