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.

LED in 2018: Year in Review

Sign reading Hello There 2018

The LED Research Group celebrated its first year anniversary in August 2018.  Following Reeves & Oh (2017)*, we were founded with the intention of bridging the contexts of theory and practice, and showing how they could mutually inform each other.

For a young research group, we had a number of remarkable accomplishments.

Publications

Correia, A.P., North, C.A., Korkmaz, C., Simmerman, V.E. & Bruce Wallace, K.A. (2018). No prior experience necessary: Reflecting on the learning experiences offered by student-created online discussions. In T. Bastiaens, J. Van Braak, M. Brown, L. Cantoni, M. Castro, R. Christensen, G. Davidson-Shivers, K. DePryck, M. Ebner, M. Fominykh, C. Fulford, S. Hatzipanagos, G. Knezek, K. Kreijns, G. Marks, E. Sointu, E. Korsgaard Sorensen, J. Viteli, J. Voogt, P. Weber, E. Weippl & O. Zawacki-Richter (Eds.), Proceedings of EdMedia + Innovate Learning 2018 (pp. 2205-2218). Waynesville, NC: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).

Correia, A.P., Koehler, N., Thompson, A. & Phye, G. (2018). The application of PhET simulation to teach gas behavior on the submicroscopic level: secondary school students’ perceptions. Research in Science & Technological Education. doi10.1080/02635143.2018.1487834

Leach, A., North, C.A., Gintert, N., Correia, A.P., & Archambault, L. A Portrait of a Modern Online Graduate Student. In M. Simonson (ed) 41th Annual Proceedings of theAssociation for Educational Communications and Technology. Bloomington, IN: Association for Educational Communication and Technology (AECT).

Presentations and Talks

Other Accomplishments

  • Ana-Paula Correia was awarded OSU’s Office of International Affairs Academic Enrichment Grant.
  • Ana-Paula Correia was chosen as OSU’s director for Center on Education and Training for Employment.
  • Cara North was sworn in as President-Elect of the Central Ohio ATD.
  • Cara North was elected as AECT’s Communications Officer on the Board of the Research and Theory Division.
  • Cara North was a featured speaker in the Training Magazine Network The Masters Series.
  • Erin Clarke was awarded the Dean’s Distinguished Graduate Enrichment Fellowship.
  • Vicki Simmerman and Karen Bruce Wallace graduated with their Master of Learning Technology.

With such a great first year, we are excited about what 2019 will bring. We plan to expand LED’s presence both nationally and internationally, add more members to the research group, publish more of our research, and shape learning design and experience theory and practice.

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* Reeves, T. C., & Oh, E. (2017). The goals and methods of educational technology research over a quarter century (1989–2014). Educational Technology Research and Development, 65(2), 325–339.

LED group member in the final stretch …

Vicki Simmerman is in her final stretch to complete the Master of Learning Technologies (MLT). Taking four graduate-level classes in one semester was an adventure,  but it was accomplished by reducing student work hours and working while traveling. Three  conference presentations were also on the plate for Vicki during the Spring of 2018 (all with our LED team members).

Now, after an additional summer course in website design, Vicki is ready to devote her attention to working on the MLT Practicum, which will be an evaluative study of the OHI/O Hackathon in October 2018.  Hackathons are 24-hour intense collaborative events that offer a way to learn hands-on.  Tired but usually happy participants have the opportunity to meet real-world sponsors,  eat great food and share ideas and challenges in a cooperative setting,  all within a 24-hour period. Several surveys were developed and would be distributed to the participants. Vicki will be coding the responses to include in my an evaluative report to hand in to the leaders of the OHI/O Hackathon. This will be followed by a presentation of the main results to this leaders.

Vicki is expected to graduate in December 2018 after two years of intensive graduate-level work.  She is feeling energized and inspired. She is taking inspiration as usual from the LED group members. For example, Karen Bruce Wallace recently finished her MLT (after her PhDin English). Vicki is looking forward to this academic adventure  – lots to do with help from her LED research group.

  North and Simmerman presenting at Innovate 2018 with the rest of the LED members (not pictured)