My Information and Learning Technology (ILT) Research course has stretched my abilities further than I knew was possible. I have learned to appreciate teamwork, critical thinking, research writing, and more personally, the richness of my spiritual community that opened its doors to my action research agenda. All things combined, add to my professional development, which is the whole point of this ILT master’s program at CU Denver.
I appreciate my research team’s ability to communicate and plan well. We each are incredibly busy, yet still make this course a priority in our lives. I am also grateful to have fallen into a research theme that has been so interesting. Studying art engagement across multiple settings requires each team member to pull their weight. Otherwise, our research paper would fall flat, and we each have too much time and energy invested to produce a mediocre product.
Critical Thinking & Research Writing
Weaving together the literature review, while executing the research plan and writing the research findings, has been a huge challenge. There are so many moving parts that rely upon each other that I find myself getting lost in the details. Often times I have to take a break, get some perspective, and remember what the larger research paper is trying to achieve.
I have never felt confident as a writer, especially when I’m writing to APA standards. However, I have started to really appreciate the importance of citing references. The literature review feedback has been invaluable because the professor, Remi Holden, expects us to reduce massive studies down to a single point in order to build our research stance. Now I have permission to shamelessly reduce studies for the sake of good writing. Thank you Remi!
All my life I have loved art and have found creativity as a strength. This research project has allowed me to study art engagement in my spiritual community in a very meaningful way. I had not truly stepped into my role as a member of the congregation until this project. Now, people know who I am and I feel more connected to the community. It has been a pleasant surprise to see my research serendipitously enriching my life.
Teamwork, critical thinking, and research writing are great skills to post on my resume. I imagine most employer can see value in these skills and if not, I don’t really want to work for them anyway. That is the beauty of pursuing my ILT master’s; I am building a bridge from who I am now to who I want to become.
I knew this course would be hard, but I have stepped up to the challenge. At this point, my team research paper looks like it will be something to be proud of. I hope to showcase it on my portfolio and confidently say, “I participate in the larger research conversation.”
Susannah,I appreciate how you’ve carefully organized this research reflection into categories and elements that speak to the academic, social, and personal aspects of your inquiry. While each section provides its own insight – and they are wonderful to read – it is clear that Teamwork, Critical Thinking and Research Writing, Spiritual Community, and Professional Development are seamlessly related. Your teamwork, for example, has allowed you to deepen the types of critical thinking and academic writing required of our course. Similarly, your professional development – reflected generally in your involvement in our course – has opened a door for new explorations of your spiritual life and community. It can be challenging, if not at times overwhelming, to identify the beauty and utility of these various puzzle pieces, as well as to make sense of how they all fit together. And you’ve done that with our course – it’s really an inspiration for me to read about how much you’ve learned. Thanks for sharing!