laptop and notebook

Four years ago, I committed to several writing goals for November also known as academic writing month (#AcWriMo). That was one of my most productive months of writing. I wrote over 13,000 words and had over 60 hours of productive time collecting or analyzing data.

This year, I also have a lot to write including two conference papers, a grant proposal, a journal paper to polish, and new blogs for my website. So, I’m once again committing to academic writing month. My daily writing and research goals for 2018 are:

  • Write at least 500 words,
  • Read at least one source for a literature review, and
  • Complete at least one hour of additional productive research time (e.g. data processing, planning, training, project organization).

I have one additional month-long goal this year; to figure out how to sustain the above research productivity beyond November. The daily goals meet the criteria for S.M.A.R.T. goals.  They are all specific and measurable. Once a day makes them time-bound and they are relevant given the writing projects I have for this month. All three goals are likely achievable because the first and last goals are the same as 2014 and the second goal is a required part of the writing projects. The additional month-long goal is specific, measurable, and time-bound. I know it is relevant to completing my research goals to earn promotion and tenure. However, I also know it is a stretch goal which means achievable is not going to be an easy task. Given it is relevant to achieving my research goals and being a successful academic, I am committed to trying.

As I did in 2014, I am going to track and share my progress on my daily goals. This year I will be adding a reflection and adaptation step to help work toward the sustainable daily research and writing goal.

Part of the CSLF Lab Development Process

At the 2017 Frontiers in Education (FIE) Conference, I published the results of a comparison of lab kits using the control systems laboratory framework (CSLF) that I published earlier this year in the IEEE Transactions on Education. The paper also includes a suggested process for using the CSLF in new laboratory development (see photo above).  The full paper can be accessed in the IEEE Xplore Digital Library.

CC Image of Good Teacher Attributes on Chalkboard from Center for Teaching Vanderbilt University

At the 2017 Frontiers in Education (FIE) Conference, I published a paper about teaching assistants (TAs). The observations about the influence of TAs in the laboratory emerged from the laboratory equipment study that I conducted during my dissertation. Based on student comments during the original study, the TAs had an impact on the learning environment in the laboratory.   The full paper can be accessed in the IEEE Xplore Digital Library.

Students working in a control systems lab

During my dissertation, I surveyed control systems faculty, laboratory staff, and industry professionals to determine common aspects of undergraduate control systems instructional laboratories. Through two different survey techniques, I defined the most common learning objectives, concepts, and components of a laboratory apparatus. The results of this study were recently published in IEEE Transactions on Education. The full paper can be downloaded from IEEE Explore.

MATLAB Code for Lab Kit

The MATLAB and Simulink files for my motor control lab kit is available on GitHub.

3D Models for Lab Kit

The instructions for experiments using my motor control lab kit is available on GitHub.

Experiments for Lab Kit

The instructions for experiments using my motor control lab kit is available on GitHub.