WKU Extended Learning & Outreach (DELO) has created a new office within Distance Learning to provide support for faculty conducting research within the areas of online learning and online education. The Online Learning Research Office (OLRO) is designed to provide methodological, technical, programmatic and financial support through staff and resources that assist faculty in the development and completion of their research projects.
“As more and more information is disseminated electronically, the need for effective online education has never been more important,” said WKU Provost Gordon Emslie. “Since its inception, WKU’s Division of Extended Learning and Outreach has been on the forefront of these advances in the way students learn and faculty teach, and this new office will enable WKU to maintain and extend its leadership position.”
Associate Professor of Sociology Dr. Jerry Daday has been named as the OLRO director and will work directly with faculty to conduct research that might help improve their teaching. Daday said that he and Dr. Beth Laves, associate vice president of Extended Learning and Outreach, are both passionate about supporting faculty interested in online education and online learning research. “This office is all about supporting faculty,” said Daday. “WKU faculty are doing some amazing things in the classroom with online learning and have some great research ideas. If they have an idea for a research project that relates to online learning or online education, I would love to hear from them so we can talk about how this new office can help them.”
Laves said DELO is thrilled to provide another resource to help faculty be more successful in their research efforts. “DELO strives to help faculty succeed,” Laves said. “This office will help us further our mission, and we look forward to providing this resource for success.”
The office has staff and resources to assist faculty with the development and completion of research projects that assess learning outcomes within online courses and programs; evaluate the effectiveness of technologies used in online education; advance our understanding of online pedagogy; measure the impact of online coursework on student retention and degree completion; and design research projects to compare online, hybrid and traditional modes of instructional delivery.
“I am confident that Dr. Daday’s passion and enthusiasm for online learning will enable him to further engage our faculty in advancing this key component of WKU’s mission to be A Leading American University with International Reach,” Emslie added.
Contact: Beth Laves, (270) 745-1900.