New university research center will focus on online study skills

ByMike V. Cooper

Jul 16, 2021

Trio of higher education research institutions partner with new research center to assess how educators and emerging technologies can help students better manage their own learning, funded by $ 10 million grant from the US Department of Education.

According to a recent press release, those responsible for the project include SRI Education, a division of Stanford-affiliated nonprofit research institute, SRI International; Columbia University’s Teacher’s College Community College Research Center (CCRC); and Achieving the Dream, a national non-profit organization focused on helping community college students.

The new center, which does not yet have a name, will bring together several other colleges, researchers and IT developers to study professional development strategies and create a ‘toolbox’ containing information on best practices, focusing on planning and goal setting.


More than a third of post-secondary students were enrolled in online courses as of fall 2019, a jump of 11 points since 2012, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. SRI analysts say those numbers are expected to continue growing after the COVID-19 digital learning wave.

SRI’s press release explained that college instructors often see high-ability students struggling with homework and exams if they don’t have the skills to plan and study, which can cause them to lose. confidence or motivation. He pointed out how self-directed learning skills will become more and more important with the growing popularity of online courses.

Deborah Jonas, director of the Center for Education Research and Innovation at SRI, and Nikki Edgecombe, professor of educational policy and social analysis at Teachers College at Columbia University, will help run the new center.

“Together with Achieving the Dream and our partner colleges, the center will promote cross-sectoral knowledge sharing and national use of the evidence-based training resources that the team will develop,” said Jonas, the centre’s principal investigator, in a statement. public statement.

Other partners will include Bunker Hill Community College in Massachusetts, Calbright College in California, Macomb Community College in Michigan, Odessa College in Texas, Palm Beach State College in Florida, Portland State University in Oregon, Tulsa Community College in Oklahoma, Virginia State University, and Wake Technical Community College in North Carolina.