Future Research

Future research topics that may be of interest to other graduate students and researchers include the following:

  • investigating the Structured Student Interactions model to validate its applicability and utility in online distance learning, especially in light of rapidly increasing access to networks and social media;
  • investigating the effectiveness of the study buddy activity in other contexts (e.g., undergraduate, blended, face-to-face);
  • investigating the effectiveness of the study buddy activity using experimental methods;
  • engaging in a detailed but localized exploration of students’ approaches to learning in face-to-face, blended, and online distance learning environments;
  • exploring faculty development issues with respect to encouraging faculty to adopt strategies that lead to deeper approaches to learning in online, face-to-face, and blended environments;
  • more thoroughly investigating the structural aspects of the study buddy activity such as whether the activity should be voluntary or mandatory and whether the mix of “bunnies” and “bears” affects the activity;
  • investigating in greater depth why students have negative experiences with cooperative learning activities or why some choose to not participate;
  • exploring the impact on learning of various software tools such as blogs, wikis, web conferencing software or social networking software when used to support cooperative learning activities;
  • investigating the study buddy activity in light of research on shared regulation of learning;
    investigating the role of cooperative learning activities in promoting learner agency.