Sustainability (and such)

I <3 Research

Here’s a quick look at research methods.  Marketing and public relations students often conduct a media analysis to measure messages for a competitive landscape; here’s the instruction page.  And, if you’re studying the content of media, here’s a map for content analysis.

It’s part of the academic honor code, somehow, to develop, conduct, and publish high-quality, valuable research.  And, in the spirit of the profs at the University of Washington who model the value of rigor and ethics, it’s also vital that faculty teach others about the research process by involving them in all aspects of academic growth.

I believe that continued research enhances my skills in mentoring and teaching.  It also enables others to learn above and beyond the classroom experience.  After all, classroom training is nearly always insufficient preparation, even in graduate programs, in the higher levels of research. Faculty can bring out higher level possibilities in areas of writing, critical thinking, and advanced skills.  New researchers can also learn how to communicate correctly in precise language, which can be ignored in the learning curves of classroom discussions.

It is especially important to collaborate for substantial new contributions to the field.  I’ve seen new researchers enter a directed faculty relationship that expands an individual experience as well as data, critical knowledge, and experience for the entire research team.

There are many pluses in pairing faculty with students and other interested team members, including:

1)      Researchers may work on a small part of a project or specific technique that advances individual or overall research agendas;

2)      Researchers may work with the professor to uncover new areas of expertise or problems that add new contributions to the field;

3)      Researchers may also branch off into independent projects that further their own goals as well as contribute to the body of  knowledge; and,

4)      Researchers learn skills and create deliverables that lead to resume credits for publications and presentations.

When viewed with a lens of potential, I think that faculty research falls under professional development as well as contributing to shared community knowledge.  The real purpose of the partnership project is training for a different goal  that comes later in the new researcher’s career.

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