My Research Journal RSS
After craziness of start of semester have been able to spend time on studies mostly more literature review and relearning Endnote as well as rethinking of my methodology/methods along the lines of what my Supervisor Professor Madhumita suggested: integration of ePortfolios. The past week we at Emalus had lost access to Mahara so I am thankful that I can get back to journaling my progress.
I am meeting my Emalus based suporvisor Dr Mwaraksumes on Friday morning 10am which is a good development since I have not been able to talk to Professor Madhumita at all over the past couple of weeks. I hope to now to make journal entries at least onece a week until everything is done.
Since my last journal entry, I have found it hard to concentrate on my research on the day (Friday) that I have set aside to work on my research. I am finding that I am constantly trying to meet work deadlines and other lecturers/students requests with little to no work being done on my research. I bumped in Dr Amton today and he suggested that I work in a different environment, even if I have to work from home. I shall try that from next week.
In the meantime, I have been looking up literature and studies on the use of ePortfolios for teaching/learning English as a second language. I have found about 50 such articles and used Wizfolio at first to help me with managing and citation purposes. Just being able to manage and cite these journal articles properly has been a great help (see reference section in my Research Proposal page).
In week 12 I attended the Endnote and SPSS workshops and training sessions here on EMalus by Dr Jito and Karuna from USPs Research department. I have learnt how to use these great tools for research. I currently have SPSS installed in my computer and am waiting for ITS to install Endnote. I have been able to import my references from Wizfolio to Endnote with ease. This has been great because when I was using Wizfolio, I was having problems with installing it into Word 7. With Endnote, everything worked seamlessly. This is a great motivation to writing.
One of the questions I have been asking is "whether there is such a thing as a research on research?" and if there is such a thing whether I should probably just do a research on the research that has been conducted on using ePortfolios to teach language. I have since found out that there is such a thing and it is called a meta-analyses. I am very keen to now do a meta-analyses on the studies that have been conducted on the use of ePortfolios for language teaching. I would appreciate any advice that my supervisors can give on this.
My next task is to complete my research plan after I decide on my research methodlogy with advice from my supervisors.
It is 4ish AM in the morning. It is week 9 of semester and I finally get my supervisors allocated to me. I am happy with my choice of supervisors (Professor Madhumita Bhattacharya and Dr Amton Mwaraksurmes). The former has extensive experience in ePortfolios which I am looking forward to learn from while the latter has had experience with portfolios the forerunner of ePortfolios. I was beggining to wonder if I should have just completed my MEd by coursework, but theres no looking back now.
One of the first tasks set up by Professor Bhattacharya was for me to set up my research ePortfolio. I had a look through the web to find out how others have constructed their research eportfolios and was disapointed not to find too many examples of these. Anyway, this research ePortfolio is my first attempt and I hope my supervisors find it up to scratch. I am about to give them access as well as make it copyable so that other research students can use it as a template to create their own research ePortfolios.
I have changed my research topic after having completed my research proposal and statement of Intent so I will need to do a new research proposal. I have settled right now on the use of ePortfolios together with technology (mobile) for English language learning. My challenge now is to not drag it out into a long research seeing that learning English is not an easy thing and can be a long drawn out affair in this part of the world. I am thinking of focussing on teaching English diction with ePortfolios for a sample of students. We shall see how this goes with feedback from my supervisors. In the meantime the birds have woken up and are serenading the dawn of another beautiful day in Port Vila town.