The OLRC conducts research on a wide variety of topics related to online teaching and learning. For an overview of research on these topics, see "The Promises and Limits of Online Higher Education" by Di Xu and Ying Xu. For a discussion of equity issues in online learning, both prior to and since the pandemic, see "Equity in Online Learning" by Tamara Tate and Mark Warschauer.
Online learning is expanding rapidly and helps students complete course requirements, but online students often have lower performance than face-to-face students.
Students and instructors appreciate the access provided by online learning, but they also identify particular challenges of online teaching and learning.
Social presence is a key to engagement and success in online classrooms. Fostering interactive learning communities often improves student outcomes.
Course design features shape the effectiveness of online learning, with well-design syllabi and materials and opportunities for interaction affecting student outcomes.
Online learning environments place a high value on student study skills and self-regulated learning, and light-touch interventions in these areas can improve student performance.
Log data from online learning platforms provide a powerful window into student learning processes though there are challenges to accessing and analyzing it.