During the uni block last week, we received our marks for our project proposals. I’m happy with my result, as that’s now 20% of the project safely passed. While I definitely could have done better, the mark I got seems completely fair- especially as this assignment is a rare occasion when the feedback and marks actually make sense together.
(On my last course we often didn’t receive any feedback, or feedback delayed for so long that it was irrelevant on arrival…although, there were over 200 people on my course last time, which usually explained the delay. This time around, it’s been a lot easier to get feedback. The issue has instead been dissonance between the comments and the actual score: our radio project with solely positive feedback received a low pass, while my writing portfolio received such detailed feedback of its weaknesses that I was surprised it actually received a good score.)
For the project proposal, the majority of complaints were because I wrote the proposal as if it was to someone already knowledgeable about open education and open ideas, so skipped over necessary information and context. Reading it back, that lack of audience awareness is noticeable, so I’m annoyed I didn’t spot that before submission.
The other major criticism is that my research question is still a bit fuzzy. Reading back through… that’s a very good point, and something I need to fix before I progress any further on the project.
Part of the fuzziness is the reason I’m studying this question in the first place- open education, open science, open data etc. are all areas with ambiguous boundaries, multiple definitions, and overlapping concepts. So any attempt to look at open ideas has to deal with that noise to find how to reduce it.
Unfortunately, the other reason for fuzziness is that I haven’t explained myself very well. I have the bundle of ideas jumbled up, but still need to unravel them. I mostly need to bounce ideas from my supervisor, to make sure we’re both clear what the question actually means.
Realising where I need to improve the question is annoying in part, as I also received ethical approval last week, which means that as soon as my questionnaire is finished I can release it.
But thanks to a combination of forgetting when staff annual leave was, and my slow progress on wording the potential questions, the planned project timetable was pretty much invalid by the day after it was made, so any extra delay is not great.
Having said that, it could be going a lot worse, and having a project that will deliver research on a really under-studied area means I really want to get this done as well as possible.