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Sharing postgraduate study experiences


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Carolyne shares her experiences studying for a professional doctorate in education.

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Sharing postgraduate study experiences

  1. 1. Sharing my EdD experiences<br />Carolyne Jacobs.....<br />...a recently graduated EdD student!<br />
  2. 2. Outline<br />Key questions that informed my research and which may help you to think about your research.<br />Example of data analysis<br />Discussion<br />
  3. 3. What did I want to know?<br />Does using social networking sites in the pre-entry stage help HE students prepare and integrate into university life?<br />
  4. 4. What informed the way I collected and analysed my data?<br />My view of the world, what knowledge is and how people acquire it. <br />In other words, my ontological and epistemological viewpoints. <br />Ontological!?!<br />Epistemological!?!<br />
  5. 5. Key questions that informed my research<br />Yes.....<br />....these are difficult concepts and can be daunting, but they are threshold concepts (Meyer and Land) – once understood, they inform and guide an EdDstudent’s whole approach. <br />
  6. 6. What is my ontological approach -(my view of the world/society)?<br />Do I think the world exists externally to human beings? <br /> or.....<br />Do I think that people contribute to a constantly changing world? <br />
  7. 7. Key questions that informed my research<br />Bryman (2008) <br />Bryman (2008) uses an organisation to explain<br />Objectivism<br />Constructivism<br />
  8. 8. Key questions that informed my research<br />What is my epistemological approach?<br />How do I think knowledge is acquired? <br />By gathering data and seeking out rules/patterns or cause/effect(positivist)? <br />Or interpreting taking into account context, experience and views (interpretivist)? <br />
  9. 9. Key questions that informed my research<br />Understanding (in my view because my philosophy is constructivist) is based on an individual’s experience, their personal circumstances and a host of other personal variables.<br /> <br />In my research I was interested in understanding how students’experiences of social networking impacted on their expectations about university life and their experiences at when they started at uni.<br />
  10. 10.  What type of research design should I use? <br />For logistical and practical reasons, I was planning to investigate the experiences and views of one group of students, those at the University of Portsmouth – one specific case – therefore my research was based on a representative case study.<br />
  11. 11. How did I gather data?<br />I wanted to hear about from students about their viewpoints and experiences – how could I capture their voice? <br />I wanted to gather feedbackfrom a number of students to address my research questions and provide flexibility to explore other relevant topics. I used online surveys & interviews. <br />
  12. 12. How did I analyse my data?<br />Analysing some items in the online survey was straight forward, but data in free text questions more complex.<br />
  13. 13. How did I analyse my data?<br />I used the following stages:<br />reading and re-reading (getting to know my data);<br />identifying interesting and significant points;<br />grouping into themes on a large sheet of paper;<br />coding (giving a name) to each theme;<br />relating to research questions;<br />looking for connections between the themes and possibly creating new, larger; and<br />relating to existing theory.<br />
  14. 14. How did I analyse my data?<br />Responses could be categorised as follows...<br />Linking up with other prospective students in accommodation<br />Linking up with other people on the course<br />Understanding more about course content<br />Acquiring the rudiments of academic language<br />Finding out about the local area<br />Understanding more about university life<br />Finding out about course content<br />
  15. 15. What are these activities about?<br />What are the common themes?<br />
  16. 16. Why are students doing this?<br />They want to be able to integrate into groups (connect to people and build relationships).<br />They want to prepare and cope as an individual (gain practical knowledge, improve confidence, cope academically).<br /> <br />How does this relate to existing theory? <br />
  17. 17. Methodology impacts on the whole research process<br />Taking time to think about:<br />your view of the world (ontology) how people acquire knowledge and learn (epistemology) <br />is an investment worth making....<br />...because it helps you think more clearly about your research design, the tools and techniques to use and how to analyse your data.<br />
  18. 18. Thank you.....<br /> time for discussion<br />