Been a few weeks since I last updated this blog. A couple of reasons for this, firstly I have been teaching some of my modules in Hong Kong at the Hong Kong Management association and secondly I am literally down to the last few weeks in finishing my PhD. In the past when people have asked me How long until you finish your PhD? First the answer was 2 years, then 6 months, then three months, and now finally we are down to 1-2 weeks. So so close.
So I might not get a chance to update the blog over the next 2-3 weeks so apologies. However until then, check out Lamma Island in Hong kong, one of my favourite places in the whole of the world:
‘Been there, done that’ posts are where I share experiences, mistakes, life lessons and advice primarily for students and early career researchers.
Lately my twitter and blog reader are inundated with chatter about end of year exams and graduation. So this week I’m going to tell you the story of my most monumental academic cock-up…
Upon graduating from my BSc degree I was something like 2% away from a 1st and was called in for a viva for the opportunity to be upgraded. The only problem was that I was 6,000 miles away at the time; here:
I don’t quite remember how this happened. I booked a trip for after my exams but realised later it was before the official end of the year (I swear this date was hidden deep in the small print). I was not the only one; someone else ended up hugely out of pocket rearranging their holiday on the…
Some of you may have already heard of a new web-based service called Kudos. The main USP of the software is to help academics develop awareness and greater impact of their research through the main academic (Academia.edu, researchgate.net) and public social media engines (Twitter, Facebook). It is aimed at researchers, publishers and institutions and is free to register.
So what are the facts behind the marketing buzz. Here are my views on the advantage and disadvantages of this unique software and how useful I really think it is in helping to develop awareness of your work.
Many doctoral researchers worry about what ‘original’ in original contribution to knowledge means. They worry whether their research will be seen as original enough. They worry which of the multiple ways in which original might be interpreted will be applied to their thesis.
The notion of original seems to carry with it the idea of singularity – I’ve done something fresh and unique– combined with the notion of originary – I’ve started something new here – combined with the notion of authenticity – this is all my own work, I haven’t copied it from anywhere else. Now each of these terms, applied as assessment criteria, is actually pretty unhelpful when it comes to academic work. These categories of originality might make sense for thinking about painting the Mona Lisa, or even inventing Facebook, but they don’t get very far in relation to scholarship. Let me explain.
The conclusion is one of the most important sections of the thesis, yet it is often done quite badly. This is not good because the conclusion is a key part of the text and thesis writers really need to spend some time getting it right. This is because the conclusion is the place where you argue that you have made a contribution to knowledge, where you show what it is, and where you discuss its implications. While it doesn’t have to be as long as other chapters, the conclusion does have to do the job.
It really helps here to understand what NOT to do in a thesis conclusion.
There are four common mistakes that people make in finishing off their thesis. These are:
(1) the writer goes on a laborious plod through all of the findings that have come in the chapters before. Examiners really hate this. It is…
After five long years of working on my PhD I am now near the end of the road, I have reached the write up stage. It has been a long road with a series of ups and downs and highs and lows. The key word for me throughout this process has been “resilience” and “grit”. Thats not to say that I have not enjoyed it, on the contrary I have loved doing my PhD, but you need to have steel if you ever want to finish. Doing a PhD is not easy, there were times over the last five years when the last thing I wanted to do was work on my PhD after a long days teaching and marking. However I am now at the writeup process and so close to finishing that all of a sudden I feel I have hit a brick wall!!
One of the biggest mistakes some of my undergraduate students make is to confuse the role of Nvivo in the qualitative data analysis process. Let me be clear, NVIVO is a data management tool NOT a method of analysis. Nvivo is great for organising data and helping you to make sense of it during the process of analysis.
This blog is not about how to use Nvivo, this is something that I may do in the future, it is about what are the benefits of using Nvivo for the research you are conducting.
Previously I wrote a blog post about iPad apps for research in higher education, it was a two part blog post, you can find part 1 here and part 2 here. I want to carry on with this series of blog posts but today I want to really focus on using iPad apps for increasing productivity.
As the main writer for this blog I sometimes tend to overthink things, and try to anticipate every eventuality about the blog and how it will be perceived. Hence when I first started this blog back in January I found I was overcomplicating things and I started asking myself What is my Target market? for whom am I writing this blog for? What value will this blog bring to the wider world? Will anyone read it? etc. The majority of the questions were easy to answer, the focus was and is always on PGR students, the value would be for people like me who have struggled with the intricacies of the PHD research process and who in the early days had struggled to overcome the vast leap in terminology from MSc to PHD.
Twitter as a tool has become somewhat of a cultural icon. Over the years since its inception it has morphed into a powerful tool that has caused enormous change from the Arab spring to viral pictures of cats. It has shown itself to be a useful tool across various different industries and disciplines and has caused a huge amount of disruption in areas such as print media. The same industries such as print media now also use twitter to keep it touch with members of the public for up to date information, pictures and videos and news that are occurring in real time.
In my view there is also great scope to use twitter for research, however one of the biggest issues many researchers and academics have about this medium is how can you possibly say anything of relevance within a 140 Characters. This is quite a challenge for many academics!!