I am an Assistant Professor and Assessment Librarian at Oregon State University Libraries and Press. I earned my PhD from Utah State University where I studied Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences, and have been using social science resesearch methodologies in assessment and evaluation research for over a decade.
I am a mixed-methodologist but my specialty is in the use of quantitative methodologies, including quasi-experimental and survey methodologies. My academic and research interests include the intersection of ethics and learning analytics; the use of quantitative methodologies for social justice and overcoming systems of oppression (to paraphrase Audre Lorde – let’s use the master’s tools – statistics – to dismantle the master’s house); helping students to develop quantitative literacy; and the technological pedagogical content knowledge framework.
I am passionate about making assessment and research accessible to everyone. I believe rigor and intentionality can be addressed even without the knowledge of what an ANOVA, epistemology or a quasi-experimental design is. In our lived experience we have the tools to do good assessment, to ask interesting research questions, and to find the answers. Every time we ask ourselves how we can be better at x, we are participating in the assessment cycle; every time we wonder why something is, or how a will affect b, we are partipating in research. It may look different than what the scholars at universities produce, but it isn’t any less valid or useful for the context within which those questions are asked.
Finally, I see statistics as a way of communicating a thought that can’t be communicated any other way. I often use the metaphor of listening to the data and asking what the story it wants to tell me, or the song it wants to sing to me (music is a major part of my soul-soothing, just like analyzing data). I don’t believe in objectivity; I believe that, no matter how hard we try, we bring a perspective to our work, and thus all research should be framed by either an epistemology or a world view. We need to be conscious and deliberate about our perspectives, because, at least in social sciences, this will influence our outcomes.