PhD Monkey | Higher Education Reference Network

phd monkey An expedition through the forest of academia.


What the difference between Glaserian and Straussian theory? A Simple Answer.

capabilities-icons-researchThe core of the conflict between Glaser and Strauss is whether verification should be an outcome of grounded theory analysis or not. In other words, do we need proof? Glaser would say no.

In 1987, Strauss indicated that induction; deduction and verification are “absolutely essential”. In other words, Strauss insists on introducing an idea; removing the idea, in an effort to verify confirm a model or theory.

In contrast, Glaser maintains that grounded theory is inductive only. Or that the introduction of the idea only is necessary.

Those who adopt a Straussian approach are generally attracted by the clearer guidelines for data analysis. Conversely, those who adopt the Glaserian approach find the more open approach to data analysis liberating.

There is some concern that Strauss’s more explicit approach to data analysis, rather than making data analysis easier, makes it more difficult.

Coding: Trust Thyself
Researchers should trust their instincts and not focus too closely on the analytical procedures. Sometimes, one has to use common sense and not get caught up in worrying about what is the right or wrong way. The important thing is to trust oneself and the process. Students should stay within the general guidelines ... and use the procedures and techniques flexibly according to their abilities and the realities of their studies.” (Strauss and Corbin, 1998a p.295)

Primary Resource

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Dangerous: Data and Cultures of Evidence

How does campus culture affect the way a student affairs organization is structured? As a campus culture evolves, how might a student affairs organization change and grow? Cite examples.

Martha Oburn writes about the “healthy” growth of campus culture through cultures of evidence. Cultures of evidence rely on data (as evidence) to mold and shape organizational decisions especially as they relate to student support and student affairs programs and activities. Oburn (2005), suggests “building a culture of evidence begins with the assertion that colleges not only measure the effectiveness of instructional programs but also assess the quality and contributions of support services and other curricular programs” (p. 20). Measuring this effectiveness must include efforts to measure the fulfillment of an institution’s stakeholders and include: students, faculty, related institutions, employers, community, and local K-12 schools. Taking the pulse of the stakeholders regularly will allow and institution to determine if services are helping those who use them.

While I support the idea of growing campus culture in a healthy way, cultures of evidence and/or the idea to measure educational quality more data driven can be risky, especially when it comes quantifying student learning. Attempting to measure student learning or a teacher’s teaching quality from the information or “data” gathered by standardized tests (the current trend in K-12) is not in the best interest of innovative education.

Oburn, M. (2005, Fall). Building a culture of evidence in student affairs. New Directions for Community Colleges, 131, 19-33.

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Is Academic Research Suspect?

Examples of research conflicts and biased research are abound, and we live in a time when we should question everything, even “scholarly” research. In 2007 Ivey league researchers (funded by corporations) deemed mortgage backed securities, safe investments. It was later revealed these academics were paid by big bucks by the big bank for their scholarly stamp. Remember what happened to these in 2008?

It is my belief that more emphasis should be placed on teaching in academics than on research. While the skepticism towards academic research grows, it seems professors might be more productive doing other things like improving their teaching and thus the students’ experience.

Altbach, Berdahl, Gumport, (2011) charge that, “Outside of the hundred or so major research universities, the quality and relevance of much academic research is questionable. Some critics have gone further, saying that much of academic research is a scam” (p.238).

Wow and again..
“Some have gone further, saying that much of academic research is a scam”

Altbach, P. G., Berdahl, R.O., & Gumport, P.J. (2011). American higher education in the twenty-first century: Social, political, and economic challenges (3rd ed.). Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.

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Academic Freedom of Speech – (Altbach, Berdahl, and Gumport, 2011)

Altbach, Berdahl, and Gumport (2011) allude, “in this environment of increasing demands for accountability, intellectual freedom in colleges and universities generally has maintained widespread pubic and governmental support, although occasionally governmental officials attempt to sanction academics who express unpopular views or criticize government policies” (p. 73).

Altbach, P. G., Berdahl, R.O., & Gumport, P.J. (2011). American higher education in the twenty-first century: Social, political, and economic challenges (3rd ed.). Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.

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Goodbye Textbooks: The Shift to Digital Learning

The cost of a high school text book can easily be close to $100 in cost, and outdated within a year.

One way school and students could save money would use digital textbooks that could be delivered on a computer or tablet. This would save money (as most all publishers have their text in digital form) and it would be able to get updated material to student more quickly. It also seems this may be a better way to educate our student and prepare them for their ongoing future education as more and more cutting edge learning takes place online and is more engaging than a textbook ever could be. Digital learning makes it possible to watch videos and take quizzes to make sure they understand material. And if they do not, the text might not permit them to move on until they do. Personally I enjoy value the use of a physical text or print out when I am asset to read something. Buy in efforts to save time and money I find myself reading and creating more things tailored for digital learning.


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Adjunct Faculty Trends

Select and research at least one topic related to current issues or trends in economics of higher education and summarize what you found.
There are no signs that the trend of an increasing amount of adjunct faculty in colleges and universities is likely to end or decline anytime soon. Economically, budgets continue to tighten and the hiring of part time personnel is only likely to increase. An important and prominent reason for the reliance on part time faculty is that they are less expensive to support than full time faculty.

In cases where the part time applicants (or the applicant pool) is large, colleges enjoy a buyers market. Here they are able to pick and choose to find qualified people willing to work for low wages. This situation does little to breed institution loyalty. Worden and Greive (2000) make comment “it is little wonder that ‘institution-hoping’ takes place among the ranks of adjuncts, they go where the higher pay and the larger contract is offered” (p. 224).

How would you address the issue or trend?
One general way to address this trend is to ensure part time or adjunct faculty are held to the same principles as full time faculty. The needs of adjunct faculty are not radically different from the needs of fill time faculty and as such they should be considered together when designing and employing faculty development and procedure (Worden & Greive, 2000).

Worden, C.A., & Greive, D.E. (2000). Managing adjunct and part-time faculty for the new millennium. Elyria, OH: Info-Tech.

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Peer Review and The Peer Review Process

What purpose does peer review serve in contributing to your professional world? How can you benefit from both giving and receiving a peer review?
Peer review in a course setting allows classmates to review each other’s work and offer advice. Peer review allows classmates to exchange dialog about each other’s work and offer insight into others ideas, research, and writing styles. Reading a peer’s entire work before commenting is a good idea, and it helps to know what exactly they are trying to accomplish in their work. Quality reviewers are able to deliver honest constructive feedback in a courteous and respective voice.

University of Wisconsin’s (2009) Writing Center suggests some things for reviewers to consider first (before spelling, grammar, word choice, etc.). Big questions for reviewers to ask first include:

  • Does the draft respond to the assignment?
  • Are important and interesting ideas presented?
  • Is the main point clear and interesting?
  • Is there a clear focus? Is the draft effectively organized?
  • Is the sequence of points logical?
  • Are ideas adequately developed?
  • Is the draft convincing in its argument?
  • Is evidence used properly?

Scholarly research and the peer review process is slow. However, it serves the academic and professional world because it helps prevent the distribution of “irrelevant findings, unwarranted claims, unacceptable interpretations, and personal views” as fact (California State University, 2007).

California State University. (2007). Retrieved from

University of Wisconsin. (2009). The Writing Center. Retrieved from

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How to Get People to Visit Your Blog or Website

I have a handful of blogs so I can offer a few tips for driving traffic.

Below are my top three tips for driving traffic to your blog or website:

1. Post original content.
For example some of my most popular posts at are posts that were actually notes or originally a online university response.
Examples of frequently visited posts (most visitors coming from Google):
Example 1
Example 2

2. Become an author at other's blog or website, they will allow you to post your stuff and provide links (that will drive traffic) to your site.

3. Hang out in online communities that share your interests, it’s a great place to meet others and share your ideas (by giving them links to your blog).


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We Are All Leaders – (Palmer, 2000)

Palmer rationalizes leadership in his book Let Your Life Speak. As Palmer (2000) suggests, “lead by word and deed and simply because I am here doing what I do. If you are also here, doing what you do, then you also exercise leadership of some sort” (p. 74).

Palmer, P.J. (2000). Let Your Life Speak. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass .

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Dr. Fox and Assessing Faculty

"Entertainment" level of the classroom experience has been shown to affect over-all instructor ratings (Costin, Greenough, & Menges, 1971). The famous "Dr. Fox" study (Naftulin, Ware, & Donnelly, 1973) found that an enthusiastic actor was highly rated on teaching quality despite a lecture intentionally devoid of content.

All from (Wright, 2006, p. 418)

Naftulin, D.H., Ware, J.E., & Donnelly, E.A. (1983). The Doctor Fox lecture: A paradigm of educational seduction. Journal of Medical Education, 75, 138-149.

Costin, E., Greenough, W.T., & Menges, R.J. (1971). Student ratings of college teaching: Reliability, validity, and usefulness. Review of Educational Research, 41, 511-535.

Wright, R. E. (2006, June). Student evaluations of faculty: Concerns raised in the literature. College Student Journal, 40(2), 417-422.


Stereotype of a Scholar

“The common stereotype of a scholar is someone who sits atop an ivory tower inhaling the heady vapors of meta physics. In reality, scholars participate in the everyday world. Although they may be expert in particular areas of content, scholars relish diverse sources of broad and general knowledge. What most distinguishes scholars from content experts is their ability to write effectively” (Walker, C., 2003).

In the academic setting, I write and to share scientific research or debate with other professionals my beliefs. Often times, I get discouraged and think, “I can never be a scholarly writer or I just don’t think like that.” The truth is we can all be scholarly writers. Being a scholarly writer does not mean that you must write about vague and obtuse information or research findings, instead, you can view it as a dialogue. Writing and research are characteristics of good scholarship. I feel this course has helped me with completing the research behind the writing!
~C. Terry, M.Ed

Walker, C.A. (2003, Summer) A scholar is what a scholar writes practical tips on scholarly writing. Journal of Theory Construction and Testing, 7(1),p. 6-10.

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Places To Find Research Instruments

Sources of instruments:

ETS TestLink has more than twenty thousand tests.

Social Science Citation Index

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Gandhi’s Seven Principles

Gandhi believed there are seven things that will destroy us. Each represents and end being accomplished through an unprincipled or unworthy means:

  • Wealth without work.
  • Pleasure without conscience.
  • Knowledge without character.
  • Commerce without morality.
  • Science without humanity.
  • Worship without sacrifice.
  • Politics without principle (Greenleaf, Spears, & Stephen, 2002, p. 8 )

I believe these principles (and others) represent a set of universal undying principals that manage success in our work, in our family and in our own individual lives.

Greenleaf, R. K., Spears, L. C., & Stephen, R. (2002). Servant leadership: A journey into the nature of legitimate power and greatness 25th anniversary edition. Indianapolis, IN: The Robert K. Greenleaf Center.


Dr. Linda Brown on University of Phoenix

University of Phoenix is one of the most organized and well ran academic institutions anyone will encounter.

The teachers are great and most are dedicated; the students are great, and the organization and support for teachers and students is phenomenal.

Individuals who were educated in the four-walls and chairs environment are looking at the experience in the classroom in a most familiar manner; that is what they know, that is what they are comfortable with. There is a tendency to think less of that we know less about for some reason.

Graduates from the University of Phoenix should walk tall and carry a big smile, because it takes more than going into a classroom, on cue, twice a week at a designated time to say you are a successful learner.

Online learning requires persistence, self-discipline, self-determination, good writing skills, the ability to discuss and openly share thought, opinions and biases with others in a professional and cordial atmosphere, the skills to research and analyze and synthesize information and data, etc.

Dr. Linda Brown
University of Phoenix Faculty

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Grounded Theory and Flexibility – (Luckerhoff & Guillemette, 2011)

The instruments of elasticity and openness be part of the researchers tool chest. According to Luckerhoff and Guillemette (2011), “traditional grounded theory method is characterized by the circularity of the general research method, the suspension of references to theoretical frameworks, and theoretical sampling” (p. 2).

Many qualitative methods are based in grounded theory. As a result of the variety of qualitative methods, the purposes of quality and precision are an increasing challenge. Luckerhoff and Guillemetten imply this difficulty in measurement can lead researchers to experience disapproval and rejection from evaluation committees. They recommend researchers submit some of their expected results, “such as information about a plausible sample, while remaining aware that theoretical sampling may lead the researcher to a different sample during the course of the study” (Luckerhoff & Guillemetten, 2011, p. 14).

Flexibility and being open to new additions to one’s sample can help the researcher during investigation. In fact being flexible is a must possesses life skill from which we can all benefit. Being open and able to adapt are exceptional traits not only for researchers, but for everyone to try to develop.

Luckerhoff, J., & Guillemette, F. (2011). The Conflicts between Grounded Theory Requirements and Institutional Requirements for Scientific Research. The Qualitative Report, 16(2), 396+.


Grounded Theory Origins – (Bryant, 2002)

Glaser and Strauss first published studies using the grounded theory method with their co-workers in the early 1960s (Bryant, 2000). The method remains closely aligned with its original design introduced in the 1960’s by Barney Glaser and Anselm Strauss who developed grounded theory as the result of what they believed to be a disparity between theory origination and authentication.

They wanted to create a basis for qualitative research in the social sciences, in opposition to research that at the time relied almost entirely on statistical or quantitative methods. According to Bryant (2000), Glaser and Strauss stated, “although obtaining accurate facts is important, we address ourselves to the equally important enterprise of how the discovery of theory from data - systematically obtained and analyzed in social research - can be furthered” (p. 3).

As I begin to better appreciate grounded research, it is my belief it could prove an enjoyable experience for the researcher and at the same time a tedious one. It also seems that grounded theory hasn’t changed much from when Glaser and Strauss introduced it. This idea could be used to argue in favor of grounded theory’s strength or a weakness as it has difficulty developing beyond its beginnings.

Bryant, A. (2002). Re-grounding Grounded Theory. JITTA: Journal of Information Technology Theory and Application, 4(1), 25+.


Understanding Relationship Strength

On relationship strength:
The relationship between two sets of scores has two characteristics: strength and direction. The strength of a relationship tells the amount scores on one variable are related to scores on the other. Strength is stated from .00 to 1.00. The higher the number, (regardless of sign), the greater the relationship. A correlation of .80 is strong, whereas a correlation of .15 is weak. In a textbook relationship, all data points line up in a straight line.

Steinberg (2011), submits two great examples to explain relationship strength:

Example 1
By knowing the temperature on the Celsius scale, we can exactly predict the temperature on the Fahrenheit scale. Thus, the correlation between Celsius and Fahrenheit is 1.00 (p. 422).

A correlation of .00, at the other extreme, indicates no relationship.

Example 2
For example, there is no relationship between adult IQ and shoe size.
Adults with high, medium, or low IQs are equally likely to have small, medium, or large shoe sizes. Thus, the data points fall in a circular “blob.” (p. 422).

Here is how these two scatterplots would look:

Steinberg, W. J. (2011). Statistics alive! (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.


What is Regression Analysis?

Don’t be fooled by his name.. “Regression”, or Mr. Regression as he prefers it. Mr. Regression “has nothing to do with the common meaning of returning to an earlier or a lower stage or declining to a previous level”, “such as a 10-year-old who starts wetting the bed and sucking his thumb” (Vogt, 2007, p. 145). What Mr. Regression tries to do is predict and explain. For this reason he might be better called Mr. Predictor or Mr. Explainer.

Mr. Regression’s analysis is by far “the most widely employed method for studying quantitative evidence” (Vogt, 2007, p. 145). Some of the progressive forms of Mr. Regression’s analysis are highly technical and complex.

According to Vogt (2007), even the most advanced and complex forms of Mr. Regression’s analysis always ask some version of one basic question:
How much better can I predict (or explain) a dependent variable (Y) if I know an independent variable (X)?” (p. 146)

The objective of Mr. Regression’s analysis is always to answer a form of, or an expansion on Vogt’s question.

Vogt, P.W., (2007). Quantitative research methods for professionals. Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.


Peer Review vs. Reports

As students, we regularly research and report for university. We quickly learn each instructor's likes and make sure our assignments meet their guidelines.

Peer Review
“The purpose of the peer review process is to pick out the publishable manuscript and prune it prior to the print run” (Nayak, Maniar, & Moreker, 2005, p. 153). A paper is publishable if it makes an adequate contribution and advances understanding to the scientific community. According to Nayak et al. (2005), the ultimate test of acceptability lies in the fulfillment of the question;What will the readers learn?” (p. 154). If a reader can gain something from a paper it may be worth publishing. An author’s work improves through the process of revision. “Peer review validates the author’s work, assures quality and authenticity, guards against plagiarism, and may support a job or funding application (Nayak et al., 2005, p. 155).

Nayak, B. K., Maniar, R.N., & Moreker, S. (2005). The agony and the ecstasy of the peer-review process. Indian Journal of Ophthalmology, (153-155).


Chi Square: Goodness-Of-Fit v. Test of Independence

What is Chi Square?
Statistics like t-tests and ANOVA are applicable for interval and ratio variables, when the dependent variables being measured are continuous. On the other hand, chi-square applies when the variables are nominal or ordinal. Chi-square tests if one group of amounts is higher or lower than you would expect by coincidence.

According to Marczyk, DeMatteo, & Festinger (2005):
Chi-square summarizes the discrepancy between observed and expected frequencies. The smaller the overall discrepancy is between the observed and expected scores, the smaller the value of the chi-square will be. Conversely, the larger the discrepancy is between the observed and expected scores, the larger the value of the chi-square will be (p. 223).


Goodness-Of-Fit VS.Test of Independence

A goodness-of-fit test is a one variable Chi-square test. According to Steinberg (2011), “the goal of a Chi-square goodness-of-fit test is to determine whether a set of frequencies or proportions is similar to and therefore “fits” with a hypothesized set of frequencies or proportions” (p. 371). A Chi-square goodness-of-fit test is like to a one-sample t-test. It determines if a sample is similar to, and representative of, a population.

Example of Goodness-Of-Fit:
We might compare the proportion of M&M’s of each color in a given bag of M&M’s to the proportion of M&M’s of each color that Mars (the manufacturer) claims to produce. In this example there is only one variable, M&M’s. M&M’s can be divided into many many categories like Red, Yellow, Green, Blue, and Brown, however there is still only one variable… M&M’s.

Steinberg (2011), notes: “the Chi-square goodness-of-fit test will determine whether or not the relative frequencies in the observed categories are similar to, or statistically different from, the hypothesized relative frequencies within those same categories (p. 371).

Test of Independence
A test of independence is a two variable Chi-square test. Like any Chi-square test the data are frequencies, so there are no scores and no means or standard deviations. Steinberg (2011) points out, “the goal of a two-variable Chi-square is to determine whether or not the first variable is related to—or independent of—the second variable” (p. 382). A two variable Chi-square test or test of independence is similar to the test for an interaction effect in ANOVA, that asks: Is the outcome in one variable related to the outcome in some other variable” (Steinberg, 2011) (p. 382).

Example of Test of Independence
To continue with the M&M’s example, we might investigate whether purchasers of a bag of M&M’s eat certain colors of M&M’s first. Here there are two variables: (1) M&M’s (2) The order based on color that an M&M bag holder/purchaser eats the candies.

Steinberg, W. J. (2011). Statistics alive! (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Marczyk, G., DeMatteo, D., & Festinger, D. (2005). Essentials of research design and methodology. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.