The U.S. Department of Education is investing $10 million in a research center to explore what strategies teachers can use or digital tools to offer to help college students better manage online learning.
Even as their campuses reopen after the coronavirus pandemic, higher education institutions are offering more online and hybrid options, which provide greater flexibility to students. Adapting to online learning, though, requires adjusting self-directed learning skills like time management and communication for a digital format. Organizers of the research center, led by Columbia University’s Community College Research Center and SRI Education, said they’ll eventually create a set of best tools and practices for prepare students to effectively learn online and support a nationwide professional development program.
“Some of the early studies of online learning found that students who were less well-prepared academically struggled more in online courses,” SRI’s Rebecca Griffiths, one of the center’s principal investigators, told EdScoop. “I think that evidence suggests that students taking online courses may need more scaffolding and help to learn how to manage their learning process than students who are in face to face settings with more of a structured educational environment.”