Online Student Study Announcement

The National Research Center for Distance Education and Technological Advancements (DETA) at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee is conducting three studies to understand student success.  These include (1) students’ self-reported preparedness and readiness; (2) students’ perception of course quality and their learning experiences; and (3) students’ self-reported behaviors and perceptions of academic and social involvement.  The goal of these studies is to determine which key factors significantly can predict and influence student success (academic performance, satisfaction, and perceptions of learning).

DETA seeks participants who are students currently enrolled in a traditional online program. If you lead an online program and have students who are currently enrolled in the program, please consider becoming an institutional partner. 

If you want to learn more about it, please complete this brief survey and you will be contacted to discuss further:

For questions relating to this study and/or participation in the study, please contact:

Tanya Joosten (Co-PI), PhD, Director of Digital Learning Research and Development, Co-Director of the DETA Research Center, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, tjoosten[at]

Rachel Cusatis, PhD, Instrumentation Innovator, DETA Research Center, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, rcusatis[at] 

Ultimately, researching and understanding how students’ perceptions of their preparedness and readiness, their learning experiences, and their involvement in online courses. Research in online students perceptions provides the opportunity for many benefits:

  • Programs can understand what and how students prepare for online courses
  • Programs can understand which aspects of online instruction impact satisfaction and learning, through the lens of students
  • Programs can understand which students might be more successful than others in online spaces, and tailor supports and learning experiences to different types of students

Institution Commitment
To support the work, participating programs or institutions would provide, at a minimum, de-identified student-level data: (1) administering a survey to Online students provided by DETA; and, (2) submitting student demographic characteristics provided by the student information systems data warehouse. DETA provides resources to assist throughout the data collection process to ensure simplicity on the part of the partnering institutions to collectively achieve our goals.

What is DETA?
The National Research Center for Distance Education and Technological Advancement (DETA) at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education, seeks to foster student access and success through evidence-based, cross-institutional learning practices and technologies.  Moreover, the DETA Research Center looks to identify and evaluate effective course and institutional practices in online learning, including competency-based education, specifically addressing underrepresented populations.

What is a traditional online program?
A traditional online program is a program that is offered fully online to students at a distance where online activities replace face-to-face activities, “seat time” is eliminated altogether, and online components of the course are designed to interact pedagogically to take advantage of the online mode. If you offer online courses, but do not have an online program or track fully online students, your institution is still eligible for the study.