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ASC Webinar Transcripts

Synthesizing Research to Impact Social Change

Recorded on October 4, 2018

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Last updated 10/30/2018


Visual: Title slide “Synthesizing Research to Impact Social Change.”

Audio: Instrumental music

Visual: Slide changes to “Being a Scholar-Practitioner” and includes a quote from the Walden website-

“Scholar-practitioners bridge the gap between academia and the real world, blending scholarly research with practical application to solve complex problems in their profession.”

Audio: Elizabeth: Walden University defines being a scholar practitioner is someone who “bridges the gap between academia and the real world and they blend scholarly research with practical application to solve complex problems in their profession.”

So, whether you are a student or faculty member, Walden has height expectations of you as a scholar-practitioner.  This means using research in your everyday life and work.  We have a lot of answers for the poll, this is really exciting.  People are already using research to get the most accurate information needed.   to develop new processes... we are already doing a lot. 

Visual: Slide changes to “Qualities of a Scholar-Practitioner” and include:

  • Passionate Lifelong Learners
  • Deep curiosity, drive, and commitment
  • Desire to improve the human condition
  • Share their knowledge and original ideas
  • Constantly evolving in their careers as they research, learn, teach, and grow

Audio: Elizabeth: The qualities of a scholar practitioner are here.  You can see being a passionate lifelong learner.  As a scholar-practitioner you are always seeking to understand your specialty, it your connected fields, and you have a deep- riving commitment to solve pressing problems.  What are those problems and how do we find solutions?  And that is fueled by a desire to improve the human condition.  Scholar practitioners, they share their knowledge and original ideas and are constantly reading research, learning, teaching what they've learned and growing as a professional. 

These qualities come from the Walden website and they speak to the high expectations the University has for its scholar practitioners. We will go into a more in-depth explanation of these throughout our presentation.

Visual: Slide changes to “The Benefits of Research” and includes a quote from the Walden website-

“Are passionate lifelong learners who wish to gain an intimate understanding of their specialty and their profession.”

Audio: Dr. Donna Brackin: I will read this one, the quote we have chosen for this particular slide is scholar practitioners “are passionate lifelong learners who wish to gain an intimate understanding of their specialty and their profession.” 

There are numerous benefits to reading and reviewing the current research it helps you to keep up with new information and changes in your profession and feel.  It helps you to go beyond basic professional development, which can only give you so much in a session.  It can help you solve local problems, it can help you discover the connections among the different fields in the sciences.  It can help you explore different perspectives among the researchers who present these articles. 

The Seymour study in 2004 had examined 76 first-round students who commented on a checklist of possible benefits in the literature.  They also added gains not on this list, the students were overwhelmingly positive and 91% of all statements referenced gains from their experiences.  And benefits described were of seven different types.  They were expressed as percentages of all reported gains, they were personal and professional gains.  There was a comment of thinking and working like a scientist, of gains in the various skills in their fields.  Helping them to clarify and confirm their career choice and plans, including graduate school.  They also expressed enhanced career and graduate school preparation, and a shift in attitude toward learning and working as a researcher.

Interestingly, only 1% was outside of those factors that we just mentioned.

Visual: Slide changes to “Finding the Right Research” and includes a quote from the Walden website-

“Having a deep curiosity, drive, and commitment to solve pressing problems in their field”

Audio: Dr. Rebecca Curtis: But it is nice when we can share the research that is out there that we can find the right research for our fields.  I know we talked about when we were creating this presentation, but sometimes it might even be that one of your teammates might need some help in the classroom or might need help if you are in another field like nursing, and you are reading an article but that might help that other person.  So, finding the right research, having a deep curiosity, drive and commitment to solving problems inside their field, that article that you might be reading might really help somebody with their jobs.

Lomax in 2007 says, can I improve my practice so that it is more effective?  Can I improve my understanding of this practice to make it more just in your field?  Or can I use my knowledge and influence the situation, there's a lot of different ways we can use our research that we are looking at.

Visual: Slide changes to “Synthesizing Research” and includes a quote from the Walden website-

“A desire to improve the human condition. They are inspired by core values such as social justice, equity, or environmental sustainability.”

Audio: Dr. Schulz: This is Bill Schultz, you brought up venues that would be good to share including social media, that piques my curiosity.  This question came up  in an earlier session this morning.  Everyone thinks that having an opinion is sufficient in terms of being an expert sometimes.  We get our degrees and we go off into the world and have a PhD in some field or doctorate in some field, and it seems at some level, the at that point we are experts in people should listen to us.  We have the expert opinion fallacy, that I called.  How do we help our students not fall into that trap?  Because I think it requires continued discipline.  That is a word I didn't really see here.  That we do the research, we continue to try to stay literate in how we evaluate work, how we evaluate sources that are out there.  I was curious because so many people seem to be using academics, Twitter, I scratch my head and wonder how that could be, because now we are in the domain of really  opinion at that point.  How do we prevent falling into that trap?

Audio: Rebecca: I tried to do those things and more of a controlled environment.  I understand what you are saying about sharing and trying to not come across as being an expert.  But it is more sharing like you are wanting to share what you've learned -- not because you think you are better than this student or this person because you have the doctorate degree or anything -- it is just because you're trying to stay current.  And I think if  your workplace allows and sets up these kinds of environments, so it comes from administration -- which we did set up, like a  Facebook account.  And I did allow my  staff to share about their conferences and share ideas they were trying out in the field because we were trainers anyhow, so we were doing that together.  And if somebody was going to school, whether earning a doctorate or their masters, we also allow that time to be able to share over the students going out into the field, depending on what environment they are in, they have to be able to work within their environment and affect is because I have a doctorate degree, I do not think I am any better than what I was years ago when I did not have a doctorate.  I just think that need to keep staying current in the field and find a way to share that.  But shared appropriately.  And share it in a controlled environment with social media.  If you are on Twitter, I mean, keep it professional.

Audio: Dr. Schulz: I think that approach is really interesting.  You have built a community of interest or community of inquiry, who all have the discipline or are learning the discipline of sharing discipline, frameworks, assessment of what is happening in the field.  Yes, that is ideal in the use of social media.

Audio: Rebecca:  You could do it via blogs or Facebook or Twitter.  I am not a Twitter person as much, but I think you can still do that in a controlled way.  But I know you can do it with blogs and Facebook because I have done both of those.

Audio: Dr. Schulz: That is great, thank you.

Audio: Rebecca: Basically, desire to improve the human condition.  To me, anytime you're synthesizing the research, why are you wanting to share that research, again, it goes back to when I was an administrator, I had to write a lot of grants and we had -- to write the grants for our training program, to be able to write the grants, we had to have the research to back up the grants.  So most of our jobs, whether in academics or nursing or doctors, we have to have all of this data now.  And so if we have the data, we need to have the research to back it up.  And it may help us and our colleagues as well. it can help you earn a grand.  You have to make it more laymen terms, because I had to present a lot of terms to funders.  So the funders wanted to see the data to show we were being effective trainers, and were changing out in the field, making changes out in the field.  However, we had to also have that research to back it up, and then make it in laymen's terms of the funders could understand bricks because in all of our fields we have those synonyms and acronyms that we use, and you have to make sure the funders understand that.  But it can help you find a grant, which I used many, many times in my positions. it might even help you if you had a conflict at work with one of -- I have been an administrator before -- it might help you to be able to solve that problem and find an article that might help your employees.  It could help you test the research.  Maybe you found an article and you are lucky enough, I was fortunate enough to work at a community college that allowed us to try out a lot of different things.

Sometimes you might be able to see something, again, we were trainers, and so we might find something, a different way to gather the data for our training.  And so maybe we are going to try that out or maybe we are going to try out how we are going to present and do transitions during our training, or something.  It gives you a way to be able to test the research of the articles.  And again, I still think it is important that you come back as a group so that you can discuss: this did not work, do not ever try this.  Please do not ever do it this way again. 

For example, I will not use a headset again.  [Laughter].  I learned today that my sons gaming headset does not work for this.  And I will make sure that I tested the research today and it didn't work.  So, it is a way [Laughter] for you to share with others what you are reading and if it works or not.

Visual: Slide changes to “Sharing Researching” and includes a quote from the Walden website –

“Share their knowledge and original ideas with others through open dialogue, publishing their work, and presenting at academic and professional events.”

Audio: Rebecca: We mention social media and different ways to reflect.  I like to keep a journal. For example, I will keep a journal of today's training and what worked and what did not work, and things like that.  And what I would like to add next time I present the topic.  It is important when you test out your research, if you read an article and you want to try that out in your workplace, that you keep data, that you test it, you retest it, and keep track of it.

It is almost like little miniature studies you are doing in the field.  Sometimes people earn their doctorate degrees or bachelors, Masters, doctorate degrees, and they feel like they do not want to go to school anymore.  But it is not going to school, it is keeping track of what is working well in your field and being able to share and continue to get better at your job.  Whether a teacher or whatever kind of job you might have. 

Audio: Elizabeth:  We talked a great deal about this in an impromptu manner but sharing research.  Scholars share the research.  And Dr. Curtis covered a lot of great ways to do this and you have all mentioned a lot of ways. 

I find professional organizations to be a great way to share information and share research.  And I actually saw in the group chat that there are nursing organizations on Twitter, and that is how they share research, they connect the professional organization peace with the social media peace.  I come from an educational background and there are a lot of organizations that do the same thing and have Facebook or Instagram.  There is a way to connect.  But networking at those organizational advances a great way to share and learn research.  Having group meetings, I think having like a  brownbag luncheon meeting with peers, a supervisor, a colleague in your field or not in your field, to share ideas, brainstorm.  You can share research just in your conversation with peers.  I share research all the time with my colleagues, just things that I have read that I think are interesting.  Not that it is better or worse. Social media, keeping it clean and keeping it factual and it is research and it does not go in the other direction.  Another way to share research is to collaborate with peers, a teacher might collaborate with a mental health counselor about behavior issues.  To find out what is happening, what research is happening in the mental health field that can help me in the education field to move towards a better way.

And some of the research we found, research said that people respond positively to storytelling.  So using the narrative in your approach makes people more likely to receive it.  That platform is really a blog where you can tell research stories and then share them with your network on social media.  So, having that blog where you are writing about what you've learned or posting, research from other places, and then you can tweet out the link to your blog or post to your blog on Facebook.

Visual: Slide changes to “Effecting Positive Social Change” and includes a quote from the Walden website-

“Are constantly evolving in their careers as they research, learn, teach, and grow.”

Audio: Elizabeth: Affecting positive social change.  When we share research, learn, teach and  grow.  If the read an article with a friend at lunch, that can be transferred from person to person to person.  Everybody will have their own take on it, but the information is being disseminated.  In order to create social change, we often need to create an evidence-based action plan.  This is where we are using the research and really reading it critically to figure out what has been effective and what can be applied to your own setting.  Is not everything you read is reliable?  And not everything you read is going to be applicable to your particular circumstance.  For figuring out what is applicable and then putting together a plan to implement things.  And be prepared to take the lead there because often when you are the one that proposes, hey I read this thing and this is what it says, and I think we should do this -- your supervisor often says, yes, you take the lead.  Right?  So be prepared then to be a leader of social change.

With all of this research you can also be advocating for a cause.  Usually we are at Walden because we firmly believe in affecting positive change.  So it is something we all feel passionate about changing and that is the cause we want to advocate for.  We can use the research to support a new initiative, or get everybody on board with a new idea.  For example if you read a study that said casual trust improved performance by 80%.  You might want to go in that direction.  And really be the social practitioner that will move the field forward.  Use the research you have already read it to create new research.

You have an opportunity to do that here at Walden through your capstone, your thesis.  Put it into action.  That is what Doctor Curtis is saying about keeping a journal and reflecting, do I need to change it in some way?  And then you are creating more information that you can then share. 

An article was published in 2018 that said that field catalysts think about a roadmap for change.  When you read research articles or collect data yourself, you are a catalyst to social change.  Making a roadmap would assist you in being the change agent or field catalysts.  That is your action plan.  And then you can be the catalyst in your own organization.  Then the question is, how can you then take that and change the community?  Or even your field in general?  Creating a vision of what would I like to see?  What change do I want to make?  You can then create this map and piece by piece, you can see the differences.

How can you use the research to be an agent of positive social change on a personal, local, state and national level?

Visual: Slide changes to “Recommended Reading” and includes a list of resources.

Audio: Elizabeth:   I just want to thank you all for joining us this afternoon.  We have had a great time present again I hope the information was helpful.  I am really loving reading the chat and how everybody is already or is looking forward to  be social change agents and that you were all able to connect with one another.  It looks like some of you were able to pair up and work on some things together.  Again, thank you.  Thank you for joining us.

Visual: Closing credits

Audio: Instrumental music