The clever man will tell you what he knows; he may even try to explain it to you. The wise man encourages you to discover it for yourself, even though he knows it inside out. -R.W. Revans
If you would have asked me three months ago how I felt about "research" I probably would have pulled a face. No joke. The word carried some heavy connotation for me-and it was definitely negative. Research seemed like something that was just too rigid for my interests. My how things have changed; most importantly my perspective.
In the final semester of my experience in the Information & Learning Technologies MA program at UC Denver, I had the good fortune to take a research methods class with an instructor that has consistently encouraged and supported my growth and learning without telling me what I needed to learn. Yes, there were course texts provided and encouragement and guidance along the way, but my learning was really my own, directed by me, every step of the way. My interactions with my learning cohort and my research team helped me to really explore what it means to be a researcher firsthand.
So what does it mean to be a researcher? Well, for me it means to be passionately invested in exploring something that transcends beyond what a course or program can provide. I've never felt so intrigued, involved, or excited about something I've completed for professional or academic purposes. And that's because this research project wasn't just for a class I was taking. It was for me to learn about how to inspire reflection and positive change in a community that I am passionate about.
What I carry forward is a growing understanding of the social and collaborative processes needed to transform how we look at and support learning. A huge thank you to Dr. Remi Holden for his guidance, my UC Denver peers for their feedback, and my amazing research team for their endless energy. I wouldn't be where I am at today without you all.
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