Thesis Update: Here Comes the Transcription (so let’s move forward!)

After taking perhaps a bit too much time off from working on my doctoral thesis upon my return from BERA in London in September, I realized time has been moving along as it does, though I have not been making active progress in my research. I have been thinking about it (and I really do mean this–I have been reading and considering methodological issues around it, not just thinking about thinking about it!), and while some transcription assistance has been happening, I have not been as active as I want to be. All that changed yesterday when I started to actively organize my transcription and review process and finally begin working on it.

I thus waited until now to post; I have just checked and revised the first of the transcripts by listening to the recording while correcting any mistyping done during the initial round. Finishing the first one and getting it ready to send back to the interviewee, I feel I am finally on my way again. Thinking about it is valuable, but moving forward on it will help me finish.

Lesson learned? After working on nothing else in August except my interviews, and then spending the next month and a half catching up with life, conference abstracts, working with colleagues at #phdchat, attending the #change11 MOOC (among other things), I realize I need balance. I need to continually plug away on my thesis while not neglecting the other things in my life that are so connecting and rewarding. Doing one without the other is ultimately not rewarding or healthy. Onward and upward.

 

Jeffrey’s Twitter Updates for 2011-10-31

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Jeffrey’s Twitter Updates for 2011-10-30

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Jeffrey’s Twitter Updates for 2011-10-29

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Jeffrey’s Twitter Updates for 2011-10-28

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Jeffrey’s Twitter Updates for 2011-10-27

  • Seem to be have a more serious problem with my Mac. It was suggested I get an external hard drive to backup Time Machine with all due haste #
  • Catching up on #phdchat by reading in the background. Seems a deep series of threads today. #
  • Off to the chiropractor, my back is killing me today. #
  • @dbaQ8 Yes, Parallels. I have not checked this since I upgraded to Lion (one of this week's tasks). #MAXQDA works nicely. #phdchat in reply to dbaQ8 #
  • @SavvyOD What is that app? #phdchat in reply to SavvyOD #
  • I created a Facebook group on the topic of Threshold Concepts http://t.co/FvyFtKIk for anybody interested #phdchat #change11 #nlc2012 #

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Making Sense of Complexity – Engaging Others in #change11

I just attended an interesting webinar that George Siemens facilitated during an Open Access Week session at Athabasca, Making Sense of Complexity in Open Information Environments. While his work got increasingly theoretical, there is one thing he mentioned that caused me to stop and think about my current involvement in #change11, the MOOC that I have been discussing for a few weeks now.

In this iteration of a massive open online course, there is not an established form¬†of scaffolding for participant focus (there is not a central Moodle¬†platform, or course home where we all come to gather around). Instead,¬†we blog or Tweet or whatever as we work through the course, and we are encouraged (invited? forced?) to devise our own mechanisms for processing and engaging with our content. I have decided to use my blog and Twitter to process this experience and what I learn in it, and while this generally works for me, it also relates to some ideas that Dave Cormier¬†mentioned in his post earlier this week, and which we¬†developed a little more in George’s webinar¬†today. All this freedom comes at a cost —¬†I am continually struggling to address my 3rd course goal, Revise my network to be wider and more inclusive. Without a central focus or location, it can be¬†quite¬†a challenge to develop a sense of community, or networked learning perspective. Yes, I am begining¬†to comment on more blogs of other participants, as well as increase my Tweeting, though I am still struggling to be able to connect with others in more than a passing way.

While I prefer online communication as a mode of social connection, I am increasingly disoriented by the sheer scope of participation in the MOOC, and thus am really struggling to find a small (or any!) social connections of more than a passing or very focused interest. I know, this certainly does not happen naturally in a centralized course location, though it is an Internet-sized challenge to find this in the wider Web. Yes, it is relatively easy to locate Tweets and blogs and such through the use of the #change11 tag, but even with all that information, it is still a challenge to navigate through everything.

As networked learning is something that is increasingly important in my thinking, I am hoping that some of my efforts in this area will begin to develop in some way. I am reminded of what Dave said:

I’ve also had a difficult time trying to track the responses to the given weeks

and this for me resonated.

I really like the openness and ability to process our thinking in our own ways, though echoing Dave’s comment, finding the information can be¬†a challenge, and then engaging around it enough that community begins to develop, even in small ways (once again, as George hinted at in the webinar today). Somehow, I have not located any of this yet, and while I will put more effort into my processes, I am increasingly recognizing that my goal #3 is very important for my sustained involvement.

I wonder if a sense of community or belonging or valuing plays a role in any online endeavor, especially a 35 week one where we develop and monitor and work toward our own goals?