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Interested in Research in Online Programs?

It is important that decisions made in the development of online programs be driven by data obtained through efficient and effective research. The OPDS Office can provide support for faculty or administrators interested in designing and conducting research on their online courses or programs. This support will be provided in a flexible and collaborative manner and options for research collaboration include:

  • Identifying research strategies to answer particular questions and to gain insight into the effectiveness of online course designs and strategies.
  • Using NIU’s free access to Qualtrics survey software to design surveys.
  • The designing of social network analysis surveys to gain a sense of connections between members of a classroom/program community.

The OPDS Office is working to develop a learning community of stakeholders that will become a venue to share the outcomes of research to improve online learning. The OPDS will share its research findings and hopes that individuals implementing online courses and programs will share their research findings as well. The aim of the OPDS is to provide a supportive space where all who conduct research can inform others of their strategies and progress and receive feedback that will help them to take next steps in the development of their online offerings.

If you are interested in collaborating on research on online programs, or learning about what others are doing related to online learning, please contact John Cowan (