Category Archive: Scholarship

Apr 10

Finding Time for Research

In any given week, University of North Georgia (UNG) faculty will attend meetings on such a range of topics that our neural cortex becomes a bit like pudding. By Friday of last week, I wanted a way to redeem the meeting-pudding with which I found my mind filled. The way I chose to do so is by acknowledging the ever-apparent commonality between all meetings; they are all about trying to improve the University. I saw a sub-theme of the scholarship of teaching and learning. It is no surprise; we are under pressure to improve our teaching and our research, simultaneously. It made sense why my thoughts would go there. If you are lucky enough to work in a department with resources and structural systems dedicated to research, this is an easier task to accomplish. For the majority of faculty at UNG, however, we must find the way to make our little domain in this teaching machine also produce research.

Two options exist, the first is break the machine. That is, drop your responsibilities to teaching and service, for a while or indefinitely, if convenient. Making this easier choice would be the incorrect thing to do. For the committed educator, a system where research is supported by teaching, and vice-versa, is the only choice.

The second – and correct – option is to develop a mechanism that attaches a second gear to your place in the machine. This option is vastly preferable to the first. After all, UNG’s goal is to produce quality people. There is no doubt; we are primarily a teaching institution. If our students are not achieving at their highest, we have become irrelevant in our profession.

How I am fighting to be successful with the second option research project?

First things first. Learn.

I’m relatively new to this type of research. So, I keep finding new information that helps me rethink what I am doing. Here are two selected articles that are guiding me in choosing research methods in general and in the writing of a qualitative case-study specifically.

Using Constructivist Case Study Methodology to Understand Community Development Processes: Proposed Methodological Questions to Guide the Research Process is a little thick on the tongue, but the article’s premise is a decision tree about how we chose research models and how to frame research projects. I copied the questions almost word for word and systematically have been working through them on each research topic. The first author, Laucker, is actually a student, and Paterson and Krupa are her advisors. As a teacher education professor, I’m always impressed with explicit modeling of scholarship in the classroom.

Five Misunderstandings About Case-Study Research by Bent Flyvbjerg, helped shape my thoughts around how case-study approaches would work best as a starting place in my independent research at UNG. It also dispelled some nasty concepts that were holdovers from my PhD training in the biomedical sciences. A light went off after reading this, and I recognized that my role in scholarship is one of empowerment. Using a co-written case-study approach is empowering to our students and makes for a more dynamic expression of classroom teaching. I think almost all faculty have at least one student who is causing them to excel in teaching practices, or who are asking tough questions in class. Work with them and make something bigger from that interaction. More about this idea in Step 3.

Second. Plan.

Organize your time appropriately. , so focus on the crucial tasks of making your teaching process a research process. I have dedicated times in my busy weekly schedule when nothing, except my spouse, is allowed to interrupt. Email and text notifications are turned off. The door is closed. A timer is set. I have only one item on my agenda and I will focus on that one item. When something comes to mind as I work, it gets jotted down for later.  If planning isn’t your strong suit, I highly recommend Textbook & Academic Authors Association’s blog to help focus your productivity. A great recent topic by Noelle Sterne covers 6 techniques to jumpstart writing efficiency and productivity.

Third. Collaborate.

Pick people you think you can work with. Don’t know who that is? Experiment with different people. Tell them the writing relationship is on a probationary period. If your partnership goals haven’t been met by a mutually agreed upon time, it is worth considering forming a different partnership. There are some faculty and students who I have greatly enjoyed talking with, we have similar research interests, but we can’t seem to accomplish anything together. There are no hard feelings; some work habits don’t mesh. No worries. Keep building those partnerships.

In your scholarship, don’t forget that Center for Teaching, Learning, and Leadership (CTLL) is on your side. Everything from helping you form a writing group to working on copyright issues is within their expertise. A quick recommendation from the CTLL blog: Diana Edelman did a piece about the Benefits of Faculty Writing Groups that is well worth considering. CTLL also offers Write@UNG, a faculty development program which focuses on research and writing skills, led by Michael Rifenburg. Check out his blog.

What is most important to remember is that we are all in this together. Every faculty and staff member wants to improve the University. If they didn’t, I’m sure that they can find adequate replacement salary elsewhere. Work as a team and continue to share your passion for teaching. When we are actively engaged in the scholarship of teaching, our students benefit. Make the most of your opportunities.


Mar 29

What Scientific Inquiry Should Be…

During the 2017 ACE Annual Meeting, MIT Media Lab Director Joi Ito gave a wonderful keynote about the importance of not losing the joy of discovery. Ito provides a thought-provoking reflection that many of us need to hear from time to time: “How to Survive Our Faster Future.”

I hope you enjoy it.

Jan 21

Weekly Work Habits and a Successful Academic Career

We become what we do. Our lives are shaped, in part, by the small choices we make every day.

Thirty minutes a day adds up to two and a half per week (5 days a week).  Over 50 weeks, that’s 125 hours. A good article might be researched and drafted in 125 hours. One article every 12-18 months is good productivity for a state university professor. Imagine if you wrote the equivalent of an article or a book chapter each year. What might you accomplish in a decade?  What might you contribute to your field?

For inspiration and a discussion of how to thrive as a university professor, check out  Kerry Ann Rockquemore’s How to Thrive Amid Academic Chaos in the Vitae area of The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Take time to think about your weekly habits.  Are you incorporating time for steadily working toward a productive scholarly agenda? Who will you be in a decade?

Nov 07

Introduction: Federal Grant Writing Tips and Tricks Webinar

Get a personal introduction to federal grant writing with discussions that will focus on resources, tips & tricks for strong applications and proposal analysis from the grant maker’s perspective.  The content of the event will be developed based on the Research Interest Form completed by each participant prior to the session. This information will be used as examples during the discussion.

Presented by: The Georgia Digital Innovation Group

Facilitated by: Robin S. Lewis, CRA | Director, Office of Grants & Sponsored Projects |
Georgia College & State University
November 18, 2013
2:00 – 4:00 pm

CTLL will pay the $50 connection fee and offer viewing at these locations:

Cumming: University Center, Room 246
Dahlonega: Stewart Center, Room 260
Gainesville: Dunlap Mathis, Room 137
Oconee: Student Resource Center, Room 564

Please RSVP by Friday, November 8, 2013
If you are interested in signing up for the webinar above, please register here.  Or, send the name of the workshop and the campus on which you will attend to:

Oct 29

UNG Libraries: Workshops to Support Faculty Scholarly Activity

UNG Libraries are offering ongoing sessions that support faculty in their scholarship and professional development.  Check out their workshops list.  They’re offering workshops on such things as bibliographic software and identifying the right journal for your scholarship (Identifying Publishers).  These are being held at all campuses.

Oct 29

Society for the Teaching of Psychology e-Conference: Teaching Competencies

Teaching Competencies

Society for the Teaching of Psychology e-Conference
Co-sponsored by the University of North Georgia’s Distance Education & Technology Integration
Friday, January 24, 2014
10:00 AM – 3:00 PM (Eastern Standard Time)

The Society for the Teaching of Psychology presents the 7th Annual Live e-Conference. The 2014 teaching conference will include topics such as (1) how do you know if you are a good teacher?; (2) how to elevate your teaching to standards of excellence; (3) a comprehensive operational definition of model teachers (4) evidence based practices for evaluating instructors; (5) student-centered syllabi design; (6) using and conducting SoTL in the classroom; and (7) how to align your teaching with APA guidelines.

Only Internet access is required to watch (and hear) the presenters; you will be able to test your connection before the conference. Registered participants will receive access instructions and passwords approximately one week prior to the broadcast. For additional information, contact Steven Lloyd ( at 706-864-1445 or Enes Aganovic ( at 706-867-3513.

e-Conference Program (all listed times are Eastern Standard Time)

9:30-9:45 am Logon to recheck your internet connection at your convenience
9:45-10:00 am Opening remarks: Welcome and Introductions

10:00-11:00 am Climbing the Teaching Hierarchy: Aspirational Benchmarks for Quality Teaching
Regan A. R. Gurung, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay

11:00-12:00 pm Beyond Competency: Striving For Mastery In Your Teaching
William Buskist, Auburn University

12:00-12:30 pm An Introduction to the Characteristics of Model Psychology Teachers
Guy Boysen, McKendree University

12:30-1:00 pm Evidence Based Practices for Evaluating Instructors
Jared Keeley, Mississippi State University

1:00-1:30 pm It Starts With the Syllabus: A Primer for Constructing Student-Centered Syllabi
Aaron Richmond, Metropolitan State University of Denver

1:30-2:00 pm SoTL Knowledge in the Classroom: Applying and Creating Research
Janie Wilson, Georgia Southern University

2:00-2:30 pm Strategies for Addressing the Revised APA Guidelines for the Psychology Major
Michael Stoloff, James Madison University

2:30-2:45 pm Closing remarks: Acknowledgements

Thank you to the University of North Georgia’s Division of Distance Education and Technology Integration for producing and broadcasting the e-Conference. If you have technology-related questions, please contact Enes Aganovic (; 706.867.3513) or Steven Lloyd (; 706.864.1445).

Registration Fees

  • Individual Registration: $20
  • Institutional Registration: $50 (unlimited access for all faculty at an institution)

Registration Process

Register and pay for the conference

If needed, you may mail a check or purchase order payable to the Society for the Teaching of Psychology, with a note specifying who the payment is for, to:

  • David Kreiner, STP Treasurer
    Department of Psychological Science, Lovinger 1111
    University of Central Missouri
    Warrensburg, MO 64093

Oct 23

Scholarly Open-Access Publishing and the Peril of Predatory Publishers

The University System of Georgia offers a range of faculty and staff development programs.  Much of this is recorded and offered via USG iTunesU. For instance, a recent faculty development session “Scholarly Open-Access Publishing and the Peril of Predatory Publishers” with Jeffrey Beall, University of Colorado Denver, is now available on out iTunesU site.

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