Scholarship

Introduction

My identity as a scholar is still developing as I complete this doctoral program. I believe that presenting research at conferences is just as important as publishing. I also believe that being a scholar is more than being the one to conduct the research. I recently attend the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting in San Diego even though I was not presenting at this conference. I believe that attending conferences to learn from veteran and emerging scholars is an important aspect of scholarship that is often overlooked; after all, there is no section on a CV for “Conferences Attended.”

I am a scholar of education, specifically the education of educators. I’ve collected several research interests since I first began graduate-level coursework at the University of Houston, and they tend to follow my career. I was a high school English teacher when I completed my master’s Capstone project, which revolved around educational technology in K12 English education. At the time I thought that would be my primary interest; however, I have evolved to focus more on teaching and learning at the higher education level, with my first publication focusing on the use of GroupMe in higher education courses. After I transitioned into an instructional design position, I began work on a phenomenological study about the experiences of instructional designers during the transition to emergency remote teaching due to the COVID-19 pandemic. My primary interests align with the position that I’ve held since completing my master’s degree: teacher educator. Several of the projects that I have conducted or plan to conduct revolve around pre-service teacher education, and I believe these projects have the potential to have a significant impact on this field.

Finally, one of my burgeoning interests is in finding ways to connect pre-service and in-service teachers with existing research to inform teaching and learning. Reading literature reviews is a great way to learn what research is being conducted and what findings exist at a point in time; however, pre-service and in-service teachers do not necessarily have access to these journal articles, and they certainly do not have the time to read them. For me, conducting systematic and semi-systematic literature reviews are a solid first step in learning to read and synthesize existing research on topics relating to teaching. The next steps that I intend to take are to present the findings of reviews at professional conferences; however, again these conferences are not always accessible to teachers who cannot take time away from their classrooms to attend. The final step that I would like to take is to utilize the platform I have already developed on my personal blog and through Infobase to share the findings of current research relating to teaching and learning in a format that is accessible to pre-service and in-service teachers.

Primary Evidence

I. Peer Reviewed Publication

Gronseth, S. & Hebert, W. (2019). GroupMe: Investigating use of mobile instant messaging in higher education courses. TechTrends, 63(1), 15-22. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11528-018-0361-y

Abstract: In this study, the use of the mobile instant messaging (MIM) tool GroupMe was explored in the higher education context. The tool was used to facilitate online course discussions, small group work, and other course communications in face-to-face and online sections of two graduate educational technology courses. Over 900 postings were generated from 29 participants, then coded and analyzed by the researchers. Qualitative data was also obtained through an e-mail follow-up questionnaire. Findings indicate that the MIM platform afforded students opportunities to engage in productive course-relevant conversations and provided additional ways for learners to exhibit online social presence through tool features. Recommendations for the use of MIM to support teaching and learning and suggestions for further scholarly inquiry are discussed.

Keywords: Mobile instant messaging | Online discussion | Higher education | Instructional technology

Awarded 2nd Place: DDL-AECT Journal Article (Mixed Methods) Award, 2019

I credit this publication as the start of my journey in academia. This study sprouted from an assignment during my Master’s program and sparked my passion for research, higher education, and distance learning, especially emerging technologies in distance learning. Completing this study and its subsequent publication provided the inspiration and the reassurance that continuing my graduate work into a doctoral program was the correct path for me. Even though this study and publication occurred before I began in the ISDT program, I believe it is a worthy and important inclusion because it has provided concrete experience of the skills that I am building in this program. I frequently refer back to this project as I complete my coursework to connect what I am learning to what I have done.

II. Systematic Literature Review

Cheng, S. L., Haro, A., Hebert, W., & Gutierrez, M. (under preparation). Systematic review of first-generation students in online learning environments.

Abstract: *to be added*

Keywords: *to be added*

This project was the first systematic literature review that I’ve undertaken. It began as a part of an assignment in ISDT 7380: Instructional Technology Research Methods and continued on beyond the end of the semester. While this project is currently still in progress, we intend to submit it to a journal soon. This literature review is relevant to my goals of helping instructors improve their practices as it will illuminate the existing research on first generation student in online learning environments. Considering the expansion of online learning since the COVID-19 pandemic, this research will be invaluable to instructors of online course, such as those with whom I work in my role as an instructional designer.

III. Semi-Systematic Literature Review

Hebert, W., & Zhang, H. (under preparation). Implementing flipped classrooms with pre-service teachers: A semi-systematic review of the literature.

Abstract: *to be added*

Keywords: teacher preparation | flipped classroom

As a current adjunct teacher educator, pre-service teacher education is important to me. The course that I teach is designed as a hybrid flipped course where students read and watch materials before class then engage in hands-on active learning during class meetings. This model has worked well for several years, so another instructor and I wanted to explore the existing research to see if this model has worked as well for others and what impacts this model can have on the learning of pre-service teachers. When complete, it will provide an important addition to teacher preparation research. This project has also been accepted as a round table presentation at the 2022 AECT Convention.

IV. Scholarly Presentation

Hebert, W., Gronseth, S., Zhang, H., Nguyen, P., Ugwu, L., & Thompson, J. (2021, November 4-5). Teacher/students leading student/teachers [roundtable]. Association for Educational Communications & Technology International Convention. Chicago, IL.

Session Description: It is well-known that many pre-service teachers are taking classes taught by graduate student instructors. The experiences of those graduate student instructors are not as well documented. This panel of graduate students currently teaching in teacher preparation programs will explore their perspectives regarding benefits and challenges through the lens of technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK).

I am interested in the intersection between student and teacher that occurs in both graduate student instructors and the pre-service teachers they teach. This presentation was initially submitted as a panel but later accepted as a round table, which was presented virtually at the 2021 AECT Convention. Using the lens of technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK), five graduate student instructors and one Clinical Associate Professor discussed their experiences and recommendations to teacher education programs.

V. Scholarly Poster: Experiences of Higher Education Instructional Designers as Remote Workers during COVID-19

Hebert, W., Ramirez, A., Wilson, J., Lopez, D., & LaPrairie, K. (2021, November 4-5). Graduate student assembly research showcase: Experiences of higher education instructional designers as remote workers during COVID-19. Association for Educational Communications & Technology International Convention. Chicago, IL.

Graduate Student Assembly Research Showcase

Session Description: This study centers on the experiences of higher education instructional designers who worked remotely for the first time during the COVID-19 pandemic. We will utilize a hermeneutic, or interpretive, phenomenology to gain an understanding of the lived experience of instructional designers during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study seeks to convey the various meanings of how instructional designers without previous remote work experience viewed and interpreted their experiences in their emergency remote roles.

Beginning in a research methods course, three of my peers and I designed and are currently implementing this study to explore the experiences of instructional designers as new remote workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our study design was chosen to be included in the Graduate Student Assembly’s Innovative Research Showcase at the 2021 AECT Convention, which is a great honor for us as emerging scholars. The manuscript is under preparation and will be submitted to a peer-reviewed journal soon. This project has also been accepted as a concurrent session for the 2022 AECT Convention, where we will discuss our findings.

Supplementary Evidence

VI. Peer-Reviewed Book Chapter

Gronseth, S. L, Fu, J., Hebert, W., Zhang, H., Ugwu, L., & Nguyen, P. (2020). Connecting learners through technology in COVID-19: Facilitating pre-service teacher collaboration during the pandemic. In R. E. Ferdig, E. Baumgartner, R. Hartshorne, R. Kaplan-Rakowski & C. Mouza (Eds). (2020). Teaching, Technology, and Teacher Education During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Stories from the Field (pp. 179-185). Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).

Abstract: When the COVID-19 global health crisis disrupted a University semester in-progress, instructors for the technology integration courses at a large, public university faced multiple challenges in maintaining instructional continuity and community. Specifically, we explored instructional strategies and technologies that would foster online learner engagement and connection during this time. We redesigned course activities for the online format and utilized mobile instant messaging, digital whiteboard, and synchronous session technologies in conjunction with the learning management system functionality. Early results based on instructor reflections and student feedback offer insights into how the collaborative strategies and tools have fostered meaningful social connectedness for students and instructors during the pandemic. Suggestions for collaborative technology applications to support online teaching are provided.

Keywords: connectedness | collaborative technologies | online learning | pre-service education | educational technology | remote teaching | mobile instant messaging | engagement

When schools across the country first shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic in March of 2020, I was both an 8th grade English teacher and an adjunct teacher educator. At the time, the world was scrambling to learn how to shift formerly face-to-face instruction to an online format. In this book chapter, I collaborated with the other instructors, mostly adjunct led by a Clinical Associate Professor, to describe how we all continued to facilitate collaboration with pre-service teachers in educational technology courses. This chapter provided practical suggestions for utilizing technology applications to support online collaboration and was a valuable and timely addition to the emergency remote teaching literature.

VII. Professional Presentation

Hebert, W. (2022, April 15). What I wish I knew: Advice for emerging teachers and those who support them. Infobase.

Description: The first year in the classroom can be both terrifying and exciting. First-year teachers have dreamt of standing in the front of their own classrooms and imparting knowledge on the next generation, but that first year is often fraught with obstacles. Presenter Waneta Hebert will share from her own experience of relocating from Ohio to Texas as a first-year teacher and how she not only survived, but thrived in the field of education. Now as an adjunct instructor, she will discuss how to support future teachers as they prepare to embark on their own teaching journey.

The second of many webinars I conducted for Infobase, this 60-minute presentation was especially meaningful for me. I pulled on my own experience as a teacher and as a teacher educator to create this research-based presentation of advice for both emerging teachers and those who support them.

VIII. Peer-Reviewed Book Chapter

Gronseth, S. L., Zhang, H., & Hebert, W. (under review). Legacy building through a “teaching with technology” open textbook project. In J. Olivier & A. Rambow (Eds.), Aspects of open educational resources in higher education: A global perspective. United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization.

Abstract: Situated within a department that offers both undergraduate teacher preparation programs and graduate programs in various educational specialization areas, an open textbook project was conducted in which graduate students served as content contributors to a textbook that was then utilized as part of an undergraduate course. The project design employed an OER-enabled pedagogical approach, amplifying the element of students-as-contributors in the development of OER. With the target audience for the OER being future teachers, the OER authors having more advanced educational experience, and both groups being co-located within the same department, the project embodied an explicitly designed “legacy” aspect in which the OER can be viewed as a means of knowledge transmission within a local community of practice. Topics addressed in the textbook include facilitating creativity through technology, leveraging technologies to support academic goals, erasing boarders and encouraging collaboration, and teaching students to become responsible digital citizens. The chapter describes the OER development process that was initiated during a 16-week graduate course in the Learning, Design, and Technology program area and details how the textbook and associated supporting materials have been used during its implementation in the undergraduate educational technology course spanning four years. Design considerations of openness, legacy-framing, designed flexibility, text format, and readability for the target audience are discussed.

Keywords: OER-enabled pedagogy | open education | educational technology | pre-service teacher education | flipped classroom | renewable assignment | instructional design

This book chapter highlights the intersection between two of my strongest interests: teacher education and open educational resources. I am proud to have been a part of designing the curriculum for CUIN 3312 Educational Technology around the open textbook written specifically for this class by graduate students. This chapter represents a culmination of several years of developing and using this textbook, and in collaborating on it, I have begun to consider new directions that this research can take me, such as in taking advantage of the ability to revise and adapt the chapters to include new information.