Academia, AECT, application, Conference, Dissertation, Distance Education, Education, Educational Technology, Higher Education, Instructional Design, Professional Development, Research, Seminar, Teaching

#AECT2017 Early Career Symposium: Now Accepting Applicants

AECT’s Research and Theory Division will be hosting the 2017 Early Career Symposium this year sponsored by AECT. The symposium will be held as a half day online conference October 28th and at the annual AECT International Convention on Tuesday, November 7 (half day 1-6 PM starting with lunch) and Wednesday, November 8 (half day, 7:30AM – noon, ending with lunch together with the AECT Board), 2017, in Jacksonville, Florida. The symposium will thus engage participants in a day and a half of focused career mentoring and networking.

The symposium will reimburse Early Career faculty and Advanced Graduate Students with the conference fee ($395 for Early Career Faculty and $240 for Advanced Graduate Students). Reimbursements are pending submission of receipts after the symposium.


Academia, AECT, application, Conference, Dissertation, Distance Education, Educational Technology, Higher Education, Instructional Design, Job, Research

Apply Now: #AECT16 Early Career Symposium

If you are an advance doctoral student or an early career faculty, I strongly recommend applying to the AECT 2016 Early Career Symposium. I participated in 2012 and it was a wonderful experience. For me, it was a great way to meet other graduate students and early career faculty (network). I also enjoyed interacting with the mentors (they shared their experiences in academia and provided advice). This are the intended outcomes of the early career symposium:

  • Mentoring of doctoral students into the social/professional network as partners in ideation, prototyping, idea execution, and knowledge curation;
  • Supporting early-career faculty and doctoral students in developing viable short- and long-term cyberlearning research agendas;
  • Providing specific feedback and guidance to early-career faculty and doctoral students about their research agendas (e.g. how to build a research agenda, pursue funding, and maintain successful collaborations);
  • Expanding and strengthening the cyberlearning community by creating a community of researchers committed to designing the next generation of learning technologies and increasing understanding of how people learn in technology-rich learning environments.

For more information or to apply:

Academia, AECT, Conference, Dissertation, Educational Technology, Higher Education, Instructional Design, Research, Writing

2015 AECT Research & Theory Division Awards Program

From the Research & Theory Division:

The Research & Theory Division is pleased to present our 2015 awards program.  These awards will be presented as part of the
awards luncheon during the annual conference in the fall.  Three of the awards require nominations and submissions to be considered.  The criteria and deadlines for all of the awards are noted.  You may use the table of contents below in order to jump to any of the specifics for the awards.


Please share the link to our awards program with your colleagues and students, and please consider nominating a colleague, a student, or yourself for one or more of the awards.


George Veletsianos
Past President, Research & Theory Division
Canada Research Chair in Innovative Learning and Technology
Associate Professor, Royal Roads University

Academia, Dissertation, Research

Dissertation Successfully Defended!

Dissertation Defense
Dissertation Defense

On June 7, 2013 I successfully defended my dissertation. I was happy to hear the feedback from my committee members. It was good to know that all the effort and energy had paid off. More importantly, I was happy to share my research with other academics that cared about it.

The dissertation defense was more than anything a discussion of the results, revisions that could enhance the document and questions about the process. It was hard to believe that I had actually conducted the research and written the document. I know at some point during the data collection process I thought…”I am never going to finish this thing!”

I must say that I am extremely grateful to all my participants. I cannot say that enough! Now I am working on final revisions to the document and once I get the “thumbs up” from my dissertation chair, I will be printing and delivering my dissertation. In my head, I imagine the sky will open and voice will say “Woooohooo!” but it is more likely that it will be a simple paper exchange.

Since it is 4th of July tomorrow, I would like to say to all: “Happy 4th! Be safe and enjoy some fireworks.”

Dissertation, Research

The Dissertation Journey – Part II

Here is a post on the second part of my dissertation journey. Since my last blog update my dissertation started moving fast. I completed the design and development of the simulation that I used in my dissertation research. I also completed recruitment and data collection procedures. After the data collection, it was time to start the data analysis. Throughout the entire research process, I was also re-writing chapters one, two, and three. Once I had completed my revisions to the first three chapters, I wrote chapter 4 and chapter 5. I have to say that it was a tremendously stressful period. I am very grateful for my family, friends and colleagues who provided words of support throughout the entire journey.

I don’t know if I can provide specific advise for others that are completing their dissertation but here are some of the important elements that helped me throughout the dissertation process:

1. Start writing early in the morning. You will get in a nice writing mood since it is nice and quite in the morning. I started writing at 5am every day for about two months and it was a good start to my day. It was definitely hard at first because I had to change my schedule but it was worth it.

2. Write every day.I got in a habit of writing every day as much as possible. You will not loose track of your ideas and you immerse yourself in the topic. Basically, you will get into a state of flow. It feels good. Also, it helps you keep up with your dissertation schedule.

3. Sacrifice a few weekends for dissertation work. I had to completely devote my time and energy to my dissertation for a few months. Social life and family life were very limited. Again, it helps to have a very understanding family and husband. Every weekend, I would would work a few hours (10 – 12 hours) in the lab. I would basically continue my writing flow during the weekends.

4. Read all the material for a section before you write that section. I divided my literature review into key sections that combined served as the basis for my research. I always finished reading all the articles, conference papers, and dissertations about the topic before I started writing about it. It helped me because I knew how to write and cite that specific section.

5. Think about recruitment in advance. One of the majors issues that I had with my dissertation was the recruitment of participants. I was collecting data from a fairly specific group and I was not expecting delays. If I could give one word of advice to others, it would be to plan for delays due to recruitment. Or, to have the connections in place to help you recruit the specific groups of participants you need to complete your research.

6. Limit your email, meeting, and social networking time. This is pretty self-explanatory advice. The better you are at organizing your time with electronic and face to face meetings, the more time you will have to work on your dissertation.

7. Take small breaks. Taking breaks while writing your dissertation gives you clarity and it will help your health. Sitting down for hours is not good for your physical health and it can also hinder your writing judgement. I tried to take breaks at least every 45 minutes (15 minute break to make more tea).

9. Have a support system. As you go through your dissertation research and writing you will have moments of self-doubt. Having a support system will give you the strength needed to keep going. For some of us this groups is our family but sometimes it will be your friends, classmates or colleagues. In any case, you get the point! Don’t think you can do it alone. It is okay to have a group of people that will cheer you in the difficult moments. They will likely be the ones that you will include in your acknowledgments.

Good luck!

Literature Review Table
Literature Review Table