Wrote a lot today, and my head is swimming. I got some incredibly useful feedback on my introduction this morning and plunged in to revise all afternoon. My opening two pages are now completely different, but better, I hope??!!
And I read the whole beast of a draft in its entirety and revised as I went.
Now I go home. Tomorrow I turn it in.
I’ve taken a hiatus from posting for the last week or so, and in the meantime, I’ve actually gotten a lot done on the prospectus. The plan is to turn in the document this week. My defense date is only one month away! I also realized that the defense date is March 15…the ides of March! I hope my best friend (or anyone for that matter) doesn’t stab me to death on the day!
The work I’ve completed over the last week includes redoing the introduction and the research questions. I wrote the questions in narrative style, so I no longer have 1) 2) 3), etc, but instead paragraphs articulating the questions and giving context for them. I’m liking it a lot more than previous versions. I’ve also gone through and planned methods for data collection and analysis. This is foreign-ish territory to me, as the only study I’ve ever conducted that had official “methods” is the pilot qualitative study I did last semester for a course. I’ve read many articles that have an official “methods” section though, so I’m drawing from that knowledge in part. Today I wrote a conclusion, which was basically a summary section of all that came before. I’m not sure how proposal documents actually end: now I’m going off to do this? Please say yes? haha.
I’m meeting with some colleagues tomorrow to get feedback on my first 4 pages. I hope that my study and rationale is clear right from the opening, so that’s what we’ll discuss.
I do have in the draft right now a “sample analysis” section that is supposed to be a video. I think I will spend some time this afternoon making something and see if I think it could fit there. Otherwise the sample analysis can be regular old paragraphs, too, like I did in my qual study paper last fall.
I wrote A LOT today and made large strides! Rejoice! Now on to Liz’s party to celebrate my good friends’ birthdays! But first, a recap of today’s work.
I worked on my conceptual framework all morning. Originally I was trying to work my “assessment model” figure into the draft somehow, but it just wasn’t working and was becoming too complicated. So I made a new figure, which I’m calling the framework for the instructional unit. I don’t know why I keep wanting to make all these figures. I guess it’s because there are a lot of ideas and concepts swirling around in my brain, and I want to keep them all straight, for myself and my readers. And I love arrows, which probably isn’t a good thing. I HATE making figures in Word, though. So hard to manipulate. Pen and paper trumps word processing still for figure design. I did learn how to use Adobe Illustrator a few weeks ago, which is better (and harder), but I don’t have it on my laptop at home. Anyway, here a photo of the figure.
In the afternoon, I started planning the instructional unit I want to implement in my study, drawing heavily from my own lesson plans I use when I teach video composition in Professional Writing. This was fun at the start, but got a bit tedious as I had to articulate objectives for each lesson and how it fit within the framework. It’s interesting that because I’ve been teaching so long, I can design effective lessons without sitting down and articulating in words why I’m doing everything I’m doing and asking students to do. However, when designing something others have to implement, you have to be extremely detailed.
Ok – enough for now. Tomorrow I return and try to flesh out the Methods section. Dear Lord.
Since my last post, I met with one of my committee members and one of my co-chairs and discussed the differing perspectives I’ve been receiving. One of them told me that part of the prospectus defense is actually defending the kind of study I want to do for the committee (shocking, I know). The point being that it’s normal (esp. with 5 committee members) for a few not to agree with everything completely, and part of my job in the written document and in the defense will be for me to make a case to do the study the way I want to and think is best.
Sooooo…..I’m going with having other instructors implement my unit, I think, unless something major happens to change my mind. I think the pilot work I’ve done in my own classroom over the past 3 years has prepared me enough to be able to design a specific, useful unit that others can implement.
So back I went to working on the prospectus. Today I really dug into the conceptual framework section and changed a lot. I’m grappling with if and how I want to try and include my assessment model in the paper as a “pedagogical model” or something.
I’m going to work tomorrow and see if I can get the CF mapped out and start working on the actual unit that I would implement in a classroom. So tonight…to bed and rest, and hopefully to rise early tomorrow and get back to it.