Thursday, December 20, 2018

Professors Bill Davis, Dr. William Woods and Dr. Murad Abel Present Learning Research at ADEIL Conference

A Busy October for These Professors!  
Forbes School of Business & Technology Professors
Presented Active Learning Research at Three Academic Conferences. 
Bill Davis, Dr. William Woods, and Dr Murad Abel presented their ORCS Research Presentations at the 2018 ADEIL Conference held at the University of Wisconsin – Madision, the 2018 QM Connect - Quality Matters Conference held in St. Louis, and presented and recorded their presentation for the 2018 Ashford University TLC.

Title of Presentations:
2018 ADEIL Conference: “Student Perceptions of Active Learning in Online Classrooms”

2018 QM Connect: “Which Active Learning Methods Do Student’s Perceive to Increase Their Active Learning and Satisfaction.”

2018 Ashford University Virtual Teaching and Learning Conference: “Students Perceptions of Active Learning.”


Active learning is the process of doing, observing, and dialogue with oneself and others. These sessions all present and consider active learning methods, strategy, learning styles, and the active learning methods students perceive to increase their learning and satisfaction.

Our Hypothesis / Research Questions: 

H#1: We believe active learning theory offers effective methods to further student learning and educational satisfaction. 

R#2: The Our question we look to answer: Which active learning methods do students perceive to increase their learning and satisfaction? 

Purpose of Research: To determine student perceptions of active learning methods in the online modality, and to assess which active learning methods are preferred by students. We look to add to the wealth of knowledge concerning active learning with attention given to the online modality.

Presentation Example: Link to Research:
2018 QM Connect

Author Bio: All Professors are in the Forbes School of Business & Technology

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

The “We” Concept for Organizational Growth & Generational Impact

Folashade Oyeyemi AKINYEMI (PhD)
Title: The “We” Concept for Organizational Growth & Generational Impact

Abstract or Description: Man’s continuous quest for fulfillment and greatness is innate and part of who we are. We set goals and aim high but often ignore some vital components that make the achievements worthwhile. And more often, we get submerged in our individual aspirations and live like nothing else matters but eventually, only a few really get fulfilled and safely reach the shore.

If only we could be more conscious of the fact that we are not self-sufficient, acknowledge benefits of working together, and imbibe the team spirit, then we would have more outstanding success stories and be fulfilled.

We need to constantly remind ourselves of the fact that nobody ever makes it alone. We need each other. We're all part of the global network, and connected in one way or another. And, we would achieve greater things together that we could never achieve apart.

Short Biography: Akinyemi Folashade Oyeyemi is a Researcher and Lecturer at the Institute For Entrepreneurship & Development Studies (IFEDS), Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria. She has a Ph. D in Business Administration with specialty in Entrepreneurship & Sustainability from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Monday, September 17, 2018

The Investigation of Preferred Learning Styles of Persons Living with Dementia

Summary of Research:

Dr. Debra Stewart
Understanding and gaining cooperation during personal care of a resident with dementia can be difficult especially when there are language barriers and cognitive deficits concerning comprehension of object and situation. When a caregiver such as certified nursing assistance attempts to help a resident with activities of daily living (ADLs), it can be difficult and time-consuming to accomplish even the simplest task because of the patient’s understanding of the process and the resistive behaviors that are often a result of confusion.

The learning styles inventory is an evaluative tool used by the participants in the study who are certified nursing assistants to establish the preferred learning styles of patients in their care. The study revealed important information concerning the determination of the preferred learning styles of persons with dementia. The research provided critical data in determining if ADLs, when designed around the learning styles, have a greater acceptance rate with fewer resistive behaviors. Also, the study was an essential addition to research concerning understanding a patient’s learning styles and presenting care based on that information to promote greater patient acceptance and nursing unit productivity.

Depending on the nursing assistant’s training the nursing assistant may use the same techniques of engagement for every resident in their care. The one-size-fits-all approach may not be appropriate for every resident and be a less than productive use of nursing assistants’ time. The research examined if knowing the preferred learning styles of persons living with dementia resulted in greater cooperation and unit productivity.

Dr. Debra Stewart has completed her Ph.D. from the University of the Rockies and has worked in long-term care for over 25 years. She is an Advisory Board member for both the Mental Health Technology Program and the College for Lifelong Learning at Sinclair and is also a certified Vital Life Community Consultant through THW Design. She also serves as an online academic distant learning specialist for Hondros School of Nursing. Debra is a pre-approved instructor for NCCAP. Dr. Stewart’s most recent research titled Caregivers’ Attitudes and Beliefs about Pain Medication Administration was published in ProQuest.
Presenting author details
Full name: Dr. Debra Stewart
Twitter account:
Linked In account:

Monday, September 3, 2018

Best Practices for Providing Effective Feedback

Description: Our research involved creating training webinars for instructors to go over best practices for providing feedback and to highlight how to implement these best practices in ANT 101 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology. Instructors were also provided with a copy of Nancy Sommers’ book Responding to Student Writers, which we discussed in the context of ANT 101. Instructors were encouraged to audit their own grading feedback in order to implement best practices.

Written assignments make up the majority of points in most classes at Ashford. Instructors need to understand best practices for providing comments that students will understand and use. Ineffective commenting can overwhelm and de-motivate students. Students in general education classes often need extra help and attention.

Grades are often tied to self-esteem and a student’s sense of self (Crocker, 2002). Research shows that students want to receive a balance of encouraging and critical feedback (Turnitin, 2016). They want to hear both suggestions for improving upon weaknesses and also positive feedback on their strengths. It is helpful when instructors point out where students have met assignment criteria, rather than just where they have fallen short. Students shy away from feedback that includes personal evaluations of their ability; they prefer feedback that discusses issues in their work and includes advice on how to improve (Turnitin, 2016). Future-oriented comments are helpful and send the message that instructors see students as capable of improving (Weimar, 2012).

Good comments create connections and point out patterns (Sommers, 2013). Comments may identify connections to specific assignments, to earlier drafts, to patterns identified throughout the student’s work, or to comments/questions the student has raised earlier. In addition to pointing out specific areas for improvement, instructors should contextualize feedback and draw connections between other assignments and activities in the class. This context will help students to understand the purpose of the instructor’s comments and what to do with that feedback.

Crocker, J. (2002). The costs of seeking self-esteem. Journal of Social Issues, 58(3), 597-615.

Sommers, N. (2013). Responding to student writers. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s.

Turnitin. (2016). From here to there: Students’ perceptions on feedback goals, barriers, and effectiveness [White paper]. Retrieved October 12, 2016 from  

Weimer, M. (2012). Getting students to act on our feedback. Faculty Focus. Retrieved from:

Bio: Dr. Bethany Heywood is lead faculty and an Assistant Professor in the Entry Point & Social Science department that is part of the Division of General Education at Ashford University. She earned her PhD in Anthropological Studies with a focus on the Cognitive Science of Religion from the Institute of Cognition and Culture at Queen’s University Belfast in Northern Ireland, and obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Religion from the University of Vermont.    

Dr. Emma K. Bate is part of the core faculty in the Entry Point & Social Science department that is part of the Division of General Education at Ashford University. She has a PhD and a Master of Arts in Anthropology from Indiana University, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from Wake Forest University. Since 1997, Dr. Bate has conducted archaeological fieldwork in The Bahamas, the Dominican Republic, Greece, and Indiana. She taught archaeology and physical anthropology at Indiana University, Butler University, and Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis (IUPUI) while in graduate school from 2000 to 2010.



Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Tourism and Festival Cultural Anthropology Research

August 10-25, 2018, Dr. Janni Pedersen, chair of the cultural anthropology program, will return to Panama to continue the collaborative research project on tourism and festivals. This year, she will be joined by Ms. Sashur Henninger, associate faculty member, and they will be working with Marino Jaén Espinosa of Dr. Kathryn Sorensen and Ms. Michelle Loose, faculty members in the College of Liberal Arts, are co-investigators. Their focus this year is the Manito festival in Ocú, a celebration of the agricultural heritage and peasant traditions of the central provinces in Panama. Among the things the festival will feature are musical performances, a mock traditional peasant wedding, and reenactment of a sword duel.
Dr. Pedersen will be blogging from the field again. You can follow the trip and the research project at:  
The research project is sponsored by Ashford University’s University Fellows Program. Drs. Pedersen and Sorensen have presented results from their previous years in Panama at academic conferences, and this field trip will add depth and breadth to their data and conclusions.
For additional information about the Faculty Fellows Program visit:
Michelle Loose, Marino Jaén Espinosa, and Dr. Janni Pedersen in Santo Domingo, Panama

Monday, July 9, 2018

Lanthanum and the Rare Earth Metals; the Changing Face of Medicine and Pollution

Dr. Wayne Briner
Abstract:  In a recent study Dr. Briner has shown that the rare-earth metal Lanthanum does not produce toxic effects strictly by way of calcium channels, as has been long believed. Why should we care? And what is Lanthanum anyway?  In this presentation Dr. Briner will explain how the face of pollution is changing, how the substances we use in medicine are changing.  These changes are also challenging how the fields of pharmacology and toxicology evaluate the effects of drugs and toxins. 

Bio: Wayne Briner received PhD in 1987 in physiological psychology followed by a postdoc at Tulane and LSU schools of Medicine.  Afterwards employed by a private research group, the University of Nebraska and now AU for a career in higher ed and the sciences spanning over 30 years. Has published over 50 peer reviewed articles in nationally and internationally ranked journals. Has consulted for the VA and the NSF.  Is a regular editor for the journal Toxics and occasionally for the journal Toxins.  Regularly reviews for the journals Food and Chemical Toxicology, Toxicology letters and Neurotoxicology.  Is a full member of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine and the Society of Toxicology.


Email: For questions or research interest you may contact Dr. Wayne Briner at


Friday, June 15, 2018

Steps to Research in Academic and Business Settings

Dr. Murad Abel
Research is an essential part of conducting business and engaging in the scientific community. Students, academics, and business leaders participate in research to gain critical knowledge about particular topics they do not understand well. These topics can be anything from the discovery of new vaccines to having a greater insight of a target market. Following the steps in the research process will help ensure that you are adhering to a rigorous scientific method.

1.) Understand Your Problem: It will be pretty challenging to design a study if you don't at first understand the nature of the problem. While you may have a ballpark understanding of the problem, actually pinpointing that problem into a sentence can be excruciatingly frustrating. Sometimes you will need to review the evidence, conduct interviews, and complete some non-scientific experimentation to define the situation or problem better. The more knowledge and experience a person has, the easier it will be to grasp what is going on.

2.) Conduct Background Research: You can better understand what type of study to conduct if you are aware of the current research. You may just find that the problem has already been solved or is close enough that you can draw some inferences for your business without the additional expenses associated with new research. Keep strong notes of the studies you find because your literary review will provide a detailed discussion of current findings on the topic.

3.) Formulate Your Research Question: Your research question is the centerpiece of any study. A quick glance at the research question will tell you precisely what question the study will attempt to resolve. As you build your study, the design will reflect back on the research question(s). Typically research questions are labeled as R1 and R2 and are very explicitly written so they can be measured.

4.) Design Your Study: The study design is based on the need to answer the research question. If the study seeks to evaluate some phenomenon statistically, but the variables are not well known, then an exploratory design might be beneficial. It is always wise to look at similar studies on the topic to get a better understanding of the design you need to use.

5.) Gain Approvals and Funding (If Needed): Depending on which entity you work for you may need different types of approvals. On an academic level, you may need a university's Research Board or International Review Board to provide approvals. Company employees may need to obtain permission from senior management. Whether you are working with private, government, public, personal, or corporate money, it is wise to have it before you move into spending it.

6.) Obtain Necessary Materials: Sometimes you will need special equipment, while at other times you will use online surveys, existing data, historical information, etc. It is helpful to know where you are going to obtain this information, pay for the services you need, and collect written permission to access information.

7.) Conduct the Study: Conducting your study will take time and careful effort. Make sure that you follow procedures correctly to hold up against scrutiny. If you waver from your processes outlined in the study, you may need to go back and reauthorize those changes with funding and oversight boards. The more consistent you are with each piece of data collection, the stronger your study will be regarding validity.

8.) Evaluation of the Data and Your Results: Once you have collected your data you will need to find a way to evaluate it to disprove the null hypothesis. Disproving the null hypothesis means the alternative, or the one you seek, is justified via a specified confidence level. There is software available like SPSS or even free software like Microsoft Excel that that can do the necessary work.

9.) Report, Publish, and Share: The ultimate goal is to contribute to a body of knowledge by sharing your results. The most common methods are to conduct a presentation at a conference or have it published in a peer-reviewed journal. Even if you cannot do these examples, you can still have it posted on the web for others to see.

BIO: Dr. Murad Abel is a full-time faculty member and research fellow at Ashford University’s Forbes School of Business & Technology™. He holds a Doctorate in Business Administration, a Master of Business Administration, and a Bachelor of Science degree. He may be contacted at

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Developing the Peace Process by Dr. William Woods

Dr. William Woods
Description : In January 2018 Dr. William Woods was presented with the Peace and Justice Award by the Martin Luther King  Jr. committee of Clinton, IA. Dr. Woods was honored with the distinction because of his authoring of the Iowa Peace Week Proclamation for the State of Iowa and several service
projects that he designed and participated in with his students. The projects included food drives for a homeless shelter, raising almost $5000 for a homeless shelter, providing sewing machines and training for widows in Ghana, funding for shelter, clothing, food and education for orphans in Kenya, and a toy drive for Lakota Sioux Children in South Dakota. His students also provided $1000 for victims of the hurricane that hit St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands in 2017.

 Presentation Link: (Click Here)

Author Bio:
Dr. William G. Woods holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Organization and Management with a specialization in Leadership from Capella University. He is a full-time core faculty member and a Professor in the Forbes School of Business and Technology. He has been with Ashford University since 2005. He is the recipient of the 2018 Martin Luther King Peace and Justice Award. In 2017 he authored the State of Iowa "Peace Week Proclamation" signed by the Governor. He serves as Chair of the Faculty Senate at Ashford University. He became the Senate Chair in July 2017. He served as the chair of the Senate Graduate Curriculum Committee from 2012-2017. He has served as a Board of Directors Associate Member for Vibrant Credit Union and is an Executive Board member for the Bridgepoint Education Political Action Committee. He serves on the Council of Advisors for the Golden Key International Honour Society. He is a regular speaker at Golden Key Regional and International Conferences. He is a Regional Director for the World Association of Academic Doctors. He is the recipient of the City of Clinton, IA 2012 Human Rights Award. He has created successful fundraisers that supported education for widows in Ghana, education, shelter and food for children in Kimondo, Kenya and funding for impoverished children of the Lakota Sioux in South Dakota.
He has been married for 32 years, loves teaching, camping, skateboarding, bike riding and surfing. Most of all, he loves his wife, kids and grandchildren.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

The Dynamic Nature of Emotional Intelligence: A Case Study of Middle-Level Managers

Abstract:  This study investigated how emotional intelligence was learned and applied among middle-level managers through the implementation, documentation and integration of an emotional intelligence training intervention for middle-level managers. The study further investigated how middle-level managers integrated what they learned in the workshop through the use of their strategic action plan. The study also explored how middle-level managers described emotional intelligence before and after the emotional intelligence workshop. The researcher explored middle-level manager’s actions through the use of the mindfulness theory, conducted face-to-face interviews, and analyzed archival documents, observation notes, and perceptions of emotional intelligence.

This study’s findings revealed that middle-level managers integrated what they learned in the emotional intelligence workshop in different ways. Middle-level managers perceived emotional intelligence differently after they completed the emotional intelligence workshop. Two themes in particular were critical to understanding how middle-level managers implemented emotional intelligence: the need for time to implement what was learned and the use of a strategic action plan to learn how they implemented what was learned. Middle-level managers described how important time was to implement what they learned during the workshops. Additionally, their use of a strategic action plan helped to reinforce what was learned in the workshop. Finally, middle-level managers described how emotional intelligence was integrated in their personal lives.

Link to Research:

Reference: Davis, A. (2016). The Dynamic Nature of Emotional Intelligence: A Case Study of Middle-Level Managers (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from MARPS, Practicums, and Applied Dissertations.
Author Bio: Dr. Adrianna Davis has over 8 years of Leadership Development Consultant experience and serving in progressive levels of leadership at various education institutions. She has had the great privilege to consult with Adventist Health Systems to develop leadership and innovation courses for two Master degree programs. Recently, she was invited to lead a round table discussion on curriculum development and design thinking at the All Means All conference. She was once a panelist for the first intercultural dialogue between Nova Southeastern University and Lebanese American University. There she led several discussions on cultural diversity and cultural awareness. Her tenure as a Leadership Development Consultant, afforded her an opportunity to lead and train adult learners in various roles to include new Senior Management & Executive leaders.