Research Needs and Learning Format Preferences of Graduate Students at a Large Public University: An Exploratory Study

Hilary Bussell, Jessica Hagman, Christopher S. Guder

Abstract

This article reports on a study of research needs and learning preferences of graduate students at a public research university. A sequential exploratory mixed-method design was used, with a survey instrument developed from an initial qualitative stage. Significant differences were found between master’s and doctoral students’ and on-campus and online students’ confidence with several research skills. Graduate students overall prefer asynchronous online options and in-person workshops over synchronous online instruction and in-class presentations for learning research skills. The article concludes with a discussion of the value of the sequential exploratory mixed-method design for informing practice at an individual institution.

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