Courtney Glazer, Ph.D.

Current & Past Research Studies

Emotions and Student Roles in an Online Course
A study examining an online graduate level course for evidence of distributed emotion yielded many findings, including emotion being socially distributed. In particular, it was found that many students play distinct and constant emotional roles which impacted all class members. These roles fall into one or more of the following categories: cognitive task-based, perspective-based, emotion-based, or a combination. Implications of this finding include the effect that distributed emotion has on collaborative online work groups and the lessening of the emotional load often felt by online instructors as distributed emotion is taken into account.

Looking Closely at Emotional Expression in an Online Course: A Case Study of Distributed Emotion (dissertation study)
This study of the expression of emotion in the context of a semester-long online graduate-level course used distributed emotion—the proposed construct that the study was designed to explore—as its theoretical perspective. The course itself was part of a wholly online Master’s degree in educational technology in which the students were organized into cohorts that served as intact communities of practice during the thirteen month program. Based on these findings, it is apparent that the distribution of emotional expression likely occurs in online course contexts as class members respond to one another’s emotional expressions, play various roles within the group, and use a variety of communication technologies, offloading and loading their emotions onto the available structures in their learning environment. It is also believed that the distribution of emotional expression likely does not occur when class members respond according to group norms or expectations, when an individual decides to be emotionally uninvolved, or when an individual chooses not to interact fully within an environmental structure. It is possible, therefore, to use these findings to propose that, because emotional expressions are distributed, the emotions behind those expressions are also distributed. The resulting theory of distributed emotion, paralleling that of distributed cognition considers emotions from a broad perspective incorporating individuals, groups, contexts, and time. Specifically, distributed emotion posits that emotion is (a) distributed among people, (b) distributed over structures—both material and environmental, and (c) distributed across time.

If You Build It, They May Not Come: Discovering Your Online Community is Not a Community (with Anna Rudolph Canter)
WINGS Online (Welcoming Interns and Novices with Guidance and Support Online) supports preservice and novice teachers from The University of Texas at Austin. In November 2002, we held our first online event. Because the event was not well attended, it forced us to examine the notion of community and how WINGS fits into the definition of an online community.

The Distributed Nature of Emotion in an Online Course
A theory of distributed emotion—growing out of the theory of distributed cognition—posits that emotion is distributed among people, across structures, and over time. After studying the emotional expressions found in the computer-mediated communication occurring in the context of an online, collaborative, graduate level course, coupled with the emotional experiences reported by the class members, evidence of distributed emotion was found.

Playing Nice with Others: The Communication of Emotion in an Online Classroom
This study looks at how emotions are communicated in an online classroom. Specifically the communications of one collaborative group in an online graduate level course were examined for evidence of emotion. Emotions were communicated through typical verbal and extraverbal. These students focused their emotions in three different directions: expressing individual emotions, expressing emotions for the sake of peers, and maintaining the balance among group members through the expression of particular emotion—gratitude, apology, and praise.

The Nature of and a Process for Teachers' Collaborative Reflection (with Judi Harris & Lynda Abbott) / Testing and Refinement of a Process for Teachers' Collaborative Reflection
In Spring 2000, a group of five elementary school teachers met to investigate the nature of professional reflection and develop a process of collaborative reflection as productive professional development. These teachers’ beliefs that reflection is both necessary and valuable, coupled with their recommendation that it be collaborative, served as the basis of the process for collaborative reflection developed by the group and described in this article. While designing the process, these teachers felt very strongly about how it should look and thus, they included many perceived requirements or “shoulds” in their design. Interestingly, when the viability of these “shoulds” were tested, the testing teachers wrestled with the process as designed, finding their naturally emerging reflection process to be more holistic than sequential. Yet, as these teachers struggled with the order of the designed process, they engaged in the tasks themselves, which propelled them through effective reflections.

Teacher-to-Teacher Communication and Conceptions of Helping
As the organizational constraints of a traditional school serve to sustain the image of teacher as independent artisan, research on teaching and learning strives to change this image to teacher as active member of a community of practice (Lave & Wenger, 1991). At the heart of this conceptual shift is teacher-to-teacher communication. Much of the research in the area of teacher communication has focused on specific instances within a school, rather than looking at the overarching community of teachers without imposing a narrow area of focus, which might preclude important general findings.To get at more general patterns and themes, this research focuses on how, when, and why high school teachers talk about their practice when not required to do so. This study, conducted using naturalistic inquiry, focuses on two faculty members within the same department in the same high school: one male and one female. What emerged in my conversations with both participants is that each of them has a very different conception of what it means to help others. These conceptions appear to drive their actions including their communications with their colleagues. Additionally, data suggests that a person’s conception of helping influences that individual’s patterns of communication. Thus one possible way to determine how people view themselves as helpers is by looking closely at how they communicate with others. If this is the case, there is the potential to improve communication among teachers by taking into account these personal conceptions of helping.

Design of a Real Time Network for Teacher Collaboration
Among the issues facing k-12 teachers today, isolation and a lack of integrated professional development are two of the most common. Additionally, as the organizational constraints of a traditional school serve to sustain the image of teacher as independent artisan, research on teaching and learning strives to change this image to teacher as active member of a community of practice. To address this I have designed an easy to use interface for a network of whiteboards to connect every classroom in a school. Through this design, teacher professional development activities will be situated in each teacher's everyday activities. The design will also take advantage of the modes of multitasking and communication that teachers have been using for years.

Future Research Studies

Future areas of research may include a look at distributed emotion in a face-to-face context, an incident of distributed emotion as seen through the lens of relational bullying, and continued testing and implementation of a process for teachers' collaborative reflection.