In this blog, we welcome Mary Ellen Dello Stritto and Kathryn Linder from the Oregon State University Ecampus Research Unit as they introduce a companion resource: 10 Tips for Report Writers. This new resource was thoughtfully developed to assist practitioners and researchers in the field. Like the Report Reader Checklist, this resource serves as a valuable tool. Thank you Mary Ellen and Kathryn!


Erin Walton – contract editor for WCET

In January, the Oregon State University Ecampus Research Unit announced our Report Reader Checklist in WCET Frontiers. This resource includes a comprehensive set of criteria that offers a guide for those reading reports to evaluate the quality and rigor of online education study reports they may encounter in their work.

So far, we have received positive feedback on this resource. We have also heard that the checklist items are helpful not just for reading reports, but also for writing research reports. In response to this feedback, we have created a companion resource, 10 Tips for Report Writers. We developed this new resource for practitioners and researchers in the field who are writing research reports.

PIcture with red background and sign that reads, "10 Tips for Report Writers" from Oregon State University Ecampus Research Unit.

How it All Began

The feedback we received relates to how the Ecampus Research Unit staff came up with the idea for this particular project. In the past few years, we have met in a small reading group with colleagues from another institution. In our meetings, we read and digested industry reports. During these sessions, we would see elements missing from some reports that we thought would be helpful in understanding a particular study. As you may know, the field of distance education relies heavily on reports for data to make decisions and better understand the status of online teaching, learning, and administration. Given the lengthy timeline of peer review, self-published reports can be timely; however, these reports are often not peer-reviewed.

These experiences and our mission of increasing research literacy in the field have planted the seed for our report literacy project. Based on our collective observations as report writers, we also saw a need to articulate standards of quality that authors in the field can refer to when developing study reports. As we developed 10 Tips for Report Writers, we solicited feedback from prominent report writers in the field and incorporated their suggestions into the final product.

The 10 Tips

In brief, here are the 10 tips:

  1. Know your audience
  2. Describe the larger purpose
  3. Be transparent about intentions, purpose and findings
  4. Include a methodology section
  5. Report the “N”
  6. Describe and contextualize data
  7. Visualize the data
  8. Consider length
  9. Carefully consider language
  10. Make reports readable and accessible

We explain each of these tips in detail in the 10 Tips for Report Writers PDF. As researchers who juggle multiple projects ourselves, we know that report writers often deal with many competing demands in the midst of working on reports. We hope this tips guide will be useful as a final check before distributing study results, and we look forward to feedback on this companion resource.

About the Oregon State University Ecampus Research Unit: The OSU Ecampus Research Unit makes research actionable through the creation of evidence-based resources related to effective online teaching, learning and program administration. The OSU Ecampus Research Unit is part of Oregon State Ecampus, the university’s top-ranked online education provider.


Mary Ellen Dello Stritto
Mary Ellen Dello Stritto
Assistant director
Ecampus Research Unit, Oregon State University


Linder headshot
Kathryn Linder
Ecampus Research Unit, Oregon State University



CC Logo

Learn about WCET Creative Commons 4.0 License



Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 2,398 other subscribers

Archive By Month

Blog Tags

Distance Education (316)Student Success (295)Online Learning (228)Managing Digital Learning (218)State Authorization (214)WCET (211)U.S. Department of Education (204)Regulation (197)Technology (168)Digital Learning (149)Innovation (125)Teaching (121)Collaboration/Community (114)WCET Annual Meeting (105)Course Design (103)Access (98)Professional Development (98)Faculty (88)Cost of Instruction (88)SAN (88)Financial Aid (84)Legislation (83)Completion (74)Assessment (69)Instructional Design (68)Open Educational Resources (66)Accreditation (65)COVID-19 (64)SARA (64)Accessibility (62)Credentials (62)Professional Licensure (62)Competency-based Education (61)Quality (61)Data and Analytics (60)Research (58)Diversity/Equity/Inclusion (57)Reciprocity (56)WOW Award (51)Outcomes (47)Workforce/Employment (46)Regular and Substantive Interaction (43)Policy (42)Higher Education Act (41)Negotiated Rulemaking (40)Virtual/Augmented Reality (37)Title IV (36)Practice (35)Academic Integrity (34)Disaster Planning/Recovery (34)Leadership (34)WCET Awards (30)Artificial Intelligence (29)Every Learner Everywhere (29)State Authorization Network (29)IPEDS (28)Adaptive/Personalized Learning (28)Reauthorization (28)Military and Veterans (27)Survey (27)Credits (26)Disabilities (25)MOOC (23)WCET Summit (23)Evaluation (22)Complaint Process (21)Retention (21)Enrollment (21)Correspondence Course (18)Physical Presence (17)WICHE (17)Cybersecurity (16)Products and Services (16)Forprofit Universities (15)Member-Only (15)WCET Webcast (15)Blended/Hybrid Learning (14)System/Consortia (14)Digital Divide (14)NCOER (14)Textbooks (14)Mobile Learning (13)Consortia (13)Personalized Learning (12)Futures (11)Marketing (11)Privacy (11)STEM (11)Prior Learning Assessment (10)Courseware (10)Teacher Prep (10)Social Media (9)LMS (9)Rankings (9)Standards (8)Student Authentication (8)Partnership (8)Tuition and Fees (7)Readiness and Developmental Courses (7)What's Next (7)International Students (6)K-12 (6)Lab Courses (6)Nursing (6)Remote Learning (6)Testing (6)Graduation (6)Proctoring (5)Closer Conversation (5)ROI (5)DETA (5)Game-based/Gamification (5)Dual Enrollment (4)Outsourcing (4)Coding (4)Security (4)Higher Education Trends (4)Mental Health (4)Fall and Beyond Series (3)In a Time of Crisis (3)Net Neutrality (3)Universal Design for Learning (3)Cheating Syndicates Series (3)ChatGPT (3)Enrollment Shift (3)Nontraditional Learners (2)Student Identity Verification (2)Cross Skilling/Reskilling (2)Virtual Summit (2)Higher Education (2)Title IX (1)Business of Higher Education (1)OPMs (1)Department of Education (1)Third-Party Servicers (1)microcredentials (1)Minority Serving Institution (1)Community College (1)