My ATPI Portfolio & Presentation: Look Ma’, Now I’m A PhD Candidate!

After an early morning presentation and Q & A about my ATPI Doctoral Portfolio – I am now a doctoral candidate in the ATPI Program (here’s the NEW PhD Portfolio Requirements). I am now able to start my dissertation hours in the Spring 2013 semester. Yay!

Vizify S

Professional Overview

The Applied Technology and Performance Improvement (ATPI) doctoral program has supported my growth as a scholar, professional, and consultant. Throughout my interdisciplinary course work in Applied Training and Development, Management, and Educational Psychology and Research, I have been able to develop and enhance my critical thinking, improve upon my research analysis and research perspective over the last three years of my doctoral program. Beyond the degree course work, the ATPI faculty and the Department of Learning Technologies has supported my efforts towards presenting, publishing scholarly works, improving my instructional skills, and augmenting my service scholarship. My ATPI doctoral portfolio will demonstrate my scholarly development and illustrate my contributions to the learning, computing, and performance field.

During my last three years as a doctoral student, I have sought and participated in a number of research opportunities and academic experiences to support my development as a scholar. Through my involvement in collaborative graduate writing groups, professional associations, and academic partnerships with faculty, I have improved upon my scholarly research, honed my writing craft, and advanced my editorial skills. My publications include the topics of formal and informal learning, personal learning networks, learning and performance innovation, and technology needs assessment and implementation to be utilized for education. Beyond research and publications, I have been invited to consult, train, and speak to a number of public and private learning organizations nationally and internationally about my research interests, learning pedagogy, and instructional design.

As the founding student editor for the Learning and Performance Quarterly (LPQ), an open access, peer-reviewed journal within the Department of Learning Technologies, I have gained a vast amount of insight in reviewing manuscripts, working with a diverse editorial board, supporting online distribution, and partnering with a number of contributing authors and academics. Both reviewing and editing for the LPQ and other academic journals, has improved my research and how I critically analyze academic publications. Being the editor has also not only challenged me to consider style and format, but has compelled me to assess other research methodologies.

As a connected and open learner, I have attempted to apply knowledge from the classroom and knowledge from scholars in the field of learning and performance. My ten years’ of experience in the field of Student and Academic Affairs in education has come from employment in the United Kingdom, France, Canada, and the United States. My professional experiences in education include teaching (higher education and K-12) , academic advising, tutoring services, supplemental instruction, career advising, campus activities, first year experience curriculum, orientation programs and housing and residence life. With my education, I haveattempted to integrate my student and academic affairs experiences with my scholarly objectives. In doing so, I have shared my eclectic learning and PhD journey via a variety of social spaces. You can often find me blogging, tweeting, taking photos, or sharing my research developments and professional experiences online. Being an open and digital scholar has presented me with a number of opportunities you will see presented in my ATPI portfolio.

Currently, I am an academic counselor and instructor with the Office for Exploring Majors where I help undergraduate students explore their major and career goals. In this position, I have had the opportunity to work collaboratively with various departments on the UNT campus to integrate assessment with program design, create innovative learning initiatives, and provide training and development for our staff and faculty. As a member of the Global Community for Higher Education (NACADA) and connecting with learning technology associations, such as EDUCAUSE and the Sloan Consortium, I have had the opportunity to enhance my mix my service scholarship disciplines to consider new models for learning and performance. As an active member and leader within my professional affiliations, my service has valuable developmental experiences, including mentoring relationships, planning conferences, consulting contracts, and supporting research for the organizations.

My professional goal is to secure a tenure-track faculty position at a research university while consulting for training and development on the side. I have had a number of excellent experiences in higher education in the area of advising, teaching, and service and I believe that I will be a talented candidate for any institution seeking a dedicated research scholar. There are a number of complimentary research opportunities in the field of learning technology, and I would expect to remain involved in research, consulting, and learning in higher education as it evolves in the future.

My research interests lies in the understanding of informal, online learning networks for professional developments and how these digital communities of practice influence and impact professional and trade associations, such as American Society for Training & Development (ASTD) and the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). I am interested specifically in analyzing how social media and online applications affect the formal processes and the structure of training and development.

#phdchat, ATPI, PhD, Professional Development, Reflections

ATPI Doctoral Portfolio Reflection

This weekend will involve the usual researching, writing, and editing of projects – however I have one more item to polish up before it’s time to be thankful in the U.S. – my doctoral portfolio.

For the Applied Technology & Performance Improvement Doctorate (ATPI) program, the doctoral portfolio is a new requirement for us young, budding scholars. Rather than sit in a room for two 8-hour days or respond to a set of questions over a period of time, ATPI doctoral students will need to complete our departments Ph.D. portfolio to officially become a Doctoral Candidate and move forward with dissertation work. Some students in our program are still opting to take the comprehensive exam route while they still can, only because the requirements include research, teaching, and service scholarship experience that is akin with academics who might be seeking tenure/promotion. I think that this portfolio makes sense, professionally it helps to document my PhD Journey and encourages students to gain scholarship experience before being launched into a dissertation or even the academic job search.

Here are the ATPI Doctoral Portfolio Requirements [DRAFT] that I have been using to guide my portfolio development. {I say draft as this document is subject to change since our department will have myself and another student defend in December for the 1st time.}

I promise to share my ATPI doctoral portfolio, after I review it and put the finishes touches on it. I learned a great deal from our “dry-run” on Friday, and I was reminded about some of the key things to highlight in my 15-minute presentation. I am also pleased to say that I will be sharing my digital PhD journey (blogging, tweeting, and then some) with my doctoral committee for my portfolio defense. My faculty advisor and another committee member thought it would be valuable to discuss my philosophy and experience as an open educator/scholar/researcher.

In thinking about how to “show case” some of this, I am looking through my blog for musings and what I have been up to over the last 3 years of my doctoral course work. So far my TechKNOW Tools Wordle reflects this:

TechKNOW Tools Blog Wordle

I also know that my digital footprint can be found in my Google Docs (or now Drive), YouTube channel, Dropbox, shared on my SlideShare account, posted on my Flickr account in photos, and even among my 23, 926 tweets (good thing I auto-send these into Delicious with hashtags for easy searching). Time to mine my own digital data, review what I’ve created, and compile my professional development and scholarship.

Grad Students & PhD Friends: How do you track your progress? Professional development? Teaching, service, and research scholarship? Please share!

#phdchat, ATPI, Learning Technologies, LPQ, Reflections

LT Forum Interview – About My PhD Experience So Far…

The LT Forum is a place for students, staff and faculty in the Department of Learning Technologies at the University of North Texas to share news, announcements and updates. Here is an interview I did for them over the summer, that I forgot to cross-post here. Thanks to for inviting me to share my thoughts Jenny Wakefield.

« on: June 02, 2012, 01:24:32 PM »

We have many talented doctoral students in The Department of Learning Technologies. Our hope is to be able to interview and showcase these PhD learners here in the LT Forum as each reaches milestones through-out their journey towards their graduation. Reading about other students’ successes may boost that extra energy needed for others to push themselves forward and learning about challenges may help guide others. We also want to spotlight our students so that new learners come join our team and travel with us in the Learning Technologies – a great place to be! [Jenny Wakefield.]Our third interview is with Laura Pasquini, Doctoral Student in the APTI program:

Laura Pasquini – PhD Learner in ATPI

JW: Tell me a little bit about what made you decide to enroll in the ATPI program and pursue a PhD/EdD. (When did you enroll? How long have you been working towards your exam and course completion?)

LP: In looking for a graduate program that suited my scholar-practitioner interests in higher education, I thought that the Department of Learning Technologies at UNT was best suited for my talents and interests. After completing a course in Fall 2009. I decided to join the ATPI program in Spring 2010, as I liked the interdisciplinary approach and learning model that was built into the curriculum. As an ATPI doctoral student approaching completion, I appreciate the ability to study in the field of applied technology, human resource management, organizational change/theory, and educational research while connecting with faculty and leaders in the field. The end of 2012 marks the end of my course work and movement into being a PhD candidate. I am fortunate to be one of the first ATPI doctoral students to complete the NEW ATPI portfolio (instead of the comprehensive exam) by November, and after my last ATTD class with Dr. Nimon this Fall I will be ready to propose my doctoral dissertation and move on to being a doctoral candidate. The tentative plan is to be complete the ATPI doctoral program and graduate around May 2014.

JW: Who is your major professor?

LP: Dr. Jeff Allen is my major professor. It has been great collaborating and learning from one another. I appreciate the ability to work with and contribute to research, publications, and opportunities in the LT department. He has been a great faculty advisor who knows how to challenge and support my professional/academic needs.

JW: What has been the most challenging parts of your studies so far?

LP: Balance. I am a student, staff, and instructor at the University of North Texas. My role as an Academic Counselor/Instructor with the Office for Exploring Majors, Undergraduate Studies supports undecided students with their major/career choices and academic journey; whereas I am often found on campus, late in class, or researching/writing for another project. Besides working on courses, I have found great values in collaborating with other authors on publications, connecting in the field with other educators, and meeting corporate leaders. Besides working on courses, I have been busy with contributing to professional associations and journals with research, publications, and presentations. This year I have taken on the role as the editor for the Learning and Performance Quarterly (LPQ) which is a student-led, blind peer-review open-access online journal. We just published our first issue on May 22, 2012 and I’m looking forward to working with our reviewers and editors on the second issue over the summer.

JW: Tell us a little bit about your journey so far. What are challenges you’ve had to overcome? Have you had any pleasant surprises, aha-moments you’d like to share?

LP: I am originally from Toronto/Niagara Falls, Canada, so it took me a little while to adjust to the climate and the ways of Texas. I have been fortunate to meet some hospitable friends and colleagues who have helped my transition to the Lone Star state. So far I have really enjoyed my PhD journey. I have appreciated the projects, classes, discussions, and, most importantly, the connections with peers from UNT and in the learning technology field. I think that learning is an ongoing process, and developing as a researcher and academic is a continual experience. I have learned to celebrate the accomplishments and milestones along the way, and to be open to any feedback and new ideas I am exposed to along the way.

JW: What presentations have you attended/presented at? Tell us a little bit about one of them. Anything in particular that comes to mind? Advice for others?

LP: I have been fortunate to present research, papers, and theoretical sessions at a variety of professional associations and conferences over the last few years. Some have been collaborative and others have been a great learning experience where I have engaged with participants in meaningful discussions about shared research experiences.

LP: Over the last year I have been fortunate to be asked to share ideas and thoughts around connected learning and social practices for professionals as an invited speaker a few conferences/meetings. Last fall I was invited to talk to the University of Hawaii System Advising group at their annual workshop in Honolulu, HI about “Why Advising Networks Matter” and how holistic, community models of connected advising practices best support our learners. I just returned from Helena, MT where I was invited to be the opening keynote speaker for the Mountain MoodleMoot. During this talk I shared strategies for developing learning curriculum and ideas to support social learning with Digital Pedagogy to Engage. Both talks offered me opportunities to share my research ideas and practical experiences with social, connected learning; but more importantly it allowed me to connect with colleagues to discuss how these ideas can be applied to provide solutions for issues in education.

JW: What publications and/or creative works have you published?

LP: In collaborating with a few authors from our campus and other locations in the US, I have experience publishing book chapters, monograph chapters, and conference proceedings around topics in technology for advising, collaborative learning, and innovative practices for performance and learning. I am currently working on a few manuscripts for peer-reviewed journals. If you want to see my publications, I have current publications shared on my Mendeley account. Besides formal publications, I am often reflecting and sharing thoughts about my research on my blog or podcasting with the Student Affairs and Higher Education community on the Campus Technology Connection podcast.

JW: Have you decided on your dissertation topic and if so what was it? If so, what made you decide on this topic?

LP: I am currently culling through my literature review and narrowing my dissertation topic – which should be finalized over the break in coursework this summer. My current research thread and interests are in the areas of collaborative learning environments and personal learning networks, specifically how these networks and environments impact learning, training, and development in organizations. What interested me in these topics was personal experience connecting and learning in both formal and informal learning networks – specifically with peer-to-peer learning and mentoring in professional organizations. I hope to share some insights and values to how alternative forms of learning, training, and mentoring can impact professional development and career growth.

JW: Have you been studying full-time or also been working? How do you feel about combining PhD studies and working full-time (if you did)? What are things to potentially keep in mind?

LP: As I shared above, I have been working full-time as well as working on my doctoral studies, research, and publications. I will say that it is quite busy and challenging; however with some effective time management and organization it is not impossible to accomplish your academic goals. I am grateful to have supportive peers, colleagues, faculty, and family who continue to motivate and push me along my PhD journey. Although it is not impossible, I will say that it takes a great amount of energy, effort, and time to commit to doctoral research and academic professional development.

JW: Any recommendations you would like to share with the rest of us on the journey towards a PhD/Ed.D? 

LP: Stay the course. It seems like a long journey to the end of the PhD/Ed.D, but I think that there are some valuable experiences and rewards along the way. Embrace the challenges and opportunities that you have as a doctoral student beyond the course/program requirements. You can help shape your degree and academic experience, so be sure to make the most of it by getting involved, getting connected, and embrace new learning experiences that you stumble upon along the way.

JW: Anything else you would like to add?

LP: Thanks for asking me to share my thoughts about the Learning Technologies department and ATPI doctoral program. For those of you who want to follow along my PhD journey, I can often be found tweeting or reflecting on my blog. Get connected and share your experiences with me:

#phdchat, ATPI

What’s Your Research Methods Worldview?

This is the question we tackled in my Friday night class (Yes. It’s on Friday night from 5:30-8:20 pm = Awesome). #ATTD6480: Research Methods is one of my final courses in my doctoral program designed to help graduate students create an empirical research article and/or develop our dissertation proposal. I am looking forward to it – so far we started to talk about our preferred research methods and potential topics for the semester.

Cartoon image c/o Sheldon Comics

This was our opening activity. We had to read this cartoon and respond to this question: Are you more drawn to qualitative or quantitative research? Why?

My response is that I dabble in both areas. For areas of study and research, I really do need to take a mixed method approach. In class, I identified with the pragmatism and constructivism worldview philosophy for research. In looking around the table, I am fortunate to be the only one applying mixed methods based on my experiences in research, work and collaborating with some great authors. As a researcher, I seek to understand rather than test a theory (postpositivism), and I am usually looking to generate practical, real-world solutions with my research. Here is a quick breakdown of four world views of research from Creswell (2009, p. 6):

Empirical observation and measurement
Theory verification
Multiple participant meaning
Social and historical construction
Theory generation
Empowerment Issue-oriented
Consequences of actions
Realist-world practice oriented

Where in the world does your research lie? What sort of research methods do you prefer? What strategies of inquiry do you apply for your qualitative, quantitative or mixed methods approach? I will continue to share ideas from this class and my first official qualitative class (#ANTH 5031: Ethnographic & Qualitative Methods) over the course of the semester. I welcome your research methods, applications and resources.

Creswell, J.W. (2009). Research design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches. Thousand Islands, CA: SAGE Publications Inc.
astd, ATPI, Learning Technologies, LPQ, Open Education

Introducing the NEW Learning and Performance Quarterly (LPQ) Journal


The Center for Knowledge Solutions at the Department of Learning Technologies, University of North Texas is proud to announce the first Call for Papers for the inaugural issue of the Learning and Performance Quarterly (LPQ) journal.

The Learning and Performance Quarterly (LPQ) is currently accepting submissions for the inaugural issue. We are welcoming any article submissions that detail the definition, history and evolution of learning and performance in its broadly conceived terms including instructional design, performance improvement, learning innovations, training and development and educational technology for both public and private sectors: 

The deadline for submissions is Friday, February 10, 2012.

For detailed submission guidelines and instructions on how to make a submission, please visit Author Guidelines. Editors, Laura Pasquini and Dr. Jeff Allen, will gladly answer any questions or concerns regarding submissions via e-mail: We look forward to receiving your submissions.

Please share this announcement with other colleagues and researchers who might be interested in publishing for the Learning and Performance Quarterly. Thanks!