It felt really good to submit the "final" version of my lit review. I say "final" because although it is the final version for this class, I know it isn't the final version that will become a part of my dissertation. I feel like it's close, but I know my advisor and committee will have suggestions. I'll come up with new things to add as well as I narrow in on my dissertation research.
So now that I'm at the end of the course, what did I learn?
- A lot about my topic! The mixed research results on adaptive learning systems are still a little baffling to me. I think this might help fuel my dissertation research so maybe that's good.
- Reference mining is key.
- Identifying the research questions and connecting articles to those is important. I did an okay job with this. I would do better if I had to do this again. This is really important to help manage a large number of articles.
- Don't worry so much about making the 1st draft perfect. I really struggled to get started with my writing. I had so much information that I felt like I wasn't sure where to begin. When I finally did begin writing I spent a lot of time writing and revising and making sure it sounded okay. If I had to do it over again, I would get my thoughts on paper quicker and worry about editing later. I really think getting to that fairly developed outline and thinking about the paper as a whole is important.
- Take time to think about the information and synthesize it. Writing a lit review in only a few short weeks made it difficult to stop and think about it, but I recognize the importance of doing it. I actually enjoyed thinking about how the pieces of the puzzle fit together once I got past that 1st draft.
- I love an organized online course. This was a difficult and intense course, but it was so well organized. I love it when the expectations, assignments, and due dates are crystal clear. I also really appreciate timely feedback. Thanks, Dr. Weaver, for all of that! (This is a good reminder for me as I deliver online courses to my students.)
- Dissertation research/instructional unit. I'm still trying to narrow in on exactly what my dissertation will be. I'm going to set aside some time to map out possibilities. I'm totally sold on my topic, but I need to figure out what my instructional unit or research study will look like. I'm sure I'll have a conversation with my advisor in the coming weeks to think through this a little more.
- Golf. I'm looking forward to getting out and golfing more now that this course is over.
- I.N.K. My kids (Ian, Nathan, and Kaia) are tired of me telling them I have schoolwork to do. I felt a little bit like I was on a road trip with them. "Are you done yet?"..."Are you done yet?"..."Are you done yet?"... It's time to have fun with them before summer is over!