Enhancing pre-service teachers’ research engagement using flexible and scaffolded online resources

Penny Van Bergen*, Rod Lane, Daniel Guilbert

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Undergraduate research engagement is critically important across disciplines. In education, however, pre-service teachers often report disengaging from research activities. To address this problem, we drew on the affordances of online learning: building and implementing a self-paced online program of multimodal resources called ResearchEd. We evaluated the program across three years. First, 120 students took part in a quantitative survey measuring research engagement. Those with program access were significantly more likely to enjoy research and consider postgraduate study. Next, 52 students compared the program to a traditional paper-based report-writing guide. The majority agreed that the program had improved their research understanding (90.4%) and confidence (84.7%). Finally, 15 students participated in a focus group interview; nominating the flexibility and self-directed nature of the program as key benefits. We concluded that the affordances of the online program enabled successful research scaffolding.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages21
JournalAustralian Educational Researcher
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10 Dec 2019


  • pre-service teachers
  • research engagement
  • research–teaching nexus
  • sociocultural theory
  • scaffolding
  • online learning

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