My name is Josh Yavelberg and I am a doctoral student at George Mason University as well as an art history instructor interested in understanding the current pedagogical paradigm of the classic art history survey class in higher education.I am thus conducting a Delphi study bringing together the collective knowledge of the field to answer the following questions:
What are the desired learning outcomes for students engaged in art history survey courses in the twenty-first century?
What pedagogical models support these outcomes and in what contexts?
What are suggestions for future research and policy in the area of teaching and learning within art history survey courses?
I am writing you to invite you as a possible participant for this study. I am reaching out to you personally as I believe that you have valuable knowledge that you can lend to the answer of these questions.
A Delphi study is a survey methodology that uses a series of three rounds of open-ended survey questions allowing participants to weigh in on the issues at hand. The first survey round will consist of a series of questions informed from and delivered with an overview of the research in the field. Each subsequent round will invite participants to revise and explain their answers based on the anonymously reported responses from the rest of the field. The goal will be to reach conclusions while overcoming issues such as geographic distance, specific content expertise, or power structures.
Each round of the survey will require time from you as a participant to read and respond to the developments from round to round. The surveys will take place beginning in January and will commence through May of 2016. To demonstrate appreciation for your time and expended energy in participating in this study, an honorarium of $300 will be extended to all participants who are chosen to meet the distribution requirements outlined in the initial proposal for research, further defined here as (a) current researchers or contributors within the field of study of teaching and learning in art history, (b) instructors at various higher education institutions with five or more years of experience teaching art history courses, or (c) supervisors or chairs of programs in higher education that contain art history survey courses.
It is my hope that you will take the time to participate in this valuable study as I hope that it will be beneficial not only to the field of art history, but to the participants of the study as well. The study will be conducted utilizing an online site to compile survey responses asynchronously, but if you desire a different method to complete the survey questions, accommodations will be provided. All responses will be kept strictly confidential as the nature of a Delphi study requires all participants to remain anonymous in an effort to dispel any perceived power relationships that typically arise during in-person discussions. Thus between rounds, responses are coded and returned without mention to any participant identities. While it is understood that no computer transmission can be perfectly secure, reasonable efforts will be made to protect the confidentiality of your transmission.
All participation in this study is strictly voluntary and you may choose to discontinue participation at any time without penalty or loss of benefits entitled. This study will be conducted with the consent of George Mason University’s Institutional Review Board and under the supervision of my dissertation committee. If you wish to voice any concerns, Dr. Kelly Schrum may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 703-993-4521. If you consent to consideration and participation in this study, please sign the attached form and return it to me by mail or email by December 15, 2015.
This research is being conducted to develop a researched understanding of the current pedagogical paradigm in the art history survey course often taught at colleges and universities across the United States. If you agree to participate, you will be asked to read and respond to a series of three surveys conducted using a Delphi methodology requiring time for reflection and response.
There are no foreseeable risks for participating in this research.
The benefits to you include compensation for your time in the form of an honorarium of $300 for your time and energy expensed as an expert in the field as well as your knowledge that you are contributing to the field of the study of teaching and learning in art history.
The data in this study will be confidential. Though demographic data will be collected relating to experience, institutional profiles, and geography, all identities will remain confidential and names and other specific identifiers will not be placed in the research data. Instead, names will be coded to mask the identity of participants and an identification key will be maintained confidentially by the researcher in order to link responses.
Your participation is voluntary, and you may withdraw from the study at any time and for any reason. If you decide not to participate or if you withdraw from the study, there is no penalty or loss of benefits to which you are otherwise entitled. There are no costs to you or any other party. If you are selected for the study, you will be compensated in the amount of $300 for your time and experience.
This research is being conducted by Josh Yavelberg, Student in the PhD for Higher Education Program at George Mason University. He may be reached at 202-276-1780 for questions or to report a research-related problem. The supervising faculty member is Dr. Kelly Schrum of the Office of History and ARt History in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at George MAson University. She can be reached at 703-993-4521. You may further contact the George Mason University Office of Research Integrity & Assurance at 703-993-4121 if you have questions or comments regarding your rights as a participant in the research.
This research has been reviewed according to George Mason University procedures governing your participation in this research.
I have read this form, all of my questions have been answered by the research staff, and I agree to participate in this study.