A perspective on research and a career in education

Steve Jobs Said Follow Your Passions But What He Really Meant Was Do This Instead | Inc.com

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Commenting on looking back on his career, the question was posed to George Veletsianos  “as you look back on your career in research, what would you have liked to know from the start?” His answer was largely in part to see the big picture, to focus on his part in the change; his passion. This stood out to me because I often treat education in general as a hobby of mine, an extra limb that has always been there and I’ve learned to depend on it, but happy to have it just exist. I notice I feel more productive if I am taking courses or learning something new. However, it is important to narrow down the topics that I am passionate about and focus on how they can lead me down the path I want to be on. The Learning and Technology program is a step forward for me discovering exactly where in education my interest lies and how I am going to contribute to it. Reflecting on how others have made their way through their own careers I am inspired by the need to acutely diagnose your part in the future of education.

Another topic that was interesting to me is the idea of permanence with digital presence. When you contribute to a personal blog the topics discussed, points made, and perspective shared become part of your discoverable digital identity. Others can search, read, and comment on your unique work. This remains part of your digital identity and can appear again in social or work situations. It is important to be cognizant of the tone and content, and the way you represent yourself professionally and socially. Interestingly enough, the work done is discoverable, but only to those who seek it out, Creating a blog or online presence does not immediately mean it will be read by large groups of people. Discoverable yes, but popular maybe not. This begs the next question; is it more responsibility to be popular in your field?

 

For more insight from George Veletsianos, visit his blog at https://www.veletsianos.com

Veletsianos, G. (2021, August 11). Personal interview [Personal interview].

Ever wonder…?

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Research… We all wonder about things, so how do we go about answering these questions? Aside from obtaining fundamental knowledge, research can help guide additional understanding in a field, answer practical questions, provide solutions, and guide further research. Almost everyone is familiar with some type of research whether it’s formal or informal, basic or applied.

So you’ve decided to do some research… but where do you start? Most areas of formal research require a fair bit of planning, funding, organization, even an ethics review or permission from government for example. How do you decide what to research? What is the purpose of your research and what do you hope to gain? First, you will need a good research question.

Some common themes emerge when we look at developing a research question:

  • Is the question clear and logical?
  • Is it testable or reproducible?
  • Is it free of bias?
  • Will it produce quality evidence?

When we develop research strategies, these qualities are important in developing and carrying out quality research. The goal is to produce strong evidence that answers your research question. Research is not about “proving” a theory, rather building evidence in support of a theory. If the research question is ill defined it will be difficult to reproduce. If the research question has bias it will not produce quality evidence. Research is about exploration of knowledge. When thinking about a research question, keep in mind the road to discovery may not lead where you expect. Keep an open mind and focus on obtaining quality evidence to answer the question.