AERA Offering Methods, Comms Professional Development Series

May 8, 2020 2597

Even amid a pandemic academics have an ongoing need and desire for professional development, and the American Educational Research Association has responded by offering a virtual academy. The Virtual Research Learning Series offers nine four-hour courses, the first starting on May 19 and the ninth in mid-September.

The courses address research methodology – quantitative, qualitative and evaluation – and communication and are taught by experts in the respective arenas. The courses can be attended live –they run from 1 to 5 p.m. ET — or via on-demand access. Cost for each is $35. The director of the series is AERA’s George L. Wimberly.

To register or to learn more about the individual courses, click here. Brief descriptions of each appears below in order of their start dates.

AERA is the largest U.S. interdisciplinary research association devoted to the scientific study of education and learning.


Tuesday, May 19 | What Would it Take to Change Your Inference? Quantifying the Discourse about Causal Inferences in the Social Sciences | Instructor: Kenneth Frank, Michigan State University

Statistical inferences are often challenged because of uncontrolled bias. There may be bias due to uncontrolled confounding variables or nonrandom selection into a sample. We will turn concerns about potential bias into questions about how much bias there must be to invalidate an inference. Participants should be comfortable with the general linear model (e.g., multiple regression) and statistical inference.

Thursday, May 21 | How to Get Published: Guidance from Emerging and Established Scholars | Instructors: Patricia A. Alexander, University of Maryland, College Park (course director); Yuting Sun, University of Maryland, College Park; Anisha Singh, University of Maryland, College Park; Jannah Fusenig, University of Maryland, College Park; Eric Schoute, University of Maryland, College Park; Julianne van Meerten, University of Maryland, College Park; DeLeon Gray, Michigan State University; Matthew McCrudden, Pennsylvania State University; Panayiota Kendeou, University of Minnesota; Jeffrey R. Harring, University of Maryland, College Park; Diane Schallert, University of Texas, Austin; Sofie Loyens, University College Roosevelt; and Jeffrey A. Greene, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

This course aimed at graduate students and early career faculty will provide with critical information about how to publish. The course will begin with an overview of the nuts and bolts of academic publishing. Following this, scholars will present detailed sessions that cover the entire publishing process—from conceptualizing studies to preparing well-crafted manuscripts targeted to relevant journals.

Wednesday, June 3 | Sharing Your Research with the World | Instructor: Jenny Grant Rankin, U.S. Department of State (Fulbright Specialist Program)

This course focuses on how to communicate research to large, diverse audiences. It is appropriate for participants who have researched (or are currently researching) any topic within the education field and who want their findings to reach as many people as possible in order to help as many students as possible.

Thursday, June 4 | Introduction to Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis | Instructors: Terri D. Pigott, Georgia State University (course director); Amy L. Dent, University of California, Irvine; Joshua R. Polanin, American Institutes for Research; Joseph Taylor, UCCS

This interactive course will introduce the basics of systematic review and meta-analysis. Topics covered include developing a research question, searching the literature, evaluating and coding studies, conducting a meta-analysis, and interpreting results for various stakeholders. Participants are encouraged to bring an idea for a systematic review to the course.

Wednesday, June 10 | The Future is Here: Analyzing NAEP Process Data Using R | Instructors : Emmanuel Sikali, U.S. Department of Education (course co-director); Ruhan Circi, American Institutes for Research (course co-director); Xiaying Zheng, American Institutes for Research; Juanita Hicks, American Institutes for Research; Soo Youn Lee, American Institutes for Research; Tiago A. Caliço, American Institutes for Research

This course will introduce the unique features of National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) process data to researchers and provide necessary guidance on how to appropriately prepare and analyze this new data type. The course will provide participants with hands-on practice training in analyzing NAEP process data using the R statistical analysis language.

Thursday, August 6 | How to Write About Qualitative Research | Instructor: Marcus B. Weaver-Hightower, University of North Dakota

This interactive course aims to help beginning qualitative researchers—whether they are graduate students writing a qualitative dissertation or those learning qualitative methods so they can do mixed methods research—learn some of the key expectations, practices, and conventions of writing traditional qualitative research. The course focuses on writing, perhaps the least discussed topic in qualitative methods texts and courses.

Wednesday, August 26 | Empowerment Evaluation | Instructor: David M. Fetterman, Fetterman and Associates

This course will highlight how empowerment evaluation produces measurable outcomes with case examples ranging from high tech companies such as Google and Hewlett-Packard to work in rural Arkansas and squatter settlements in South Africa. Employing lecture, activities, demonstration, and discussion, the course will introduce participants to the theory, concepts, principles, and steps of empowerment evaluation as well as the technological tools to facilitate the approach

Tuesday, September 1 | Using Factor Analysis for Survey Design and Validation | Instructors: Katherine Picho, Howard University (course director); Marie Plaisime, Howard University

This interactive course provides a primer on survey development and the use of factor analysis to validate surveys. It is intended for educators (including administrators) and researchers at all levels who are either developing, implementing, or contemplating the use of questionnaires for research, program evaluation, or educational purposes. Attendees will need access to SPSS or Stata.

Tuesday, September 15 | Co-Decolonizing Research Methods: Toward Research Sustaining Indigenous and ‘Other’ Community Engaged Ways of Knowing | Instructors: Lorri Many Rivers Johnson Santamaría, Mixteco Indígena Community Organizing Project (course director); Cristina Corrine Santamaria Graff, Indiana University—Purdue University at Indianapolis

For those interested or engaged in research produced by or serving Indigenous peoples or people of color in the United States directly or indirectly impacted by colonization, this course provides a way forward toward authentic collaboration with stakeholders and interested parties.

The American Educational Research Association (AERA) is the largest national professional organization devoted to the scientific study of education. Founded in 1916, AERA advances knowledge about education, encourages scholarly inquiry related to education, and promotes the use of research to improve education and serve the public good.

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