In 2015 my supervisor, Dr. Rory McGreal, strongly recommended I become a member of the Global Graduate Network . After attending a few webinars last year on current and ongoing research in OER and Open Education, I soon realised that becoming part of this network has many benefits. First and foremost, we are afforded the opportunity to learn from experts in the field. Second, we are able to exchange ideas and practices with PhD peers from around the world. Finally, this networked community enables us to keep abreast of the latest research and development initiatives that are crucial for those of us, like me, who are just beginning to embark in the wonderful world of open education and OER.
At the end of 2015 all GO-GN members received an email about an opportunity to get funded to share and present our research at the Global Open Education Conference , which will be held now in April 2016 in Kraków, Poland. I applied, not thinking that I stood much of a chance of getting funded, but after a few weeks the email of acceptance came. The possibility of sharing my research proposal with other GO-GN members, and perhaps the Open Education community at large, is extremely exciting. Therefore, I would like to thank the GO-GN Network immensely for making my presentation possible and for affording me this invaluable opportunity to participate in this conference. You rock! I am truly grateful!
I am currently now in the 6th semester of my Doctoral studies at Athabasca University, Alberta, Canada. Athabasca University offers a a professional doctoral degree Doctor of Education in Distance Education (Ed.D.), which is a unique program as it caters to the needs of professionals and practitioners in the field of distance education by linking advanced knowledge and theory, research, leadership skills and teaching with practice. Consequently, the educational content and skills developed throughout the program can be directly applied to one’s workplace. Not only is the program unique, but also Athabasca University endeavors to be a world leader in distance education research via its faculty and graduate students. As a practitioner in the distance education field since 2002, the knowledge and skills acquired are invaluable in addressing critical, real-world distance education projects. In addition, the research component of the doctoral program will enable me to significantly contribute to the domestic and international distance education research community. The Ed.D. program has also afforded me the opportunity to have regular access to a wealth of information on online pedagogies and technological tools definite assets to my practice. Experiments undertaken in the projects I have developed and implemented have been constructed in an informed way, conducted in concert with practical theory and the existing stakeholder governance structure, thereby enabling me to reinforce lessons learned and to effect sustained improvement.
As far as my research proposal is concerned, I have written and completed Chapters 1, 2, and 3 of my thesis. My committee members, Dr. Jon Dron and Dr. Constance Blomgren, have already read my thesis and have asked for several additions and alterations especially to the literature review section, which I have made. According to Dr. McGreal and the committee I am ready to go so at this time I am basically waiting for them to schedule my oral defence. As soon as that is concluded, I will apply to the REB and once I obtain their approval I will go into the field. Therefore, I will be presenting the still “draft” version of my study at the conference. However, it will be a very useful exercise for me since I hope to get all kinds of feedback both negative and positive, which I expect will help me improve the final version for my oral defence.
For those of you who are wondering what my research is about, in a nutshell, I plan to undertake an intervention in a Brazilian K-12 public school to plan, design, and implement a pilot blended-learning OER Development Course for the teachers who participate in the study, and measure its effectiveness in terms of awareness-raising strategies, content taught, and instructional approaches utilized so as to extract OER learning design principles. I will be using Design-based research and a couple of quantitative and qualitative instruments to achieve the outcomes of the study, which I will address more in-depth during my presentation. My presentation, thesis, the pilot course that I will design and develop, and all data will be made available under a Creative Commons license.
Below is the spoiler opening slide of my presentation:
The Global Open Education Conference 2016 will undoubtedly provide a unique opportunity to learn and contribute to the growing field of open education. Having said that, I really look forward to the week ahead and am very excited about meeting other fellow Doctoral students and expert open researchers and learning about the projects and innovative practices that they have been undertaking in different parts of the globe.
I have worked hard on my presentation so I feel that I am ready to deliver it. 🙂 I started this Blog when I took the course Digital Skills for Collaborative OER Development offered by OERu. So instead of starting a totally new blog to register the conference experience and my research study, I decided to use this blog as my oficial one. Hope it works! Time to start packing. It is a long trip from Brazil to Poland.
Bye for now and see you all soon! 🙂