Author Archives: Janet Symmons

Phenomenological Methodology Interview Reminders

I don’t have extensive interview experience. The 16 interviews I’d completed prior to my dissertation were all learning experiences that helped build my confidence and prepare me for the upcoming dissertation interviews. I soon realized how rusty my interview skills … Continue reading

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Conceptual and Theoretical Frameworks

Last week I briefly chatted with Madeline Walker, the co-ordinator at UVic’s Centre for Academic Communication, about the differences between a conceptual framework and a theoretical frame. Madeline captured our conversation and recently posted it on the Graduate Student Writers’ … Continue reading

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Phenomenology Research: Bracketing and Transcription

A master’s student recently asked me for some tips when preparing for data analysis of a phenomenology study. Bearing in mind that she is using van Mannen’s (2014) approach whilst I follow Dalhberg, Dahlberg and Nyström’s (2008) reflective lifeworld research … Continue reading

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Creating an effective Handout for Class Presentations

It’s the end of the semester, which is a perfect time to reflect on how to improve courses for the next time they are run. In Ontario Tech’s Assessment for Adult Learning in a Digital Context, I ask learners to … Continue reading

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Creating an Outline Using Margin Notes

Knowing the narrative of a section of a dissertation is important before sitting down at the computer. I usually have the narrative, or flow, of a piece in my mind and don’t map it out. I’m very fortunately that I’m … Continue reading

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The Four-Week Ph.D. Candidacy Exam

On March 16, I successfully completed my candidacy exams. In the curriculum and instruction specialization program, faculty of education, at the University of Victoria, candidates are emailed four questions and must answer two questions within two weeks. The final step … Continue reading

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Optimizing the Learners’ LMS eLearning Experience

The first eLearning course I enrolled in in the year 2000 was a nightmare because I couldn’t find all the required pieces of the course on the website. Granted, LMS (learning management systems) were in their infancy at that point, … Continue reading

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A Dissertation can’t be an Eight Hour a Day Job

Before I began my PhD journey, I had a to do list of unrelated things I wanted to complete either before I graduated or shortly thereafter. Looking back on that list as I enter my third year in the program, … Continue reading

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Toward a New Work-Life Balance

In August I packed everything up and drove across the country to begin my PhD journey.  Starting a life 4000 km from everything I know was fun and challenging. But one of the biggest challenges was finding a new life … Continue reading

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Solomon Four-Group Design

I was in the midst of reading Creswell’s chapter 10 (experimental designs) when I noticed that he does not describe the Solomon four-group design. In my library of 17 research textbooks, only two describe this between-groups design. Additionally, information on … Continue reading

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