Making it Through the First Year: An Appreciative Take of the Research Group

If you are reading this, you may be interested in starting a Ph.D. or how what it is like to be in a research group. Well, I will begin by telling you that being a first-year doctoral student is no joke. It is stressful and draining on many levels, but I can confidently say that being in the Learning & Experience Design Research Group has helped. The LED Research Group offered me the support (both academic and emotional) I needed to get through my first year. When I was accepted into the Learning Technologies Program in the College of Education and Human Ecology (EHE) here at OSU, my advisor told me I would be joining her research group. Honestly, I was intimidated and had no idea what to expect. I falsely assumed that I would have to give up my personal research interests to participate. However, I have learned that a good research group allows each member to contribute their own perspectives to the group’s work.

As a first-year doctoral student, I had very little confidence in my work and not any substantial research to my name. That is okay!! It is thanks to the members of the LED Research Group that I plucked up the courage to create and present my first ever research poster for the EHE Research Forum.

Erin presenting at EHE Research Forum on February 14, 2019.

My advice to anyone joining a research group is to listen and take advantage of the opportunities extended to you through your participation in the group. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be a member of the Educational Studies Diversity Committee (EDGE), be working collaboratively on a manuscript for journal submission or soon be traveling to Las Vegas to present at the Association for Educational Communications & Technology conference so early in my doctoral studies. I am so excited that my work with the group this past year culminates this week at the OSU 2019 Innovate conference. It has been one heck of a year, but looking back, I can say it was worth all the hard work, and I look forward to two more years.