Dissertation Diary 9 – The words behind the silence…

I’ve decided to use my blog as a reflective tool while doing my dissertation project – the final component of my M.A. in ELT –  hypothesising that this will make it an even more effective learning experience for me, by mapping it, enabling me to look back on my thought processes and decisions and see what effect these have on the project development. (Other posts in this series can be found here) Once I get to the end (13th September is D-Day!), as well as looking back over the experience of doing the project, I plan to try and evaluate the effect of these reflective blog posts on it.

Well, suddenly there’s precisely 7 weeks and 3 days remaining before submission, and ten days of that (coming up shortly!) I shall be on holiday! There will also be the small matter of moving house two weeks before the due date. Gulp…

All I’ve really done since the last post in this series, as far as my dissertation is concerned, is get down to the business of actually making the materials and be treated to an incredibly useful tutorial. (Outside of that, I’ve also been preparing for and participating in a conference, working part time and doing all the little tasks that winning the British Council blog award necessitated doing…) After all the planning and rationalising, finally there was no more avoiding the actual task of making the materials – so up to this point, I’ve made 3 tasks out of what was originally going to be 8 x 2.5hr tasks, but, following feedback from my latest tutorial (last Wednesday) has now been cut down to 6 x 3hr tasks. The remaining 2hrs are allocated to the two lots of homework that are set during this now 6-task module. I’m a lot happier having made these changes – the module now feels more compact and also more realistic in terms of time allocation vs content. It also means I won’t be producing far too much material for the 20hr requirement, which is a good thing as I would gain no extra marks for doing so and time spent producing superfluous material would be time taken away from honing the requisite material. I’ve also made initial drafts of the remaining three tasks minus the supplementary handouts. So progress is being made, slowly but surely.

I recorded the last tutorial (just I have been doing all along – and it’s so useful to have that record as well as to know that during the tutorial you can focus on what is being said rather than on frantically making notes for future reference) and then subsequently sat down, re-played it and took notes of recommended changes and things to think about. It came to 3.5 pages of 12pt. Suffice to say, I have my work cut out for me! Fortunately, a good few of the recommended changes are very minor in terms of time requirements.

At least I’m on the mountain proper now, no longer in the foothills! The down-side is, all of my time and then some is spoken for at the moment, between this project and work (and imminently my holiday!), which leaves little to no time for blogging! But don’t worry, I will be back… (I have a couple of posts up my sleeves for when I’m able to find time to get them down!)

Watch this space! 😉

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