Reflecting on the 2013 – 2014 Academic Year

It is officially the end of the 2013 – 2014 academic year (well except for the summer course I am teaching) and it is time for me to reflect on this academic year.

It has been an interesting year! First I should say that, I felt welcomed into my new position at the University of Tampa (special thanks to the EDU faculty and admin staff). I was a bit worried that after spending five years at Old Dominion University I was not going to feel that same level of comfort. Thankfully, I was able to settle in the fifth floor of Plant Hall and have great office neighbors. I also met a great group of ladies during my new faculty orientation and we made an effort to get together for lunch throughout the academic year. It is great to have cohort buddies that can relate to the new faculty experience. Last, but definitely not least, I am very thankful to the amazing students that I have in my classes. They definitely make it easy for me to enjoy the work that I do.

I remember reading a post by a colleague my last year in the doctoral program in which she mentioned that been a faculty member at a university was a “24/7” job. I though that was a bit too much but the reality is that she was 100% correct. It is a career choice that requires a significant amount of commitment and dedication. I do it because I love my profession and I am passionate about it. I do recommend taking time to “take a break” and enjoy life, when possible, otherwise it can be overwhelming. Do take time to stop and smell the roses!

A few updates:

  • This year I taught several courses in the ID&T program. I think I underestimated the amount of time and energy it takes for me to complete a “new prep” for each of my courses — every week. Wow! It was a massive undertaking.
  • On the research side, things are going well. I have research projects in different stages: accepted for publication, under review, in preparation and in data collection. I also have a few projects and collaborations that will be starting in the next few months. Some of this projects will be with colleagues and others will be with students. I am pretty excited!
  • I am participating in a panel session later this year at AECT titled: First-year experience, tenure, and scholarship: Supporting international faculty in instructional technology programs; so I am putting together a list of suggestions/recommendations for new faculty. I will upload my slides closer to the presentation day.

I hope everyone has a productive as well as relaxing summer! Saludos!

3 thoughts on “Reflecting on the 2013 – 2014 Academic Year

  1. To an aspiring young author (really a dream), what would you suggest I do to take steps toward one day getting research published or perhaps a book written? What does that process look like?

    1. The process really starts with a research idea. Once you have a research idea in mind, search the literature to investigate if someone already did this research. If someone has done research on the same topic, then think about something that is unique to your idea that would help add to the literature. Searching the literature is one of the most important steps because it helps you understand where are the gaps in knowledge (about the topic). After you search the literature, the next steps is to put together a research proposal. I taught a research methods class last semester and realized that, although putting a research proposal comes very naturally to me, it can be an overwhelming task. One of the best books that I have read on research design is “Research Design by Creswell” http://www.amazon.com/Research-Design-Qualitative-Quantitative-Approaches/dp/1452226105 It is very straightforward and easy to digest book. Highly recommend it to others!

      Once you have completed the research and are ready to share it with the world, it is always a good idea to start submitting your papers to a conference. It helps to get feedback from others that are also interested in the same topic and to get ideas on how to improve your literature/methodology/discussion of the topic. Also, if their is a colleague or mentor that could provide good feedback share it with them. One last thing is to consider publishing theoretical and literature reviews that, again, add to the body of knowledge of your field. If you feel that it is a significant contribution to the field, identify journal that would be a good fit for the topic of your research, read the author guidelines and read other articles published in those journals. You want to make sure your research fits within the context of the journal. Hope this helps!

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