Self Assessment

I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience as a new doctoral student and am so glad to be enrolled in this program this year. The coursework and research projects have challenged me and provided me with a comprehensive understanding of my field. After completing my Master’s in LDT in 2019, I knew that I wanted to continue to a Ph.D. or Ed.D. but wanted to gain a few years of experience as an instructional designer, first. I’m glad that I took a few years to become established in my career. I have been able to use my work experience in the Office of Online Learning to inform my research projects and my studies have influenced my practice at work. It has been challenging to balance being a Ph.D. student and working full-time, including lots of late nights and lunch breaks spent reading, but I’m so thankful for the opportunity to be enrolled as a TAP student.

At the beginning of the year, I remember feeling so anxious about the requirements to submit conference presentation and journal article proposals. This spring, my Major Professor, Dr. Stefaniak, guided me through multiple proposals, and we now have a manuscript under review. I was also able to be a part of four different AECT conference proposals that are currently under review (2 concurrent sessions, 1 works in progress session, and 1 panel discussion). With Dr. Stefaniak’s direction, the milestones that I previously feared are now exciting and I’m looking forward to our next projects.

I am gaining confidence in my research ability. The research projects that I have completed so far have allowed me to apply the theories and concepts learned in class to real-world scenarios. I have been able to identify gaps in the existing literature and have formulated research questions that will contribute to the body of knowledge in my field. I’m looking forward to my future steps including data collection, analysis, and interpretation.

I am pursuing cognate courses in the area of Learning, Leadership, and Organizational Development (LLOD). I’ve found that the courses available from this department are a great fit for my interests as they inform the interpersonal and environmental aspects of working collaboratively with others in higher education. Many LLOD courses are offered online or on weekends, which is helpful for my schedule since I'm working full-time. I am currently enrolled in LLOD8205E: Leading from Within, which has helped me outline a personal leadership philosophy and identify my immunities to change. This summer, I plan to enroll in LLOD8140E: Equity & Inclusion in Organizations, and LLOD7020E: Adult Learning & Instruction.

Moving forward, my goals for the remainder of my doctoral program are to continue to develop my research skills and to contribute to the literature of frameworks for instructional design practice in higher education. I plan to attend conferences, publish my research in reputable journals, and present my research to my peers, professors, and colleagues. I will continue to balance my work and school commitments and maintain a healthy work-life balance. The plan of study I drafted outlines a path to graduation in 4 years. If I’m able to stay on track with this plan, I will graduate by my 40th birthday, a personal goal that I hope to acheive.