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Research and Innovation in Online Education

Online learning is an evolving field in which emerging technologies, new pedagogical approaches, and other types of innovations are shaping the future of education. Research in the field of education and in many other fields, including cognitive, developmental, and behavioral psychology, information and computer science, and communication, continues to lead to advances in teaching methodologies, academic program design, and other areas related to online instruction.

As part of our mission to empower students who may be interested in pursuing personal and/or professional advancement through enrollment in an online degree program, interviews educational leaders, academic researchers, and innovators in the field of online learning. The Q&A’s published in this section focus on the work of scientists, scholars, and academic researchers whose work is contributing to innovations in instructional technologies, course design, program curricula, learning methodologies, teaching pedagogy, and other aspects of distance learning and online education.

Interview with Susan Aldridge, Ph.D. – Drexel University

Dr. Susan Aldridge is the President of Drexel University Online and the Vice President of Online Learning at Drexel University. In this interview Dr. Aldridge shares what it is like to learn and teach online, and how to succeed in each. Additional topics include academic honesty measures, online student support services, and distance learning trends.

Interview with Thomas Cavanagh, Ph.D. – University of Central Florida

Dr. Thomas Cavanagh is the Associate Vice President of Distributed Learning at the University of Central Florida (UCF), the second largest university in the nation, where he oversees the distance learning strategy, policies, and practices. In this interview Dr. Cavanagh discusses online learning and instructional design, and offers advice for students considering their first online degrees.

Interview with D. Randy Garrison, Ed.D. – University of Calgary

Dr. Randy Garrison is a Professor Emeritus of Education who has published extensively on distance education and been instrumental in developing the Community of Inquiry (CoI) theoretical framework and applying its concepts to online and blended learning.

Interview with Diane Reddy, Ph.D. – University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Dr. Diane M. Reddy, Professor of Psychology and Director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, discusses the U-Pace instructional method for self-directed, mastery-based online degree programs.

Interview with Yvonne Simon – College for America

Yvonne Simon is Chief Learning Architect and a founding member of the Innovation Lab and College for America, a competency-based division of Southern New Hampshire University offering self-directed online degree programs.

Interview with Lauren Singer Trakhman, Ph.D. – University of Maryland, College Park

Dr. Lauren Singer Trakhman is an Assistant Clinical Professor and Director of Outreach at the University of Maryland whose research focuses on assessing reading comprehension and calibration in digital and print media.

Interview with Karen Vignare, Ph.D. – Association of Public & Land-grant Universities (APLU)

Educational researcher and administrator Dr. Karen Vignare discusses the applications of adaptive learning technologies in the context of her work as Executive Director of the APLU’s Personalized Learning Consortium.