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Research in the Canadian Community College A Case Study Proposal Robert J. Wilson OISE/UT – April, 2003.

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Presentation on theme: "Research in the Canadian Community College A Case Study Proposal Robert J. Wilson OISE/UT – April, 2003."— Presentation transcript:

1 Research in the Canadian Community College A Case Study Proposal Robert J. Wilson OISE/UT – April, 2003

2 Defining the Issue 46% of Canadian Colleges report “research” as part of their mission (ACCC, 2003) ACCC has established a task-force on “research” and a national survey plan The Canada Foundation for Innovation has awarded $22m. to Colleges

3 Defining Research The definitions of “scholarship” and “research” are contentious issues in the literature Boyer(1996) created a framework that is currently accepted – 4 “domains” Most Colleges substitute the term “applied research”

4 Applied Research “may entail new knowledge creation and applications of existing knowledge but is addressed to clearly defined problems (usually company or industry) and leads to products or services…” Royal Roads University (2002)

5 Research: Part of the Mission? The traditional mission has been focused on teaching and learning Some fear that expanding the mission to include research dilutes it Some argue that “applied research” is a natural extension of the traditional College role in economic development

6 Research and Teaching A large body of literature exists, but, little of it is specific to Colleges Much of the literature compares the two activities and outcomes measures are inconclusive A newer school of researchers is viewing them as merged activities

7 Part of a Changing Mandate? Paradigm shift – “developmental education” to “the global marketplace” The “Innovation Agenda” as a new mandate for Colleges. Significant uncertainty among governments regarding the College role in research.

8 Why is this important? A major shift in mission and mandate is occurring – it is a time of change! These changes have been broadly embraced – with little critical study! Critical study can inform practice – if it is timely, credible and grounded in reality!

9 Purpose of the Study “to explore a sample of those Colleges that have recently developed a significant capability for conducting applied technical and scientific research and prepare a descriptive multi-site case study that explores important factors associated with this phenomenon”

10 Question One What factors influenced the decision to establish research capability and capacity at the College?

11 Question Two How do institutional leaders, and others, characterize the outcomes expected from research activity with respect to: Teaching, learning and faculty roles? The mission of the institution as it affects students, faculty and the external community?

12 Question 3 What factors do institutional leaders identify as reflecting the actual outputs of the research effort with respect to: Research outputs? Technology transfer? Student Involvement?

13 Five Domains of Literature Teaching and Research The Innovation Agenda The Mission of the Community College The Community College and Change The Case Study as Qualitative Research

14 Analytical Frameworks Models of change in the Community College (Birnbaum,1983; Levy and Merry, 1986) Model Definitions of Scholarship (Boyer,1999) Theoretical relationship between teaching and research (Colbeck,1998) Generating theory from case study research (Stebbins, 2001; Eisenhardt, 1989)

15 Methods – The Sample A “purposeful sample” designed to select sites rich in information about the research questions (Patton, 1990) 3 Colleges selected from recipients of CFI “College Research Development Fund”. Nova Scotia, B.C., Ontario CEGEP were excluded

16 Methods – Data Gathering Interviews Observation Analysis of Documents/Archives

17 Interviews President VP Academic Lead Researcher (from CFI submission) Resident NRC - IRAP officer Informal conversation with students and faculty

18 Observation Through spending time doing fieldwork at the site observing the nature and extent of the visible research activity and assessing the research infrastructure that has been developed and/or planned.

19 Documents/Archives Government papers/reports College mandate documents/papers Research Grant submissions Published research Media Reports/informal articles Any available material

20 Triangulation Matrix QuestionsPresidentVPAResearcherNRC/IRAPDocuments Decision Factors XXX Research and Teaching XXXX Mission and Mandate XXX Research Outputs XXXX Technology Transfer XXX Student Involvement XXX

21 Limitations Using a purposive sample rather than a probabilistic sample prohibits statistical inferences May result in idiosyncratic theory Ability to generalize from the results is limited until similar studies confirm findings Single researcher may compromise internal validity.

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