Finally… “Winter” Break

Finally. Time for winter break. Old-school me refers to this as Christmas break, but let’s not offend anybody, eh? 

This last term was busy. My leadership class was great, as the professor was extremely helpful and left many personal comments in all assignments. My research class? Just the opposite. Canned (pre-written) responses 100% of the time; zero in-paper critiques. Can’t grow much if professors don’t contribute. I was also a graduate assistant for a research class, and that was fun (and time consuming). Not only did I get to contribute to discussion forums, I got to try my hand at providing concept paper feedback along with the professor.

During break, I have a few school-related tasks I need to complete. First, I need to go through all of my printed journal articles (yes, I print them out) and file them appropriately so I can reference them quickly in the future. Second, I need to work on organizing my Zotero references for the concept paper class. That particular class is the “gateway” to candidacy, and candidacy is necessary if you want to proceed with your dissertation and completion of the program. 

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Triangulation

It’s always good to learn new things. This term, we discussed triangulation and its use with qualitative research methods. For my proposed dissertation, I had planned to use a focus group for part of the research. Now? I’m pondering the use of focus groups AND in-depth interviews. This will allow to gather similar data from two groups of people using two different methods. This is data triangulation and helps with study validity, as well. 

My research is mixed-methods, so while I have qualitative methods listed above, I do have some quantitative methods as well. Too much? Not at all. If I’m getting data, I may as well analyze as much as I can with regards to how things compare/relate/etc. 

I keep forgetting to post. Sorry. (Sorry to myself, as nobody really reads this. And that’s okay!)

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Dissertation Timeline

So. In the first (of many) doctoral seminar classes, we were tasked with creating some sort of dissertation timeline. A map, if you will, of where we are, where we are going, how we will get there, and roadblocks we may encounter.

The class resources page online suggested a PERT chart. Not really my style. Or using an infographic at Canva (online design-type software). I don’t have time to learn new software.

I decided to do somewhat of a Gantt chart using Excel. Why? I already own the software (well, rent it, technically), and I refuse to spend money on additional software I would only use once. I did find a template online; thanks for that, Vertex42. Now I have an actual timeline/map that is functional and usable.

I kind of like it. And this is one assignment that is extremely worthwhile!

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