Shelli Casler-Failing
Doctoral Portfolio

Department of Educational Theory and Practice
University at Albany

Scholarship

I have chosen to include the two papers below as I feel they are reflective of my ability to complete an exhaustive search of meaningful articles for specific topics as well as portray my ability to write in a scholarly format.  Case Studies: Why Should I Use This Design was written for two reasons.  First, I was given a choice for the final project in Qualitative Research Methods (ETAP777) and I chose to examine case studies and write a review of the articles to meet the requirement.  Second, I was attempting to learn more about case study methods to inform my own future research.  As the title states, I was looking to make an informed decision as to whether this type of format would be useful.  The information gained from this review is priceless.  Although case study frameworks, and other frameworks, were discussed during class I did not feel capable of making a solid framework decision for my own research.  While completing this review I was able to gain more insight into the intricacies of case studies and “I am more informed about the weaknesses of case study methods and how I can collect and analyze data to not only strengthen my research, but to enhance the reliability, credibility, and validity of my research findings” (p. 17). 

The second paper, Multimodal and Hands-on Strategies to Promote Mathematical Knowledge and Skill Development in Students with a Special Focus on English Language Learners, was a literature review written specifically for the Technology-Enhanced Multimodal Instruction in Science and Math for English Language Learners Project (MOP).  Although I had experience in multimodal and hands-on strategies in mathematics, the element of aiding the understanding of English Language Learners (ELLs) was an area that I was not familiar with since I did not possess experience teaching ELLs.  Upon the completion of this paper I felt that I had benefitted from the endeavor in several ways.  I gained strategies for working with ELLs and also found strategies that I can implement into my current teaching practices with non-ELLs.  The most significant benefit I received from writing this paper is the desire to someday complete my research on writing and attitudes with ELL students.  



Case Studies: Why Should I Use This Design?



This paper will introduce readers to six research articles and their explanation of case study methodology.  This is critique of six articles and is not meant to provide new information on the topic of case studies, but rather to compare and contrast the articles for their strengths and weaknesses.  This critique was based upon the research question, “Case Studies: Why Should I Use This Design?” and is an attempt to find answers that will appropriately answer the question, either partially or completely.  This paper will explain my research process, provide a critique of each article, and end with a conclusion that will explain whether or not the research answered my question.



Multimodal and Hands-on Strategies to Promote Mathematical Knowledge and Skill Development in students with a Special Focus on English Language Learners

This literature review was conducted as a means to gain further insight into multimodal and/or hands-on strategies that promote enhanced student understanding in mathematics, with a primary focus on strategies that promote enhanced mathematical understanding for English Language Learners (ELLs).  The keywords used to locate articles were “hands-on activities,” “multimodal methods,” “mathematics,” and “English Language Learners.”  Using the aforementioned keywords, or a combination thereof, many articles were located.  The search showed that much research has been conducted in this area since the adoption of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) of 2001.                                   
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