Thesis Feedback

Mood: quizzical quizzical
Now Playing: Mumblings of the JLB

On Wednesday I had feedback fro my supervisors … I’m not certain how to rate it … it certainly wasn’t fantastic feedback but neither was it “go back and do your whole thesis”. Doug commented that the thesis does appear to be a late draft of a thesis but had a feeling John was less thrilled with it.

Conclusion Chapter

My Conclusion chapter is bad (my wording!) – it really needs to be made better – in fact a lot more on the implications … and John really wants me to indicate to some extent what I’ve learned from this experience, and what I would have done differently if I had infinite resources or the same resources … still thinking about that one.

John wasn’t entirely sure what my contribution was (my Chapter 7 was woefully thin) – and indicated that if this was a cognitive psychology thesis, my one experiment with only 38 participants could not get me through my thesis. He perhaps suggested that I bring forth more information on the remote observation – but I felt a bit let down there since I really don’t care for the remote observation as much as everyone seem to – I’m more interested in the cognitive psychology side of the students learning mathematics.

Remote observation

Sure the remote observation was cool – I spent ages trying to perfect it but it is not what occupies my mind. John did suggest however that I put in all the ‘iterations’ I had to do in perfecting the remote observation model – I guess I should also indicate my reviews of other software such Netviewer, Morae, E-Slate and Wiredred – which I didn’t include and also reflect on the challenges associated with remote observation to some extent. Also, John indicated that perhaps I can suggest why I used remote observation (besides just because I have the students) – I guess what he is saying write it in a positive light … which I could do – not too difficult to do – but I think I was writing very critical when I did those sections – because I was reflecting on what was critically wrong with them. Doug did tell me to try and ‘big up’ my work more … so, got to make it appear great now (I mean it is great but really expand on how wonderful the technology is and the possibility of using the remote observation, the merits of collecting all these multiple data streams and the use of students from various and diverse populations).

Multiple Data Streams

Thankfully, Doug jumped in (when John suggested 38 was bit small) an indicated that this was an educational technology thesis with 38 students was more than sufficient since this was with multiple data streams  (software video, text, scores, and voice) not only relying on the marks of the students. I think I have to make this clear on the onset of the methodology that whilst 38 students and one experiment is not sufficient for a cognitive psychology experiment but because using the students to get additional information such as their think-aloud and video data it provides a more holistic view of what is occurring. Also, perhaps some literature on analysing multiple data streams. Doug said I needed to bump up my references section since I’ve read a lot of stuff but it is not reflected in my references section of my thesis.


Also, John was not convinced about the power calculations – which although looked strange to me … this is what the programmes by Lenth and PASS said – anyway, I’ll await his detailed feedback on Monday to understand completely what the problem is. One other feedback was that according to John I wrote my statistical chapter as if I expected to Howell (the stats. guy) to read it and suggested dropping the more complicated statistics (well relegating it to the appendicies) because my findings were getting lost in the narrative. Considering I was taught how to do my statistical findings in the advanced experimental design based on Howell – not surprising I’ve modelled my work on that … so, again will await John’s comments on how exactly I should present these.


Oh … and I will need to proof-read my work … which I knew to be true … since I tend to skip lots of words when I’m typing and never notice them until I get back to it … and less passive voice (which I actually hate – but so difficult to write active when you’re in the past tense – it just does not feel the same). And I do mix up my tenses all  the time.

One comment

  1. Doing a bit of displacement and reading your blog 😉 It struck me how similar our feedback has been, so maybe this is a common prob. My supervisors point out that I really underplay my two pilot studies. When I started writing up, I actually wished I could miss them out! I wrote a whole chapter about them, and the latest is that I didn’t mention them either in the conclusions or in the abstract. Fixed that now. I suspect that it is a common problem. We’re at the end so what we did nearer the beginning seems less important to us, but it is important to include it. (Have to admit, my stuff does look better now I’ve got the pilots in).

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