Research Fellows Home| Research Examples
In an effort to guide the research inquiry, we have put together a series of questions that may help direct scholars and teachers in their research endeavors. Any research question should start its inquiry with gaining an understanding or the prior knowledge of the audience(s) being studies. For example,
To begin, A Position Statement of Principles and Example Effective Practices for Online Writing Instruction provides an excellent starting place for the types and kinds of questions that online literacy educators want to know. Very few of the effective practices have empirical evidence and those that do simply raise additional questions. For example, we do know that online discussion boards create a sense of community in the online classroom, but what we don’t know is how to make the discussion boards more purposeful for student learning outcomes.
We would encourage researchers to begin to ask research questions in relation to the areas below:
Questions about Effective Practices
Look to the CCCC’s Position Statement as a starting place for research ideas and then to your own practices to hone your research question(s). Examples of questions around the Principles and Practices are
Questions about Theory
There are a number of theories that need additional research for either confirmation and/or insights into how to change current teaching practices. For example, Hewett’s (2015) theory of literacy-cognition (see The Online Writing Conference https://community.macmillan.com/docs/DOC-1474). We have also ported online many of our face-to-face theories of writing instruction that need to be empirically tested and verified to their efficacy.
Some sample questions from a distinctly theoretical orientation are:
Questions about Technology
Since OWI is mediated through different types and kinds of technology, we are interested in supporting research that begins to critically examine these technologies in an effort to improve OWI.
Such questions could be:
Questions about Environments
Not all online environments are similar with the variety of courses we teach (fully online and various types of hybrid courses) and using a variety of technological environments. Even more so, we know little about the environments in which students work in online courses. Thus, this general category provides suggestions for researchers to examine questions such as
Questions about Stakeholders
The movement to online learning has meant that there are multiple stakeholders involved in the development of online courses and programs. This general category encourages researchers to learn more about the dynamics that push on and pull against online literacy instruction from a variety of stakeholder perspectives. Some potential questions include:
Even though many of the questions directly address online courses or programs, the same questions can be applied to online writing centers and online tutoring.