IMPACT OF TECHNOLOGY IN ONE DISSERTATION: DATA COLLECTION TO ANALYSIS TO DISSEMINATION
Session will address how a series of unrelated technological tools became essential to not only identify what research needed to be completed but how the data would be collected, analyzed and later reported. Session will highlight how technology was used 1) to identify the problem, 2) to clarify its significance in a university setting and in current literature matrices, 3) to create tools to engage the student in the data collection process, 4) to compare and contrast the findings, and 5) to disseminate the results of the research to a wider audience. Information and communication technology (ICT) has become a popular educational tool among students who are currently enrolling in higher education and entering the workforce. With the continued integration of technology in higher education, online registration has become common practice and a necessary skill students need to master to successfully navigate university life. As first year undergraduate students arrive at universities they are unfamiliar with the many requirements of the online registration process which they can find both complex and frustrating. Therefore, through the use of technology the researcher was initially able to unearth a potential problem statement supported with pertinent literature then locate a reliable and valid instrument to support the research methodology. Using RefWorks and Microsoft Excel a comprehensive literature matrix evolved that quickly illustrated thematic areas that could become research questions for an extensive study. This information, coupled with the researcher’s own view of a real-life problem at hand, served as the impetus for the purpose statement for the research. The research study discussed in this session provided first year undergraduate students with a web-based, multimedia tutorial which focused upon the course search and registration process at the specific research site. It was the hope that the multimedia tutorial would allow students to build self-confidence in their own abilities to navigate the virtual university environment and feel successful in the early stages of their academic career. With the use of such software as Adobe Captivate 4.0, Adobe Dreamweaver, and SNAP Professional, the Registration Tutorial (Dee, 2011) was created and used to collect and analyze perceived proficiency with ICT and effectiveness of the multimedia tutorial. Technology came to the aid of the researcher in disseminating the findings, conclusions, and recommendations to a wider audience. Initially a PowerPoint was created with a series of screen captures from the actual multimedia tutorial to share the findings of the research for a university critique. The PowerPoint was later converted via Camtasia Studio by TechSmith as a means to engage other review audiences and capture the attention using audio, video, and text. In another venue, select findings were disseminated through a virtual showcase using Adobe Acrobat Connect as the medium. The Virtual Showcase session allowed the researcher to asynchronously discuss, via a conference website and an online discussion board, select findings to multi-disciplinary researchers in corporate and higher education settings across the globe without having to exhaust limited travel budgets at her institution or the travel budgets of those viewing the work.