Saturday, April 4, 2009

Major changes

This past year has been a whirl! So much happened, and as a result, the blog got neglected. The entire year was devoted to writing and re-writing and editing and re-editing the dissertation. Formatting was a huge problem, with Microsoft Word formatting at odds with what the universities required. Every time I thought it was completed, my dissertation chair suggested changes that would strengthen the presentation of the evidence.

This was a mixed methods research study, part statistical analysis using extant data, part interviews. In addition, my study considered cultural theory, information and communication theory, learning styles, immigration theory, and information literacy strategies. Many nights were spent writing and revising and double checking sources, finding additional evidence to support-- or refute-- conclusions.

Finally we set a date for the defense, and in preparing for this, I realized that some parts of the dissertation still didn't flow as smoothly as they should, so there was some additional rewriting.
The defense went well, thankfully, with minor rewrites suggested by the committee.

One of the members of the previous cohort told me that it is AFTER the defense that you really work hard, and that proved to be true. The universities require exact formatting and have someone who reviews every page, twice, before it can be submitted digitally. With three universities, two accepted digital versions, one requires two bound print copies, so getting bound copies is the next step, on quality paper, of course.

And then graduation ceremonies! With a committee that represents two colleges, participating in both graduation ceremonies is expected, and considering the support given during the process, the least I could do :-)

And that is just one of the changes....more to come.