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Evaluating the impact of a Pedagogical Framework for Fully Online Education

The impact of a new pedagogical design framework

Samantha Stark (Digital Education Service)

Project overview

The aim of this project is to find out whether a new pedagogical framework for designing modules on fully online master's degrees is achieving its intended purposes, which are:

(a) to improve student experience, satisfaction, and engagement

(b) to improve staff satisfaction with the modules

(c) to reduce staff workload. A sub-aim of this project is to identify ways in which the framework could be improved through analysis of the data collected.

The research approach

A variety of research methods will be used. In relation to students, quantitative and qualitative data will be collected via online questionnaires, which will ask a series of questions about students' experience and satisfaction with modules designed with and without the framework. Anonymised data will also be collected from Minerva in relation to engagement. For academic staff, one-to-one semi-structured interviews will be conducted to gain a detailed understanding of their experiences managing, designing, developing, and running modules designed with and without the new framework. For DES (Digital Education Service) staff, a series of focus groups will be conducted so that experiences and perceptions of the new framework can be explored.

This research is important because the new design framework radically changes the approach to course design and development in relation to fully online degrees. Given the importance of these degrees to the University of Leeds Digital Transformation Strategy, Student Education Strategy, and International Strategy, the framework must be properly evaluated using data from a variety of sources in order to accurately assess whether it improves the experiences of staff and students, or whether it needs to be adapted in any way to ensure it achieves its goals.

This research will also provide opportunities for dissemination, allowing more engagement with the wider digital education community within the university, nationally, and internationally. This will help to raise the profile of the Digital Education Service and the University of Leeds, and will provide more opportunities to learn from others in the community.

By completing this research, we hope to discover whether the new design framework is achieving its intended purposes or whether it needs to be amended in any way in order to do so. The data collected may also identify areas for improvement or ideas for a different approach should that be necessary to ensure the best experience for all staff and students. This research will also serve to raise the profile and reputation of the Digital Education Service both internally and externally, and it will strengthen our relationship with academics across the university.

If you would like to find out more about the project contact Samantha Stark (

Each fellowship has a project sponsor that helps the fellows achieve impact across the institution. The sponsor for this fellowship is Margaret Korosec.

Project start date: 1 September 2022