UCI Online Learning Research Center provides resources for teachers, students

April 14, 2020

By Pat Harriman

The transition to online learning has rapidly accelerated in response to the worldwide coronavirus pandemic. UCI’s Online Learning Research Center provides evidenced-based resources and materials to help college and K-12 teachers more effectively meet the needs of students – and to help students learn how to better succeed online.

Designed by Di Xu, UCI associate professor of education, and Mark Warschauer, UCI professor of education and informatics – widely considered global leaders in online learning – the OLRC addresses the inherent challenges of a virtual environment. Higher levels of self-directed learning skills are required from students who’ve been prepared for the traditional classroom format, in which teachers provide instruction and control activities.

In an unstructured online environment, students need additional support to understand course content and more direction on how to improve study skills. Instructors need guidance on what tools and strategies to use to keep their pupils engaged and moving toward successful learning.

“We hope this center can prove beneficial to universities across the world as we all confront the challenges presented by the coronavirus. We must be deliberate in setting up online learning environments in order to avoid exacerbating the gaps in learning outcomes,” says Richard Arum, UCI dean and professor of education.

The OLRC also features links to research papers on a wide variety of topics related to online teaching and learning.