Self Assessment

After receiving advice from other graduate students, I set some specific goals to accomplish during my time at UGA. Those goals include:

·      Research how emerging technologies support powerful learning

·      Teach and assist in developing interdisciplinary design-led innovation courses

·      Work with faculty and staff to think about methods to promote interdisciplinary collaborations, entrepreneurship, and innovation across the campus (Note: this originally was a goal about implementing design activities in secondary education but changed as my research interests evolved)

·      Assist in a grant proposal

·      Write articles and blog posts to share what I am learning

·      Become an expert at developing formal and informal learning environments that focus on 21st century learning and innovation.

During my first year in the program I wanted to figure out how I could accomplish these goals and what quickly find what my research topic would be. I came in with an interest in design-based learning at the middle and high school level. As I begin to take classes, attend meetings, and talk to other schools I began to not only slowly change my focus into higher education but also develop an interest in implementing entrepreneurship in interdisciplinary courses. I believe I am off to a great start in achieving these goals. Hopefully I can become involved in developing a grant proposal soon. I also need to establish a public blog to begin sharing the development of my research. I also hope to gain experience teaching some courses soon. I have the opportunity to help with the development of two courses this coming Fall semester and think they will be an asset to developing my instructional skills.  

I came into the doctoral program without any in depth knowledge of research methods. Although I already completed a research master’s program and conducted some basic analysis I did not feel strong in either quantitative or qualitative research. I was fortunate enough to take ERSH6200 in the summer, which helped me to gain a basic understanding of research methods before officially beginning the doctoral program. As I started the program in the Fall semester, I wanted to continue with learning both quantitative and qualitative research methods and analysis quickly. For both the Fall and Spring semesters I took courses in both types of research methods, which was a lot of work but made me feel more comfortable and knowledgeable about research. I also came in the program with an interest in design-based research and I was excited to learn professors in our program specialize in this field. Taking a course in design-based research and assisting with the upcoming conference has been invaluable in my development as a researcher.

Another area that I wanted to strengthen as I began the doctoral program is my publication list. I feel that this is the weakest area in my research development so far. While I did not reach my ambitious goal of gaining at least one publication in my first year, I believe that I am in the position to conduct some quality research that will result in publications. I got my first IRB approved to conduct a research study and there are some other projects forming that I plan to become a part of. I still have a (slightly modified) goal of having at least one publication by the end of the calendar year.

Over the next two upcoming semesters (Summer and Fall), I will begin to take my cognate courses. These courses involve divergent thinking and creativity theories. Learning concepts on these subjects will be invaluable to my research interest in interdisciplinary collaboration. My will be able to use the knowledge gained in these courses immediately in my research.

"Treat your time as a graduate student like a professional musician treats his or her performance repertoire. If you’re not constantly straining yourself to learn more and perform better, you’re in danger of being left behind."

© Gregory Wilson 2012