The Digital Learning and Development Lab (DLx2) is committed to training junior and senior scholars to conduct methodologically rigorous research on the digital media experiences of urban communities of color. This includes following an apprenticeship model, providing all participants with research design, analysis and publishing opportunities. This includes bi-weekly online and/or in person meetings for each projects. 

DLx2 also holds an annual paper camp in an effort to introduce researchers to cutting edge research on the online social worlds of underrepresented populations. The camp includes intensive writing, training and practice in qualitative and quantitative analyses, professional development and mind-body exercises that reduce stress and increase productivity. We focus on each participant’s individual needs and interests and make every effort to prepare them to excel at their next milestone whether it is qualifying exams, going on the job market, tenure or promotion to full professor.

The second annual paper/training camp was funded by the University of Michigan Center for the Study of Black Youth in Context (CSBYC) and was held this year from July 27th – August 8th, 2015.  During the first week attendees met every morning (see attached schedule) to discuss theoretical frameworks and analyses. During this time, attendees were given feedback and suggestions for revising their work. During the second week, attendees participated in in-person, offline research meetings, professional development workshops (e.g., media training, NVIVO software training, effective time management), as well as personal wellness sessions. 

At the end of the two weeks, more than 300 models were run, analyses and/or write-up of results was completed for eight manuscripts, participants learned advanced statistical analyses, a data codebook for one of our projects was edited, new variables were added to one of our datasets (e.g. racial congruence, school diversity), the dataset was revised, feedback was provided on participants’ writing, new methods for analyzing and displaying new media data (e.g. word cloud, word trees, etc) were discussed, planning for a research symposium and collecting qualitative data on the #Blacklivesmatter Movement were discussed, and a draft of the coding scheme of the qualitative data was developed. 

As a result of the numerous mentoring sessions (both structured and unstructured), attendees identified having gained new quantitative research analysis skills, greater understanding of the faculty job market, and further ways to build on previously understood theories on racial-ethnic socialization, racial-ethnic discrimination, positive development of Black youth, with the consideration of online media. 

Thanks again for the opportunity to be at the camp. As I told you before I left, it was one of the most fulfilling scholarly and personal experiences I have had. I was able to gush about it to my family during vacation last week!
— Paper/Training Camp Participant

To join us or sponsor our training camp for 2016 please contact Brendesha Tynes (btynes@usc.edu). We look forward to connecting with you and changing the nature of research in digital learning!!!