Scholarship: Evidence for Scholarly Thinking and Writing Ability
The two items I have selected as evidence of my thinking and writing ability are:
- International Online Distance Higher Education Project Research
- Proposal for ERDG 779
The first is a collaborative project that produced a draft of an article entitled Crossing Cultures and Borders in International Online Distance Higher Education. The second piece is my final paper for ERDG 779 (Quantitative Methods in Literacy Research) where I proposed a quantitative study that would explore factors related to technology integration in higher education in Russia.
I. International Online Distance Higher Education Project
I consider this project to be a major step towards my dissertational research. I acquired scholarly interest in international online distance higher education in the summer of 2006 when I first met with Jennie Dautermann of SUNY Center fro Professional Development and learned of our mutual interest in this area. By that time I had had experience both learning and teaching online and, as an international student/instructor, was personally aware of the unique challenges related to cross-cultural distance pedagogy.
Though online education currently attracts many researchers and practitioner, Jennie and I agreed that little had been done towards making this form of education more user-friendly to international audiences – ironically the very population who bring diverse values, language, and skill sets into the virtual classroom. Therefore, we decided to conduct a broad literature review involving studies that would focus on cultural issues and online/distance education. We were particularly interested in finding articles that would report on challenges that international online education poses for students, instructors, administrators and technical support stuff, and on ways to overcome those challenges in the context of higher education. Our review included theoretical works, empirical studies, reports and recommendations from practitioners around the world.
The collection of material started in the summer of 2006. I was responsible for identifying and annotating appropriate articles. The analysis stage continued in the summer and fall of 2007, and the final draft was submitted to the Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks (JALN) in December 2007. The initial deliberation stage helped divide the topic into four major domains - institution, technology, student, and faculty. My contributions factored most significantly on the issues related to faculty, student and technology. I was also responsible for locating and analyzing strategies and practices of successful international online education, and for formatting the text in accordance with JALN requirements. One of the challenges of this collaborative thinking and writing process was that almost all collaboration was done online: Jennie and I utilized modern communication technologies – email for asynchronous exchange of files and Skipe for synchronous voice discussion of our work. The literature review I did for this project will be further developed and included into the dissertation proposal.
Attached are the letter of support from my co-author Dr. Jennie Dautermann, and the latest draft of the article.
Crossing Cultures and Borders
II. ERDG 779: Research Proposal
The research proposal Computer-Assisted Instruction in Higher Education in Russia: Exploring the Factors that Relate to Technology Integration was written in spring-2006 and was a required final assignment for the course in Quantitative Methods in Literacy Research taught by Dr. Donna Scanlon. In this paper I propose a study that would examine how the usage of computer technologies in teaching is related to such factors as age, gender, teaching discipline, computer expertise, and beliefs about the value of computer-assisted instruction (CAI).
While I have not had a chance yet to conduct the study proposed in this paper, the step-by-step process of its development helped advance my knowledge of research design and encouraged further study of quantitative methods of research. This project strengthened my analytical and synthesizing skills needed to review appropriate literature, scholarly thinking abilities illustrated in planning and formulating research methodology, as well as writing skills necessary for an academic paper. Dr. Scanlon evaluated the proposed study as ‘doable’ and interesting and the paper as well-written and deserving the highest grade. While the focus of my research interests has shifted since writing this proposal, I still consider carrying out this study in the future.
The paper is attached below.
ERDG 779 Final Paper