Preparing Students to Meet Professional Goals

Attaining the Ed.D. is a rewarding professional accomplishment, opening many doors to the future. What’s exciting about the field of instructional technology is there is always something new out there! From social media to fully immersive education, instructional technology scholarly practitioners are always contemplating the role of emerging technologies for teaching and learning.


Ed.D. programs provide the venue for students to take newly learned, research–based information and apply it in given settings (like a classroom, an online environment, a virtual space, a gaming environment). As scholars of the field, a lot is known about how people learn and program graduates are key to advancing the field.

IT faculty member, Dr. Holly Ellis, states,

“Often I encourage students to select project topics that they can use in the real world. Not only have they successfully used their class projects to meet their personal and professional needs, but they have also used their class projects to begin portfolios.”

“For example, some have received grants for classroom technology resources from proposals written for class assignments, developed technology–related professional development for other teachers, and enhanced existing classroom instruction by integrating technology."

“This is an excellent example of students as scholarly practitioners and very much in line with the Carnegie Project on the Educational Doctorate expectations for an Ed.D. program that ‘prepares educators for the application of appropriate and specific practices, the generation of new knowledge, and for the stewardship of the profession.’ ”

To build on Carnegie’s classification, students in the Ed.D. Program at UWF are prepared to:

  • Analyze learning environments and potential resources to plan, develop and implement best practices and strategies that will improve learning.
  • Build on the foundations of the past, prepare for and look to the future while teaching in the present.
  • Provide the skills to analyze performance problems by developing professional practice informed by the research and information from a variety of fields.
  • Offer real, practical opportunities to apply the skills being learned, bridging theory and practice.
  • Encourage development of tangible artifacts that demonstrate learning. These artifacts, demonstrating diverse skills using diverse formats, can be used to build a portfolio for career moves or advancements and could be tailored to meet the needs of the individual, the profession, and the field.
  • Foster strategic thinking that results in the development of solutions that realize desired results.
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