My thoughts on the quip, “do your research” (Guest post: Astrid Kendrick)

April 23, 2021

I don’t normally have guest posts on my blog, but after reading this piece posted by my friend and colleague, Astrid Kendrick, PhD, a fellow faculty member at the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, I reached out to her to see if she would allow me to amplify her message by sharing it on my blog. Here is Dr. Kendrick’s post, shared with her permission.

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My thoughts on the quip, “do your research”

Astrid Kendrick,EdD

Astrid Kendrick, EdDFacebook Status Update originally posted on April 22, 2021

I have the good fortune to be a funded (meaning paid) researcher over the past couple of years, which means I actually do my own research. It’s actually quite complicated, so here’s a brief (okay, lengthy) summary of how I “do my own research”.

Firstly, and most importantly, I have to do a comprehensive literature review on my research subject. This involves reading a ton of primary sources (e.g., peer-reviewed research articles, philosophical books). Normally, I don’t read secondary sources (e.g., news articles, websites) as those authors are only reporting on what they think primary researchers have said. If I do read about a study from a secondary source, I seek out the primary source and read that too. Often, the secondary reporting misses out on or misrepresents crucial details from the primary source.

This stage takes about 6-8 months and involves reading, understanding, and processing a lot of information. If you look at a citation page for any one of my papers, you’ll see that I usually cite about 20-50 sources. I have usually read twice the number of articles or books that I cite to figure out which actually relate to my research subject. Reading everything includes reading critique of the field to limit my bias.

Once I have read all the things – yes, all of them, including new stuff that’s published while I’m reading the old stuff – then I can apply for ethics approval to do a research study. Getting ethics takes 1-4 months, depending on how busy all my colleagues in that department are. I have to prove, as a part of this process, that my research will do no harm, I will mitigate all risks to human participants, and that I actually have read all the things about my topic. Without ethics approval, my research can’t go forward.

Once everything is read and ethics is approved, then I can do unique research, which necessitates keeping an open and flexible mind about my research subject, finding suitable participants, and collecting related policy or other documents, a stage known as collecting data. This part takes 4-5 months. In the case of my current podcasting study, data collection will take a year and for my compassion fatigue study, data collection has taken nearly 16 months.

Once the data is collected (usually by a research assistant which is why funding is great), I have to read, understand, and connect all of it (interviews, surveys, documents) and determine if what my participants have said or written lines up with all the reading I’ve already done. Not only do I have to know enough about the field to recognize when my findings reinforce already known information, but I also need enough knowledge to recognize unique or ground-breaking findings.

I then get to write about what my specific study has to say in relation to the rest of the known field, and decide if my findings are worth publishing. If I think so (in consultation with my research partners and collaborators), then I submit my writing for publication.

Being published in a quality peer-reviewed journal can take 1-2 years. The journal editors and other scholars in the field read through how my research study was constructed, how I collected ethical data, and they (also having read all the things on the topic) decide if indeed, my findings were either unique or further knowledge in the field. Normally, 2-3 reviewers read and decide if my article is well articulated, my study is valid, and then they force me to re-write it a couple more times so that it fits the standards of the publication journal.

Even those short Conversation Canada articles I’ve written are editorially reviewed and take about 1-2 months of re-writing after the initial submission to the editor. Sidebar: The Conversation only publishes articles by scholars speaking to their own unique research, so before my article is accepted, I have to demonstrate to their editors that I am writing about unique research and not simply writing an opinion.

So, “doing my research” is an exceptionally time-consuming process and tends to last several years. It rarely involves using Google, although I admit that Google Scholar can be helpful in finding newer open access articles not available through my university library.

Therefore, if you ask me about my topics of research (currently compassion fatigue, burnout, emotional labour, preservice teacher education, literacy instruction, and podcasting), you can be pretty certain that I know a lot about them, and you can trust my responses. You can even trust that if I say, “you need to read these 10 articles and three books”, it’s because I’ve read everything else, and those readings are the significant ones in the field. I’m actually saving you time from reading the hundreds of other articles that I’ve read on the subject that were irrelevant, difficult to read, or have similar findings.

If you ask me for my opinion on a hundred other topics, you’re getting just that. I’ve probably read some secondary sources on the topic, and likely even talked to some of my expert colleagues on their research and read the 10 articles they recommended, but my depth of knowledge is not the same as what I know about my research topics. I have not “done my research”, I have simply constructed an informed opinion that I’m willing to change based on new information from expert sources.

Thanks for reading, and to Sarah for posting, because now my husband, John doesn’t have to listen to my “What doing real research means!” rants on our daily walks anymore.

Follow Astrid Kendrick on Twitter.

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This blog has had over 2 million views thanks to readers like you. If you enjoyed this post, please “like” it or share it on social media. Thanks!

Sarah Elaine Eaton, PhD, is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, and the Educational Leader in Residence, Academic Integrity, University of Calgary, Canada.

Opinions are my own and do not represent those of the University of Calgary or anyone else.

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Webinar: Sharing is caring? Exploring academic integrity and file-sharing behaviours

July 21, 2020

Webinar: Sharing is caring? Exploring academic integrity and file-sharing behaviours

August 14, 2020

10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Mountain Time (Calgary, Canada)

Join Dr. Brenda Stoesz (University of Manitoba) and Josh Seeland (Assiniboine Community College) for an interactive session on academic file-sharing among students. Learn what some of the issues are, and how to address them from an academic integrity perspective.

This online event is part of the Academic Integrity Webinar Series, offered through the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning at the University of Calgary. The series is convened by Dr. Sarah Elaine Eaton, Educational Leader in Residence, Academic Integrity.

Presenter bios:

Brenda M. Stoesz currently works as a faculty specialist at The Centre for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, MB, Canada, where she develops educational resources and professional development opportunities for post-secondary academic staff. Stoesz also conducts research on academic integrity, with a focus on academic integrity policy analysis and contract cheating. In 2019, she founded and currently chairs the Manitoba Academic Integrity Network (MAIN). Stoesz holds a PhD in Psychology and Bachelors of Education and Science. She has more than 20 years of experience teaching high school, college, and university students.

Josh Seeland works as Academic Integrity & Copyright Officer at the Assiniboine Community College (ACC) Library in Brandon, MB, Canada, where his primary duties include research initiatives and library instruction/outreach at ACC locations across Manitoba. He is a member of the Manitoba Academic Integrity Network (MAIN) and chairs ACC’s Academic Integrity Advisory Committee. Seeland holds Bachelor of Arts in History and Philosophy from the University of Manitoba and a diploma in Library and Information Technology from Red River College.

Learning Objectives:

By the end of this session, you will be able to:

  • Understand what academic file-sharing is and how it works.
  • Understand how predatory commercial file sharing sites can exploit or deceive students.
  • Discuss how educators can work with students to understand what ethical sharing means.

Register here.

This webinar is the first in a new series being offered through the Taylor Institute of Teaching and Learning at the University of Calgary.

This series will deal with timely and emergent topics that are cutting edge, provocative or high profile in nature. Each webinar can accommodate 300 live participants. All registrants will be e-mailed a link to the recorded version of the webinar for viewing after the live event.

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This blog has had over 2 million views thanks to readers like you. If you enjoyed this post, please “like” it or share it on social media. Thanks!

Sarah Elaine Eaton, PhD, is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, and the Educational Leader in Residence, Academic Integrity, University of Calgary, Canada. Opinions are my own and do not represent those of the University of Calgary.


Summer 2020 Course – EDER 705: Doctoral Seminar in Educational Leadership

June 18, 2020

EDER 705 L01 2020I am excited to be teaching two summer courses starting at the end of June. One of them is this course:

EDER 705: Doctoral Seminar in Educational Leadership

Course Description:

Provides doctoral students with a contemporary Canadian focus on significant issues in educational leadership.

Extended Course Description:

This course is an introduction to educational leadership as a specialized field of scholarship and professional practice. It provides a historical overview of the study of educational leadership to develop understandings of significant perspectives, concepts, and theories as they pertain to current educational organizations.

Learner Outcomes:

The course readings, topics, and learning tasks have been chosen to help students to:

  • familiarize themselves with diverse historical and contemporary theoretical perspectives/paradigms in educational administration and leadership;
  • critically examine educational issues using current research literature to understand differing assumptions, values, and methods that are used to study and understand education; and
  • develop an in-depth understanding of their own assumptions and beliefs about the value and role of leadership practice in public education.

Course Design and Delivery: 

This course will be offered fully online, using D2L and Zoom.

This course is only available to students enrolled in the Doctor of Education program. If you are interested in learning more about our graduate program offerings, check out the Werklund School of Education web page.

Applications for next year open in September 2020. It’s not too early to start planning for 2021!

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This blog has had over 2 million views thanks to readers like you. If you enjoyed this post, please “like” it or share it on social media. Thanks!

Sarah Elaine Eaton, PhD, is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, and the Educational Leader in Residence, Academic Integrity, University of Calgary, Canada. Opinions are my own and do not represent those of the University of Calgary.


Journal of Educational Thought: Special Issue on Academic Integrity and Ethics

January 14, 2020

JET Cover 52(3)I am so pleased to share that the special issue of the Journal of Educational Thought dedicated to academic integrity and ethics is now out. I am excited about this work because it adds to the growing body of scholarly and research literature on these important topics, not only in Canada, but globally, too.

I was the guest Co-Editor for this special issue, together with the journal’s editor-in-chief, Ian Winchester.

Here’s an overview of what’s in the issue:

Editorials

Winchester, I. (2019). Academic integrity in the university. Journal of Educational Thought, 52(3), 187-190.

Eaton, S. E. (2019). Considerations of corruption, ethics and integrity in educational contexts: Guest editorial. Journal of Educational Thought, 52(3), 191-192.

Research articles

Lock, J., Schroeder, M., & Eaton, S. E. (2019). Designing and implementing an online academic integrity tutorial: Identifying the challenges within a post-secondary context. Journal of Educational Thought, 52(3), 193-208.

Lancaster, T., Glendinning, I., Foltýnek, T., Dlabolová, D., & Linkeschová, D. (2019). The perceptions of higher education students on contract cheating and educational corruption in South East Europe. Journal of Educational Thought, 52(3), 209-227.

Henry, R., & Gabel, C. (2019). “It’s not just a picture when lives are at stake: Ethical considerations and photovoice methods with Indigenous Peoples engaged in street lifestyles”. Journal of Educational Thought, 52(3), 229-252.

Miron, J. B. (2019). Academic integrity in a student practice environment: An elicitation study. Journal of Educational Thought, 52(3), 253-273.

All of the research articles underwent double-blind peer review.

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This blog has had over 2 million views thanks to readers like you. If you enjoyed this post, please “like” it or share it on social media. Thanks!

Sarah Elaine Eaton is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, and the Educational Leader in Residence, Academic Integrity, University of Calgary, Canada. Opinions are my own and do not represent those of the University of Calgary.


MEd Certificate in Academic Integrity

October 2, 2019

MEd Cert - Academic IntegrityThis program is situated as one component of a course-based Master of Education (MEd) Interdisciplinary. Students will undertake a 4-course topic in Academic Integrity to earn a Master’s level certificate qualification.

Program Overview: The Academic Integrity four-course topic fosters an understanding of theories of knowledge, knowledge sharing, attribution, as situated within an educational leadership context. Students will engage in research-intensive courses to understand how academic integrity is understood from the perspectives of theory and professional practice. Students will apply their knowledge in the exploration, critique and design of institutional, teaching, learning and assessment practices as they relate to academic integrity. This 4-course topic serves to develop professional autonomy and capacity at both K-12 and post-secondary contexts.

Program Goals:

  • Develop research-informed understanding of academic integrity, situated within current problems, as well as emerging trends in the field.
  • Develop and extend concepts relating to ethical decision-making, policy, academic misconduct case management.
  • Develop and extend methodological and theoretical competence in the field of academic integrity.

Format: Fully online

Program dates: July 2020 to April 2021

Applications open: November 1, 2019  Applications close: March 15, 2020

For more information about the Master of Education (MEd) Interdisciplinary: http://werklund.ucalgary.ca/gpe/

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This blog has had over 2 million views thanks to readers like you. If you enjoyed this post, please “like” it or share it on social media. Thanks!

Sarah Elaine Eaton is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, and the Educational Leader in Residence, Academic Integrity, University of Calgary, Canada. Opinions are my own and do not represent those of the University of Calgary.


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