Shared Language of RSD

My goal for the last few weeks has been to introduce the RSD framework to my departmental and program level colleagues.  I’m fortunate to serve on two different program committees and have been able to introduce the framework to both program directors as well as the curriculum committee for one of the programs.

I think I’ve had some successes in spreading the RSD framework.  Two of my departmental colleagues have joined the RSD cohort (one from each program)!  I was also pleased to be walking down the hall and spot the RSD framework posted next to the research posters displayed in our hallway next to our student research posters.  SUCCESS! The word is getting out!

My challenge continues to be time and learning to be a more effective communicator.  I am going to develop some “talking points” to better express my ideas and to work towards developing a shared language of research across the campus community.

My goal for the next meeting is to continue my work at the dept. and program level and also to met with the honors college directors regarding the RSD framework and how it can be utilized for their students.  I’m very excited about how quickly my colleagues have seen the applicability of the framework and the opportunities for a more efficient and productive dialogue about research across our entire campus.

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Personal/Professional Need – A Key Element in Participation

This is the second community of practice I have been involved in.  It has been interesting to watch how Communities of Practice evolve and who participates.  In the case of Stout’s RSD Community of Practice the people who have committed to participate have a need to revise a course or program.  In the Tech Ed teacher prep program there are alignments and revisions occurring because of new evaluation standards.  Some of the Science and general education courses are undergoing program/course revision.  In addition we have a new Chancellor who is asking us to connect to our stakeholder community and look at how what we are doing in our courses and programs align with the university’s mission and vision.  With this in mind I sent a note to my colleagues asking them to take a look at the RSD Framework.  I made sure that I connected it to needs they might value.  Here is what I sent:

I would like to invite you to join me in a discussion as to whether we can use the RSD framework to:

  1. Adapt the language within the RSD framework to include terminology specific to our programs.
  2. Map the edTPA and program requirements onto the RSD so that we have a way to talk about program requirements in general terms related to a common research framework.
  3. Use the mapping of the edTPA onto the RSD framework to be able to respond to the 2010 SSA resolution supporting an undergraduate research experience for all students.
  4. Address the ways we are meeting the Chancellor’s charge to have a research experience for students using terminology that will be understood across the campus and across programs.

I was able to get 2 program directors to respond that they would be interested in working with me.  It will be interesting to see what happens next.

BINGO Analogy

How is the RSD Framework like Bingo?  I find myself describing the RSD Framework like a Bingo game when introducing the RSD Framework to program directors and others.  The idea is that each program will keep the RSD framework and it’s Levels of Autonomy (BINGO) and the Facets of Research (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7) in tact.  Much like the major headings of a BINGO card.  Within this context, each program across the university describes in their own words how the B1, B2, B3, . . . I1, I2, I3, . . . N1, N2, N3 . . . etc. are appropriately described.  As discussions occur across the campus and across programs the descriptors change.  Clarity comes from the idea that each program can use its own language but during discussions instead of everyone asking, “how do you define research”, the questions will be,  “where does what you are referring to fall on the RSD BINGO card?”  Moving forward we can save time by having discussions related to levels of research instead of constantly struggling with how to define research.  I am not sure this analogy works at the individual course level but it has served me well as a starting point for several conversations to date.


Just as it takes a village to raise a child, I am finding that it takes a community to support inquiry and change.  I am working with a group of fantastic people who are supportive and work collectively to bring this community of practice to fruition.  There is Renee Howarton of the NTLC who has provided the necessary support structure and encouragement to recruit members and help things run smoothly.  There are my CoP co-leaders Anne and Kitrina who have contributed their writing, blogging and area expertise to our endeavor.  They are great to work with and we keep one-another on track.  Then there are the great group of participants who agreed to join us.  They are eager to discuss, are coming prepared, and are volunteering their time and effort to this project.   John Willison, of the University of Adelaide – Australia, has graciously provided his expertise, time and support to help us get this CoP underway.  Thank you all for helping get the RSD CoP Cohort up and running.  I look forward to working and learning with all of you!

RSD Handbook for UW – Stout 2014- 2015 Community of Practice

The RSD Workbook.  Adapted from:

RSD @ USP 200 – Level Courses – Handbook for workshops, December 2013: Embedding the skills associated with researching and problem solving n the curriculum available at

Copyright John Willison, Consultant for the University of the South Pacific, 2013. Use of this material does not imply endorsement by the copyright holder.   

Copyright Available under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License ( . Tiala, S., Kerber, A., Carlson, K. (2014, August 28). RSD at UW- Stout: Community of Practice Handbook for 2014-2015.

applying a framework to the development of skills associated with research