CPED 2020: Quick Recap

Last week the 2020 CPED Virtual Convening took place. The theme this year was REIMAGINING & RECONSTRUCTING THE DISSERTATION IN PRACTICE: Dismantling the hegemonic practices of establishing knowledge in the education profession.  I was on the program committee and over the past several months have been working with a great team from ASU and CPED to move the convening to its first ever virtual format. In addition to the work with the committee, I spearheaded the first ever Student Research Forum. The student forum was fantastic and I hope something that will become a regular feature of CPED Convenings. in the future.

During the conference I presented a Learning Exchange session with the amazing friend and colleague Danah Henriksen. Our session was centered around how advisors can foster creative mindsets for mentoring innovative dissertations.  Our slides are below, along with the reference list. Over the next few weeks, recordings of the sessions will be released by CPED – so stay tuned to their Vimeo page for additional resources coming out from the convening. The conference theme (and resulting discussions) have certainly sparked even more ideas on my end and I’m very excited to work with students (and faculty) interested in pushing the boundaries of the shape and form of dissertations by and for scholarly practitioners.

Baer, M., & Oldham, G. R. (2006). The curvilinear relation between experienced creative time pressure and creativity: moderating effects of openness to experience and support for creativity. Journal of Applied Psychology, 91(4), 963.

Carnegie Project for the Education Doctorate (n.d.). The CPED Framework. https://www.cpedinitiative.org/the-framework

Carson, A. D. (2017). Owning my masters: The rhetorics of rhymes & revolutions. ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. 

Cropley, A.J (2003). Creativity in education & learning. Routledge Falmer.

Davidovitch, N., & Milgram, R. M. (2006). Creative thinking as a predictor of teacher effectiveness in higher education. Creativity Research Journal, 18 (3), 385-390.

Henriksen, D., Mishra, P., Greenhow, C., Cain, W., & Roseth, C. (2014). A tale of two courses: innovation in the hybrid/online doctoral program at Michigan State University. TechTrends, 58(4), 45.

Henriksen, D., Richardson, C., & Mehta, R. (2017). Design thinking: A creative approach to educational problems of practice. Thinking skills and Creativity, 26, 140-153. 

Karwowski, M. (2014). Creative mindsets: Measurement, correlates, consequences. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 8(1), 62.

Kim, K. H. (2017). The Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking-Figural or Verbal: Which One Should We Use?. Creativity. Theories–Research-Applications, 4(2), 302-321.

Miles, C. (2016). The queer critical research and video editing practices of the Gender Project: Consent, collaboration, and multimodality. ProQuest Dissertations Publishing.

Perry, J. A. (Ed.). (2016). The EdD and the scholarly practitioner. IAP.

Prabhu, V., Sutton, C., & Sauser, W. (2008). Creativity and certain personality traits: Understanding the mediating effect of intrinsic motivation. Creativity Research Journal, 20(1), 53-66.

Runco, M. A., & Jaeger, G. J. (2012). The standard definition of creativity. Creativity research journal, 24(1), 92-96.

Silvia, P. J., Nusbaum, E. C., Berg, C., Martin, C., & O’Connor, A. (2009). Openness to experience, plasticity, and creativity: Exploring lower-order, high-order, and interactive effects. Journal of Research in Personality, 43(6), 1087-1090

Vellanki, V. (2020). Thinking, feeling, and creating with photography: Widening the lens of visual research in education. ProQuest Dissertations Publishing.

Williams, A. (2019). My gothic dissertation: A podcast ProQuest Dissertations Publishing. 

Willis, J. W., Valenti, R., & Inman, D. (2010). Completing a professional practice dissertation: A guide for doctoral students and faculty. IAP.



Recap: Ask Me Anything – A Supportive CPED Crowdsourced Webinar

Today I had the pleasure of meeting with a group of CPED colleagues to provide support and suggestions for EdD programs that have transitioned to remote instruction. The sea of advice we are swimming in can be overwhelming, so it was nice to have the opportunity to connect with a small and focused group of EdD colleagues dealing with similar challenges.

I’ve embedded my slides below and will list a few quick links links here as follow ups to the discussion (there are also some embedded links in the slides.) CPED members will be able to view an archive of the webinar on the CPED website.

Finally, I want to give a shout out to my former MSU colleague Dr. William Cain who attended the webinar (what a nice surprise!) and I think you need to host the next one William! Dr. Cain has done some spectacular work on syncromodal classes – you can check out his Google Scholar profile here: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=TI1HsQ8AAAAJ&hl=en 

As a community we are going to continue to work through these challenges and we are so lucky to have CPED to connect and support our efforts. It was great connecting with everyone today and please don’t hesitate to reach out (and continue to share your challenges and successes.) My slides are below and the session can be found here: https://vimeo.com/409244876

CPED Invited Post – A Reflection on Teaching in Online EdD Programs

A few weeks ago I was asked to write a guest blog post for the CPED Blog – the post is cross-posted here. Big thanks to Caroline White and Mary Mathis Burnett for giving me feedback on early (and late) drafts. 

A Reflection on Teaching in Online EdD Programs – 

The CPED program design concepts state that mentoring and advising should be guided by: equity and justice, mutual respect, dynamic learning, flexibility, intellectual space, supportive learning environments, cohort and individualized attention, rigorous practices, and integration.  For those of us that teach online EdD programs, the medium for this work consists of Zoom calls, text messages, telephone calls, email, Word or Google Docs, and a Learning Management System (LMS).  As a clinical associate professor with the Leadership and Innovation EdD program at Arizona State University, this is territory I know all too well! 

If you look up a definition of LMS, you will see that it is used for the “administration, documentation, tracking, reporting, and delivery of educational courses.” All of those actions are in opposition (at times) to the CPED design concepts.  Doctoral coursework is not about tracking and automating learning. It is very understandable however that because our primary classroom environment is constructed for this purpose, our students may experience, or even expect rigid and inflexible experiences.  We have to actively work against the “walls” of our virtual classrooms in LMSs to build friendly hallways for our online students.  

The purpose of this post is to share a few tangible ways that we as faculty can be active conduits for our students in online spaces, and how we can push through the boundaries of our digital classrooms to create supportive learning environments. 

Get to know your students & help them get to know each other 

The computer screen is not a barrier to relationships – we just have to work in different ways to create meaningful bonds with each other.  We are working with complex individuals, who are never just students and have competing priorities and demands on their time. The natural “hallway” moments that happen in-person classes are not as frequent, and potentially non-existent  in online classrooms – so we have to work hard to provide this connection for them. The students have a desire to know each other, and, as faculty we can help support that need and continually think of ways to help our programs think about this for our entire student body.

A few weeks before the semester starts, I send out a “Getting to Know You” survey (via Google Form) to my students. I ask a few simple questions:

  1. How do you pronounce your name
  2. Preferred pronouns
  3. Profession
  4. Problem of practice in a sentence 
  5. Location
  6. Is there anything we should know about your learning/work style so we can be more effective in providing you feedback and support this semester? 
  7. Is there anything else you would like to ask, or would like us to know? 

The answers to questions 6 and 7 are always extraordinarily helpful, and provide me with insights that would never come up in a “traditional” introductory discussion forum posts. As this practice has evolved, students have asked me if I could share the answers to questions 1-5 with each other. (Of course, why didn’t I think of this before!) Our students complete the program as a cohort.  As an instructor, I initially assumed that they knew each other well, but quickly realized this was not a fair assumption. 

Another way to bring a sense of community and space from the survey results is to create a map.  I do this by using the My Maps feature in Google Maps

Map of the world with pins on several locations

For privacy and security, I don’t list full names on the map, and I don’t make the map public. The visual alone is a powerful representation to show that a class is indeed spread across the world, and we have to be cognisant of the fact that it is not 11:59pm everywhere. (More thoughts on that here.) It also shows that I care where they are.   Connections can’t be programmed into systems, we have to help make them happen. 

Situate feedback as a conversation  

I’m very intentionally using the word feedback instead of grading.  I have found that there is a lot of negative educational baggage around being “graded.” 

Our institution uses Canvas as an LMS. The gradebook in Canvas has a commenting feature and Google Docs allows threaded comments.  However, in using these tools, I have found that I have to prompt students to respond to the comments. I think this has to do with the rigidity of the system, if it’s in an online gradebook, then, it feels “final.” Once they realize that I’m deeply invested in their work (literally at a line by line basis at times in a Google Doc) then, they start to see this as a supportive and individualized space to learn. 

I have also experimented with verbal feedback.  If your institution has Zoom cloud recording, this process is easy and accessible. Open up your personal meeting room, share your screen, record to the cloud and you’re good to go. A few minutes after you end the recording, you’ll get a link with the recording along with a transcript. Continually try to push against the boundaries of digital classroom spaces (specifically those built into LMSs) to build connections and conversations. 

Be present

I am present with my students in their feedback, not only in comments, but, also in the timeliness of feedback. I make feedback a priority. If an assignment is due on one day, I set aside the next two days to give feedback. For longer assignments (e.g. dissertation proposal draft sections) it may take longer, but, I am sure to tell the students how long that will be.  

Feedback is murky territory, and all too often I hear stories about feedback taking weeks (in both online and face to face classes).  I think the distance is exacerbated if we are not intentional about our presence. When an assignment gets submitted into the digital ether, how is a student to know when (or if) it will come back? I am sympathetic to instructors, we have a lot of competing priorities and pressures. A way to manage frustration is to very simply tell students when feedback will be given.  It does take time to provide feedback, especially when we have a full caseload of  classes, the simple act of knowing and managing expectations goes a long way.  

This beautiful article by Rose & Adams (2014) should resonate with both faculty and students. Being present can take many shapes and forms.  For me, it comes via weekly videos, a practice that I have been embedding in online courses for quite a while.  Our courses are delivered via weekly modules, and, are primarily text based.  The videos are my way of checking in and walking with the students through the weekly modules or highlighting spots that may be challenging. To facilitate the weekly recording, I use Zoom Cloud Recording. You could also use SnagIt, or other screen capture tools and upload to YouTube (which provides automatic captioning) or a video hosting tool at your institution.   

Keep learning

I have been learning and teaching online since 2000 (in 2020, it feels a bit historic to type that out.) Twenty years into this, I still have a lot to learn.  I build in time for reflection on my own blog, I talk with my students, and I talk with others at conferences. I engage in conversations in digital spaces like Slack, Twitter – and I’m always thinking of how to leverage these spaces to build conduits for and between our students.  The journey of improving and understanding my critical digital pedagogy (Morris & Stommel, 2018) will never end. 

I would like to end this post with an invitation – for further discussion in the comments, or on Twitter (the hashtags #HumanizeOL, #EdDChat, #CPED are great places to congregate) or for collaboration on research. Fully online doctoral programs are a tiny slice of the learning landscape, collectively, we could work to share practices and pedagogy to humanize the experience for all. 


Adams, C., & Rose, E. (2014). “Will I ever connect with the students?” Online teaching and the pedagogy of care. Phenomenology & Practice, 8(1), 5-16.

Morris, S.M & Stommel, J. (2018) An Urgency of Teachers: the Work of Critical Digital Pedagogy https://urgencyofteachers.com/ 


Picture of Leigh Graves WolfLeigh Graves Wolf is teacher-scholar and a Clinical Associate Professor in the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University. Leigh teaches with the Educational Leadership and Innovation EdD program and is a faculty fellow with the Office of Scholarship & Innovation. Her work centers around online education, K12 teacher professional development and relationships mediated by and with technology. She has worked across the educational spectrum from K12 to Higher to further and lifelong.  She believes passionately in collaboration and community. Leigh shares all of her work and ideas publicly on her blog, twitter, & flickr.


#CPED2018 – Reflections and Opportunities

Good morning #cped2018 !I finally have a moment to reflect on my first Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate (CPED) conference.  It was wonderful to have the opportunity to learn more about the EdD community of which I am now a practitioner.  CPED is the knowledge forum on the EdD. With a membership of over 100 schools of education in the US, Canada, and New Zealand working collaboratively to improve professional preparation in education at the highest level.

I participated in 3 sessions – the first two were with my new EdD colleagues (titles link to the presentation slides):

Buss, R., Henriksen, D., Mertler, C. Rotheram-Fuller, E., Wolf, L. (October, 2018) Leader-scholar communities (LSCs) @ ASU: Lessons learned, lessons shared, lessons inspired. Learning exchange presented at the meeting of the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate, Glendale, AZ.

The LSC session above was livestreamed and we experimented with remote participation via Zoom & a google doc. Hopefully the recording will be available and I’ll update the post with the link.

Buss, R., Henriksen, D., Mertler, C. Rotheram-Fuller, E., Wolf, L. (October, 2018) Growing into change: Moving from F2F to online in a doctoral research conference. Learning exchange presented at the meeting of the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate, Glendale, AZ.

I also presented a solo learning exchange:

Wolf. L. (October, 2018) #CPED2018 – Constructing a collaborative convening “syllabus”. Learning exchange presented at the meeting of the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate, Glendale, AZ

If you follow the link above, you’ll see the text of my full proposal – along with the notes from our session.  It was a small group (6 of us total) and our discussions centered more broadly on social media use/professional use of social technologies (including Wikipedia, ResearchGate and Academia.edu). This discussion gave me quite a few ideas for future blog posts, course content creation, and conference presentations!

While at CPED, I saw an opportunity to help to grow the CPED online community. Below is the text from a communication I wrote for the CPED email list and I’m looking forward to helping grow and support the network any way I can.

#CPED2018 – Social Media Recap & Invitation for Continued #CPED Connections

Thank you to all who shared their thoughts on Twitter during #CPED2018. Over the past few years the use of Twitter to share CPED ideas has started to grow. This year, we started tracking the Tweets and an archive can be viewed here.

We want to highlight a two “strength of weak ties” (Granovetter, 1973) moments that were created on Twitter during the conference.  First, in sharing the links to the award-winning dissertations, a tweet gained 3 likes and an encouraging response from a connected scholar in Ireland. Second, a tweet which featured the “Marathon Map” shared by our ECU colleagues – spurred a flurry of 12 likes and 6 comments. We want to highlight these specific interactions – not to start a popularity contest, but rather, to demonstrate the power in sharing our work and ideas beyond the conference walls.

To further promote the use of social media, an experimental session on the final day of the conference attempted to create a #CPED2018 “Syllabus” of resources based upon the twitter and social streams.  As a Community of (online) Practice we’re still growing in this area and the Twitter stream provided an emerging set of resources (which you can see in the nascent form here).  Our session ended up being a robust discussion of social technologies (e.g. Twitter, Wikipedia) and how we can start to use them more strategically in our CPED workflows our professional practice. This lively discussion planted seeds for future opportunities for professional growth and development and we encourage you to stay tuned to CPED announcements for those opportunities.

In the meantime, we would like to continue this momentum as we look forward to #CPED2019.  If you have ideas/links/resources you would like to share between now and the next convening – please use the #CPED hashtag when Tweeting. This will allow our community to connect and grow virtually between convenings.

If you’re not sure about Twitter, you can always “lurk” by following this link #CPED to see the most current stream of Tweets by those using the #CPED hashtag.  By sharing we’re fostering a Community of (online) Practice and allowing others outside of our CPED community to connect to us as individuals and connect collectively to the great work we all doing.

Granovetter, M. (1973). The strength of weak ties. American Journal of Sociology, 78(6), 1360-1380.