Dr. Robert Runté
701: The Integrated Studies Project

Masters of Art Integrated Studies (MAIS)
Athabasca University
Dr. Runté Athabasca Home EssentialEdits.ca Home


Supervisory Interests
  • K-12 education; higher education
  • popular culture: cyberculture, kid culture, avocational subcultures, DIY culture
  • organizational behaviour: committees, stakeholder groups, long hours culture
  • sociology of the professions and management of knowledge workers
  • publishing industry (history, future, technology, social implications)
    E.g. Keynote Address at WWC 2016 "The Future of Writing and Publishing"
  • Canadian speculative fiction (science fiction & fantasy)
  • qualitative research methodologies

You may be interested in Dr. Runté's essay, How to choose a thesis supervisor, although note that the MAIS 701 project is smaller scale than those to which the essay refers.

Education/Background
(PhD, University of Alberta, 1992)

  • sociologist
    • Ideological Proletarianization: A Case Study of Educators, (dissertation) examined issues related to professionalism and organizational behaviour through a study of educators working within a provincial ministry of education
    • the relationship between long hours culture (the idea that we should be working 80 hours a week to get ahead) and retasking (management's attempt to get professional staff to reabsorb portions of their workload that used to be delegated to deskilled [i.e., cheaper] workers).
    • how management uses stakeholder groups to constrain their own knowledge workers
    • the impact of avocational subcultures on self-identity and career in conditions of alienated labour
    • cyberculture and organizational behavior in virtual communities
  • educator
    • sociology of education
    • assessment issues (former Test Development Specialist)
    • impact of emergent technologies on schooling
  • editor

My experience as a developmental editor (i.e., writing coach and substantive/structural editor) contribute to my helping graduate students successfully manage and complete the writing process for their Master theses and projects.

Although I have taught both quantitative and qualitative research methodologies, I find the sorts of questions I am most interested in usually demand qualitative approaches.

Runté Curriculum Vitae

Connection to AU

My connection to Athabasca University goes back to the late 1970s when I was working on my Master's of Education at the University of Alberta. According to the social-political models I was studying, Alberta was nearly the last place one would expect to find an open and distance university, and yet, there it was. I became so fascinated by this apparent anomaly, that I ended up researching the origins of Athabasca University for my Master's thesis (The Emergence of the Open University Concept in Alberta, University of Alberta, 1981).

I also ended up taking a few undergraduate courses (one in history and two on computers) from Athabasca University, to get a sense of what it is like to do university courses at a distance. Of course, things have changed significantly with the emergence of the internet in the thirty years since, but I think I can still relate to what it is like to be an Athabasca University student.

And if that were not enough of a connection, I also ended up married to an Athabasca University grad, who subsequently went on to do her PhD, and is now herself a university professor. (She also sometimes supervises MAIS 701 projects).

I was Professor at the University of Lethbridge before taking early retirement June, 2013 to become Senior Editor at Essential Edits, Five Rivers Publishing, and SFeditor.ca. Editing books is like working with really great graduate students, only less bureaucratic. I continue to enjoy working with graduate students in MAIS 701 and welcome your inquiries.

Personal Blog

Editing Blog

Assessment Blog

Current 701 Projects

  • currently open for one or two students

Completed 701 Projects

  • Heather Setka, "The Only Woman In The Room Is At The Front" Spring, 2016. A study of female teachers in an all-male classroom.
  • Dr. Robert Runté was my adviser and I am so fortunate to have had this experience. Dr. Runté provided consistent and genuine leadership throughout the entire process. At AU, the MA-IS final project can be conducted on an independent track, which I chose, and the process is sometimes overwhelming. Dr. Runté offered meaningful guidance every step of the way over a 10-month period from the initial study plan until the final paper.

    I found Dr. Runté's leadership style to be very straightforward—many times, his written feedback made me laugh out loud at its directness—while still providing encouragement and support. He willingly shared his vast knowledge on adult education, research and writing skills, and organizational behaviour throughout the entire process. Meanwhile, I could rely on him to reply to my requests promptly, as well as communicate with me frequently regarding his availability and the project timelines.

    I am very grateful to have had Dr. Runté as my adviser for the AU MA-IS Final Project, and I would recommend his leadership to anyone who wants to be both challenged and supported as they learn.

    —Heather Setka, November 2017

  • Colin Scheyen, "Beyond Media Literacy: Critical Pedagogy and Popular Media". Project reviewing the use of multimedia to assist youth in dealing with violence. Subsequently published as Beyond Media Literacy: New Paradigm for New Media
  • Working with Dr. Runté was one of the best writing experiences I've ever had. He was extremely thorough but always thoughtful and supportive in his approach to my work. I appreciate how he always challenged me to articulate my ideas in the best way I could. I enjoyed throwing ideas at him and listening to his insights and perspectives. Everything was done with careful consideration to my own goals as both a writer and lifelong learner. It was an honour to work with him.

    —Colin Scheyen

  • Inglis-Eickmeier, Laura. An interdisciplinary project examining's children's picture books on death and grieving. (A public Pinterest Board was first phase of project.)
  • Walker, Janet. Program Review of a Corporate Learning and Career Development Program

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Graduate Supervision
(University of Lethbridge)

Thesis Supervisor

  • Matthew Haberlin, Finding Their Voice: Presenting Youth's Perspectives on Their Participation at the Boys and Girls Club of Canada 2014.
  • Nathan Sillito, Instruction In Assessment For Learning Practices In Alberta Teacher Preparation Programs, 2013.
  • Lissa, D'Amour, An Illustrative Phenomenographic Case Study: Charting The Landscape of "Public Understanding of Science", 2008 (Ph.D. at UBC, won SSHRC grant and the Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Doctorate Scholarship)
  • Lance Semek, Surfaces: A Novel. 2006. Co-supervisor with Goldie Morgentaler.
  • John Dubé, Suicidal Children, 2005.
  • Shelia McHugh, Substitute Teachers 1997. (Basis for McHugh's subsequent 2001 publication: McHugh, S. J. The Successful Substitute Teacher Bloomington, IN: Phi Delta Kappa Fastback #475.) Co-Supervisor with Cathy Campbell
  • Deanna Arlis, Bookmarks: Girlhood Reading that Marked Us Women. 1995. (Winner of the Govenor General's Gold Medal for Academic Achievement) Co-Supervisor with David Smith
Thesis Committees
  • Kelly Thompson Fun as a recruitment tool: A discourse analysis of job advertisements (Supervisor: M. Runté, Management) Defense completed Sept 2, 2015
  • Karen Ander, Exploring the Experiences of Novice Sessional Clinical Nursing Instructors: A Descriptive Qualitative Study (Supervisor: M. Sedgwick, Health Sciences) (current)
  • Tracy Oosterbrock thesis, Preparing to Care: Creating a Culture of Caring in PBL Tutorial Groups (Supervisor: Judith C., Kulig, Health Sciences).
  • Maureen Parker How Principal's Beliefs About Classroom Assessment Influence Their Leadership Practices: An Exploration. (Supervisor: George Bedard) 2006.
  • Rob Morgan Athlete's perceptions of sport and education : a comparision of high school 4A basketball players and midget AAA hockey players in Alberta (Supervisor Keith Roscoe) Spring, 2003.
  • James. G. Fisher, Drug Abuse Resistance Education): Perceptions Of Teachers, Principals, And School Resource Officer (Supervisor: Kas Mazurek) Fall, 2002.
  • Cynthia Maliowski The Journey From Instrumentalist to Musician: Reflections on the Implementation of the Conservatory Method in Musical Performance (Supervisor J. O'Dea), Spring 2001.
  • Martina Freeman, How do Children Generate and Evaluate Scientific Ideas? (Supervisor: Rick Mrazek) 1999. ((Winner of the Governor General's Gold Medal for Academic Achievement)
  • Keith Hadden Middle School Attributes in Alberta: Their Effects on Student Achievement at the Grade 6 Level. 1999(Supervisor: David Towmsend)
  • Jim Simpson, Community in Schools: An Exploratory Study of Meaning and Purpose. (Supervisor: K. Mazurek) Spring, 1997.
  • Loya DeClercq: Student-Teacher Rapport in Video-Conferncing. (Supervisor: L. Walker ) Spring, 1996.
  • Sharon Lewis, Using Telecommunications to Enhance Grade 8 Curriculum (Supervisors: B. Gall/R. Mrazek) 1995.
Projects / Graduate Examination Committees
  • Supervisor, Trevor Woods, Perceptions of a Videoconference Course, 2005.
  • Supervisor, Jerel Gibbs, Retraining the University Trained Teacher Fall, 2004
  • Supervisor, Merle Fuller, Living with a Cop:A handbook for Police Officers and their Families. (Second Reader, Kris Magnusson), Fall 2002.
  • Supervisor, Lori Howe, Self-Esteem in Girls: Does Physical Education Make a Difference? (Second Readers: Kris Magnusson and Mary Dyck) Fall, 2002.
  • Supervisor, Ian Davidson, The High School Coach's Perspective on School Violence (Project. Currently in a Ph.D program at Northwestern State University.)
  • Supervisor, Project: David Carnegy, Adolescent Sexuality: Questions, and Concerns (Second Reader: N. Grigg) Spring, 1997.
  • Second Reader, Project,: Marian Biggins, Siblings of Children with Disabilities, Spring 1997. (First Reader: N. Grigg)
  • Project, second reader: Michael Wright, Lifework: Learning and TeachingThrough Drama Fall, 1994 (First reader: C. Chambers)
  • Project, second reader: Joan Pommen, A Case Study of the Use of Portfolios to Appraise Teacher Performance. (First reader: D.Townsend), June 1994.
  • Supervisor, Graduate Examination: Ronalee Orr
  • Supervisor, Graduate Examination: Barbara Kari
  • Graduate Examination, committee member: Wendy Weninger (Supervisor: R. Bright)
  • Graduate Examination, second reader: Richard Peppinck. (Supervisor: C.Chambers)
Graduate Independent Studies
  • Supervisor, Glenda Reynolds (2005) "Transpersonal Research Methodologies"
  • Supervisor, Trevor Woods (2005) "Efficacy Examination of Online Testing"
  • Supervisor, Glenda Reynolds (2005) "Heuristics and the Ph.D. Research Proposal"
  • Supervisor, Ronalee Orr (2000) "Community Schools from a Sociological Perspective".
  • First reader: Jim Simpson, Implementation of Portfolios in Grade 7 Classrooms Fall, 1994 (Nola Aitken, second reader)
  • Second reader: Shelia McHugh, "Teaching on the Periphery: An Annotated Bibliography of Research on Substitute Teachers" Spring, 1995 (first reader: Cathy Campbell)
  • Second reader: Edith Enns "Review of SAPDC" Summer, 1995 (first reader: R. Butt)
  • Second reader Jim Simpson, "Understanding/Building Community in Schools" Fall, 1995 (First reader: Kas Mazurek)

This page last updated December, 2017.

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