I chair dissertations.

Lots and lots of them.  The last time I checked, I had 8 students signed up for dissertation research with me in a single term.  That’s actually down a bit…

I’ve known for some time that I need to somehow streamline the information that I share with students. I always worry that I provide some information to some students but forgot to give others with the same information. There is just so much to remember to tell them!

For that reason, I was determined to make my assignments for PedagogyFirst, weeks 15 and 16, count.  It was my chance to do something that actually could benefit dissertation students! If I was going to take the time to develop a screencastomatic and an FAQ, which I probably wouldn’t normally do for the blended types of courses I’ve been teaching lately, I wanted them to be useful.  Not to mention the fact that it would be nice not to have to say the same thing 8 different times in one semester!

The challenge was that making it useful meant that I had figure out how to post this information. It didn’t fit in which the blog structure I had developed. Did I need a separate blog?  Did I need to add pages to the one I had?  How do I even add pages to pages?  I found even thinking about it daunting.

I don’t know if I made the right call, and I may well change my mind down the road, but I decided ultimately to add pages to my existing blog, in large part because I’m not sure I really blog enough to make another one work!

So here is my main page with three reconsidered/reconfigured pages.  The one called Major dissertation information contains new content that I developed for this assignment. In the section titled parts of a dissertation proposal, I embedded a screencastomatic in which I demonstrate how to use ERIC to find empirical research articles.  I also developed an FAQ to include.

I would be truly pleased to have suggestions for other information dissertation students might need as well as suggestions for other questions they might have!




10 thoughts on “I chair dissertations.

  1. This is great, Claire! I am glad that you found a way to make this week’s work help you right now. The FAQ’s are great. I liked all of your post, but I also particularly enjoyed the ERIC video. I was thinking that there might already be videos like that out there. However, the neat thing (in my opinion) is that the students get to hear your voice. I am sure that makes it more meaningful for them.

    • You know Laura P., if they are out there, I can’t find them! It’s not so much using eric, but ensuring that they find _empirical_ studies, rather than opinion pieces or theoretical ones. That’s something that’s difficult to convey. So I hope this screencast will actually be useful for them. And even if they are out there (again, I can’t find them, but you’d think…), then I think they will like hearing it from me…Alabama accent and all!

    • Well, I think it’s great that you made the first video on this! :-) I think students will benefit greatly from the time you spent on making the video.

    • Well, I’m not sure it’s the first. I just couldn’t find any others! I think my folks actually will find it useful, though, so despite the time it took me to think of something useful to do, it really was a good exercise!

  2. By the way, I can totally relate to this: “… I had figure out how to post this information… Did I need a separate blog? Did I need to add pages to the one I had? How do I even add pages to pages? I found even thinking about it daunting.” I think I went through almost these same questions just this weekend when I was looking at some things in my online class. :-)

    • Yes, it’s hard isn’t it? I’m not sure I made the right call as I said…I’m not sure I like all those links and would rather have content visible. BUT I also am not sure about having several blogs to maintain. Not sure I could keep up!

      Did you stick with one or add blogs?

    • Your question made me smile: I have so many blogs to maintain in my life (it’s mostly because of my many side-projects). I decided that for this one project, however, I would keep it in one place.

  3. This is absolutely wonderful! My struggle in the doctoral program was not having all the information in one place. Trying to remember conversations on this topic is very difficult and having this as a reference relieves a LOT of anxiety. Bless you for doing this! Even though it may vary with other chairs, but at least it is a solid foundation and reference as a guideline.

    My preference would be to see it on your current blog as you have it now…add a page for each major topic similar to have you have already started. Other topics I would like to see a page for prospectus and literature review. What do you tell your students, what do you give them for reference, tips, etc.? As I continue to come up with questions or ideas, I will share them here in hopes that it will provide you with areas that you could implement on the blog.

    • Thanks Veronica! I’m planning to update and expand what’s here. Hopefully soon! Happy to have comments and suggestions. I’d like for this to be as useful as possible!

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