Experience of a brand new researcher

This is a sharing from my point of view as a part-time distance learner 5 months into my PhD in educational research. Pardon me that I might just be like talking in baby language here.

Seeing daily teaching with new eyes

As it goes with distance learning, everything is condensed into an internet presence and at the mercy of good wifi connection. At the beginning, I was worrying that I might miss a lot in terms of learning research methodologies and interaction with other researchers. These probably are the downsides. However, since my research topic is closely linked with activities in my full time teaching post, I came to realise that there is a great advantage to working alongside my field of study. It made me become more observant, reflective and curious. At least in my own case, the reciprocal relationship between research and teaching is developing slowly into a dialogue, as long as I do not see collecting data just as collecting data but as an integral part of my teaching. Continue reading Experience of a brand new researcher

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Viva Survivors

One of the most important and most sensitive stages, for me, in my studies for the PhD was defending the dissertation (the Viva). This stage that occurs at the end of the study, which is an obsession that was hidden in my mind throughout the preparation of the study and after completion of delivery and await for the test.

I can say after completing this sensitive stage successfully, that I am very happy where it’s really  was worrying and I couldn’t pass it without excellent planning and hard work; Now, I am very glad that I have prepared well  and didn’t waste my time and I passed the Viva  successfully. I would love to share my thoughts which may help who has not yet reached this phase. Continue reading Viva Survivors

Seeing the PhD viva from the other side (the good side)

Throughout the course of my PhD the viva stayed in the back of my mind as being something that sounded vaguely scary, but that by the time I did it I would completely ready for. Because, of course, when I had spent three years or more studying full time I would surely know everything there was to know. After all, aren’t you supposed to (briefly) become the world’s foremost expert on your topic?

Three years and five weeks in, I submitted my thesis. Suddenly, the viva loomed. No longer a vaguely scary event located somewhere in the future when I would be ready for it, it was now set to take place precisely six weeks and two days later.

Continue reading Seeing the PhD viva from the other side (the good side)

Using a speadsheet grid for a literature review – a thematic analysis grid

Author column
Author column

I’ve tried many different techniques for organising literature reviews, including mind mapping software, little black notebooks with long lists of bullet points, A3 paper full of multi coloured sharpie doodles – the list would go on for a long time.

Eventually I came across this technique, introduced to me by Dr Deborah Anderson who completed her PhD at Lancaster a few years ago. In its original form she used large squares of paper, my addition to this was the idea of using a cloud based spreadsheet.

Continue reading Using a speadsheet grid for a literature review – a thematic analysis grid

Six steps to reduce Ethics process angst

ethics girl

Right, so Vicky Gorton has asked me to blog about the pitfalls of the Ethics process for EdRes Postgrad students, which I am happy to do as I have recently climbed out of most of them, so the memory is still fresh and the trauma is in need of analysis (it isn’t that bad really, not really, honest). It is also excellent timing as it provides me with a legitimate, stimulating and much needed form of procrastination, which is funny really, as that is the first pitfall that I am going to warn you about. Continue reading Six steps to reduce Ethics process angst