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Project Summary: Journal In Qualitative Reasoning and Analysis, you were introduced to the concept of journaling as a research skill. Journaling is one way of being able to track your emerging and changing thoughts as a researcher. Moreover, the Walden Dissertation Rubric section for Chapter 4, line item 2 reads as follows: "The systems used for keeping track of data and emerging understandings (research logs, reflective journals, cataloging systems) are clearly described." As this course is designed to prepare you for the Dissertation, you will complete reflective journal writing each week to practice this skill. Specifically, you will keep a 2-column journal where you will record your thoughts and observations in the left column and record your observations on your thinking process in the right column. In a sense, you are creating field notes on yourself. The exercise will help to develop your analytical and writing skills, and the information will help to provide a form of documentation of your progress with advanced qualitative reasoning and analysis. In Week 12, you will be asked to write a self-assessment paper, and your course Journal entries will provide you with the basis for that assignment. To prepare for this Journal activity: Review the "What to Expect: Advice at the Outset" audio program. SEE IT BELLOW Develop a journal template that you can re-use throughout the course. Once you have your technology in place, think about your Dissertation topic, and trace the journey you and your topic have taken to get to this point in your studies. How did you choose your topic? How did you come to choose a qualitative approach for your Dissertation? You may wish to write your narrative in the left column and then go back and make comments in the right-hand column afterwards. Note that while this Journal assignment is required, you may or may not receive feedback from your Instructor on the contents of this Journal entry. If you need specific help or feedback from your Instructor, please send your Instructor an e-mail. The Journal topic: Deconstruct the evolution of your Dissertation topic and your selection of a qualitative approach. Week 1: Moving Beyond Five Qualitative Approaches Introduction As you have learned in Qualitative Reasoning and Analysis, qualitative research begins most often with a research question. At this point, you probably have an area of interest which will evolve into a formal research question that develops into a proposal. Throughout this course, you will be reviewing basic qualitative techniques and learning more advanced techniques as you build toward the Final Course Project that is due in Week 11, a research proposal which you can then use as the basis for a qualitative dissertation. This week, you will focus on defining the research problem. Learning Outcomes By the end of this week, you will be able to: Analyze and evaluate qualitative research approaches Propose a research problem, purpose, and question(s) appropriate for investigation with a qualitative approach Deconstruct the evolution of a qualitative dissertation topic ______________________________________________________________________ Required Resources This page contains the Learning Resources for this week. Be sure to scroll down the page to see all of this week's assigned Learning Resources. To access select media resources, please use the media player below. Course Text: Maxwell, J. A. (2005). Applied Social Research Methods Series: Vol. 41. Qualitative research design: An interactive approach (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. o Chapter 1, "A Model for Qualitative Research Design" o Chapter 2, "Goals: Why Are You Doing This Study?" o Chapter 4, "Research Questions: What Do You Want to Understand?" Chapter 1 gives an introduction and provides a model for qualitative research design. Chapter 2 explains the personal, practical, and intellectual goals that qualitative research can help you achieve. Chapter 4 describes the function of research questions and other kinds of questions, including generic, particularistic, instrumentalist, realist, variance, and process questions. Course Text: Miles, M. B., Huberman, A. M., & Saldana, J.(2014). Qualitative data analysis: A Methods sourcebook (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. o Chapter 1, "Introduction 3-16" o Chapter 2, "Research Design and Management," pp. 252 8 Chapter 1 provides an overview of qualitative research, including varieties and recurring features of qualitative research, and describes three approaches to analyzing qualitative data. The excerpt from Chapter 2 outlines the process of formulating research questions. Course Text: Creswell, J. W. (2007). Qualitative inquiry & research design: Choosing among five approaches (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. o Chapter 4, "Five Qualitative Approaches to Inquiry" o Chapter 6, "Introducing and Focusing the Study" In Chapter 4, you will learn about and compare the five qualitative approaches to inquiry: narrative research, phenomenological research, grounded theory research, ethnographic research, and case study research. In Chapter 6, you will learn how to introduce and focus your research study by stating the research problem, the purpose statement, and the research questions. Course Text: Patton, M. Q. (2015). Qualitative research & evaluation methods (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. o Chapter 2, "Strategic Themes in Qualitative Inquiry" This chapter describes several design strategies and analysis strategies in qualitative inquiry. Handouts o Final Project: Developing a Qualitative Research Plan (Word document) This handout will guide you in completing your Final Project for this course, in which you will develop a qualitative research plan. The Final Project is due in Week 11. Media Video: Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2010a). What to expect: Advice at the outset. Baltimore, MD: Author. Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 10 minutes. In this audio segment, graduates talk about how their thought processes evolved throughout the program and how they learned to self-critique. They explain what they did and how they learned to evaluate their work, their writing, and their thinking to become better researchers. To listen to this audio program, use the media player located at the top of this page. SEE TRANCRIPT OF VIDEO: What to Expect: Advice at the Outset Program Transcript [MUSIC PLAYING] FEMALE SPEAKER: On behalf of the Board of Directors, the faculty, staff, and administration at the university, I am pleased to welcome you assembled here today and those who are joining us via live webcast for the 43rd commencement of Walden University. [APPLAUSE] LESLIE CRICKENBERGER: My name is Leslie Crickenberger. I'm from Athens, Georgia. And my area of focus is organizational psychology. ANGEL RESTO: My name is Angel Resto. I'm from Chicago. And my area of expertise is finance. JOANNE PZIVITZ: I'm Joanne Pzivitz. I'm from-- NARRATOR: We spoke with a diverse mix of Walden PhD students about what they would have liked someone to tell them as they started their dissertation process. The voices in this program are from students attending the Walden residency and commencement in Dallas, Texas. Following are their words of experience, advice, and encouragement, offered to you. FEMALE SPEAKER: --is business administration with a concentration in project management. JOANIE RAINEY: My name is Joanie Rainey. REGGIE TERRELL: My name is Reggie Terrell. JUDITH: My name is Judith Cline. MALE SPEAKER: My name is Wanka Didra. CARRIE: My name is Carrie Eskrin. The most helpful thing someone might have shared is the amount of time dissertation would take. The classes were fairly easy. But then when you get into the dissertation process, it's long and takes more time and more difficult. And once I committed, I can remember sitting at the computer with the registration form and thinking, do I have the time? 2012 Laureate Education, Inc. 1 It took me a little while to push the button to complete the registration. But I think once I set down that path, I did pretty well. I have five children, and I'm pretty busy already. So it's just a matter of getting everything in line and scheduled. MALE SPEAKER: First of all, before you start the program, sit down, plan, have a longterm goal where you want to be. And as you set those goals, things will fall in place. FEMALE SPEAKER: I think that you don't really expect the level of commitment that it really takes to get to that commencement ceremony. A lot of school work. A lot of study. A lot of extra work on your own time. Really the biggest thing is being able to manage your time. MALE SPEAKER: I was skeptical initially about online education. I am an old traditionalist. I like the interaction of the classroom. I could not believe that there could be intimacy, the sharing of very personal information, between students that you had not met physically. So I think if you can listen, even though you're typing, and respond to, sometimes, what is not typed there that would cause the person at the other end of the computer to respond to you in a positive way. FEMALE SPEAKER: I would say to be very disciplined. I was very disciplined to begin with. But you have to be very structured and very disciplined and do something on your degree every day. FEMALE SPEAKER: I have to say that communication is key, especially with fellow students. I know that the help that I got from fellow students and their advice helped me get through the program. And also keep in touch with your faculty, keep in touch with your teachers and your professors. That's really important. FEMALE SPEAKER: I'd also say to take a break once in awhile. So you're working so hard, trying to maintain your schedule. And a little bit of time away is also good. FEMALE SPEAKER: Well, I'm gonna be honest. For all the prospective and current students at Walden, I missed a lot of my self-set deadlines. I think that's important to know because I just had to pick myself up when I missed a major deadline and tell myself, I'm still going to finish. I'm going to make it. And I had to keep going even though I had some self-imposed deadline that I missed, I just had to pick myself up and keep going. FEMALE SPEAKER: I would say find a faculty member and latch on to them. Because you really do need advice from somebody who has gone through the process before. FEMALE SPEAKER: I'm surprised by the fact that it was as personalized as it turned out to be. So that I was prepared for a very sterile all kind of no-nonsense, just the business, 2012 Laureate Education, Inc. 2 kind of program. And it turned out to be so much more humanistic. Every opportunity you have to go to the residencies are so invaluable. Making the personal connections with other students, with the faculty, with the staff of the university. That experience is invaluable. MALE SPEAKER: When I looked at the syllabus and the matrix and various requirements, I thought that it would take probably two to three years. And with the other requirements-- work, family, et cetera-- it took a longer than that. So I would say time management would probably be the biggest thing, the biggest single thing. FEMALE SPEAKER: The time it takes. A lot of reading and writing, which is fine. But I don't think I realized the level of reading. And a lot of times, it's very difficult when you have no one to really go to in person. So you're stuck in your office at home and you kind of feel isolated. A lot of days you don't feel like booting up the computer. You don't feel like reading anything. But you just have to do it and get through it. FEMALE SPEAKER: I would advise the students to take the team approach when working toward a dissertation at Walden. T, T is for being totally flexible. You have to be realistic about the goals that you set for yourself or that your committee sets for you. E. Encouragement. Everyone helps you in some way. A kind word, an email, a link to an article. People are there to help you and encourage you and you need to look for that. Accomplishments, big and small, are all worth celebrating. A paragraph, a page, a chapter, notes that you scribble down and leave in your car. That's an accomplishment because it has helped you to continue working towards your goal. And M. Decide what motivates you, what your momentum is. Whatever it is that motivates you to finish, keep working toward it. MALE SPEAKER: One. That it was going to be seriously difficult. That's one. And number two, that it would be seriously rewarding. Very rewarding. FEMALE SPEAKER: You will panic, but it'll be OK. You'll work through it. And just take it a little step at a time. Don't try to bite off the whole thing. Walden has laid out real well in little steps. Just take it a little bit at a time. FEMALE SPEAKER: To follow your passion. But also be flexible when doing so. MALE SPEAKER: The first thing I would think is how much time doing a Ph.D. degree really took. I had some idea. But I didn't realize how much actual time away from my family, time away from all of my other interest, took. The second thing is what kind of knowledge, what kind of things I would actually be learning throughout the process. From learning about theorists to various research types and styles to learning more about who I am as a person and what my actual innate abilities really are. 2012 Laureate Education, Inc. 3 FEMALE SPEAKER: How emotionally challenging this is. The class work was not as challenging. It's going to school. But the dissertation part of it is truly an emotional roller coaster. Some days I'm euphoric, other days I don't know if I'm coming or going. So the emotional challenge of it. And just be prepared for having to do a lot of work on your own. FEMALE SPEAKER: The first is to prepare for crises. And that the dissertation process will be more than what you read about in the textbook. FEMALE SPEAKER: I wish someone would've told me to start thinking early. I didn't really have a topic until I started my dissertation process. So it would've been really good to have known that all along my coursework I should've been thinking about that. I also think it would have been good if people knew about certain programs that are out there. Zotero for Firefox. EndNotes because it helps organize your references and text notes for you. And I didn't learn that until I was almost finished with my dissertation. FEMALE SPEAKER: Just continue. Things get thrown in your way all of the time. We've all had, probably, personal tragedies as we've gone through these programs. And it's very hard to stay disciplined. But there is an end. And I think that the more people here that there is an end from everyone-- whether it's your colleague who got her Ph.D. 20 years ago or it's me-- there is an end to it. And you just have to keep going. Course by course and milestone by milestone. And you'll get it done. FEMALE SPEAKER: Will the candidates for the Doctor of Philosophy and the Doctor of Education degrees please rise or otherwise signify your presence. [APPLAUSE] FEMALE SPEAKER: Director Singer, as the Chief Academic Officer and Senior Vice President and on behalf of my esteemed colleagues on the faculty of Walden University, I have the pleasure of presenting to you these candidates who have completed all of the requirements for the degrees of Doctor of Philosophy and Doctor of Education. Candidates, upon the authority vested in the Board of Directors at Walden University by the state of Minnesota, I confer upon you the degrees of Doctor of Philosophy and Doctor of Education with all the rights, privileges, and responsibilities thereto appertaining. Congratulations. [APPLAUSE] [MUSIC] Research Toolkit In the following weeks, resources that you may find useful as reference will be listed here. Often the titles, such as the APA Manual, are tools you will come to know well for the remainder of your dissertation process. Also, consider any handout listed in the Required Resources as a helpful addition to your Research Toolkit. The Research Toolkit is not limited by what you find listed in this sectionkeep your own Research Toolkit that includes what you find here and resources you discover that are particularly helpful to you. Handouts o Walden Dissertation Rubric--Available from http://researchcenter.waldenu.edu/ The Dissertation Rubric is a Word document linked in the section for PhD Dissertation Process and Documents. o Walden Qualitative Dissertations This document directs you to dissertations in the Walden Library that use a variety of qualitative approaches and disciplines. o Welcome letter for the foundational Research Sequence This advanced research course is designed to help you achieve the 48 doctoral competencies listed in this document.