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Ideas for MDE Research Projects

Page history last edited by scsporto@gmail.com 7 years, 6 months ago

The list below includes some ideas for projects. These are just titles, not fully developed topics of research. These should serve to provide some direction into topics that might be explored when you choose your project area. This will be an ongoing enhanced list, so visit here often. This should also serve to spark your creativity in finding other topics, in case you haven’t yet done so.


Porto’s input:

  • Trends in Personal Learning Environments 
  • Effectiveness of MOOCs
  • Big data in online learning 
  • Marketing the MDE: the power of the MDE student community
  • Using Web 2.0 tools to market online programs
  • Strategies to develop learning organizations virtually
  • Competencies and roles of a distance educator in the private sector
  • Virtual schools: preparing the workforce
  • Trends in DE within community colleges 
  • Competition in the online higher education sector: factors and trends
  • Quality assurance and standards in online education
  • Acceptance of fully online degree
  • Use of video and audio in online education 


Smith's input

  • Student support – identify counseling needs for graduate program planning (pre-requisite knowledge, course sequencing, awareness of support structure, awareness of graduate level quality expectations, etc.).  This study could provide important feedback to UMUC counselors regarding student needs in the MDE program.
  • Workload management – what is a realistic course workload for MDE students who are working full-time? Study of student experience with different course workloads (1-2-3 courses per semester) and students’ ability to manage competing demands for study time.  This study could provide helpful information to new students in the MDE program as well as for counselors advising students on program planning that will lead to their best chances for success.
  • Assessment techniques  (student perceptions) – what kinds of assessment techniques: a) provide good measures of student learning achievement; b) integrate course concepts with application in realistic contexts; and c) contribute to student satisfaction in course experience?  This study could provide useful feedback to instructors regarding student perceptions of assessment techniques.


Berge’s input 

  • Business models for MOOCs
  • Trends in learning analytics
  • Enterprise learning and development in the workplace
  • What is driving trends in virtual schools
  • Can mobile learning help meet the goals of primary and secondary education in the United States


Olcott's input

  • Using OERs in Nonformal Education
  • Learning Design Models for Blended Learning 
  • New Financial Frameworks for OERs and University ODL 
  • Designing Open Educational Practices Case Studies 
  • Student Support Services for Non-Native Speaking English Students enrolled in Online English Delivered Graduate Programs


Zawacki's input:

  • the relationship between distance education and adult and continuing education
  • the contribution of distance education to lifelong learning
  • the history of distance education and the development of ICTs
  • comparative analysis: distance education in Russia (and the former UdSSR) and in the USA
  • online interaction patterns in learning communities
  • media/technology usage patterns of non-traditional students
  • profiles and characteristics of distance learners and implications for instructional design
  • internationalization and globalization of the education market and the role of distance education and ICTs in transnational programs


Blaschke’s input

  • Engaging learners in online collaboration (methods/best practice)
  • Influence of technology on student interaction levels (current research)
  • Technology: An independent variable within Moore’s theory of transactional distance?
  • Collaborative learning in online environments: Factors influencing student success rates in small groups


Beaudoin’s input

  • Expand on a 604-course assignment to conduct in-depth case study of organizational/program change, either within a DE setting, or transition to one, focusing on developing a leadership strategy for transformative change.
  • Develop a set of competencies critical for online learner success, reflecting on personal and peer experiences within the MDE program, as well as comprehensive review of available literature on topic.
  • Conduct a meta-analysis of the literature on a selected topic, then engage in discussion of how or if the research/literature has affected practice in this aspect of DE.


Brindley’s input

  • (Many students do excellent final assignments in 608 that could be expanded into a bigger project.) The assignment in brief:  design an appropriate learner support system for a particular educational or training setting; provide a rationale drawing on contextual factors, learner characteristics, and the literature.


Collins-Brown's input:

  • trends of online learning on mainstream campuses
  • Using DE research, literature and best practices to create good design practices for blended learning
  • The nature of self-instruction in online courses, examples - Khan Academy, etc
  • Using learning analytics to determine effectiveness of online course design 
  • Student perceptions of which aspect of online learning are more effective than face-to-face learning
  • Complete examination and review of all venues of online learning (however that might be defined) 


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