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 journalArticlepeer-review

    1 Citation (Scopus)
    27 Downloads (Pure)


    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
    Pages (from-to)629–649
    Number of pages21
    JournalAustralian Educational Researcher
    Issue number4
    Early online date10 Dec 2019
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2020


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


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