Having revisited and then categorised the data from the seven interviews, I've rewritten the my original research questions (submitted within my 17 December Research Proposal). On reflection, questions 2 and 3 from my Research Proposal cover too much of the same ground. Also, the questions ignore the conditions that promote/discourage multimodal approaches to assignments, which has been one of more interesting themes to emerge from both the data and my lit review. I think the new combination of questions are also more able to directly address my overarching question posed within the dissertation. Anyway, I have gone...
This all looks good - tidy and clear. There are a couple of v minor things on the attached. My bigger comment would be that there is no indication here of what critical argument you will be making, and no sense of how this will inform and structure the written text. It's good to be able to say in the introduction 'this is the argument I am making, and this is why', and then to be able to say in the conclusion 'this is how my argument has been made, and this is how I have demonstrated that it is important'.
If you were going to define a single argument you will be making in this dissertation, what would it be? If you can define that and write it down in a couple of sentences, that can really help give 'spine' to the piece of work and a coherent sense of direction. Then, whatever meanderings happen in the individual chapters, the piece of work still has a clear trajectory.
Possibly you are quite clear on this - it just didn't come through in the document. If it would help to just fire back to me the central argument (maybe try writing it down in less than 20 minutes : ) ) I can feed back quickly on that. I'm pretty sure you know what it would be - it's just a question of articulating it.
let me know what you think?
Another helpful e-mail from Sian:
So there you go! Land's work on crests....was Sian's work.
A reply from Sian in response to my question about the use of video. I can't disagree with any of the below. Basically, it would be good, but its not necessary, and my priority should be the writing.
The video idea was already on hold until I get the writing out of the way, however it has been useful to have this reaffirmed.
Issues to discuss:
Emerging ideas and agreed points:
I met up with Michael and Jeremy last night to run a couple of ideas past them. I'll blog about that later however I've had some clarity this morning on a significant change I might make to the dissertation.
Bearing in mind the difficulty (technology, conceptually, time required) to include aural components within my dissemination, I feel inclined to drop that area. As I've acknowledged elsewhere, this was always going to be a bit ambitious, particularly in terms of the need to create an aural 'channel' that is representative, integrated or complementary to the text and visuals on the page. Basically, how do I create a piece of music that is significant to or representative of 'Data collection'? Or 'Methodology'? Or Lit review? This would be hard to realise. It might also be difficult to justify within the rationale i.e. how can I show that music actually contributes to the communication of (my) meaning in the same way that image or text would. I don't think I can. It would be easier to drop the sound element of dissemination, then.
Dropping the aural element of dissemination also impacts upon the wider dissertation: I'll also need to drop the 'sound' from my title. But then, when I come to think of it, the content is actually attending to text and visuality much more than aural anyway (in fact, it only gets a couple of token mentions). So the dissertation title becomes: A constellation of image and text: tutor experiences of multimodal assessment in the digital classroom.
What does this actually mean in terms of the dissertation:
Of course, I'll also need to get Sian's take on this: on dropping sound and changing the title.
1. Architecture observation
I spent today observing architecture tutors assessing student work (this was the final submission that followed the crit review I attended earlier in term). It was really useful and satisfied my intention of observing how tutors consider multimodal assessment artefacts. I think this will make for an interesting and valuable study, in the context of my work.
This all sounds very good - I'm glad the architecture observation went well.
2. Art and design observation
This has been a bit slower to get going, however I've done a bit of nuisance doorstepping and am assured it will still go ahead. To be honest, I'm not sure what I'll learn over and above what I've seen in architecture but will proceed nevertheless. To an extent though this is beyond my control - is it a problem if it doesn't happen, having included it in my proposal?
On art and design, I think you are taking the right approach in pursuing it - however if it turns out not to be a go-er I don't think that's a problem - it sounds like you have enough and I'd have thought at this point the main gain here is keeing good links with those folk for future projects. It's certainly not a problem re the proposal.
3. Referring to examples of edc multimodal work in my lit review
Is it appropriate to make reference to specific examples of multimodal work on the EDC gallery, within my lit review. Would this count as 'the literature'? Is it a but unconventional to talk about specific examples of student work in a lit review? It would be helpful if I could (and would also help to satisfy your suggestion from last meeting that I need to relate the review more closely to my own research).
Yes - reference specific examples - great. It's not like these are the *only* literature you're using, and it's important to cite/credit people properly for this work. If you publish from this (and I think you probably will want to) you'll need their permission.
4. Referring to course handbooks/assessment frameworks/learning outcomes in lit review
As per question 3. I have assessment documentation for architecture and art and design (and of course our own MSc). I think it would be useful to (briefly) acknowledge how multimodality is encouraged within this documentation. Is this appropriate?
Yes - that's fine - again, if you publish you'd probably want to just get the OK from eca.
5. Using photographs of student work in dissemination
With the permission of Head of Department and tutors present on the day, I took photos of student work during my architecture visit. It's conceivable that I might want to include some of these images in my dissemination as examples of multimodal artefacts. I took a note of the names of students whose work I photographed with a view to seeking their permission to include in dissemination. As it was, there was actually quite a lot of photographing of work, by tutors and students - it seems an accepted part of what takes place. Nevertheless, it feels like I should seek permission to use images - what do you think?
As above - I think you'd need permission if you publish or present on it (so it's worth keeping a record of whose work it is etc) but I don't think you really need that now to use it (dissertations aren't public documents in the way theses are).
I can't remember if I told you I am going into hospital on 7 June for an operation on my knee, so will be out of action for a couple of weeks. I'll be a bit restricted in mobility for much of June/July but we can still have a meeting over that period if you're willing to have it at my place in Marchmont Cresent - let me know when might be useful for a
catch-up - I can't quite recall what we agreed on this?
Just adding these as they come to. I don't have a meeting in place yet - no need at the moment - but will record the questions anyway as a record.
Other questions to follow, as they come to me.
Just noting this down over lunch as it has come to me. During our last meeting Sian suggested that within my Lit Review I need to discuss what multimodal artefacts can look like. She also suggested that I need to talk more specifically about my research questions, rather than distancing myself from the work. Sian suggested offering examples of Alisdair Gray's work, however I think I would like to offer something with a strong education/assessment focus. Taking on board all these points then, here's a question to put to Sian the next time I speak to her/email her:
Within my Literature Review, would it be appropriate to make direct reference to examples of multimodal assessment artefacts within the MSc in Digital Education? Or should this wait for the discussion of findings section? I actually think it would be really helpful to draw the reader's attention to specific examples at this stage - and of course I could use screenshots (perhaps edited).
I've been a bit slow on this. Here are the notes from last week's meeting with Sian where we discussed my second draft lit review, dissemination, data analysis and a few other bits and pieces.
Some general comments:
Gaps, weaknesses and room for improvement:
Things to leave out: