“Educational Informatics” Field Exam Proposal
Proposal Result: Accepted
Planned Completion of Field Exam: Fall, 2015
Literature in the area of Educational Informatics dates back at least 15 years. In 2000, Stewart presented a paper at the Annual Meeting of the Mid-South Educational Research Association, in which he called for the formal establishment of a discipline of Educational Informatics. Although he himself situated this field within education, much of the research published in this area since 2000 has been conducted by researchers in Information Science. The broadest definition of Educational Informatics to emerge from the literature, and one that has since been heavily cited, was published in 2003. It defines Educational Informatics as “the study of the application of digital technologies and techniques to the use and communication of information in learning and education” (Levy et al., 2003, p. 299). This definition establishes the scope of the field, representing a reasonably broad, active area of interest. This version of the field is set at the “intersection of three broad disciplines: information science, education, and computer science” (Levy et al., p. 299). Thus, prior work establishes Educational Informatics as a broad subfield of LIS.
This area of research is directly in line with my own research interests and motivation for entering the doctoral program. Much of the work that I have undertaken while enrolled in GSLIS would meet the definition of Educational Informatics previously stated. For example, I have studied the impact of both PLATO and Content Management Systems on communication by distance learning students, I helped design a prototype web-based system for teaching empathy and diagnosis to medical students, and I participated in a project to help determine how innovation spaces such as FabLabs can help people build capabilities. Additionally, in keeping with the University of Illinois’ push for research into educational technologies, I am a Research Assistant working on documenting and analyzing the University’s Coursera data. I expect this data to be central to my dissertation work, work that also fits into the broad scope of Educational Informatics.
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Levy, Ford, Foster, Madden, Miller, Nunes, et al. (2003). Educational informatics: An emerging research agenda. Journal of Information Science, 29(4), 298-310.
Stewart, R. G. (2000). Informatics as a field of study in education: A needs assessment and research agenda. Retrieved from ERIC database. (ED448172).