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Research Framework

Our research framework represents our first step in organising our research efforts to study teaching and learning processes and outcomes at SUSS. Guided by Meyen et al’s (2006) framework, our framework uses three dimensions present in SUSS’s teaching and learning landscape (please see Figure 1). They are:

  • Input variables: teaching & learning interactions; integration of technology; components of course design.
  • In-situ variables: learner, faculty and staff characteristics; enabling technology; enabling environments
  • Output variables: learner satisfaction; Teaching & Learning efficacy; learning outcomes


  • Independent (Input) variables:
  • Teaching/learning interactions (e.g., learner-learner; -technology; -content; -instructor; COP; instructor-content)
  • Integration of technology (e.g., online discussion; eTextbook)
  • Components of course design (e.g., iStudyGuide; ePub; eTextbook)

Institutional actors and setting (structural, social, cultural, economic)

  • In-situ (Intervening) variables:
  • Learner / faculty characteristics (demographics; prior experience; academic qualifications)

  • Enabling technology (mobile device; desktop; laptop; online/offline access; software)

  • Enabling environments (supporting systems / infrastructure; broadband/wifi connection; social/cultural: online or f2f; economic: digital divide)


  • Dependent (Outcome) variables:
  • Learner / faculty satisfaction (behavioral; emotional; cognition in adult learners)

  • T&L Efficacy (Teacher & Learner performance; academic/non-academic gains)

  • Outcome implications (policy; intervention programs; training for instructors; support programs

Feedback loop for reiterative improvement and refinement to input variables

Figure 1: Research Framework

Using information gathered on the output variables (i.e. learner satisfaction; Teaching & Learning efficacy; learning outcomes), decisions for improvements for course design, teaching and learning interaction strategies, and strategies for technology integration (i.e. input variables) will be made. Figure 2 maps out the different dimensions within this framework.

Independent Variables

In-situ Variables Teaching / Learning Interaction Components of course design Integration of technology Outcome Variables
Learner / Faculty characteristics       Learner / Faculty satisfaction
Enabling environments      
Enabling technology


Learner / Faculty characteristics  


  T&L efficacy
Enabling environments      
Enabling technology      
Learner / Faculty characteristics


    Outcome implications
Enabling environments      
Enabling technology      

Learning Services research efforts for the next three years will focus on investigating our students’ learning experiences with the iStudyGuide initiatives, online formative assessment (e.g. online quiz), virtual synchronous learning, and users’ experience with learning management system (i.e. Blackboard and Collaborate). Analyzing the different data source provide us different insights and ways to inform and improve both our teaching and learning processes.