Research 2013-2007

2013 – 2007

Primary Investigator: Using “Threshold Concepts” to Study Writing Transfer: Graduate Students’ Perceptions on Writing Across Their Academic and Workplace Settings
2012-2013. Northern Arizona University

Following the lead of Bass (2009) and Robertson (2011), Linda Adler-Kassner, John Majewski and I have worked, with a recent CCCC presentation (2012) and a Composition Forum (2012) article, to help introduce and advance threshold concepts (Meyer and Land, 2006) as a flexible conceptual and research heuristic through which to study and describe the nature of transfer in writing. I am using the threshold concept literature on liminality to identify and describe the tacit and discursive schemas-for-writing that graduate students, who also self-identify as working professionals, “carry” between their academic and workplace settings.

Results: Submitted proposal to (2013) Conference on College Composition and Communication.

Co-Investigator, Transfer and “Threshold Concepts”
2010-2011; 2011-2012. U.C. Santa Barbara

Spent a year with colleagues Linda Adler-Kassner (UCSB Writing Program Director) and John Majewski (UCSB Chair of the History Department) studying issues in “transfer” with undergaduate students writing between two linked general education courses. We used “threshold concepts” as a lens through which to conduct and analyze out extended interview data.

Results: Publication in a special edition of Composition Forum (due out summer, 2012); panel presentation at (2012) Conference on College Composition and Communication

Principle Investigator, “Text and Citation-Based Acoustics”
Dissertation Research, 2012. U.C. Santa Barbara

Working between bibliometrics and theories in the sociology of knowledge, this research demonstrates a method for aggregating and studying citations in order to both quantitatively capture and qualitatively describe significant patterns in the uses of prominent writing theorists and their books over time. Realized specifically as a tool for composition studies, this approach expands our ability to reflexively monitor and appreciate how a rare pantheon of highly cited authors and their texts have “acoustic dimensions” that continue to influence knowledge making and breaking across the field. Given the results that this kind of research produces, we can better take advantage of the leverage that these “knowledge assets” represent in order to be more informed and convincing participants in the discourse communities through which we, collectively, act to advance knowledge.

Results: Publication in the centennial edition of The English Journal (with colleagues Miles Myers and Elizabeth Spalding); presented at (2011) Writing Research Across Borders II Conference and at (2010) Conference on College Composition and Communication.

Research Coordinator, Writing Program
2009-2011. U.C. Santa Barbara

Granted supported work with: Dr. Karen Lunsford

Coordinated research (surveys, focus group interviews, collection of classroom materials and student papers, and subsequent methods of analysis) between Writing Program (WP) faculty and graduate-student researchers. Research initiatives included three distinct grants and subsequent projects:

a) to develop tighter integration between WP courses and the library;

b) to maximize WP faculty expertise within the institutionally adopted, online course management systems;

c) to study the institutional nature WP professional writing courses (109: Writing in the Social Sciences; 109: Witing for the Humanities) by interviewing students and faculty about UCSB’s traditional face-to-face courses versus their hybrid-online counter-parts.

Results: Written reports results led to concrete, institutional changes.

Research Assistant/Archivist, Dr. Charles Bazerman’s Website
2010-2011. U.C. Santa Barbara

Worked with Dr. Bazerman to organize, archive, and provide online access to his published work from 1970 to 2011.

Results: See the results archived on his webpage at <>.

Research Assistant, Literacy Investigator
2007-2008, 2009. U.C. Santa Barbara
Grant supported work with: Dr. Charles Bazerman

Primary writer and investigator. Interviewed 11 teachers -5 ME.d. student-teachers and 6 senior cooperating-teachers at local junior high schools, about the Teacher Education Program’s student-teacher literacy placements at participating junior high schools. Transcribed interviews, analyzed data, and wrote a subsequent evaluative report.

Results: This report changed the philosophy of and placement practices of M.Ed. students in cooperation with participating school sites across Santa Barbara.

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