Thursday, May 11, 2017

Reflection on INTE 6720 - Research in Learning Design & Technologies

I have known a number of people over the years who were working on their PhD research. But I’ve always been surprised by their inability, or perhaps disinclination, to explain what their thesis was about. Now I think I have a better feeling for what they were going through. I discovered from my literature review that research writing is a very odd bird indeed. What a strange way to write! It’s not at all what I’ve been led to believe in my ordinary college courses what writing a paper means. I would almost say that it is the hardest and most bizarre way to get your point across, but of course I now understand why research is written this way. And I came to actually like writing this way. Plus I can read a research article much more efficiently, now that I know what to expect.

What I really liked was learning what it meant to have and support an argument. I loved this aspect of the textbook - The Craft of Research. I’m sure I’ll paw through this book for many years, sharpening my arguments.

As part of a course I took last semester, I conducted a survey in my school using a team of volunteers. I designed the survey materials and protocols, then analyzed the two weeks of data and interpreted it using a published rubric. It was fun, but I have a much better sense now of how such a survey might fit into a bigger research project, and what it would take to write a proper paper to present the research.

My brother is a newly-printed PhD, and when I showed him what I was doing in this course, he was impressed. “I wish I had a course like that before I started writing my thesis,” he said.

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