Amanda Ochsner, Ph.D., has joined the faculty in the Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.) program at the University of Findlay. Scheduled to begin teaching in the program this fall, Ochsner is re-locating to northwest Ohio from Los Angeles. She’ll be bringing along extensive knowledge of qualitative research methods and a background in game-based learning.
“We are fortunate to have Dr. Ochsner on our faculty,” said John Gillham, Ed.D., director of the Doctorate of Education Program. “She is an award-winning researcher with expertise in qualitative research methods.”
Gillham explained that many of the candidates in the doctoral program have planned to use qualitative research as the methodology for their dissertations.
While quantitative research generates numerical data or data that can be transformed into useable statistics, qualitative methods are primarily exploratory and used to gain an understanding of reasons, opinions and motivations.
“With more of our candidates opting for qualitative or mixed methodologies, we found the need for a course focusing on this,” he added. Ochsner will teach EDUC765 Research II: Qualitative Research & Measurement along with EDUC700 Writing as a Doctoral Scholar.
Ochsner is currently a postdoctoral research associate at the Pullias Center for Higher Education in the Rossier School of Education at the University of Southern California. She holds a Ph.D. in digital media with a minor in qualitative research methods from University of Wisconsin-Madison. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Minnesota-Morris.
How will her passion for games and learning apply to her new role as faculty in a doctoral program?
“As far as my interest in games and learning goes, I absolutely see some ways that it will be applicable to the Ed.D. program,” she responded. “I’ve already spoken with some students in the program who are interested in researching the process of integrating technologies (like VR headsets) into the districts they work with in Ohio.”
Currently, Ochsner is working on a federally funded research project that involves investigating whether games and digital media can increase college-going outcomes for first-generation and low-income students. The project includes 54 schools in more than 20 school districts in California. She feels that her work in games and learning has given her expertise in a range of areas, including interest-driven learning, online learning, digital equity, communities of practice, and integrating technology into formal and informal school learning spaces.
“I’ve worked with a variety of stakeholders, including young and adult learners, college counselors, librarians, teachers and principals,” she added. “Given the diverse interests and roles that students in the Ed.D. program occupy, I am confident that my experience and interests will align well with the research that students in the program are interested in pursuing.”
The University of Findlay’s Doctorate of Education program will enter its fifth year in fall 2017. Offered entirely online with a 3-day summer seminar on campus, the program is the highest degree offered in the field of education. Current students and those who have completed their doctorates, are employed in a variety of fields, including teaching, educational administration, higher education and business. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 419-434-4732.