NC State

One of the HIRiSE team’s very own doctoral students successfully defended his dissertation on December 6, 2017.  Kemal Akoglu’s dissertation is titled Blending Online Coursework and Small Learning Communities to Examine Professional Growth in Teaching Statistics: A Phenomenological Case Study. 


Kemal presented his dissertation remotely from Turkey. This is the moment of pure happiness when his advisor, Dr. Hollylynne Lee, delivered the news.

In his abstract, Kemal states:

“The Teaching Statistics Through Data Investigations professional development course is a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) designed to strengthen participants’ ability to use a statistical investigation cycle to teach statistics and help students explore data using technology tools and make evidence-based claims. The case of interest for this research are 63 MOOC participants whom also participated in one of nine professional learning teams (PLTs) during 2016-2017. This is a phenomenological study describing and explaining the lived experiences of 63 PLT participants’ MOOC and PLT engagements, and the impacts of those lived experiences in participants’ perspectives about and practices in teaching statistics. The hypothesis is that a blended professional development experience could impact practices and perspectives related to teaching statistics. PLTs met several times, either face-to-face or virtually, to discuss their course experiences and teaching practices. This study will describe the phenomena of simultaneously participating in MOOC and PLT, and report results on how this blended professional development experience impacted participants’ professional growth in teaching statistics. Understanding how such a blended professional development experience can impact professional growth in teaching statistics is important, so that perhaps others can implement such a model so that changes in teaching statistics can be more wide-scale.”

Everyone on the HIRiSE team is very proud and excited for Kemal.  We can’t wait to see what further contributions he makes to the field of statistics education.