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Get Your Geek On: Moving Ahead

Moving Ahead by Tracy Ford

 

The Big Three

As a new doctoral learner, I have absorbed as much information as I can to take with me through the upcoming courses.  Nonetheless, there are three distinct skills that I have attained that I did not have before.  The first is Bloom’s taxonomy.

At the beginning of this course, I found myself in the very basic stages of Bloom’s taxonomy.  As I worked through the discussion boards and the assignments, I realized how important it was to use the upper levels of the pyramid.  It helped me understand research, look for faults in the studies, and gaps for further research.

The second important concept I took away from this course was finding credible sources.  Ruscio’s (2006) book helped me find the earmarks of credible sources.  In conjunction with the library tools and the unit studies, I am much more comfortable finding sources that are reliable.

The third skill that I have acquired is how to evaluate the sources using critical thinking and fill the gaps in research.  Because I did not understand Bloom’s taxonomy, it was impossible for me to properly evaluate sources.  Without the ability to evaluate sources through an analytical lens, I would not be able to find the gaps that will take me toward a dissertation plan.  Along with that comes the ability to evaluate the methodology used by the authors.

Peers add to any learning experience.  The one comment that stands out to me is from one of the initial discussion board posts.  I was asked if I had a Plan B if full-time teaching did not work out.  I was already fearful of that prospect, but when I actually read the question, it became real for me   I was very thankful for Unit 9 because it allowed me to dig into career possibilities and find Plan B.

My perspective about research has changed as a result of this course.  I did not think I would enjoy research.  I was mistaken.  I love reading what others have done with blended learning.  It helps me understand how it works, if it works, and why it does not work for some universities and educators.

Challenges

The greatest challenge as I move forward in my program is patience.  Because it is my heartfelt desire to teach full-time, it is hard for me to wait to fulfill that dream.  The best way for me to confront that challenge is to take things a quarter at a time.  4.5 years may seem like a lengthy period of time, but in the scheme of things, it is not.  I know my patience will pay off.  It always has.

Excitement

As I move forward, I am very excited about taking my specialization courses.  I also feel empowered because I lived through the first course.  I was very apprehensive when I entered the program.  The syllabus and expectations made me very weary.  I remember telling my best friend that I was not sure I was cut out for doctoral work.  She just looked at me like I was crazy.

Professionally, this course has helped me understand more about my preferred field of study and the research that is missing for my area of interest.  It has helped me realize how important new research will be.  The gaps have filled me with ambition.  I want to break new ground in educational research and contribute meaningful findings.  I know that we all feel that way.  By pioneering research, I will be credible to other professionals, increasing my marketability as an educator.

Vision

Even though it sounds a little cliqued, I do have a vision.  My desire is to provide something new to educational psychology.  I want to give something to field that will help educators and students find success in postsecondary settings.  I am pretty sure I know how to do this, and I know what I want to research.  Still, I must have mentors to accomplish my goals.

The reason why I want to be an expert on the subject of blended learning is because I want to provide a solution for universities struggling with retention and dropout rates.  By composing a model that will provide transferable skills, students can attain proficiency in their personal lives and careers.  I want to prepare learners for the workforce and show them that course content can be applied to the world around them.  The general education courses in psychology are not meaningless.  They can be a useful tool for teaching coping skills, and learners can actually take important applications away from the class.

Conclusion

I was not sure I was on the right road when I entered this program.  Now I am sure I have chosen the right path.  I have learned so much about myself throughout this course.  I have discovered what critical thinking is and what it can do for my research.  I am even more inspired to move forward in my studies.  I will face obstacles, but the primary goal is to provide meaningful research to my field.  I have no doubts about becoming an Educational Psychologist.

References

Ruscio, J. (2006). Critical thinking in psychology: Separating sense from nonsense (2nd ed.).  Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.


Tagged: doctoral journey, doctoral work, education, Educational Psychology
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