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Grant Program Encourages Research on Online Courses

A company that specializes in helping institutions convert their traditional courses to online ones has launched a grant program that will help fund research on the impact and effectiveness of online learning. Academic Partnerships (AP), whose latest clients include Utah State University and the University of Arkansas System, is accepting proposals for a first round of projects. The company has committed to funding up to $100,000 in 2013 for research done specifically by faculty members working within those online programs developed with Academic Partnerships.

The kinds of research projects the company is hoping to support are those that examine:

  • Quality assurance as a system in higher education;
  • Data points related to student retention and student learning outcomes;
  • New or effective ideas for online course design; and
  • The impact of emerging technologies, tools, and concepts in online education, such as the use of gamification or massive open online courses.

Also, for colleges and universities that adhere to Quality Matters, a benchmark for online course design, the company hopes to see research on the effect of online learning in the areas of student learning outcomes, student retention, improving instruction, and forming teaching practices.

The deadline for the first round of proposals is February 28, 2013. They're being accepted at facultyecommons.com. Grantees will be informed by March 31. A second round will open this summer.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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