Thursday, March 03, 2005

SITE: Maybe unfinished studies CAN be valuable

SITE05: Christopher Sessums, Univ. of Florida
"Examining the teaching styles of online instructors: A proposed research study of online instructors at the university of Florida."

Quoted Marcel Proust
"The only real voyage of discovery ... consists not in seeing new landscapes but in having new eyes."

How do we help teachers to think differently about education online, so they realize that teaching online is not just using old methods with a new tool, but means actually changing your methods to match the new tool?

He is proposing using an instrument to track how teachers interact online, and how students perceive their teachers interacting online, and overlay Grasha's metaphors on these results:

Grasha's metaphors, or orientations: (think in terms of a continuum)
Formal authority
Personal model

Research questions:
1. will the two sets of perceptions be aligned?
2. determine reliability/validity of results

Comment: Unusual that a research proposal was accepted, when not only is the study not completed, but it hasn't even begun! He hasn't even begun to collect data! But, I'm glad he was accepted and that I attended. He has some good ideas for how to research online teaching, and his presentation was engaging and well-prepared, and I'd like to work with him on a project like this.

This brings to mind the discussion going round about whether AECT should accept projects that aren't yet completed. I think we should--IF THEY ARE GOOD. We can learn as much from good ideas and research methods as we can from results because we all need to research and publish anyway.

Survey Instruments

The lady next to me in this session said this is a valuable website, that stores other instruments available for use.

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