Renate is looking to do a study in order to understand the lived experience of pre-licensure (nursing?) students, attending their final clinical practicum, after they have been exposed to an IPE (interprofessional education) didactic curriculum. To do this she will use a qualitative, phenomenological, approach to her research design. Phenomenology seems to be quite popular between the current cohorts (wonder why). She aims to get about 15 participants from a variety of healthcare professions (in Canada) who will be her research participants. I am looking forward to reading this research when it's done. It reminds me a little of other professions where there is professional education, but we haven't necessarily seen if the former students practices connect with what they have learned, and how well those connect.
In terms of tips for the dissertation process (and the proposal process for that matter), Susan and Peggy Lynn shared the following (my comments are in italics):
- Getting yourself in a routine. Even if you are not doing much on your proposal (or you dissertation), do spend 10-15 minutes on the document anyway. Re-read, copy edit, make notes. Just keep the process going, even if you're not actively working on it. I have not been doing this this semester, but I think that next week I'll start. Maybe grab a cup of coffee and spend 15 minutes editing (and look at what Debra commented on from EDDE805, lol)
- Once the changes to your dissertation (or dissertation proposal) are made (based on the committee feedback) and you have an oral defense scheduled, do not edit the document, not even copy edit! The committee will use this document as a reference when they quiz you, so it's best if you are all on the same page.
- Once you pass your dissertation proposal, make a copy of the proposal file for archival purposes. File it away (I would add, maybe in PDF format!). Then take another other copy to build out your dissertation from. This is good versioning practice, and it allows us to share successful proposals with other cohort members who might want to see a sample of what is good.
- The runtime for a defense is about 2 hours. There are three members on the committee, and the order for questioning is: 1) External member, 2) other member from AU, and 3) your supervisor. Each gets about 15 minutes of Q&A. Your presentation at the start of this is 20 minutes, so I guess it's good to practice the heck out of our presentation to make sure that we are on the mark with the points we want to make, and on time!
- The examiners need to see your face when you start your dissertation to verify visually that it is you defending. So...make sure that you wear appropriate clothing and present a professional environment. Also make sure that if you are at home that cats, dogs, birds, and rodents are somewhere else and that they don't provide their own soundtrack to your defense.
- Finally, a good point by Peggy Lynn: look for articles that are reporting on the opposite thing that you are proposing. This stuff might come up in your defense so you need to know how to rebut it!
By the way, if you are reading this, and you are in one of the cohorts, please feel free to add to this wiki page. We are putting together a list of topics that we are all working on (or have worked in, in the case of previous cohorts) for our dissertations. This will give others in future cohorts (as well as our own) what people have worked on in the past :-)
And, since it was a phenomenology sort of talk... for your learning pleasure, the muppets!