As co-editor of IJPBL, I am sending out a Fall update for our journal.  There are some really exciting things happening with IJPBL, and I wanted to share those out with our followers, reviewers, and editorial board.

Good morning/afternoon, colleagues and friends!

Welcome back to a new academic year and fall (for most of us).  I hope your work is rewarding and it is going smoothly. I’m looking forward to seeing many of you at the annual AECT conference in Louisville next month. If you are attending AECT, please stop me in the hallway and say, hello. I would like to tell you thank you for your service in person.

Exciting things are happening, so I wanted to take this opportunity to update you on IJPBL.

New Co-Editor

I am pleased to announce that Dr. Krista Glazewski ( has been selected as the new Co-Editor of IJPBL.  Krista is an Associate Professor at Indiana University in their Instructional Systems Technology department ( ).  Please generously welcome Krista on board!

The slate of candidates for co-editor was extremely well qualified and their expertise deep.  So, this was a difficult decision.  I would also like to thank the current and former editorial board members, who provided feedback to Peg and myself, for helping us reach a decision.

Website Upgrades

If you have not visited recently, I highly encourage you to surf on over.  During early summer, I (Michael) worked with our publisher Purdue Press to update our site and make it more contemporary.  Purdue Press and BePress (Berkeley Electronic Press that runs & supports the publishing system) consider IJPBL to be a model for open access publishing, achieving both rigor and sustainability. So, all of the updates were provided pro bono!  Also, to increase our visibility with your colleagues, peers, and students, consider adding a tagline to your email signature for IJPBL and a link to our new site.

Volume 6, Issue 2 was just published ahead of schedule with four articles and a book review.  If you haven’t had a chance to take a look, then I encourage you to take a look at our newest published research:

New Features

Over the next year, we are looking to add two new features to IJPBL.  First, we will be working toward progressive publishing.  So, instead of publishing articles in an issue all at once, we will be experimenting with publishing online first and then gathering the articles together for the published issue.  This will help us take advantage of publishing to the web and open access better, as well as help authors get their works published sooner.  Be on the lookout for articles that are published online first!

Second, we are looking to add a Pedagogy or “In the Trenches” section to IJPBL.  This section would be in addition to the rigorous research we currently publish.  We are working on the guidelines over the next few weeks.  This section will represent more individual accounts of problem-based, project-based, case-based, and inquiry-based implementations.  If you have ideas about how this section may be crafted, then please forward those to me.  Also, if you or colleagues have a possible manuscript idea for this section, please let me know that as well.  We know there are folks who are experimenting with PBLs individually within courses, classes, or schools and may not be conducting rigorous evaluations, but they are learning a lot about what’s working.  We’d like to share those stories in a strategic manner.  I would love to talk with you more about this and how it might fit within our expanded publishing.

2014 Special Issue CFP

As a reminder, we are currently accepting proposals for our 2014 Special Issue on technology-supported PBL in teacher education.  This issue will be edited by Drs. Tom Brush (Indiana University) and John Saye (Auburn University).  You can find all the details by downloading the call for proposals at .  The deadline for proposals is October 15, 2012.  Please share this with your students and colleagues and across your professional/social networks.

Recruiting Reviewers

We are currently recruiting new reviewers for IJPBL.  Our best method for recruiting reviews is from recommendations by you.  So, I would like to encourage you to recommend two (just 2!) appropriate colleagues visit  and sign up to review.  If everyone does this, then our pool of reviewers would grow substantially.

Here is a sample email that you can edit-copy-paste to invite your colleagues:

On behalf of the Interdisciplinary Journal of Problem-based Learning, I would like to invite you to become a consulting editor for our journal. We believe your expertise would make an excellent contribution to our journal and offer the type of quality feedback authors deserve. Each consulting editor is invited to review approximately two manuscripts per year, and you are invited to attend our annual meeting held each spring in conjunction with the American Educational Research Association (AERA) conference. Your name will also be published in our Consulting Reviewers list at the beginning of each issue.

I hope that you will consider joining our reviewers’ board. Please fill out the form below.

IJPBL continues to grow, and much of this is due to your work.  So, thank you for your continued support.  Of course, if you have questions about anything we’ve described here or comments about how to better improve IJPBL, please email us directly.

Have a great day!

G536 Zoom in, Sign up This is from Dr. Doug Strohmer, chair of the Counseling, Educational Psychology and Research department, and it’s most appropriate for students at UofM.

Dear CEHHS faculty and students,
I am pleased to announce the availability statistical consulting to students throughout the academic year.  One of our new faculty members, Michael Mackay, will hold consulting hours in his office (Ball Hall 307C) from 2pm to 6pm on Mondays and 11am to 3pm on Fridays.   You must sign up for an appointment.  There is an online sign-up sheet that you can access by clicking on the following link:

Consulting is intended for students who have already put thought into their projects and have discussed their ideas with research advisors/chairs.  For their first session, students will need to bring a brief write up describing their proposed study (1 – 2 paragraphs).  The description should outline the research question and specific hypotheses, variables of interest, possible scales/measures of each variable, and study population.
Faculty are welcome and encouraged to take advantage of this resource as well!

Douglas C. Strohmer, Ph.D. CRC, APA Fellow
Professor and Chair – Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology & Research

Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Brad Smith via Compfight

The West Tennessee Technology Symposium is currently accepting proposals for their one-day event.  The information and link to propose is below.  This is an informal event and would be a great setting to sharing some practical tips.  In addition, Dr. Robbie Melton will be keynoting.  I’m thinking about going.  If you would like to go and possibly present, let me know.

When: October 24, 2012
Where: University Boling Center, Watkins Auditorium

The West Tennessee Technology Symposium is West Tennessee’s premier conference on technology in education.  WTTS features speakers from around the region on a variety of topics, all centered around the theme of technology in education.

Dr. Robbie Kendall-Melton is the Associate Vice Chancellor for eLearning and Mobilization for the Tennessee Board of Regents, as well as a full tenured professor at Tennessee State University. Dr. Melton formally served for ten years as the administrator responsible for the development and operation of the Tennessee Board of Regents system-wide Regents Online Campus Collaborative: RODP and ROCE and eight years as Associate Dean of Education: The University of Tennessee at Martin.

We are looking for sessions on any technology topic that would relate to education.  To submit a speaking proposal, click here.  Submissions will be evaluated and chosen based on how well the proposal fits the general theme of technology in education. Speakers will be notified of their proposal status by October 1, 2012.

We hope you’ll make plans to attend. For conference registration and additional information visit

This notice is from Dr. Zeni Colorado and the turnaround is rather quick:

AECT’s Research and Theory Division is excited to announce the call for participants for the 2012 Early Career Symposium sponsored by the National Science Foundation.

We are looking for Nine Early Career Faculty and Nine Advanced Graduate Students to participate! For more information and to apply, please go to . Due to the late notification of funding, we are on a tight timeline for application and application review. All application materials must be submitted no later than 12pm Eastern time, September 15th, 2012.

Louisville Convention : NSF Career Symposium

The AECT Faculty/Student Mentor program has merged with the Early Career Symposium! AECT’s Research and Theory Division is proud to announce the call for participants for the 2012 AECT Early Career Symposium sponsored by the National Science Foundation. The symposium will be held at the annual AECT International Convention on October 30-31, 2012, in Louisville, Kentucky. The symposium will engage participants in a day and a half of focused career mentoring and networking.

As mentioned at the IDT Student Advising session this past weekend, the Graduate Student Assembly of the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) will be hosting a Virtual Conference Preview on September 21, 2012 from 10:30 am to 6:30 pm EDT.

This is a great opportunity, and I hope that you can attend for any or all of the event.

No registration is required to attend.  The virtual conference will be hosted through the University of Georgia’s Wimba system.

For more information and to see the schedule, visit:
2012 GSA Virtual Conference | AECT GSA

This is a follow-up email from Joe Sweeney, the IDTGSA president, for the IDT Advising sessions this past Saturday.

To all:
Thank you to everyone who came to the meeting today!  I think most everyone found it beneficial, and it was the most University of Memphis IDT people I have seen in one spot at one time since I joined the program!

There were a few things that people were asking about that required a follow up.  Here they are:

1. The IDT department has its own library page.  Here is the link:
This page was created specifically for IDT students and faculty.  If you have any suggestions, please send them to me, and we will most likely implement the changes.

Dr. Dennis, the College of Education librarian, helped set this up.  She is extremely helpful, and can aid you in finding resources (articles, books, etc.) associated with your research.  I was able to schedule an appointment with her, and she taught me the right way to use article databases (it’s a lot more complicated than I ever imagined).

2. The site to sign up for IDT announcements (Job postings, IDT GSA info, AECT, ect.) is
Enter your email address into the “email subscription” section, and you will be signed up to get relevant IDT information and announcements.

If you have any questions about anything, please do not hesitate to ask.  There’s a good chance that if you have a question, there’s at least five other people with the same question.  I hope everyone has a great semester!

Take care,
Joe Sweeney

Although you're far...As we approach the beginning of the semester and many schools in the south are beginning the school year, I was reminded of this blog post I found a few years ago.  Dr. Bill Taylor, a Professor of Political Science at Oakton Community College, wrote a letter to his students regarding academic integrity.  I, again, think this is an excellent direction.  I am considering crafting a letter like this for my online course I am teaching this semester.  In fact, I may create a video or audio narrated version of this, so that I can convey my personality with this letter and expectations for high quality, professionalism, and integrity with every learning activity we do.

What do you think?

Add you thoughts here or on the original post with the slew of other comments!

Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Aphrodite via Compfight

This is abstract from Brandi Leonard’s dissertation research:

Students in developmental writing courses and first-year composition courses struggle with the writing process. Individual instructional strategies have been insufficient to engage these students or build their self-confidences for further writing courses. The purpose of this study was to understand how students perceive a combination of three strategies, social networking, the writing process, and cooperative learning may help students to be successful with the prewriting phase of the writing process. The three research questions were (1) what are students’ perceptions of a social networking tool; (2) how do students perceive a social networking tool influences prewriting in cooperative groups; and (3) how do cooperative groups work together to prewrite? A combination of strategies together with a high level of student engagement may help to increase student success in developmental writing and first-year composition courses.

Nine students across four sections of writing courses agreed to participate in this qualitative inquiry. Data were collected from semi-structured interviews, social networking posts, observations, and a researcher-made handout, and data were analyzed using the constant comparative method. Three themes emerged: Students perceived usefulness related to using a social netowrking tool, their behaviors, and positive results. Group interaction refleceted students’ positive interdependnece, individual accountability, group processing, social skills, and face-to-face interaction. Finally, knowledge representation was evident as it encapsulated the participants’ views on making their thinking visible and sharing ideas.

A discussion of the research questions integrated these findings. Students perceived a social networking tool to be valuable, beneficial to helping them learn, and an achive for their ideas. Students perceived a social networking tool to influence prewriting in cooperative groups by generating ideas, representing their contributions, and communications with group members. Finally, the participants’ perceptions and observations revealed that working together in cooperative groups to prewrite reflected the five elements of cooperation. Implications for practice with writing instructions, limitations of the current study, and implications for further research about timeframes, participants, and challenges are provided.

via University of Memphis ETD System.

The completed dissertation research file (in PDF) can be downloaded from the University of Memphis Electronic Theses and Dissertations system.

This is Suha Tamim’s dissertation research

The purpose of this study was to explore how health education professionals create ehealth and mhealth education interventions. Three research questions led this qualitative study. The first research question focused on the use of learning theories, instructional models, and instructional design models. The second research question focused on the use of elearning and mlearning design principles. The third research question focused on the use of health behavior theories and models. Twelve health professionals selected for their involvement in the creation of ehealth and mhealth education interventions participated in this study.

The themes emerging from the research questions showed a variability in how the participants used education theories and models, principles of elearning and mlearning design, and health behavior and health education theories and models to create ehealth and mhealth interventions. On education theories and models, the participants used elements of instructional design (i.e., analysis, design, evaluation) but did not use any specific instructional design model. Moreover, they invested efforts in creating instructional strategies that reflected instructional models of different learning theories but did not specify particular models or theories. Four themes emerged on the instructional strategies they used in the interventions: (1) connections to behaviorist approaches to learning, (2) connections to cognitivist approaches to learning, (3) connections to constructivist approaches to learning, and (4) unspecified learning theories. On the use of elearning design principles, seven patterns emerged: (1) interaction, (2) learner control, (3) provision of help, (4) use of multimedia, (5) engagement, (6) user friendliness, and (7) visual appeal. On the use of health behavior theories and models, three themes emerged (1) no use of health behavior theory or model, (2) use of a mix of health behavior theories or models, and (3) use of a particular health behavior theory or model.

The variability of the findings and the resulting themes suggested implications for practice and further research. These implications concern all health professionals creating ehealth and mhealth interventions as well as scholars in the field of instructional design and health education and heath behavior. The implications and limitations of the study were also discussed.

via University of Memphis ETD System.

The complete dissertation research file (in PDF) can be downloaded from the University of Memphis Electronic Theses and Dissertations system.

To all UofM IDT students:
I hope this message finds you well, and that you have had a great summer so far!  We are quickly closing in on the Fall Semester, and the IDT program will be hosting a mandatory meeting for all IDT students.  This meeting will include an advising session with your advisor, and will also include relevant information about upcoming IDT events.  We encourage you to attend in person, but if you need to connect remotely, we will be using Adobe Connect. Child care will be provided. Here are more details about the event:

Saturday, August 25th (First day of classes), 9:30am-11:30am

Meeting topics:
AECT information
Studio Information
General information: (review fall and spring schedules; review degree sheets, discuss key class criteria)
IDT Graduate Student Association Information
Individual advising sessions with assigned advisors.

Students, please use the following link to complete a general information form by August 10th so that we can better organize the event: