A Fully Online Research Portal for Research Students and Researchers

Angelos Rodafinos, Filia Garivaldis, Stephen Mckenzie
Journal of Information Technology Education: Innovations in Practice  •  Volume 17  •  2018  •  pp. 163-179

This paper describes the context, development, implementation, and the potential transferability of an integrated online research environment that allows its users to conduct all aspects of research online.

While the content of most traditional courses can be delivered online and learning outcomes can be achieved by adopting equivalents to face-to-face pedagogic approaches, certain courses, such as those that require a substantial research component, present significant constraints for delivery online. To overcome these limitations, Australia’s largest university developed and implemented a Research Portal.

The development team conducted a functional requirements analysis, identified the components that would be necessary to meet user needs, and reviewed existing solutions. The Monash University Psychology Research Portal was designed, tested, developed, tested for user experience, implemented, and reviewed. The Research Portal is structured according to the usual research sequence and provides users with access to supporting information and integrated capacities including research supervision, participant acquisition, and data collection, analysis, and storage.

This integrated online research environment is equivalent to and, in some ways, superior to an on campus/non-online research capacity.

The usage of the Research Portal has grown rapidly and has satisfied the requirements and met the research needs of students of an online course that includes a research project, providing a common, ubiquitously accessible, and integrated online research environment.

Further refinement, personalization, and expanded implementation and dissemination of the Research Portal components are required. The formation of networks and working partnerships to operate, maintain, and promote Research Portal initiatives is recommended to reduce operational costs, increase access, and create an impact.

The Research Portal is an efficient resource that provides easy access to a standard interface at any time and from anywhere and can potentially be used by other online research courses, as well as by online and non-online researchers.

online research, virtual lab, innovation
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