I want to reflect briefly on my first experiences as a PhD student – still can’t believe I’m saying that. The seminar I’m taking in Educational Technology and Learning Design is keeping me busy. I’m working with my supervisor on a research project as well, and those two projects are time consuming and draining. However, I feel like I’m working harder than I have many times in the past, and that feels good.
I still don’t consider myself an overachiever or a particularly hard worker. I think that if SFU found out what my principles are in regards to work, they’d rescind both my scholarship and my place in the program. I feel a bit like I’m working the system. Some PhD students have to take multiple classes as well as teach several. I don’t know how I did it, but I am grateful every day that I have a schedule that works for me, and that I’m doing something I love.
The project I have to do as my major assignment this semester is a literature review. I was feeling a bit overwhelmed initially because I have to do all the background on my subject in a matter of two months. We’re expected to read twenty to forty articles by the time it’s due at the end of October. But, as of now, my subject has been studied so little, that I’m having a hard time finding twenty articles that are related at all.
At this point, I am pursuing an interest in online learning for people in protracted refugees encampments. There is a significant amount of research done in the area of refugees, but less for higher education and even less in regards to online learning. From what I’ve found so far, there have been two projects. One is on the Thai border with refugees from Burma and the other project covers refugees in Syria, Kenya and Malawi. And there hasn’t been that much research associated with these two projects.
My hope is that I can do some good for the refugees by strengthening the higher educational systems in the camps. It is an overwhelming project, and the research can often be draining emotionally. I hope some good can come out of my research though.
All in all, I’m likely changing the direction of my blog. I want to keep it going, and the previous type of writing I was doing is no longer interesting enough to keep me motivated to do it. I’ve been thinking about doing some more book reviews. So there may be more of that coming and also generally whatever interests me related to education. I also probably won’t post more regularly than once every two or three months.
More soon to come.
Tools that I used for this post:
Pixaby for the photo of SFU — yep, that’s my school.
Thanks, as always, to Mark for proofreading.