I am nearing the time that I need to decide on a topic for my dissertation (Educational Leadership, Ed.D.). There are several topics that look interesting, but I need to select a direction pretty soon. I really want my research to be important and immediately relevant. Several broad areas of interest include Non-Formal Education, Career Technical Education (CTE), STEM, and Educational Technology. Last semester I did a really broad Literature Review on Recognizing Non-Formal Learning. As I wrote the paper I found it was too broad of a subject and that there are many different ways that I could go with my dissertation.
I have a background in Industrial Technology, specifically product design and CAD. I currently teach Drafting Technology at Merced College, and utilize many different types of technology in my classes including online exercises, and videos (demonstration and lecture)
Some of the potential topics that I am thinking about are:
- Ability to learn CTE/STEM topics in Formal vs Non-formal settings
- How willing employers are to accept non-traditional forms of recognition (badges, portfolios)
- The Reliability of Peer Review in approval of digital badges (ie. P2PU)
- Utilization of the National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) exams at different levels in the UK
- Something doing with the “need” to memorize facts vs. find them online (similar to Sparrow, Liu, & Wegner, 2011)
- Effectiveness of interactive homework (Khan Academy) vs traditional homework
- Effectiveness of “Flipped” vs traditional lecture
What do you think about these topics? Which ones do you want to see research done on? Is there another research topic that is related but I haven’t listed? Let me know in the comments.