Adventures in Writing

Adventures in Writing

Adventures in Writing


Some just never quit.  Like the little engine that could, not only did we think we could, we are in the process doing it.  This is the story of team 3 (2016-2017) and team 6 (2017-2018).  These teams were essentially combinations of some of the same people.  We learned that we could count on each other and on the CEITR framework where we are all working.


We are most grateful for Dr. Mansureh Kebritchi for her leadership in making the Teaching and Learning in the Arts (TLAR) Cluster possible as part of the CEITR in the SAS Research Hub.  Led by Dr. Elizabeth Johnston, nine research teams enjoy collaboration, collegiality, and encouragement among faculty and team members, as various teams produce scholarly articles for publication and presentation at various educational conferences and conventions, such as the recent incredible Knowledge Without Boundaries (KWB) online conference.  In the TLAR research cluster, we enjoy challenges to engage, expand, and grow in our individual areas of expertise.  We are most thankful for this experience.


During 2016-17, team 3 (Elizabeth Johnston, Gerald Olivas, Patricia Steele, Cassandra Smith, and Liston Bailey) wrote an article using a model and findings from Dr. Kebritchi and Hirumi’s (2008) article about pedagogies in educational games.  We pushed further, and used the same model to discover pedagogical foundations of virtual educational applications.  The article was submitted and accepted for publication (2017).  Later, the same research was the basis for a book chapter emphasizing implementing VR into the classroom and was accepted and published by IGI (2018).  References are at the bottom of the blog.


This year, Patricia Steele, Elizabeth Johnston, Andrew Lawlor, Cassandra Smith, and Sonja Lamppa (TLAR team 6) hit the pavement running, writing, and submitting their article “Arts based instructional and curricular strategies for working with virtual educational applications” in July.  Just this week (September 3), the article was accepted for publication in the Journal of Educational Technology Systems (SAGE).  To our surprise, the reviewers gave our work an outstanding commendation, stating that the article is one of the better papers that they have received in the past few years.  The article was presented in KWB, and will be presented at the AECT convention in October 2018.


In the article, TLAR team 6 (2017-2018) took a deeper look into specific aspects of the hidden curriculum found in studio arts classes where the overt curriculum is to create visual art (Winner & Hetland, 2013).  The hidden curriculum built cognitive and creative thinking skills in visual arts class and we suspected the same opportunities might exist in virtual reality applications.  An extensive analysis showed our hunch to be accurate and we identified some of the same opportunities to learn specific cognitive and creative thinking skills in virtual reality applications as had been identified in the arts curriculum hidden curriculum.  And, yes, another article is being planned and led by Andrew Lawlor regarding a process for implementing virtual educational applications in classrooms as district wide adoption of the new technology begins.


Something is happening with our writing... and thinking.  What you write about must touch something deep inside of yourself, something that makes you want to understand, to experience, to pursue.  These experiences will cause you to reach further, write another article that stretches beyond where the former one could not go.  What we are discovering is that one well-written article can be seed for the next.  So, what’s next?   We are not sure yet but we look forward to learning more.  


Happy writing!  Patricia




Johnston, E., Olivas, G., Steele, P., Smith, C., & Bailey, L. (2018). Exploring pedagogical foundations of existing Virtual Reality educational applications: A Content Analysis study. Journal of Educational Technology Systems, 46(4), 414-439. doi:10.1177/0047239517745560


Johnston, E., Olivas, G., Steele, P., Smith, C., & Bailey, L. (2018). Virtual reality pedagogical considerations in learning environments. In M. Boboc & S. Koc (Eds.), Student-centered virtual learning environments in higher education (chapter 2). 



Kebritchi, M. & Hirumi (2008). Examining the pedagogical foundations of modern educational computer games. Computers & Education, 51, 1729-1743.


Winner, E., Hetland, L., Veenema, S., & Sheridan, K. (2013). Studio Thinking 2: The real benefits of visual arts education. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.





Mansureh Kebritchi's picture Mansureh Kebritchi | September 10, 2018 9:22 am MST

Hi Patricia,

Great reflection on your research collaborative experience at CEITR. Well done! 

Patricia Steele's picture Patricia Steele | September 10, 2018 11:19 am MST

Hi Mansureh,

Thank you!  I remember the first day I contacted the Research Hub and spoke with you.  You immediately placed me on a research team - Team 3.

Thank you for your comtinued expertise and support.  It has been an amazing journey!








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