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Creative Virtual Communities of Scholarship Mark Alexander Vice President, Curriculum and Content Services Grand Canyon University.

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Presentation on theme: "Creative Virtual Communities of Scholarship Mark Alexander Vice President, Curriculum and Content Services Grand Canyon University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Creative Virtual Communities of Scholarship Mark Alexander Vice President, Curriculum and Content Services Grand Canyon University

2  Traditional Campus  Full-time and Adjunct Faculty  Non-traditional Campus  Full-time and Adjunct Faculty  Doctoral Learners  Non-traditional, online  How do you engage a distributed, diverse population of faculty and students?  Center for Innovation and Research in Teaching  Doctoral Candidate (DC) Network

3 Doctoral Education The Problem  Doctoral Attrition remains at relatively the same level during the past 50 years, even though the number of doctoral learners has increased by an average of 3.8% each year (Hoffer, et al., 2001)  Doctoral attrition (40 – 70%) is a well documented problem and is often considered, “ok”, as rite of passage (Hawlery, 2003; Lovitts, 2001; Lovitts & Nelson, 2000)  Most recently, in a study of 29 U.S. and Canadian universities, only 57% of Ph.D candidates completed their program within a decade! (Sowell, Zhang, Redd, & King, 2008)

4 Key Studies Exploring Doctoral Attrition  Difference of opinion of why doctoral students leave their programs of study (Lovitts, 2001)  Possible causes of attrition:  Learner Isolation (Azad & Kohum, 2006, Stallone, 2004, Hawley, 2003, Lovitts, 2001)  Unclear requirements (Azad & Kohum, 2006 )  Little academic difference between those who complete vs those who do not complete (Lovitts, 2011)

5 Complexity

6 Goals  A learner driven, scholarly community designed to help learners successfully complete their program of study  Provide a rich collaborative environment that includes resources, roadmaps, references, and tools to support learners in becoming independent scholars, capable of producing and publishing high-quality research.  Create appropriate supplemental resources.


8 Research / Dissertation

9 Dissertation Topic

10 Faculty Bios

11 Tutoring

12 Population, Sample, & Methodology  Population  48 Graduates and Users of DC  Equal representation male/female  41.7% digital native, 58.3% digital immigrant  Sample  24 Graduates and Users of DC  Methodology, Sampling, & Analysis  Quantitative  Online Survey- 14 questions  Survey open from 4.15.13 and 4.20.13  Results of the survey were analyzed using descriptive statistics

13 Research Questions  Do graduating doctoral students value the DC Network?  What resources are graduating doctoral students using on the DC Network?  Are there differences in graduating doctoral student usage between digital natives and digital immigrants?

14 Logon Frequency


16 Connection

17 Helped me…

18 DC Activity  Learners who logon to DC more than 1 time per week reported less isolation, greater connection with other learners Logon / Week NReduced isolation % 0 - 1 logon1417.1% 2+ logon10770.0% Logon / Week NConnection to Learners % 0 - 1 logon14214% 2+ logons10660%

19 Results  Do graduating doctoral students value the DC Network?  91% responded that the DC network helped them locate dissertation resources  78% responded that the DC network helped them locate research resources  67% responded that the DC network helped them complete their doctoral program of study  58% responded that the DC network helped them feel connected to other learners  56% responded that the DC network helped them feel connected to faculty

20 Results  What resources are graduating doctoral students using on the DC Network?  92% indicated that they used the scholarly network to find doctoral resources (templates, IRB, course sequence, sample dissertations…)  63% indicated that they use the scholarly network to communicate with others (share research ideas, discover new content, help one another,... )  62% private messages  54% read blog  54% read forum

21 Results  Are there differences in graduate doctoral student DC usage when comparing digital natives vs. digital immigrants?  60% of digital natives and 78% of digital immigrants reported logging on to the DC network at least once per week  10% of digital natives and 64% of the digital immigrants logon at least twice a week  20% of digital natives and 50% of digital immigrants reported that they somewhat agreed or agreed that the DC network help them feel less isolated

22 Summary  Promising results (so far) reduce isolation and build community

23 Next Steps  What factors enable persistence?  Doctoral Community, faculty, curriculum, academic counselors, residency  What factors affect isolation?  Doctoral Community, faculty, curriculum, academic counselors, residency

24 GCU Scholarly Engagement Discovery Application Teaching Integration

25 Discovery Application Teaching Integration Scholarship of discovery includes original research to advance knowledge. Scholarship of Discovery  Encompasses those scholarly activities that extend the stock of human knowledge through the research or collection of new information  Emphasis on the creation of knowledge; aligns with the traditional view of “research”  Includes empirical (quantitative/qualitative), theoretical or applied investigations  Evidenced through peer- reviewed publications, presentations and grant funding

26 Discovery Application Teaching Integration Scholarship of integration includes synthesis of information across disciplines, topics or time. Scholarship of Integration  Involves interdisciplinary or interpretive activities or writing, and research across disciplines into a larger context  Emphasis on making information meaningful in a broader context  Includes writing books or review papers, collections or interpretations of multisource work, or creation of an integrated website  Evidenced through products that exhibit disciplinary rigor and have substantial intellectual implications

27 Discovery Application Teaching Integration Scholarship of teaching includes the systematic study of teaching and learning processes Scholarship of Teaching  Includes activities that improve the teaching and advising of students, the development and publication of materials to use in teaching, and theoretical and practical works that extend the range of knowledge about the pedagogical process  Emphasis on intentional inquiry and systematic reflection about one's teaching  Includes empirical investigations of pedagogy, systematic reflections on teaching, engagement in a teaching community  Evidenced through teaching portfolio, publications, presentations, and creation of pedagogical resources

28 Discovery Application Teaching Integration Scholarship of application (engagement) includes the application of disciplinary expertise. Scholarship of Application  Includes scholarly activities, which apply one’s content expertise and knowledge to the betterment and service of the academy and society  Emphasis on service activities and applied work tied directly to one's special field of knowledge  Includes application of theoretical models to address social issues, client-centered investigations, and service to the profession  Evidenced through service portfolio, publications, presentations, contributions to advance the professional community

29 Discovery Application Teaching Integration  Essential to the definition of scholarship is that scholarly activities are publicly disseminated in a manner that allows review, critique, application and recognition by one’s academic peers Public Dissemination

30 Center for Innovation in Research and Teaching (CIRT) Mission: Foster a culture of critical reflection to promote innovation in teaching, learning and research. Vision: Faculty at Grand Canyon University will be renowned leaders in teaching, research and innovation. Goals:  Facilitate dissemination of evidence-based teaching principles, strategies, and educational policy  Create opportunities for scholarly reflection, dialogue and exchange  Promote a scholarly approach to teaching, learning and assessment  Foster innovative instructional and assessment strategies in the classroom

31 Scholarly Engagement and Research Grants Support participation at scholarly conferences via funding for: Research Grant funding helps promote research activities via funding for: Acquisition of research materials Research assistance, including graduate or undergraduate assistants or independent contractors Editorial support and/or publication subvention Key Indicators: $60,000 funding budgeted for 2012 4 grants awarded in 2011

32 Journal of Instructional Research Annual publication by the Center for Innovation in Research and Teaching at Grand Canyon University that highlights faculty research relevant to best practices in post-secondary instruction. Unique to JIR is the use of a two- stage evaluation process with public peer review, interactive discussion and peer review. Key Indicators: 10 manuscript submissions for 2011 volume 44 public reviewers from GCU External editorial review board 2000+ views of discussion papers

33 Collaborative Research Circles Designed to facilitate research centered on similar topics or shared interests. Each collaborative research circle is led by an expert faculty with relevant research interests. Key Indicators: 2 active research circles Participation of faculty and doctoral students 5 active research studies

34 Canyon Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies An annual online publication coordinated by the Center for Innovation in Research and Teaching at Grand Canyon University (GCU) that highlights exemplary student and faculty research completed at GCU. Key Indicators: Interdisciplinary editorial and peer review board 6 manuscripts accepted for publication in 2011

35 Research Library The research library contains a range of resources to help support both novice and experienced researchers. The materials provide generalized information applicable to a range of disciplines and research styles. Key Indicators: 21 resources with 4000+ views

36 Research Tips Provide the latest information, resources and conference information to support the conducting research and disseminating the findings. Key Indicators: 15 articles with 400+ views

37 Research Seminars Provide multimedia presentations concerning “how to” information for planning, conducting and implementing research. In addition, seminars highlight strategies to enhance public dissemination of research. Key Indicators: 122 views of initial seminar

38 Research Spotlight Highlights faculty scholarly activities that have been recently published or presented at an academic outlet. Key Indicators: 17 faculty contributors with 324 views

39 Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Enhance student learning by approaching the process of teaching with the same empirical rigor that is applied to traditional research endeavors. This improves the effectiveness of their own teaching while contributing to the larger body of knowledge on best practices in post-secondary teaching. Key Indicators: 32 articles with 1200+ views

40 Online Teaching Showcase Provides a forum for the scholarly exchange of best practices in virtual education. Designed to foster instructional effectiveness, OTS features experienced online faculty sharing strategies that optimize learning and engagement in the online classroom. Key Indicators: 6 faculty presentations with 2500+ views

41 Teaching Webinars In collaboration with the Faculty Training & Development department, CIRT offers an interactive webinar series focusing on Multimedia Instructional Strategies for Teaching (MIST). Key Indicators: 11 webinars with 202 faculty attending

42 Teaching Tips Online, asynchronous resources (15 minutes to 1 hour in duration) providing theoretical and pedagogical information to promote best practices in instruction. Teaching Tips are designed to be completed at the convenience and discretion of each faculty member. Key Indicators: 6 presentations with 3000+ views

43 Technology Tools Short, online, asynchronous modules highlighting a technology teaching tool along with relevant pedagogical implementation strategies. Each tool is designed to provide a quick snapshot of the technology, a demonstration of how to use the resource and ideas for implementing the tool in a pedagogically sound manner. Key Indicators: 17 presentations with 2500+ views

44 Teaching Resources Designed to be used by instructors to provide additional assistance to students on common academic issues; students can be directed to this site for information, activities and resources. Key Indicators: 35 resources with 3500+ views

45 Teaching Circles Teaching circles are designed to provide faculty an opportunity to discuss, collaborate and share best practices relevant to the specific assignments and activities of each target course. Key Indicators: 9 participants in pilot program of initial course

46 Classroom Spotlight The classroom spotlight features best practices and innovative instructional strategies as demonstrated by GCU faculty. Key Indicators: 25 faculty contributors with 2700+ views

47 Questions?

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