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“Blogging as a research tool” seminar next week!

September 17th, 2009No Comments  


I am very excited about being invited to run a session for the Kenyan visiting students and the taught doctorate counselling students that wish to join is next Wednesday here at Manchester University! I will bring my blog to an audience and offer my insights so far about how a blog like this can be used for the purposes of qualitative research. I was thinking that this ‘virtual space’ can actually be more useful for those who are doing distance learning or those who reseive supervsion from afar, amongst other reasons. I will be interested to hear the reactions/feedback from the African students in particular, as related to their context back in Kenya:

  1. Would such a medium be appealing to them?
  2. Would it be compatible with their culture-specific values towards learning or conducting research studies?
  3. Is internet a medium they use widely for their training programmes and what sort of communication is mostly adopted in a more ‘collectivist’ context?

These are some of my few questions and am looking forward to meeting the group. As for my preparation for the session, i have downloaded and printed off a few very interesting papers about the use of blogs in research and in HE. I have been rehearsing my input in my head and all seems very interesting to me, i take time to reflect on my own use of this blog too, as triggered of this invitation to work with this group.



Thesis vs. blog writing

September 24th, 20082 Comments  


As i am in my 3rd PhD year and the time seems to be flying pretty quickly, i am observing certain shifts in my prioritising as i am at a stage that requires both focus and good time management, if it is to complete my Phd within my official deadline. I have to keep remining to myself that writing the Thesis is my MAIN JOB for this year and i have a lot of text to produce, which does not come at easy flow, given the complexities of my topic. Therefore, i need to be dedicating my energy into that and start saying ‘no’ to other opportunities for writing just now (such as to any new book chapter contributions, papers for journals etc).

In terms of the blog, i notice that i have a resistance to be writing posts in here now, cause i need to be saving my energy for ‘thesis text’ and also, i want to be less exposed now about what i am doing. My thesis is an original piece of work and until i have it written, i want to own it and ‘protect’ my ideas and what contributions to knowledge it brings…until it is ready to be disseminated. I think this is a fair enough stance so the use of this blog is now shifting…i often want to be recording here some abstarcts that i may need to study further for my literature review or write posts when it feels significant to state/share or dialogue about something…but, i dont want to write much of the PhD process in here now, in public, as i want to be processing and writing it in the Thesis, in private and share it with my supervisors or other readers that may be giving me feedback to improve it.

These reactions i am experiencing now towards the use of this blog, may be suggesting some dimensions that relate to blogging as a reflexive research tool in general. there are times that the researcher has reasons to be less exposing the process to a wider public…would be interested to hear what others may think about what i am raising in this post now, comments are welcome!



Blogging as academic supervision tool

July 11th, 2008No Comments  


I lately had some conversations with various people at University including my supervisor about how a PhD blog can be used also as a supervision tool in the academia, sth we now want to promote more within the University and am collaborating with A. about that, i thing it will be very useful and i need to put some more work on that matter, probably with running a workshop session during the coming academic year. I had an email exhange with my supervisor about it and amongst else he wrote:

“Yes I think your blog is helpful for other doctorate students as it shows your journey including how you make use of me (i.e academic supervision). If others blogged then students could see ‘the varieties of doctoral experiences’. This would really help sort out how much is it me, how much is it this supervisor, how much is it this institution, how much is it just doing a doctorate. Of course you doctorate students get together and figure these questions out anyway but blogging is one further and sometimes more intimate resource for this and other purposes”

I also want to write a section in my Thesis about the use of this blog and also thinking that a publication will come out of it…it is all a matter of time management for me now, so much to do!