research @ EDUCAUSE

As a Researcher at EDUCAUSE, a nonprofit that aids higher education in elevating the impact of IT,  I manage and support qualitative and quantitative research projects that assess higher education end users’ technology experiences and preferences. A few projects are featured below. For a full list, see my EDUCAUSE profile page.

Project: Technology Needs of Students with Disabilities

I managed this large qualitative study of the technology needs of college students with disabilities. Collaborating with my colleague Joseph Galanek, PhD, we analyzed over 2,000 student responses based on their answers to the question, “What is the ONE thing you would like your instructors to do with technology to enahance your academic success?” Using Atlas.ti, we coded hundreds of responses and identified two overarching themes, and prominent patterns within those themes.

We collaborated with our data visualization specialist using Trello to develop an infographic that would communicate our findings (beyond the usual quotations) to help stakeholders consume and share these data quickly. Our findings suggest that many students with disabilities experience barriers to their learning, and they see specific technologies as a means to lowering those barriers; and Universal design for learning (UDL) principles can serve as a lever that expands academic access for students and accounts for learner variability and preference. This study was the first time EDUCAUSE conducted a large-scale research project that focused exclusively on the experiences of students with disabilities, which supported the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive initiatives, added to the research portfolio, and increased the research capacity of the organization. Read the full report here.

 

Project: 2019 Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology

On this project, I managed EDUCAUSE’s annual study of undergraduate students and information technology. The quantitative findings in the report were developed using 40,596 survey responses from 118 US institutions. In this study, I examined frequencies, distributions, qualitative data from open responses, and performed bivariate analysis. Topics of analysis included user learning environment preferences, student success tools, technology experiences, technology use in the classroom, and tech accessibility. On this project, I collaborated with our data visualization specialist to develop graphics, and partnered with subject matter experts in higher education IT to contextualize the findings. Read the full report here.