C21U’s staff recognize that research in innovative education takes many forms. We work with faculty members, staff, administrators, and students on answering both course- and program-level questions. We use both qualitative and quantitative methods to gather the data needed to make informed decisions and to illuminate Georgia Tech’s educational practices.
The mission of C21U research is to enhance the learner experience by using data to drive instructional action. Such learner experiences can range from the incorporation of new classroom technologies to blended learning environments (that blend technology-based learning outside of class with project-based learning in class) to fully online courses taught on a variety of online learning management systems such as Canvas, Coursera, and edX.
Examples of such projects include:
- Experimental design – C21U researchers are engaged with professors in Electrical and Computer Engineering and Mechanical Engineering to test the efficacy of tutorials for Teaching Assistants that are designed to foster diverse and inclusive teams in course laboratory assignments.
- Big data – In conjunction with a Vertically Integrated Projects team and with the support of C21U Graduate Research Assistants, C21U researchers analyze large-scale data sets on the millions of learners enrolled in Georgia Tech’s Massive Open Online Courses to determine behavioral patterns that are used to improve the instructional design of the courses.
- Customized surveys – in addition to regular demographic and learner experience surveys that are administered to Georgia Tech’s online learners, C21U researchers work with faculty to develop and administer surveys that address course-specific outcomes.
These are only a few of the ways in which C21U staff work with Georgia Tech stakeholders to establish and carry out research designed to enhance the learner experience. C21U has been instrumental in the process of identifying, applying for, and implementing grant-funded projects; publishing articles, book chapters, and blog posts on the value of learning innovations; collaborating on presentations and lecture series; and managing protocols for Georgia Tech’s Institutional Review Board.