My current research agenda highlights two of my academic passions. First, is investigating to what level of use users adopt various instructional technologies or information systems within all learning environments. These environments include both higher education (traditional face-to-face, hybrid/blended, and fully online courses) and corporate industry. Given that my professional background and work experience are both in the technical support and educational fields, I fully understand how both sides must work together for knowledge to be successfully transferred. My second research interest incorporates studying the best pedagogical practices to use in integrating these instructional/information systems and technologies to improve learner understanding and the quality of instruction.
The use of technology within the classroom causes various experiences both good and bad to occur. It is because of these experiences that newer educational technologies are developed. Frequently educators, corporate trainers, and learners will have a higher adoption rate if the system or tool was integrated using the best pedagogical approach. What I am aim at investigating is to what level was this system/tool adopted and the specific pedagogical approach integrated by both the instructor/facilitator and learner.
In my dissertation research, I determined to what extent had faculty members changed their patterns in their use of tools (e.g. announcements, grade book, discussions) after a major LMS migration. Along with investigating what challenges faculty members faced and to what level of support and training was used during this migration. The results were published in the Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration (2016), with a second article submitted for review to the International Journal of Distance Education Technologies. Because of this work, I have become an expert at using the technology acceptance model (TAM) and levels of use of the innovation (LoU) as underlining frameworks for future studies.
Previously working as the Senior Instructional Designer at the University of South Carolina, I had the opportunity to help implement a quality assurance rubric, largely based on the Quality Matters standards, for all distributed learning (DL) courses. Collaborating with other researchers, a study was performed to determine faculty members’ viewpoints on the adoption of this quality rubric. Furthermore, the study investigated if the faculty member felt as though their course improved because of using the rubric. The results were published in the Quarterly Review of Distance Education in early 2016.
To continue investigating LMS tool and classroom technology adoption, I recently collaborated with a College of Pharmacy who delivers courses using the broadcast delivery format. In this study, a team of researchers and myself, examined faculty members level of adoption of LMS tools within Blackboard, classroom technologies (e.g., TopHat, PowerPoint, lectern controls, document camera, etc.), training/support options used to learn these tools and what additional training/support on these technologies can be provided by the college. The results of the study were recently submitted to a journal for review in December 2016.
As result of one of the studies mentioned above, Quality Assurance Rubric, I have partnered with two faculty members whose courses recently went through major revisions to meet the quality guidelines. As part of their revisions, they implemented alterative assignments using VoiceThread and infographics. Working with these faculty members, two separate studies are being conducted to determine student’s perceived ease of use of the technology and if they would prefer using this technology over completing a traditional assignment (e.g., academic paper, blog, wiki, etc.). Data will be collected over the 2016 and early 2017 academic year, with a targeted goal of submitting for publication by late 2017.
Today, there many universities that offer degree programs fully online. I am collaborating with another team of researchers to determine student’s perceived ease of use and usefulness of the Canvas LMS at a fully online institution. This institution offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs in Healthcare, Business, Technology, and Graphic Arts. A survey instrument is currently being developed and should be deployed to roughly all 10,000 students at the university in mid-2017.
While I am very familiar with the TAM and LoU frameworks, there are additional frameworks that studies have used to predict technology adoption (e.g., UTAUT). I am currently performing a detailed literature analysis on comparing each of these major models. As part of my analysis, I am also reviewing any independent variable(s) that studies have often found to be a driving indicator for technology adoption.
While many K-12 educators have used the flipped classroom approach over the last decade, this approach is becoming a hot topic among many universities and colleges. Frequently I teach introductory computer and web programming courses online to a diverse group of both computer networking and programming majors. One of the biggest concepts that I struggle with is ensuring that students can apply these basic objectives to Levels 4-6 of Bloom’s Taxonomy-given that these elementary programming concepts will be used in advanced coursework. Recently, I have started to create 5-20 video minute clips on defining programming principles (e.g. what is a variable, declaring variables, what is an array, etc.) and using online synchronous sessions to review higher-level problems or examples. I would like to continue to flip the remaining weeks of these courses and gather qualitative and quantitative data on student perceptions of this method. While I have seen the flipped classroom method work in the traditional college setting, along with many research articles supporting this approach, very few studies have been conducted on flipping a fully online class.