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Providing Life Lines for ABD Students Marilyn K. Simon, Ph.D. Jim Goes, Ph.D.

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Presentation on theme: "Providing Life Lines for ABD Students Marilyn K. Simon, Ph.D. Jim Goes, Ph.D."— Presentation transcript:

1 Providing Life Lines for ABD Students Marilyn K. Simon, Ph.D. Jim Goes, Ph.D.

2 2 Where are you in your doctoral program? A) I am in a doctoral program and thinking about my dissertation. B) I completed all my other course work and requirements and I am getting ready to start my dissertation. C) I am knee deep into my dissertation and hope to finish at a reasonable time. D) I have been ABD for a while and I am concerned about my progress. E) I am thinking of starting a doctoral program and do not want to be ABD for a long time. F) None of the above

3 3 Research is not a linear path Harburg, Ernest. (1966). Research Map. American Scientist, 54, 470. Permission obtained Harburg, Ernest. (1966). Research Map. American Scientist, 54, 470.

4 4 Being ABD means You have taken all the courses you need to take to earn a Ph.D. You have taken your Ph.D. qualifying exam or passed all requirements except the dissertation. You have successfully defended your dissertation proposal You probably feel you deserve a degree, but ABD is not a real degree offered by any university. You need to make it to the finish line and get that doctorate along with those initials.

5 5 Being ABD Ph.D./Equivalent Can be Lonely Requires motivation Requires time management Requires support Requires dealing with the peaks and valleys of research Requires working effectively with your committee Requires several lifelines

6 6 Remember You are intelligent enough to have come this far, there is no reason to be ABD any longer than you need to. The longer you stay ABD, the more difficult it becomes to move forward. There are wonderful rewards waiting for you when you complete your dissertation and your doctoral program.

7 7 What do you need to move forward? A) Better time management B) Methodological support C) Data Analysis support D) Committee support E) APA support F) Stress Management G) More hours in the day H) A larger sample size I)??

8 8 Lifeline: Time Management Time is a finite Resource Set a realistic date for DCD (Dissertation Completion Date). Acknowledge non dissertation related activities that need to be done in conjunction with your dissertation research. Set daily/weekly/monthly goals Keep a dissertation journal Re-evaluate what you can give up temporarily or permanently to make more time in your schedule.

9 9 Remember your Rocks A science teacher asked students to fill a Mason Jar with big rocks until full. Teacher has them add gravel until full. Teacher has them add sand until full. Teacher has them add water until full.

10 10 Remember your Rocks Lesson: In our lives, we have big rocks, gravel, sand and water. The natural tendency seems to favor the latter three elements, leaving little space for the big rocks. Make a list of your big rocks. Then make a plan to ensure that your big rocks are put first. Block out the time in your schedule for those activities. Amazingly, the other stuff still gets done. Your dissertation is a big rock! Your Rocks cannot be larger than your jar

11 11 Lifeline: Choose the right methodology for you Take the test at Determine your research archetype. –Conceptual Theorist –Analytical Scientist –Particular Humanist –Conceptual Humanist

12 12 Conceptual Theorists Holistic and Imaginative. Prefers a testable framework with large scale correlation. Many reasons why things happen that can be discerned. Factor analyses, descriptive research, correlational studies, repertory grid analyses, Q-methodology, Delphi

13 13 Analytical Scientists Prefers precision, exactness, unambiguous situations. Experimental Design, Quasi-experimental Design, semiotics, trend analysis, regression-discontinuity design.

14 14 Particular Humanist Prefers personal knowledge to rational knowledge. Believes humans are too complex to study as a whole. Believes you must be passionate about your study. Case study, appreciative inquiry, grounded theory, phenomenology, Delphi Method.

15 15 Conceptual Humanist Prefers holistic knowledge. Human behavior needs to be studied through many points of view. Constantly develop new approaches to study humans. Grounded theory, phenomenology, grounded theory, evaluative case study, content analysis, Delphi Method

16 16 Lifeline: Data Analysis - Quantitative Familiarize yourself with the basics of Statistics – Triola, Consider obtaining a statistical coach: Analysis begins after all data are collected Deductive – theories/hypotheses are tested. Remember: the null is the no hypothesis – no relationship, no difference, nada. We always test the null to determine to either reject or fail to reject the null. Doing statistics means never having to say you are certain.

17 17 Lifeline- Data Analysis- Qualitative Analysis begins after the first round of data collection and continues until saturation. Inductive analysis -- critical themes emerge out of the data. Consider qualitative software like Atlast Ti or NVivo to help manage the data. Open Coding used to identify themes. Devise an audit trail to track data. Axial coding to link themes together. Translate to tell a story.

18 18 Lifeline: Problem Statement Creation Creating a viable problem statement is one of the most important and challenging components of scholarly research. –Ask yourself: What is wrong that needs correcting? –What research can I do to solve part of a larger problem? –What is the gap in the literature I could fill by solving this problem? –What population is involved? How can I access that population? –What methodology can I use to solve the problem framed? –How will solving this problem be in accord with the university mission? –DO Not confuse a problem with a purpose or research question. –Most problem statements are between 200 and 250 words. Be precise and concise.

19 19 Lifeline: APA Support Templates to assist with APA 6 th formatting. Perrla Hire an APA/dissertation coach early on. Keep track of errors you make – no copywrite on errors. Common errors: in-text citations; headings, spacing; font; tenses… Partner with a student-colleague to review each others work.

20 20 Lifeline: Stress management We cant eliminate stress from our lives, but we can learn how to manage it. o Prioritize. Make a list of the tasks you need to complete in order of their importance. Then, do the most important things first. o Schedule yourself. Keep a schedule of all your appointments and commitments. Give yourself ample time for each appointment or project. o Set deadlines. If you find yourself procrastinating, set a deadline for yourself. Post a reminder in a highly visible spot, such as your computer monitor. o End clutter. Impose a little more order on your life, and youll save time. Keep your important documents in computer files – have a dissertation folder. O Use a cloud back-up system like Carbonite or Dropbox.

21 21 Lifeline: Stress management o Communicate. If you do not have the information you need to speak up. o Delegate. At work, if you have the power to delegate tasks, do so. At home, make sure everybody in the household has responsibilities. Even young children can be assigned simple tasks. o Divide and conquer. Create smaller parts and setting mini-deadlines, you will make the project seem more manageable. o Plan breaks. Take regular breaks to unwind.

22 22 Lifeline: More hours in the day Unless you develop the power to bend the laws of space and time, there will only be 24 hours in your day. What you can do is bend the ways you use the hours you have. If you look hard enough, you can discover time you didnt know you had. Perhaps you can get up 15 minutes earlier? Public transportation to work rather than drive? Audio books if you must drive? Put your favorite shows on a DVR or TiVo. Keep a book or article with you at all times if you get put on hold or have to wait on line for something.

23 23 Lifeline: University Procedures Each university has its own special way they like things done. Find out what the expectations are for your dissertation. Speak to a recent graduate if possible. IRB – IRBs determine whether a study could bring any harm to the participants, the researcher, or the university at large. This affects the reputation of the university. Make sure you take each component of the application seriously. –You will need to describe in detail the methodology, data analysis, sample selection, etc. –Everything must be consistent and precise. – All permissions need to be obtained prior to data collection. –Be ready to explain why you are

24 24 Lifeline: Increase your n (sample size) One of the challenges in scholarly research is to have a large enough n (sample size). Some common ways to increase survey response: –Make survey interesting –No longer than need be –Make sure the survey is readable Some not so common ways –Present survey at a meeting where targeted population is present. –Create a web site where survey can be completed. –Provide a token incentive – raffle ticket small gift.

25 25 Remember the Benefits of obtaining a doctorate Benefits to your career New opportunities Increased job security Increased prestige Increase Lifetime earnings Increase your credibility There is an inherent respect for a person who undertakes and completes a rigorous course of study from a well- respected program. There is a rippling affect – you will be more able to advance positive social change by obtaining the highest level of education.

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