Knowing how and why administrators make decisions is probably impossible to fully understand on some levels. Internal politics, budgets, external political climates, institutional rankings, workloads, etc. all play a complex role in how decisions are made in an educational environment. My interest is primarily how an institution makes educational technology decisions and how these decisions directly affect online educational pursuits.
The final key research interest I have is how instructors are supported and trained to apply technology in their classrooms and/or to teach online classes. It is very interesting to see how instructors can use the same technology in very different ways, some for the better, some not. I do think it could be helpful if instructors utilized an instructional coach to learn the best practices of a new tool they want to use. Additionally, I am interested in how an instructor’s own personal curriculum theory plays into how students perceive their satisfaction and learning in online courses.
Of these interests, I will probably focus on how institutions make decisions or how online instructors are supported. During the next few months, my goal is to refine my research idea and more clearly identify the “problem” in my area of interest. I have not begun to think about how I will collect this data…yet.