The last two weeks I have made significant progress. I started by distributing my survey to my 16 seed participants for Respondent Driven Sampling (RDS). After a couple days most of them had taken it but no one from the second wave had taken it. A week later there were still no second wave participants, and I contacted my chair about going ahead with my back-up plan. She agreed and I went ahead with finding company info on Reference USA. Over the last several days I found contact info for nearly nearly 900 companies. Today I scheduled emails to go out to them on Monday.

Also on Friday I eat down with the stats assistant and looked at a sample export from qualtrics and made a plan for how I am going to recode and aggregate fields, and which tests are going to be run. Hopefully within the next two weeks I will reach an acceptable number of participants to move on to analysis, and start my interviews.

I spent this afternoon emailing with my chair to finalize changes based on the comments from my pilot study. I also confirmed that the links were working correctly for the respondent driven sampling method that I’m using. I also made sure that I am able to get into the Citrix environment so that I can access SPSS from off campus.

I finally completed my pilot study two weeks ago and am gathering the final seeds participants. I have 13 of the 16 that I need and hope to have the final ones soon, so that I can send out my survey either this week or next.

So I did the first round of my pilot study back in July, but after the fall semester started I haven’t had a lot of time to look for additional participants. As a result I have not have much progress.

On a positive note I have been participating in the Online Instruction for Open Educators MOOC and have gained insight into some areas that I was wanting to add more detail when I finish.

I need to get back to work and finish up the pilot so that I can deploy the real survey by the end of the month.

This post is in response to the Online Instruction for Open Educators MOOC.

This week we were asked to reflect on the changes that are happening due to the abundance of information, and Rhizomatic Education.

I am glad that I was introduced to Dave Cormier through this section of the class. These writings have given me terminology and a foundation for my feelings about education that I didn’t know how to accurately express. Rhizomatic Education is now a term that I will use when describing learning activities that take place in non-formal education.

The readings and discussions this week have allowed me to reflect on how I use this pedagogy in my classes, and have given a foundation for how I I can move forward in creating a more open learning environment. Today I met with a colleague from a different school about presenting a series of workshops for a club of which he is the advisor. The discussions we have had this week have caused me to think about changing the way that I have been planning on presenting the materials to the students. I am trying to figure out how I can give them a starting point and just enough direction so that they can find the information that they need, and then a way to use what they find in the workshops.

Today I had my proposal defense. I arrived an hour and a half early in order to setup and make sure everything was working. I set out fresh copies of my proposal, printouts of my presentation, pens, water, and snacks for my committee members, and visitors.

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One of my committee members arrived between 15 and 20 minutes late, I also had two members of my cohort come to watch. I presented my materials for almost 40 minutes. Following my presentation I answered questions for nearly an hour. Much of the discussion focused on narrowing my focus and if I would really be able to get the number of participants that I stated. There was also a discussion on how the questions on my survey supported answering my research questions. Following the discussion I left the room while my committee discussed it for almost half an hour. Upon reentering the room my chair congratulated me on passing the defense, and went once the changes that they wanted to make, all of which were things that I discussed with them. The two biggest things were that I am going to remove one of my questions, and use one that I had removed since my initial outline. The other major item was that they want me to set up a deadline for seeking RDS participants, and a plan b in case RDS does not yield enough.

It has been weird not writing my dissertation or papers for over a week. Last week I created the PowerPoint for my presentation, I just have a few more slides to add. This week I will be making a few final additions to my planned analysis methods in chapter 3 in both the paper and presentation. Additionally, I plan on calling my committee members on Wednesday morning to see if there are any concerns, or things that they want me to explicitly cover in my presentation. I am debating creating the actual survey in qualtrics before the defense so that I can include the full instrument in my proposal. I also need to write the recruitment letters and informed consent forms for the survey and interviews.