Dissertation Boot Camp, Part II

Last week I attended my second Eagle Dissertation Boot Camp. This was a three-day #ShutUpAndWrite session created for UNT graduate students to help us focus our time on our thesis/dissertation projects. My first Eagle Boot Camp was successful as I crafted a great chunk of my dissertation proposal and successfully defended said document in February.

#UNT Dissertation Boot Camp

My data analysis is complete, so my primary objective for this boot camp was to write up and explain the findings (Chapter 4). So, I am happy to report this chapter is almost complete with 28 new pages (which includes some large data graphs). I also spent the time reviewing edits and updates made to Chapter 1, 2 & 3 (my proposal). As many of my doctoral researching friends know — it’s not the page number — you write until you’re finished explaining your research.

 

I signed up for another boot camp because I enjoy the dedicated space, time, and peer support of these writing groups. Although my morning writing in solitary has been going well, I did appreciate a solid three days of concentration on my dissertation without disruption (texts, emails, etc). During the boot camp I also scheduled a few meetings with my major professor (Dr. Allen) and had a productive meeting with my new my co-chair (Dr. Evangelopoulos) and Dr. A. to review the scope of what I am reporting on for my dissertation. We had a great talk day #1 to review my data analysis, timeline for writing, and inclusions for my dissertation. I am thankful for the time and feedback each advisor has given me over the past few months.

 

Just like training for a marathon, it is critical to map out a realistic and effective training schedule. In this case, my training  = writing, reviewing, and editing. In planning for August graduation, I have to hit a few upcoming dates set by our graduate school, so my final dissertation defense date is on the near horizon.

DEFENSEphd040914s

Photo c/o @PhDComics “Defending My Thesis

Dissertation Timeline

Date Task
Toulouse Graduate School Dissertation Boot camp:

Chapter 4: Data analysis review; Drafting updated analysis and findings from data productions

4/20/14-4/28/14 Chapter 5: Drafting concluding chapter discussions, social media guidelines & policy development, further research, etc.
4/28/14-5/5/14 Consult with Faculty advisors and dissertation committee to get feedback on first draft (as needed)

 

5/6/14 Final dissertation paper and PowerPoint ready – Mock defense with Dr. A & Dr. E
5/6/14-5/12/14 Review comments & feedback from Co-Major Professors; make edits or additions based on feedback

Consult with dissertation committee members as needed

5/12/14-5/20/14 Send to external editor: final edit and polish
5/20/14-5/27/14 Review edits and comments from editor on dissertation paper; adjust as needed
Clean up and prep final defense PPT
5/28/14 Send FINAL DISSERTATION to committee; officially schedule defense date for June 12, 2014
5/28/14-6/11/14 Edit presentation slide deck, meet with faculty advisors; meet with committee members to review/allow for questions
6/12/14 Dissertation Defense
6/27/14 All paperwork due to Toulouse Graduate School & FINAL COPY of dissertation sent to the Grad School Reader

It’s go time. Back to my “training” — write on, my PhD friends. Write on!

This Is My Recap of #et4online

Another year at the #et4online conference brings various researchers, educators, practitioners, and then some to talk about the online learning landscape. I presented a session, attended a few workshops & sessions, learned a great deal (see my notes taken on Twitter), and connected to some new ideas and people. Each time I attend #et4online I find myself surrounded by some of the usual #edtech suspects who banter about pedagogy and talk about learning — rather than just the technology… and this is refreshing.

et4online montage

A few of my own #et4online highlights include:

 

Other reflections and thoughts about #et4online have been shared by George and Jim (#JimOfThings)…and I suspect a few others to follow.

 

Key takeaways I am still chewing on…

 

 

Special shout out to @jlknott for a stellar conference week as my roommate &  partner-in-crime. Here’s to our combined forces (support) to crush (or defend) our dissertations this summer! Go team!

Excited

Until then, I think #et4online should dance it out… Because I’m happy

Happy

#iamAcAdv – The #AcAdv Chat Community Topic for the NEXT @AcAdvChat

#iamAcAdv Join us for Tuesday’s (4/15) #AcAdv Chat from 12-1 pm CT on Twitter as the academic advising community discusses, shares,  and challenges ideas put forth in a recent article and blog post. Follow the moderator (MOD) @AcAdvChat  and conversation on Twitter with the #AcAdv & #iamAcAdv hashtags From my own experience, Jeff Selingo’s thoughts that faculty in higher education are not advising , are completely off the mark and inaccurate:

“While advising takes time away from research and teaching, not all professors favor relinquishing their role to professionals. Many see themselves as essential fonts of information about majors, courses and graduate school. But there are also fewer full-time faculty members around to do mentoring.”

In response to the inaccurate quotes from this article, Dr. Charlie Nutt, Executive Director of NACADA, responded in an Inside Higher Ed blog post follow up and on the NACADA Blog he says:

“believe[s] very strongly in faculty involvement the academic advising experiences of students. That role must be carefully defined and implemented. My statement as quoted in the article appears to be negative toward faculty advisors or faculty advising and that was not my message.  My message was that institutions must look carefully at their missions, their students, and their structure to determine the best advising processes.”

From my own experiences, I know the Academic Advising Community is strong, and might have a thing or two to say about the commentary above. I look forward to hearing from NACADA members and my @AcAdvChat colleagues, which INCLUDE  instructors, faculty, professionals, personal tutors, and more who comprise a diverse academic advising community. Follow  and contribute to the current conversation using the #iamAcAdv hashtag. Let me know “who advises best” …or better yet answer the how and what helps us support our students BETTER. How are you advising in the community? What does academic advising mean to you on your campus? 

Who is part of the Academic Advising Community & what we’re about => #iamAcAdv  UPDATE 4/15/14: The #AcAdv Chat group Discusses what it means to be part of the #iamAcAdv community [Transcripts]  Thoughts from @jselingo – the author from the NYT article post chat on Twitter, with tweet backs from myself and Marsha Miller:

Q: Should I Start Blogging? A: Maybe.

A common question I field from teachers, faculty, graduate students, higher education professionals, and researchers these days:

Q: Should I start blogging?

My response:

A: Maybe.

write-your-own-blog

Image c/o Blogiau

Blogging and maintaining a blog is not for everyone. I often ask a follow up question to this inquiry to learn more about the motivating factors for the blog:

  • Why do you want to start blogging? [purpose, goal, sharing, reflection, etc.]
  • Do you enjoy writing? i.e. beyond 140-characters & comprehensively
  • What format do you want your blog to be? Written or other, i.e. video, photo-sharing, podcasting?
  • Do you want to express and share your ideas in a public, online forum?
  • What focus will your blog take – work, education, learning, research, or all of the above?
  • Who is your audience? Professional group affiliation? Research discipline? Just for yourself?
  • What platform are you thinking about? Blogger, WordPress or other?
  • Do you have an idea about how often you want to post to your blog?
  • Where will you be getting ideas for your writing? [Content IS king.]
  • How will this contribute to your learning, professional development, etc.? [depending on the person]
  • When will you post to you blog? Daily? Weekly? Bi-weekly? Monthly?

Everyone has different reasons for the WHY they blog, or even how they started blogging. Some use blogging as a forum to connect to a professional or academic community. Others use their blog to share resources and ideas. Bloggers often present concepts and challenge the status quo in their field. Then there are other bloggers who use it for shameless self-promotion and self-marketing. The main point is – you should blog because you WANT TO BLOG.

My blogging tale started back in 2006 when I initially took up blogging to share my travel adventures and general life happenings on, Souvenirs of Canada, for family and friends who wanted to stay in touch. In 2008, I created TechKNOW Tools as a professional development space for an academic advising technology seminar for NACADA, and after that I continued to use this space to discuss my own work experiences, research projects, and share what I have been learning.

blogging requires passion and authority

Image c/o Gaping Void

There are a number of reasons WHY I blog.  Thanks to a researcher reviewing educational bloggers, I audited my own blogging experience, and I have considered what [really] prompts me to blog and continue to blog. For me, blogging and writing about my progress is very reflective and I enjoy documenting, sharing, critiquing, and writing about what is going on in my professional (and sometimes personal) sphere. I appreciate the community of research and educational bloggers who play in this blog sandbox. I like their comments, questions, challenges, and support — and at the end of the day I LIKE BLOGGING — otherwise I would not blog. Really.

If it sounds blogging might be just space for you to share your interests and express your ideas — go get your BLOG ON! Here’s a quick “HOW TO” Set Up a WordPress Blog I created for my learners, with a few helpful resources posted at the bottom to get you fired up for your blog writing. Want some more ideas? Here you go:

Do you have resources for the beginning blogger out there? Any advice or comments for new or potential bloggers? Post it in the comments, and also be sure to say HOW LONG and WHY you blog. Blog on, my friends. Blog on.

Curating Tweets: Social Media Content and Marketing Planning

With the 2014 CASE Social Media Survey results recently published, I thought I’d curate a few of my tweets shared regarding social media content creation and marketing practices. Although this sounds similar to my dissertation research on social media guidance, it is not. This exercise was to provide a few quick resources for an education organization as they redesign their communication (social media, publications, website, etc.) plan and develop a more effective social media content calendar (Example 1 or Example 2).

calendar

Content Creation

 

Content Sharing Strategy

 

Social Media Marketing 

 

SEO & Metrics

 

Email

 

Facebook

 

Twitter

 

Blogging & Blog Content


A number of these are relate to content sharing, marketing & targeting an audience; however this is not an all inclusive list. I have not included using other social media platforms, like YouTube, LinkedIn, or Instagram, or even provided “suggested reading” books and articles on this topic (yet).

For now, if you have any tweets and websites about said topic, please feel to comment on this post or UPDATE THIS GOOGLE DOCUMENT if you have suggestions. Please feel free to add to and share!

Preparing for the Academic Job Interview #AcJobInterview [Workshop Notes]

phd031908s

Interview via @phdcomics

Life in Academia: Preparing for the Academic Job Interview
Tenure provides you a secure job for life, but getting a tenure track job is no easy task. How do you present yourself to land a tenure track position in these difficult economic times? Toulouse Graduate School, will share critical information for landing a tenure track job. Come and learn everything you need to secure a tenure track position and a secure future. Topics covered include the tenure track job interview, the research and teaching presentation, and salary negotiation.

My NOTES from today’s workshop.

 

Are You Coming to #et4online in Dallas? You Should.

The Emerging Technologies for Online Learning Symposium (#et4online), hosted by the Sloan Consortium and MERLOT, is just around the corner. This 7th Annual #EdTech conference will be held in Dallas, TX from April 9-11, 2014, and based on the program you can expect a number of talented individuals to be in attendance. Registration is OPEN!

et4online

I know that the #et4online is giving you 7 Reasons Why You Should Join Us…

7 reasons

However I will give the reasons I am attending:

  • I get to talk about my #ugstSTORY class in terms of student development, learning design, social media applications, and my own lessons learned for instructional design.
  • Yours truly invited the Featured Sessions speakers to the conference, based on the amazing things they are working on in the field of Ed Tech and my own interest in meeting them. :)
  • I always learn something new from any of the interactive workshops and information sessions I have participated in.
  • You are able to order (almost) FREE MOO cards to help with your networking and such. This could also be handy as you attend the Career Forum (#edtechcareers) this year with some fantastic panelists c/o @RMoeJo
  • If you don’t know Jim Groom (@jimgroom) & his work on Reclaim Hosting – you should. He’s an #EdTech bad ass, and I look forward to his keynote.
  • The discussion, debate, & idea swapping in the Unconference is brilliant. All sessions are user-generated and led by those who attend these meetings. There is usually something for everyone, with regards to topics, and I usually leave with some interesting take-aways and things I want to work on as we wrap up the conference.
  • Last, but certainly not least… I attend #et4online because of THE PEOPLE. This conference is a fantastic meet up for a number of graduate students, early career  researchers, experienced scholars, instructors, entrepreneurs, faculty and more! From my previous #et4online experience, I have been fortunate to collaborate and connect with a number of folks beyond the conference to research, publish, and play. 

Can’t travel to the Big D? Learn more about our virtual attendee option.

Let me know if you’re heading to Dallas for the #et4online conference. If enough people are around, there could be rumours of me hosting a Texan BBQ at my homestead.  Until then, I look forward to following the banter about it on Twitter:

Hashtag: #et4online 
Handle @et4online