Cloudworks is no longer accepting new user registrations, and will be closing down on 24th June 2019. We hope to make a read-only archive of the site available soon after.

Cloud created by:

SocialLearn
16 March 2011

Led by Dr Kirstie Ball.

Green group, 11.30am, CMR15

Red group, 14.30pm, CMR15

Blue group, 15.30pm, CMR15

Extra content

Dr Ball has started by stressing that there is a strike on, it's on to protect our pension rights, and that although she's still giving the presentation, it's only because students have come so far to attend the conference. Again, look at the University and College Union (UCU) website for more details. 

Peter Wood
11:37 on 22 March 2011

Dr Ball has started by stressing that there is a strike on, it's on to protect our pension rights, and that although she's still giving the presentation, it's only because students have come so far to attend the conference. Again, look at the University and College Union (UCU) website for more details. 

Peter Wood
11:37 on 22 March 2011

Your probation review is quite useful, not just as a piece of admin. Supposedly, if you ensure that your PhD is good, rather than just acceptable, then you can keep on using the data for potentially the rest of your career. 

This liveblog is going to complement the powerpoint slides, so it might be quite disjointed to read alone. But disclaimers aside, what is the Probation Assessment?

By now, full time 1st years should be writing things down, with some quite specific research questions. The probation assessment is a progress report, a plan for fielwork, a mini-viva, a skills audit, a public or semi-public oral presentation, and a... PMR2, which is the bit that your supervisors and mini-viva assessors fill in.

The Research Question

You do actually need a fully worked out indicative research question. Even if it ends up changing during year 2, you have to demonstrate that you understand what a workable research question would be, so that you know how to appropriately change it during fieldwork.

Must include

The phenomenon you are interested in (dependent variable)

the causes of variation (independent variables)

How and Why- not a descriptive “what!

Also- The unit of analysis, and level of analysis. Societies are different to Economies, and smaller institutions. But some people do still get this wrong!

 

Dependent variable

and

Independent variable

and

The relationship between them

and

The unit of analysis

and

The level of analysis

and

Method

and

Context

slides

 

With the help of underlining, Kirstie has shown that a 31 word statement has managed to adequately capture the research of one of her postgraduates. No excuses that you can't explain your thesis in less than 14 referenced pages, you can.

 

And now we're being asked to go back to the “elements of a research question” slide to think about our own research.

 

Very quiet... The sound of 21st Century academia seems to be a whirring overhead projector fan.

My brain hurts.

 

Someone is volunteering to write out their research question. They're saying it's going to be long but...

 

“How does use of domain specific ontological relations in concept mapping improve the process of concept location in software maintenance when implementing new business requirements?”

 

It's about categorising the relationships between areas of a piece of software, via the the process of mapping concepts, as a way to increase efficiencies.

 

Kirstie's only suggestion is that “increase” assumes an increase in efficiency. It might not increase, so much as rearrange. Which is actually just as interesting.

 

But what is the difference between unit and level of analysis- Unit is the thing, level is the explanation you are applying- will it be generalisable to society, a practice, the human etc. It's very similar to scale, big to small.

 

Part 2

An example work plan- with a timetable.

To demonstrate that you've understood and explored how achievable your aspirations actually are, with a plan to evidence this.

 

The Mini-viva

It's not supposed to be fun. But it is a way to explore how you understand the field, that your design is robust, that you have a logic, not just intentions. Narrow focus will help you complete in three years!

 

Typical questions are given on the slide- a chance to prepare your answers in advance.

Especially- how did you decide what to include in your literature review? Is your procedure defensible?

 

The reason we have an oral mini-viva is because it's preparation for the main viva. It's a really important skill to have, it will improve your performance in the main viva. But also, academia isn't just about writing; presentation skills are an incredibly important component and this will help you develop them further.

Peter Wood
12:17 on 22 March 2011

The decisions you make now will have their full impact in 3 / 4 years time...

Steven Harris
15:45 on 22 March 2011

Project Report -  Write from 3 months onwards

Indicative of the terrain

Steven Harris
15:54 on 22 March 2011

I've asked Kirstie to post the slides...

Steven Harris
15:55 on 22 March 2011

Should be thinking of a good research question now.......

Steven Harris
15:57 on 22 March 2011

Ah! Don't use the question ' What!' - contradicts what Dr Faulkner suggested, but the "So what?" riposte seems pretty striking to me!

Steven Harris
16:00 on 22 March 2011

Each question must have, as Pete says:

Dependent variable

and

Independent variable

and

The relationship between them

and

The unit of analysis

and

The level of analysis

and

Method

and

Context

 

If these are within your question then that is positive....

Steven Harris
16:04 on 22 March 2011

Context is also the sample....

Steven Harris
16:05 on 22 March 2011

Really important to get answers to the mini-viva questions........

Steven Harris
16:24 on 22 March 2011

Summarise your key ideas and key findings in 5 sentences, i.e. punchy and snappy

Steven Harris
16:25 on 22 March 2011

Embedded Content

Probation assessment

Probation assessment

added by SocialLearn

Contribute

Contribute to the discussion

Please log in to post a comment. Register here if you haven't signed up yet.