Rubber, meet Road: On starting the dissertation process
Wed, Jun 15 2016 02:30 | collaboration, dissertation, EDDE805, epistemology, journey, MDDE702, methodology, motivation, novelty, PhD, research
So, what am I doing "backward". Well, typically (as I am told) you are meant to start with an intro chapter which talks a bit about your setup. This is generally something like 15-20 pages. Then you have a chapter on the review of the literature on the topic (another 20 or so pages), and then you work on the methods section (I guess another 15-20 pages depending on what you are doing. Since I don't have to do chapters 1 and 2 yet, I am jumping straight into chapter 3. I am providing a brief introduction so that my readers know what the heck I am trying to research, but it's really a 2 page synopsis, not the whole introduction, more on that in the fall - perhaps I will ask for some pointers while I am at it :-)
So, I've written my chapter outline, I've made some notes in bullet point format for each section, and I've written my introduction (that brief synopsis I was just going on about). I am in the process of looking over my research methods texts, getting my citations and concepts "straight" before I commit them to virtual ink. Then it hits me. This is the first solo project I've done in a while. While working solo is fine, and I would argue a prerequisite in order to prove myself as a capable researcher (that is OK to be left to play unsupervised), I tend to really like collaborative research. The type of research that I've done with colleagues from Rhizo, from MobiMOOC, and from work (if I am forgetting people, my apologies, I don't mean to be exclusive by listing those three groupings). I like collaborative research because not only am I working on projects that I like, and want to produce new knowledge, but I am also learning, learning collaboratively, with others. While I learn something from doing literature reviews when I work alone, I think that I learn much more when I work with others because I am often exposed to frames of reference and viewing things that are not my own.
As I start this journey for the dissertation proposal, I am wondering how I can make the process more collaborative. So, even though the final deliverable (dissertation proposal, and dissertation) is really my own product, one that I will have to alone conduct, write, and defend, - is it possible to make the process collaborative so that I am not just some lone dude in a (virtual or physical) library reading, crunching data, and writing?