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Current Projects

Research priorities

With nationally ranked online programs delivered by Oregon State Ecampus, OSU can make significant contributions to the field of online teaching and learning research in the following four areas:

  • Access
  • Quality
  • Administrative excellence
  • Adult learners

The Ecampus Research Unit (ECRU) prioritizes research that crosses multiple of these areas.


Current projects

The ECRU is currently working on the following projects:

Study on Research Engagement and Preparation for Instructional Designers in Higher Education

This national study explores the research engagement and training of instructional designers in institutions of higher education. This study targeted institutional designers with a range of experience levels and training backgrounds in order to better understand how they use and engage in research on teaching and learning in their current roles, what previous training they have received in research methods and design, and whether they feel prepared to conduct research on teaching and learning in their current roles.

  • Press release – Oregon State Ecampus study finds instructional designers are underutilized, face barriers when conducting research on teaching and learning
  • Inside Higher Ed article – Instructional Designers, Looking to be Heard

Distance Education Efficacy Research Database

To help serve the distance education community, the Ecampus Research Unit has created a searchable database that houses efficacy research studies that compare the modalities of online, hybrid/blended, and face-to-face classrooms. This database is be searchable by a range of variables including teaching modality, discipline, and sample size, among others.

  • Press release – Oregon State’s new research database responds to faculty skepticism of online, hybrid learning

Distance Education Research Methods White Paper Series
(available winter 2018)

Based on the experiences of participants in the Ecampus Research Fellows program, the Ecampus Research Unit will be launching a white paper series on distance education research methods.

High-Impact Practices in Online Education: Research and Best Practices edited collection
(available from Stylus Publishing in 2018)

With chapters from a diverse set of authors representing a range of disciplines and institutional contexts, High-Impact Practices in Online Education fulfills a need for a research-based, comprehensive volume that provides faculty members and administrators with the current best practice literature on how high-impact practices are being implemented online to improve student retention and completion. This volume will offer guidance about translating high-impact practices to online environments that takes into account the differences between e-learners and traditional on-campus students.

The Business of Innovating Online: Practical Tips and Advice from e-Learning Leaders edited collection
(available from Stylus Publishing in 2018)

Through specific examples and practical suggestions from experienced e-learning leaders, The Business of Innovating Online introduces concrete strategies for how to create a climate of creativity and innovation that can lead to more successful and scalable online programs and initiatives. This volume will offer guidance that takes into account the idea that there is no “formula” for innovation, but that there are ways to nurture an innovative distance education organization. The Business of Innovating Online will be the first volume to focus specifically on the practices, cultures, and climates that foster creativity and innovation in distance education administrative units.


Archived projects

Study report cover

Student Uses and Perceptions of Closed Caption and Transcripts: Results from a National Study
This national study was designed to investigate institutional solutions for closed captions. ECRU collaborated with 3Play Media to conduct a national online survey with college students.

Study report cover

Implementation of & Solutions for Closed Captioning in U.S. Institutions of Higher Education: Results from a National Study
This national study was designed to investigate institutional solutions for closed captions. ECRU collaborated with 3Play Media to conduct a national online survey with higher education administrators at institutions implementing closed captioning.

Study report cover

Student Use and Perceptions of Closed Captions in the Fully Online Classroom
The survey study was designed to explore how students in online courses use captions and whether students perceive captions as helpful to their learning. The study was conducted with students of Oregon State University Ecampus. The project was partially funded by the National Research Center for Distance Education and Technological Advancements (DETA).

Study report cover

The Impact of Closed Caption Use on Learning Outcomes in Fully Online Classes
This experimental study was designed to determine the impact of captioning use on student learning in a college-level fully online environment. The study was conducted in an online Biology course at Oregon State University. The project was partially funded by the National Research Center for Distance Education and Technological Advancements (DETA).

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