The following is part of a series of blog posts I wrote while taking an education PhD course on Epistemologies. A summary of all posts in the series is included in this paper: Developing an Appreciative Understanding of Epistemologies in Educational Research: One Blogger’s Journey.
With the end of this semester, I’m officially finished course work. I have been celebrating this accomplishment for the last week and half (hence no blog posts). I finished off the epistemologies course with a poster presentation (which you can see here – caution 2.4MB PDF file) and a final paper based upon the collection of blog posts that I wrote. It has been an interesting adventure into epistemologies; however, I’m not sure I feel that much more prepared for the next phase of my journey. I spent a lot of time exploring the epistemological perspectives that I won’t be following. I guess there is benefit to this, in that I will enter the next phase of my PhD with a much deeper appreciation for the perspectives of others. That can only be a good thing.
So, now that course work is done, the question is what’s next? The next official phase in my journey is comprehensive exams. To prepare for the exams, I need to create a reading list for two domains (or areas of research) and for epistemology or methodology. From these reading lists, members of my committee will create three questions. When the exam starts, I’m given 28 working days (4-weeks) to write two papers to address 2 of the 3 questions (the methodology question is required, and I can choose from the other two). Of course, to figure out my reading lists, I must first figure out my research area, and it helps to have at least a draft thesis question.
With the help of my thesis supervisor, some coloured markers, a large sheet of paper, and a bottle of red wine, I now have a draft thesis question. It goes something like this:
How do you design resources to support university professors in adopting iPads into their teaching and research practice.
Eventually, I’ll have a bunch of sub-questions. What I’m currently hoping to do is to create some resources (a workshop, a blog, and an app) that each support the use of iPads in practice. In the new year, I’ll begin my literature review in earnest, and attempt to draft a couple of potential comprehensive questions based upon the articles I’m reading. I expect that my domain areas will be around the adoption of technology and faculty development. The researcher articles pertaining directly to the iPad are pretty sparse, so I’ll need to branch out into older technologies as a foundation for my theories.
Sounds like fun doesn’t it? Expect to see a lot more how-to posts relating to iPads in the next little while!