Sunday, March 22, 2015

Social Media in Higher Education

Should social media have a place in higher education?

Social media in higher education promotes a positive platform in encouraging interaction and broadening the appeal of technology and improving conversion back and fourth among students, but also presents adverse effects as well. The adverse effects of utilizing social media in higher education is measuring meaningful relationships and developing rapport that we would foster in reality, and sometimes more casual relationship/rapport are formed through a virtual world, which is difficult to create sustainable virtual learning communities.

The anonymity for students has a positive stance in permitting students the ability to interact anonymously verses a traditional platform (face-to-face) engagement in which sometime students would be less likely to share, but anonymity also presents challenges for faculty. The anonymity afforded in a virtual environment can present an obscured side that might otherwise be concealed in reality. Students may be rude, mean or victimizing to their peers, so monitoring or managing would be required by the faculty member to maintain a positive learning environment.

Overall, social media in higher education has its advantages and disadvantages, so before implementing into the classroom environment, its best to be aware of the growth and relevance of social media as it aligns with the specific content area as well as the manifold options to engage utilizing the platform and possible adverse effects that might require solution(s) in maintaining a healthy, learning environment. Social media is the best of both worlds if implemented effectively.

"Social media is changing the way we communicate and the way we are perceived, both positively and negatively. Every time you post a photo, or update your status, you are contributing to your own digital footprint and personal brand." - Amy Jo Martin

Monday, March 16, 2015

Scholarly Integrity - Office of Research Integrity (ORI) Case | Findings of Research Misconduct

This case involved Dr. Eric J. Smart, which research was conducted and the findings were falsely reported and is considered an act of misconduct in falsifying and/or fabricating data.

Summary of Report:
The report was based on an investigation on Eric J. Smart, Ph.D., a former Professor of Pediatrics and Physiology, Department of Pediatrics and Physiology at University of Kentucky (UK). Eric committed research misconduct by falsifying and/or fabricating images in a NIH grant application, duplicating and altering images, and one RT-PCR image, and falsely submitting an earlier version of the grant application.He was also found guilty for duplicating and altering thirty-three figures included in ten published papers, one submitted manuscript, and two NIH grant applications.

The investigation was initiated by Dr. Smart's former institution,University of Kentucky (UK) and an additional review was conducted by ORI, which found him guilty in misconducting research supported by National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), National Institutes of Health (NIH), grants, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), NIH, and National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), NIH.

Dr. Smart entered a Voluntary Exclusion Agreement and voluntarily agreed for a period of seven years, to retract a number of publications, exclude himself from any contracting or subcontracting with any agency of the United States Government and from eligibility or involvement in non-procurement programs of the United States Government, and to relinquish any advisory capacity to PHS including, but not limited to, service on any PHS advisory committee, board, and/or peer review committee, or as a consultant.

Apparently, Dr. Smart was submitting figures and images in the NIH grant applications that was identified as falsified documents. He tried to manipulate the research material in which wasn't an accurate representation of the research on record. The manner Dr. Smart conducted his research was against ethical standards in which discredits him as a researcher as well as his research.In this case I would call him, Dr. Not so Smart and the best policy is to follow those set ethical standards and adhere. When undertaking research, it's our social, professional, and scientific obligation to make sure the information we're releasing to the populace is accurate when making it available to the public in order to contribute to social change, advance existing or establish new body of knowledge, and hopefully add to the greater good.

For more information: Dr. Eric Smart

It's All About The Code of Ethics in Research...

What's ethical and unethical in research? 

Protect your Integrity, Professional Obligation, Scientific Accountability, Scholarly Responsibility, Ethical Responsibility, and Social Responsibility by adhering to ethical behavior with basic principles of human rights at the forefront. 

Medical research as always held a prominent position in the realm of the ethics of research involving human participants, with respect to the development of terminologies, framework, procedures, and institution of federal policies. Educational research in particular has followed this outline with the development of planning, evaluating, and conducting research involving human participants. Research in general comes with a number of imperative elements to consider before conducting as well as presenting a host of ethical requirements and possible challenges to acknowledge beforehand. It's vital to remain authentic to your professional obligation, scientific accountability, and scholarly responsibility when engaging in research.  

In locating an ethics statement within the current discipline, which is Educational Research & Evaluation, American Educational Research Association (AERA) has emplaced a code of ethical standards for an educational researcher's work-related conduct, social and professional responsibility, principals, and values to maintain when conducting research with human participants.  

AERA Professional Ethics

AERA Code of Research Ethics
"The Code of Ethics of the American Educational Research Association was approved by the AERA Council in February 2011.The Code sets forth the ethical principles and standards that govern the professional work of education researchers. The Code of Ethics replaces the Ethical Standards, which were adopted in 1992 and have been only minimally modified since that time. The current Code is intended to provide guidance that informs and is helpful to education researchers in their research, teaching, service, and related professional work. The Code is intended to provide both the principles and the rules to cover professional situations encountered by education researchers. It has as its primary goal the welfare and protection of the individuals and groups with whom education researchers work."

The AERA code of ethics statement is providing educational researchers with ethical standards and principles to value in which are set forth as an enforceable decree for conducting as educational researchist and professional roles. Countless ethical dilemmas and situations occur regularly in educational research as well as ethical requirements to conduct research with human participants (i.g. must meet professional, institutional and federal standards for conducting research with human participants, authorship issues, participant privacy and welfare of participant compromised, just to name a few) and AERA provides a set of ethical standards for an educational researcher to adhere, while committing to a lifelong effort to act ethically and encourage ethical behavior with others as well as ourselves.

When I reflect on research in a board sense, code of ethics like AERA, IRB, APA, and NIH training to name a few are emplaced to permit researchers the ability to remain salient in ethical issues, as well as avoid and resolve ethical impasses, while remaining authentic to your ethical obligations and social and professional responsibilities. 

As a researcher, keep in mind, what ethical resources are available should you be presented with an ethical situation? 

"A man without ethics is a wild beast loosed upon this world." - Albert Camus