2015 IN-CONFERENCE WORKSHOPS
Please consider attending an in-conference workshop.  
1. Getting to the “Action” in Youth Participatory Action Research: Research-Based Student Voice as a Driver of School Change
2. Making it Personal: The Utility of Person-Centered Analysis in Academic Research
3. Using Mixed Methods to Tell the Whole Story
Abstracts follow.
Getting to the "Action" in Youth Participatory Action Research: Research-Based Student Voice as a Driver of School Change
Wednesday, October 21, 2015, 1:30pm – 4:45pm 
Jessica Watkin, Miss Porter’s School YPAR Research Team, Miss Porter’s School
 
For the past five years, a select group of 11th and 12th grade students at Miss Porter’s School has engaged in Youth Participatory Action Research in conjunction with the Center for the Study of Boys’ and Girls’ Lives. In that time, student voice – grounded in a rigorous qualitative research process – has become an increasingly important part of decision-making at school.

In this workshop, 12th grade students from the current research team will present several examples of changes to school policy and procedure that have come about as a direct result of the work of this group. From our students’ interactions with our own alumnae to their interactions with the boys from the school up the road, from an analysis of teachers’ availability for extra help during the school day to a hard look at the impact of our students’ diverse socio-economic backgrounds on their ability to fit in with the traditions that make our community special, our YPAR work has shaped the way our school administrators make decisions and interact with our students. Participants will be introduced to YPAR concepts and methods, as well as the process of implementing change based on a YPAR project. Participants seeking to get a YPAR group started should bring questions about the logistics of starting or maintaining such a project with student researchers, and those who find themselves at the “Now What?” phase of their projects should bring questions about reporting out and implementation. 
Making it Personal: The Utility of Person-Centered Analysis in Academic Research
Thursday, October 22, 2015, 4:00pm – 5:30pm
Elisabeth Pyburn, James Madison University
S. Jeanne Horst, James Madison University
Monica Smith, James Madison University
Heather Harris, James Madison University

This workshop outlines the utility of person-centered techniques – specifically mixture modeling and cluster analysis. The session will involve a discussion of possible research situations in which personcentered analyses are most appropriate, an outline of best practices, tips for addressing common issues, and a demonstration of several useful software platforms. Participants will also be provided with a handout/electronic copy of annotated syntax and a list of references for future study. Please feel free to bring a laptop to follow along with analysis demonstrations; however, note that this workshop will focus mainly on explaining the models themselves rather than walking through the syntax. 

Presenters:
Elisabeth Pyburn is a first-year doctoral student in the Assessment and Measurement PhD program at James Madison University. Her master’s thesis was an applied examination of the similarities and differences between cluster analysis and mixture modeling. In addition to person-centered techniques, she is interested in measurement and test development.

S. Jeanne Horst is Assistant Professor in the Department of Graduate Psychology and Assistant Assessment Specialist at James Madison University. Her research interests involve the application of statistical techniques within the educational context, including scale development, examination of student motivation, and assessment of student learning.

Monica Smith is an Assistant Professor in Graduate Psychology and an Assistant Assessment Specialist in the Center for Assessment and Research Studies (CARS) at James Madison University. Her research interests include applying person-centered and longitudinal data analytic techniques to explain changes in higher education phenomena, as well as evaluating response scale use when measuring non-cognitive attributes. In her assessment work, Monica helps evaluate sociocultural awareness, health and wellness knowledge, and components of international student success and adjustment.

Heather Harris is a first-year doctoral student in the Assessment and Measurement PhD program at James Madison University. Her research interests include student learning outcomes assessment and the application of propensity score matching and person-centered statistical techniques in the context of higher education.
Using Mixed Methods to Tell the Whole Story
Thursday, October 22, 2015, 8:30am – 11:45am
Felice Billups, Johnson & Wales University
Robert Gable, Johnson & Wales University

Mixed methods research projects provide researchers with the ‘truth’ generated from two very different perspectives: quantitative statistical analysis and qualitative narrative text. But the benefits of conducting mixed methods research is greater than the sum of its parts – the integration of the quantitative and qualitative paradigms yields a story that is both compelling and substantive. The current interest in mixed methods research is well deserved, as the value of this approach allows researchers to add depth, breadth, and new insights that a single paradigm approach would not provide. But for many new and veteran researchers, the question is how to begin when designing a mixed methods study? And how do you know whether your study appropriately matches the mixed methods approach? How do you know when to ‘mix’ and how do you report the findings? The tremendous interest in mixed methods applications has also generated tremendous confusion about how to design this type of study.

This workshop will focus on the myriad current definitions of mixed methods designs, the ways in which researchers can ‘mix’ their methods in a single study, including suggestions for data collection, data analysis, and data interpretation strategies. Designed as an interactive session, the workshop will be divided into three parts: 1) An overview of mixed methods research, how to design a mixed methods study, and examples of different types of mixed methods designs, 2) An exemplary mixed methods study will illustrate how the combination of quantitative and qualitative methods creates a more meaningful research story, and 3) Participants have the option of sharing their own projects with other attendees in an interactive discussion guided by the workshop facilitators. Workshop participants will develop practical skills and knowledge about using the mixed methods approach for educational research projects. 

Presenters:
Dr. Felice D. Billups is a Professor in the Educational Leadership Doctoral Program at Johnson & Wales University, where she teaches courses in Research Methods, specializing in qualitative research and mixed methods designs. Dr. Billups' academic research focuses on collegiate culture, organizational theory and behavior, student satisfaction and retention, and the graduate student experience.

Dr. Robert Gable is a Professor and Director of Research in the Educational Leadership Doctoral Program at Johnson & Wales University, and is also the Director of the Center for Research & Evaluation. He teaches courses in Research Methods, specializing in quantitative research. His research focuses on quantitative designs, instrument development and applications of mixed methods research. 

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