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ETRA Professor Thomas Smith’s Research in Animal Behavior Science Continues to Garner Media Attention

ETRA Professor Thomas Smith’s research has garnered media attention for its real-world impact in animal behavior science. Professor Smith recently collaborated with Camille King, an NIU alumnus, Peter Borchelt, an animal behaviorist, and Temple Grandin, a well-known author and researcher to study the impact of anxiety on premature graying in dogs. The article “Anxiety and impulsivity: Factors associated with premature graying in young dogs” was published in Applied Animal Behaviour Science in December 2016.

The study involved the physical observation of 400 dogs between the ages of 1-4 at dog parks, shows, veterinary clinics, and similar venues. Dog owners completed questionnaires on the dogs’ anxiety, impulsivity, and other behavioral traits. The study results demonstrated that premature muzzle graying could be predicted in dogs exhibiting anxiety, fear, or impulsivity, while size, medical conditions, and spaying/neutering did not. 

This research has been featured in The Huffington Post and appeared in CBS news. 

ETRA professor emerita Dr. Rebecca Butler's new book receives the fifth annual SLC/ARBA Best of Reference Award 

Dr. Butler's latest book, School Libraries 3.0, won he fifth annual SLC/ARBA Best of Reference Award at the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference in Orlando, FL. For information about the book, see

ETRA professor Dr. Laura Johnson's new book published!

Dr. Johnson's new book entitled Community-Based Qualitative Research: Approaches for Education and the Social Sciences, is published by SAGE Publications. For information about the book, see 

Community-Based Qualitative Research: Approaches for Education and the Social Sciences  is a practical text that integrates theoretical perspectives with guidelines for designing and implementing community-based qualitative research projects. Coverage of participatory research designs and approaches is complemented by chapters on specific aspects of this research process, such as developing relationships and sharing findings to strengthen programs. Included are useful handouts and templates for applying to the reader’s own projects, and end-of-chapter questions for self-reflection and class discussion. Readers will find the book’s engaging case studies, interdisciplinary real-life examples, and insights from project participants as a helpful foundation for future work in the field.

ETRA professor Dr. Andrew Tawfik's ETR&D article receives AECT D&D Outstanding Journal Article Award

Dr. Tawfik recent article is the winner of 2015/2016 AECT D&D Outstanding Journal Article Award.

Tawfik, A. A., Rong, H., & Choi, I. (2015). Failing to learn: towards a unified design approach for failure-based learning. Educational Technology Research and Development, 63(6), 975–994. doi:10.1007/s11423-015-9399-0. For information about the article, see

ETRA to offer PhD in Instructional Technology

Effective fall 2016, the current ETRA EdD in Instructional Technology degree will be converted to PhD. In Instructional Technology. The Ph.D. in Instructional Technology further strengthen ETRA’s position as a leader in instructional technology, research and scholarship

ETRA professor receives AECT Presidential Award

Assistant Professor Cindy York is a 2015 Presidential Award recipient, Association for Educational Communications and Technology for her dedicated service to AECT leadership 2014-2015.

ETRA professor receives Taiwan Ministry of Education funding for study

Associate Professor Pi-Sui Hsu is presently implementing a study funded by the Ministry of Education in Taiwan about how middle school students develop their scientific argumentation skills in a computer-supported learning environment.

ETRA professor creates new Braille training

Professor Thomas Smith is presently working with NIU Special and Early Education Department Assistant Professor Stacy Kelly and Adjunct Instructor Sean Tikkun on the creation of an online tutorial for individuals to learn a new, more advanced form of braille called Unified English Braille. 

ETRA doctoral student is founder of first educational technology journal in Saudi Arabia:

Adel Quamash, an ETRA doctoral student, has founded the Saudi Journal of Educational Technology Research, the first educational technology scholarly journal in Saudi Arabia. Check it out at

ETRA graduate students to be initiated into Educational Honor Society

Russell O’Brien, an ETRA doctoral student, and Teresa Olson, an ETRA master’s student, will be initiated November 15th into Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education, one of the oldest, largest and most prestigious organizations in the world.

ETRA doctoral student appointed to board position of Golden Key Honor Society

Russell O’Brien, an ETRA doctoral student, has been appointed Director of Service of the Northern Illinois University Chapter, Golden Key International Honour Society.