An Exploration of Faculty Members’ Student-centeredness in the Field of Instructional Design & Technology

Dear instructional design & technology colleagues, friends, and students,

I’m Michael Grant, a faculty member at the University of South Carolina, and I am conducting a research study titled, “An Exploration of Faculty Members¹ Student-centeredness in the Field of Instructional Design & Technology.”  This study is for **both faculty members and graduate students** in instructional design and technology (e.g., educational technology; technology integration; learning, design & technology; learning sciences; etc.).

The purpose of this study is to describe the extent to which higher education faculty members in instructional design and technology employ student-centered teaching methods and how they define student-centered teaching.

This study will take approximately 20 minutes of your time. You will be asked to complete an online survey about the pedagogical practices you or your professors implement.

If you are interested in participating, please continue to this site to read more details, give your consent to participate, and begin the survey.

If you have any specific questions about this study, please contact me at michaelmgrant [at] sc [dot] edu.

Thank you and I hope to work with you on this potentially beneficial study.

Take care,

:::: Michael M. Grant, Ph.D. ::::
Assistant Professor
Program Coordinator, Educational Technology
University of South Carolina

This study has been approved for exemption by the University of South Carolina Institutional Review Board (USC IRB). If you have questions, contact Arlene McWhorter at or (803) 777-7095.

I’m excited to be visiting Georgia Regents University in Augusta, GA, over the next couple of days. I will be presenting some of my (and my students’) research on how teachers have initially been using mobile devices in their classrooms. This research was part of a course I taught with our doctoral students as an introduction to research. Collaboratively, we designed, conducted, analyzed, and reported the qualitative research.

I will also be presenting a workshop-py seminar on how to use QR codes with teaching and learning. You can view (and download) the slide deck at


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

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.

I wanted to let everyone know that I will be participating in the Institute for Intelligent Systems “Speed Date” program this Friday.  I was invited to present about the research and projects I am currently working on, so I plan to talk about

Here’s the info for the Speed Date.  I hope you’ll plan to attend:

2nd Speed Date of the Institute for Intelligent Systems
Friday May 4, 4PM-5PM in the Methodist Theater of the FedEx Institute of Technology (ground floor)

Confirmed speakers include Bonny Banerjee (IIS / Electrical & Computer Engineering), Eugene Buder (Communication Science and Disorders), Usef Faghihi and Xiangen Hu (Psychology), Michael Grant (Instructional Design and Technology), Chip Morrison (Center for Research in Educational Policy), Phil Pavlik (IIS / Psychology), Deb Tollefsen (Philosophy)


2012 Student Poster Session of the Institute for Intelligent Systems Student Organization (IISSO)
Friday May 4, 5PM-7PM in the Fogelman Center

(drinks and hors d’oeuvres served)


The IIS speed date is an excellent opportunity to learn about the interdisciplinary research at the Institute for Intelligent Systems at the University of Memphis. In one hour you will get a flavor of the various research projects that IIS affiliates are currently involved in. The purpose of the speed date is just that: a matchmaking research opportunity.

The IISSO student poster session will provide another outstanding overview of the interdisciplinary research conducted in the IIS. Students from departments as diverse as Psychology, Computer Science, Engineering, Philosophy, Physics, Education, English, and Communication Science and Disorders will display their research on posters.

If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact Renee Cogar (

From my Inbox:

This message is to encourage you and your advanced doctoral students to submit a Featured Research proposal for the 2012 AECT International Conference. Below you will find some information about this type of session. Specific guidelines for how to submit an AECT proposal can be found at

As the premier professional organization in instructional design and technology, AECT actively fosters the dissemination of important research findings. In order to encourage a greater number of high-quality research paper presentations at our annual convention, the Research&  Theory Division will feature a small number of research paper sessions. The following describes the nature of a featured research study:

  • A featured research paper must report on a completed research study that has not been published in a journal nor previously presented at a conference.
  • The paper should describe an empirical study that used primarily quantitative, qualitative or mixed methods.
  • In all cases, a study must involve the collection of data. Literature reviews, papers describing theories unaccompanied by supporting data, and other non-data-based papers will not be considered for this type of session.
  • A study must have been conducted and the data analyzed at the time a proposal is submitted.
  • Authors of an accepted featured research paper must submit a full paper (not a slide presentation or outline) to their discussant at least 30 days prior to the start of the conference.

For questions regarding a Featured Research submission, contact James Klein at

Best wishes,

Research Section Editorial Board
Educational Technology Research and Development

Mendeley version 1.0

In my Inbox today, Mendeley announced that they were releasing version 1.0 to users. Some one the newest features that they are integrating include

duplicate detection, nested folders, and a refreshed Word plugin that stores a mini-library of cited publications inside Microsoft Word and OpenOffice documents.

So, this is great news for collaborative researchers and open education resource users! In fact, along with the fun collaborative research and writing my graduate course this semester is doing, we are also using Mendeley to share references as a group.

Want to know more about how to get started with Mendeley?

  1. Mendeley 1.0 can be downloaded here.
  2. Video: What is Mendeley?
  3. Videos: 6 tutorials on how to use Mendeley
  4. Videos: Check out the new section of Mendeley’s site for short video how-tos

This semester I’m teaching a new graduate class. This seminar class is for doctoral students to get their hands and their heads around the scope of research. As a class, we are designing a collaborative study, collecting data, analyzing data, and writing it all up.

Not just is the class new to me, we are doing some things with research and teaching that are uncharted territory. First, as a class, we are collaboratively writing in a Google Docs document. While I’ve done this many times before, I’ve never collaboratively wrote with eight other people. Plus, I have also never reviewed and edited eight other individual’s works — attempting to integrate them into a common voice.

Along this same line, these students are all novice researchers and novice academic writers. So I am struggling with meeting their individual needs for scaffolding while meeting the expectations I have for high quality writing and research. For example, with one section of our collaborative literature review, I am pushing for a student to move toward more synthesis of previous research, and in another area, I am pushing for another student to integrate more structure and advance organizers to improve the readability of the review. (I am, of course, reminded that my daughters’ classroom teachers do this every day, differentiating learning to 20 students.)

I believe this complexity is compounded by the authentic work we are tackling, as well as the collaboration we are doing inside a common product. I also believe I am struggling with the collaboration because primarily the students are collaborating with me and not with one another. In order to provide some structure and procedural and conceptual scaffolding for the students, I have divided out sections of the research report we’re writing. So, individually, they are working on sections of the report. (I understand that some of you would argue with me to call this cooperative — not collaborative — learning and I would probably not argue back with you.)

I am moving toward peer editing, but we haven’t reached that yet. We are also moving toward collaborative data analysis of our interview data, and I haven’t quite got this figured out yet either. If you’ve got suggestions, I’d love to hear them. If you’ve got warning signs, I’d love to hear about those, too. This is uncharted territory and wisdom would be much appreciated.

Official crest of Union University (Trademark ...

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I just received my acceptance notices that I will be presenting at Union University’s Fifth Annual Research Forum. Yahoo! My dear friend and colleague Dr. Anna Clifford (whom I often visit and present to her students at Union University) informed me about this local conference opportunity, and she suggested I submit.  She thought my research areas on project-based learning, mobile learning, and technology-supported teaching and learning would fit well in this forum!

I will be presenting three presentations:

  1. Coming to Understand the Influences on and Artifacts of Learning
  2. The Promise of Mobile Learning in Higher Education: Affordances, Implementations & Challenges
  3. Teaching with Web Tools: Characteristics, Implications and Limitations

For those of you who are local around Memphis, then you may want to register for this conference.  Union University has a reputation of creating high quality learning experiences and doing events well.  So, I’m really looking forward to attending this year.  A former colleague of mine at UofM, Dianne Morgan, is also the chair for the forum this year.