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Scholarship

One of my chief jobs at UALR is to develop new technologies for teaching writing and engaging students in literacy practices, to deploy those technologies in my and my peers' classrooms, to study how students use those technologies and whether that use contributes positively to course/curricular outcomes, and then to publish the findings of those studies.

Having worked in industry as as writer, programmer, software tester, and project manager for about ten years before returning to the university to work on my PhD, I understand at least one key difference between the two environments: at university, faculty who develop, use, and teach about technology must also publish findings with respect to their innovations. Professors who neglect this duty risk being labeled technicians and being treated as such by their peers. In fact, my mantra with respect to the programming I've done since returning to the university is a bit similar to the old question about the tree falling in the woods: "If we don't publish and present about an innovation, did we really develop it?" Despite efforts of various groups like the Conference on College Composition and Communication to educate tenure and promotion committees about the extensive time commitments involved with learning, developing, and teaching new communication technologies, I believe that for the time being--and for better or worse--publication continues to be the coin of the academic realm.

Because I develop and study technologies for classroom use, I must also make sure that these studies adhere to ethical standards with respect to the human subjects involved. Throughout my time at UALR, I have advocated for faculty peers and my graduate students completing Institutional Review Board (IRB) review forms for any study involving people. Developing and submitting these review requests not only ensures the ethical treatment of folks kind enough to participate in our studies, it helps us as researchers very clearly define our methods in writing. IRB review requests for the publications and presentations springing from research conducted on the UALR campus appear below. I wrote most of the content on the following review requests, save for the one related to the First-Year Writing video. Betty Freeland produced most of that content. All of these requests received approval from UALR's IRB.

Our Campus, Our Voices

First-Year Writing Video

Article: The Game

Eye on Conferencing