Research in Action

Research in Action is a weekly podcast about topics and issues related to research in higher education from experts across a range of disciplines. Episodes are posted weekly and include guest interviews and occasional solo episodes. Guests are from a range of higher education institutions and share their expertise on qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods as well as their personal experiences as researchers; research and writing practices; organizational and productivity strategies; and much more. Some weeks, bonus content is also posted. Research in Action is hosted by Dr. Katie Linder, the research director for Oregon State University Ecampus. Show notes with information regarding topics discussed in each episode, as well as the transcript for each episode, can be found at the Research in Action website at There are several ways to connect with the Research in Action podcast. Visit to post a comment about a specific episode, suggest a future guest, or ask a question that could be featured in a future episode. You can also offer feedback about Research in Action episodes or share research-related resources by contacting the podcast via Twitter @RIA_podcast using the hashtag #ria_podcast or emailing Finally, you can call the Research in Action voicemail line at 541-737-1111 to ask a question or leave a comment. The Research in Action podcast is a resource funded by Oregon State University Ecampus – ranked one of the nation’s best providers of online education with more than 40 degree programs and over 1,000 classes online. Learn more about Ecampus by visiting This podcast is produced by the Ecampus Multimedia team.
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Feb 13, 2017

On this episode, I am joined by Dr. Sam Johnston, a research scientist with The Center for Applied Special Technology, or CAST. With support of the Gates Foundation’s Open Professionals Education Network, she recently led the development of UDL On Campus—a collection of online resources to aid postsecondary educators in implementing Universal Design for Learning. Currently, Sam works on the National Center on Accessible Educational Materials (AEM) focusing on postsecondary and workforce take up of AEM. Sam is also a co-principal investigator for a National Science Foundation study on stereotype threat and its impact on inquiry science pedagogy in middle schools. The project will create a prototype web-based professional development course to help middle-school science teachers understand stereotype threat and use UDL to reduce its effects in everyday instruction. Sam’s primary research focus is on the use of networked technology to support peer-to-peer knowledge transfer and she has conducted design-based research in both professional development and formal education settings. Before joining CAST, Sam was a Senior Associate and Distance Educator at the Center for Social Innovation, leading the company’s online learning strategy.  Sam holds a BA from McGill University and a masters degree and doctorate in education from Harvard.

Show Notes

Would you like to incorporate this episode of "Research in Action" into your course? Download the Episode 46 Instructor Guide (.docx) or visit our Podcast Instructor Guides page to find additional information and past episode guides.

Segment 1: Design-based Research [00:00-10:17]

In this first segment, Sam offers a definition of design-based research.

Segment 2: Examples of Design-based Research [10:18-18:32]

In segment two, Sam shares some examples of designed-based research based on her work with CAST.

Segment 3: Working with Vendors on Research Projects [18:32-29:32]

In segment three, Sam discusses some of the benefits and challenges of collaborating with vendors on academic research.

Bonus Clip #1 [00:00-04:10]: Basic vs. Applied Research

Bonus Clip #2 [00:00-04:26]: Expanding Design-based Research into Higher Education

To share feedback about this podcast episode, ask questions that could be featured in a future episode, or to share research-related resources, contact the “Research in Action” podcast:

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