Instructional Technology Research Support

Faculty looking at library's database on laptop.

Elevating instructional technology research

Our mission is to support inquiries related to teaching and learning with technology and to use this research to identify and implement data-driven practices which improve the quality of individual courses and entire academic programs. This support will lead to improved guidance to our faculty, our peer institutions, and the broader academic community.

Relevant Research Topics

Below is a list of example research topics or areas. Collaborations are negotiated on a case-by-case basis and not limited to the following:

  • Learner engagement in digital environments
  • Universal Design for teaching and learning
  • Best practices for audiovisual instruction
  • Accessible course design and student success
  • Culturally responsive online teaching
  • Online learning vs. emergency remote instruction
  • Learner/instructor readiness for online learning
  • E-Learning and student success
  • Effective assessment practices in online learning

How to Receive Research Support from UCATT

Any researcher, including tenured and tenure track faculty, career track faculty, staff with research backgrounds, and graduate students, interested in collaborating with UCATT to conduct original research on technology-driven learning or teaching is eligible to make a request. 

Requests can be submitted anytime and are evaluated in October and May. At the end of each evaluation cycle, requestors will be notified about the status of their request. Please note that shorter requests, involving ten or fewer hours of contracted work, are more likely to be approved. For more extensive research collaborations, consider applying for the Instructional Technology Research Fellowship, explained in the section below.

Research Support Request

Collaboration Expectations

If we invite you to move forward with a research collaboration, you will receive tailored support from our office. This may include being written into grants for:

  • Technology resources
  • Technical support
  • Consultation with UCATT’s instructional technologists, instructional designers, pedagogical experts, and multimedia specialists 

In exchange, you will oversee your proposed study. This involves recruiting and organizing participants, collecting and analyzing data, and publishing results.

Instructional Technology Research Fellowship 

Fellows conduct cutting-edge research on instructional technology, publishing scholarly insights and practical tools. The program aims to explore tech advancements in education and translate findings into usable resources for diverse educational settings. In exchange for two course releases, each fellow acts as Principal Investigator for their research project. UCATT provides guidance and support for building the research team, grant writing, data collection and analysis, and publication of results.

Learn more about the Fellowship

Apply for the IT Research Fellowship

Supported Projects

Below is a list of supported research projects:

Researcher: Caleb Simmons, Executive Director of Arizona Online

Summary: This study seeks to 1) determine which aspects of video production yield the highest impact on the achievement of learning outcomes; 2) produce a report that provides recommendations to the University community that outlines the cost-benefit ratios of different production strategies, all with eye toward aiding teaching personnel in the selection of optimal course material production strategies; 3) clarify at the University level (e.g., OIA, Arizona Online, Digital Learning) the most effective ways to invest in online education.

Researcher: Kathleen Kennedy, Associate Professor of Practice, Retailing & Consumer Science

Summary: In this study, differentiated instruction (DI) and adaptive learning (AL) methods are used to foster individual student success, broaden access to quality education, and build a more equitable learning environment. This study involves the creation of 16 Personalized and Adaptive Learning System (PALS) courses. Qualitative data about PALS intervention experiences and the overall course will also be gathered to analyze the impact of this tool.

Researcher: Nicole Schmidt, Assistant Director of Research, Innovation, and Quality Assurance, UCATT

Summary: This multi-institutional case study explores the impact of Quality Matters (QM) professional development on student success, using Lane et al.’s (2019) framework. Using the online QM workshop Improving Your Online Course and guidances from instructional designers, we explore how faculty integrate aspects of student success into their course revisions after completing QM professional development and how those revisions impact students’ perceptions of their academic success.



If you would like to consult with our specialist on instructional technology research-related questions please contact Nicole Schmidt.

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