Continuing with Michael's generous comments on the abstract and context within my research proposal, I've attached this edited pdf below.
And here's a summary of Michael's key points, some of which echo the themes from his general advice for the preparation of my literature review:
Following a pleasant weekend in Berlin, I returned to some positive news yesterday evening. Sian has responded positively to my proposed research and has made some useful suggestions for the next step forward:
I'll move on these actions right away, including responding to set up a meeting to get things underway. Good news for the time being, however.
As of Sunday past, my dissertation proposal and ethics form have been submitted. Sian is going to get back to me later this week with initial feedback and then to set up a supervisory meeting. Here are the documents:
Or to use Clara's full phrase, "crippled by the fear of submitting something s**t."
That pretty much sums up the stage I reached last night after a week of slow progress on the research proposal. I'd met Clara to talk about my contribution to Online Assessment 2013 however it was too good an opportunity to ignore, to update Clara on my progress. She didn't seem impressed by the subject, however it was useful to hear her use the above phrase to describe how she feels about her own Phd work. Further reassurance and guidance followed in her encouragement to view the research proposal as a working document rather than "something cut in stone." She went on to suggest that if the content of the proposal isn't up to scratch its the function of that document - and the role of the dissertation supervisor - to move things forward.
Which is my task for this evening. I need to get a proposal as close to done and dusted as possible. Even if I think it's a bit, ah, mediocre. It's going to be a late night.
Over the last hour I've gone from being quite content about the idea of taken an open and broad view of 'assessment practices in the multimodal classroom' to recognising that idea as being much too broad in scope. I've drifted off topic at some point over the last while. That topic would be interesting, but wouldn't allow for depth (over breadth) and, realistically, I don't expect I would be offering anything original to discourse of the subject.
So here then in largetype is a reminder that - as proposed to Sian recently - the focus will be upon how tutors measure the quality of multimodal or alternative format work in the digital classroom. Once again as a reminder to myself, this isn't a case of practices being done unto tutors, it's more a case of how they go about it.
OK, I need to redraft my proposal-in-progress and come up with a new dissertation title.
That can wait until tomorrow, though. It hasn't been a successful day in terms of making progress on the proposal itself, but there has been some important late progress, nevertheless.
Or to put it another way, what am I trying to do? After a day of redrafting my dissertation research proposal it's become clear that I'm still unclear exactly what I'm trying to do. For clarity (or perhaps that should be, in search of clarity), I'm going to note below the different things I've been thinking of doing within my latest version of the dissertation.
As I've tried to work up the dissertation proposal however, I encountered a number of problems:
I also need to make clear (in my own head) the relationship between multimodality and alternative format assessment.
Whereas I was recently intending to consider how tutors respond to the challenges posed by alternative format assignments (whether on a strategic or case-by-case basis) I wonder instead whether I should be looking assessment practices in more general terms. But then maybe that's too broad (or probably already covered). Maybe instead I should focus on how to measure quality of an alternative format assignment whilst making it clear that this shouldn't necessarily be seen as problematic - from the programme design perspective it can be advantageous. It's really important then that I frame this project in a way that doesn't present tutor/programme designers as being reactive or coming from a deficit position.