Home Forums Share an Effective Practice Evaluating: Tips and Guidance

This topic contains 3 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Heidi Schroeder 6 months ago.

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  • #907

    Shelly Wyatt
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    Many faculty and instructional designers find research intimidating.  What are some of the biggest challenges you have experience conducting research on your campus and how did you overcome them?

  • #1055

    Dagoberto Diaz
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    Hi Shelly,

    I am an Instructional Designer at LSU soon to defend my doctoral dissertation and can relate to the question you present. From my experience, I have observed that there are some challenges related to having the background on research methods and other challenges that are common to research studies such as access to data.
    I often find in conversations with colleagues that many of them are very interested about different subjects in their fields. However, they express lack of interest or as you mentioned, they feel intimidated about conducting research. Research can be intimidating and overwhelming for colleagues that lack a background or knowledge on data collection/research methods.
    When the research framework is lacking, it is difficult to articulate research goals and questions. We know that action research can be a method useful especially for practitioners and also there are other methodologies qualitative and quantitative that may suit better personal interests and needs.
    Regarding the access of data, I am conducting a research study that integrates learning analytics. I filled out an IRB form for the study and had no inconveniences accessing course and student data from our LMS and from the registrar’s office. So, access to the data was not as complicated as it was processing the vast amounts of data that are available. This is one of the issues in analytics research, which deals with the knowledge and skills that are needed to collect and aggregate big data for analysis.

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  • #1159

    Shelly Wyatt
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    Hi Dago! Research that focuses on analytics is definitely a robust area of investigation. What can be daunting, as you noted, is the management of that data. Not all instructional designers may feel comfortable with quantitative data and may need support from a statistician on campus. Another important component to conducting research in the area of instructional technology and faculty development is collaboration; research teams can work more efficiently than individuals working independently without support.

  • #2276

    Heidi Schroeder
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    Hi Shelly,
    As an Instructional Designer without a PhD (and no current plan to pursue a PhD), I find research intimidating. In the past few months I have been working as Co-PI on a 360 video research project that is funded by an internal Seed Grant at my institution, the University of South Florida, Sarasota-Manatee. For this project I am partnering with my colleague, Amber Lee, and a faculty member from our School of Education, Dr. Marie Byrd, to develop 360 videos for an online Classroom Management course and gain student feedback via polling. As we move forward we hope to gain more in-depth feedback regarding our students’ experience with the 360 videos by implementing a survey instrument developed by my mentor, Penny Ralstom-Berg, from Penn State World Campus. The process of filming and implementing the videos has been exciting and challenging. The thought of using the data we gather from students to add to the growing body of knowledge on 360 video integration in the online classroom is thrilling. While the details of data collection and evaluation are daunting I am so glad that I chose to participate in this research project.

    Truth be told, I don’t think I would have chosen to move forward as Co-PI on this research project without the encouragement that I received from my mentor, Penny Ralstom-Berg. I’ve had the opportunity to work with Penny for the past 8 months through the ID2ID cross-institutional professional development program for Instructional Designers sponsored by Educause and Penn State. Penny has worked in the field of Instructional Design since 1997 and is currently a Senior Research Instructional Designer. Her encouragement and practical advice in the past few months has helped me immensely in moving forward towards my professional development goals. In regards to research, I’ve learned that research can begin simply – as something that intrigues me or that I am curious about. I’ve learned that I don’t have to know EVERYTHING about research to participate in a research project – I can partner with others who have strengths in different areas than me. Most importantly, I’ve learned that progress and learning gains can only be made when I choose to take the first step.

    My official mentor/mentee relationship with Penny will be complete in the next few weeks. I’m looking forward to participating in the ID2ID program again next year – this time as a “Buddy”. If you are interested in cross-institutional professional development, I highly recommend the ID2ID program. The application for the 2018 – 2019 academic year is open through May 7, 2018. Instructional designers “looking to develop new insights, connect with experienced colleagues, or explore new career paths” are encouraged to apply! You can find out more about the ID2ID program and submit your application to participate on the ID2ID application website.

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