Diversity Research Lab 2 offers new opportunities for researchers

Diversity Research Lab 2 offers new opportunities for researchers

Dr. Elizabeth Johnston and Dr. Ruzanna Topchyan are leaders for Diversity research lab 2 where new research opportunities are available for faculty or alumni who are interested in working on a collaborative research team.  The research designs are listed below.  Please contact Elizabeth or Ruzanna by email if you are interested in one of the topics.  Preference will be given to faculty working to achieve goals in the academic review process.

Dr. Mansureh Kebritchi and Dr. Elizabeth Johnston were the leaders of the first Diversity research lab established to support collaborative teams of faculty researchers in late 2015.  Six of the eight diversity lab teams had published articles by mid 2017.  A seventh article is still in review and the eighth team is still working. 

Study One (quantitative) Leader: Dr. Ruzanna Topchyan.

Title: Comparison of perceptions about organizational citizenship in full time and substitute teachers in K-12. 

Background: K-12 education uses substitute teachers, who cover full time teachers in cases they are absent from work due to personal or other reasons.  Some districts hire substitute teachers as part time employees and others (especially large districts) can hire them as full time employees. Whatever their status, substitute teachers are in the classroom when the primary teacher is absent which means that they may or may not be in the same classroom on two consecutive days.  Also, substitute teachers seem to be provided with a lesson plan to follow, which one hand makes it easy to get into the classroom any time with a roadmap, and on the other hand creates the challenge of teaching not being able to base their judgment about student learning on a previously taught class.  In other words, being invited to serve different schools and classrooms needs based, they do not seem to have too strong of an affiliation with many which is assumed to impact their feeling of organizational citizenship, which in its turn might affect their classroom performance.  However, it is also assumed that teachers might also differ in their perceptions of organizational citizenship due to their gender and length of teaching experience. 

Study Purpose: The purpose of this study is to identify if the perceptions of organizational citizenship are the same in full-time and substitute teachers. 

Research Question: Do K-12 full time and substitute teachers have similar perceptions about organizational citizenship? 

Theoretical Framework: The theory of work adjustment (Dawis, England, and Lofquist,  1984)

Research Design: This study is designed as a causal-comparative study. 

Variables in the Study: Predictor – Employment status; Outcome – Organizational Citizenship; Moderators – Gender, and Length of Employment. 

Data Collection:  Data will be collected using outside private data Collection Company. Initial information is being obtained. 

Analysis:  Factorial ANOVA

 

Study Two (quantitative) Leader: Dr. Ruzanna Topchyan.

Title:  Do task type and teacher immediacy associate with doctoral students’ perception of research course effectiveness in distance education? 

Background:  Research courses are designed to equip students with the necessary skills to successfully proceed in through the doctoral process.  However, there is actual and anecdotal evidence that not all research courses succeed in helping students developed the required research skills.  In their course evaluations, some students provide feedback that they appreciate faculty support because they did not seem to find this support in many courses, or they appreciate the fact that the tasks are explained in detail because it does not seem to be easy to understand what their actual requirements are.   This brings to the thought that task type and task design and teacher immediacy might be areas to explore to better understand how they relate to students’ perceptions of course effectiveness. 

Research Question: Do task type and teacher immediacy associate with doctoral students’ perception of research course effectiveness in distance education? 

Theoretical Framework:  Social Presence Theory (Gunnawrdena, 1995); Task classification theory (McGrath & Hollingshead, 1993)

Research Design: Predictive Correlational 

Variables in the Study: Predictors – (a) Task type, (b) Teacher immediacy; Outcome – Perception of course effectiveness. 

Data Collection:  Data will be collected with UoP students

Analysis: Multiple Regression Analysis

 

Study Three (quantitative) Leader: Dr. Ruzanna Topchyan.

Title: Inputs-Processes-Outputs view on doctoral program 

Background:  Graduate students progress through the doctoral program with different paces.  While some students move forward in a more structured way with perfect time management, some others take and retake courses and design research proposals that fail to meet the expected quality that does not allow them pass the quality review which places them back into the classroom.  The truth is that while students may differ in their perceptions about the doctoral program, inputs (i.e. learning autonomy, e-learning competencies) and processes (i.e. instructional and mentoring practices, interaction with social and learning community) can affect doctoral program outcomes (e.g. student reaction to program, students’ self-efficacy and intention to continue in the program). 

Theoretical Framework: Inputs-Processes-Outputs Framework

Research Question: Which inputs and processes affect the doctoral program outcomes? 

Research Design: Predictive Correlational

Variables in the study: Predictors- learning autonomy, e-learning competencies, instructional and mentoring practices, interaction with social and learning community, student reaction to program. Outcome - self-efficacy, intention to continue in the program.

Data Collection:  Data will be collected with UoP students

Analysis: Path Analysis

 

Study Four (qualitative) Leader: Dr. Elizabeth Johnston

Title: How do online college textbooks incorporate the new possibilities that technology offers for reading online?

Background: Many universities have moved to an online version of classes where students work and study in cyberspace, and, where a rich range of materials might be available for the learners.  Technology means that instructional design can include multi-media dimensions that go beyond text.  The classic experience of reading may change s an emerging visual culture replaces reliance on text (Brantley, 2015); and, often creates an immersive, student centered and experientially oriented educational context (Ciochin, 2013; Johnston, Olivas, Steele, Smith, Bailey, 2017), which features an emphasis on visual experience. Readers might explore screen-based texts through many different pathways; find embedded explanatory film, video, or links to sites that provide background or more detailed information.  Although we know about the possibilities, we have yet to understand how media might be structured to go beyond text and promote learning in online university classrooms. 

 The research question is: 

RQ1: How are universities using the potential of multi-media to go beyond text in distance learning classrooms?

Methodology will be content analysis of textbook publishers and/or college curriculums that are found at publishing sites or in college curriculums.  Most likely a conventional analysis will be used where coding is developed before and during analysis.

Research study four a:

Title: Tracing the state of the art as college reading materials reflect the potential of technology

The first step in research study 4 and 4a will be to conduct an extensive literature review in the emerging topic of multi-media in online text materials for online materials.  Initial results indicated very little on the subject in the existing literature so we may have the materials for a scoping review of the literature to answer the second research question.

RQ2: What is the state of the art in using multi-media materials in distance learning classrooms?

Methodology: Scoping literature review

 

Study Five (qualitative) Leader: Dr. Elizabeth Johnston

Title:  Online collaborative team member narratives of publication success.

Background: Online research communities are becoming a focal point for the changing paradigms of research development and publications. The online communities have been in existence for several years and may vary in size depending on the collective interests (Thompson, et al., 2009). Researchgate is one of the best known of these communities where individual researchers might share their research in nascent or published forms.  Another example is a Tennessee project that engages researchers from three campuses as participants in the Critical Conversations Research Network (Renner, 2017). Network participants share similar goals, intend to engage with one another to create and co-create new insights or knowledge, and share a skill set or other resources developed through participation in the network. 

 These extensive research networks allow hundreds of researchers to compare notes and discuss emerging trends.  However, online technology is changing the way adjunct faculty meet publishing requirements. Small teams of faculty and alumni researchers are working together to investigate contemporary issues in online contexts. Little is known about how these small research teams are using technology-supported tools to develop, communicate, write, and publish research articles.  

The research question is: 

How are online, adjunct faculty members using technology enabled collaborative professional communities to develop original research? 

 Methodology will be appreciative inquiry case study or action research.  A third methodology choice could be narrative inquiry.

Research study five a:

Title: Tracing the state of the art in publishing by small online collaborative teams

The first step in research study five and five a will be to conduct an extensive literature review in the emerging topic of online adjunct faculty using collaborative online groups for developing and publishing research. Initial results indicated very little on the subject in the existing literature so we may have the materials for a scoping review of the literature to answer the second research question.

RQ: What is the state of the art in developing online collaborative online research teams for the purpose of developing and publishing research by adjunct faculty?

Methodology: Literature review

 

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