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Research Apprenticeship

An integral part of our doctoral program is apprenticing students in research. Our doctoral students begin doing real, publishable research from day one through our innovative research apprenticeship courses. Students take courses with their advisor (and in some cases, other faculty) every semester of their graduate program. These research apprenticeships allow students to conduct research studies in teams with other students and faculty. Some permit engagement with ongoing funded research projects, while others involve student-led projects, but all involve extensive feedback and interaction with other faculty. The apprenticeships also permit students to practice all phases of research in studies that may span multiple semesters, avoiding the "toy projects" syndrome associated with scholarship that is exclusively course- or semester-based. These courses allow a more intensive mentorship process than those that are typical either in graduate advising or in semester-long courses. See the example below of one such project.

An evaluation of the research apprenticeships revealed that students felt they increased opportunities to engage in collaborative, publishable work from literature review to final publication. For more information on this innovative component of the LDT program, see the evaluation (itself a product of LDT 594) by Carr-Chellman, Gursoy, Almeida, and Beabout, published in 2006 in the British Journal of Educational Technology

LDT 594 Profile: Establishing a Theory of Knowledge Structure (KS)

Under the direction of Roy Clariana, this research apprenticeship laboratory for the past 4 years has developed innovative ways to use technology to describe and measure knowledge structure relationships as a basis for establishing a Theory of Knowledge Structure (KS). Most recently, we have focused on two approaches: automatically derived network graphs of students’ essays (ALA-Reader implemented now as an MS Excel spreadsheet) and a simple sorting elicitation task (jrate written in JavaScript). The approaches have been applied research investigations in f-2-f collaborative learning (in CAS 250 – Small Group communication and IST 110s), in online collaborative concept mapping (IST 110 and 110s), and with reading comprehension in second languages, with L1 as Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, and Korean and L2 as English. Students have presented our findings at multiple national and international conferences and have published in several peer reviewed journals.