Category: Uni

Academic Update- July (and Graduation)

Academic Update- July (and Graduation)

As of yesterday, I have graduated from my MSc. So now I’m a … post-graduate? double-graduate? (Someone with more degrees than sense- probably!)

I found the day a little odd, thanks to being in the mildly-uncommon situation of graduating from the same university twice. I experienced a few déjà vu moments as a result. Yet some parts of the day were different. The biggest difference was size: in 2014 I graduated in a class of 200, in a ceremony dedicated to psychology qualifications. Yesterday I was one of a class of 9 (7 of us were at the ceremony). We shared a ceremony with one standard-sized group – biological sciences – and other tiny, specialist, and/or interdisciplinary subjects.

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This week I went to my first academic conference, OER17, to present my MSc research.

Having never been before, I wasn’t sure what to expect- I’d only been told “this is a bunch of people who want to change the world”. That didn’t help me prepare, but it did sound interesting.

After attending, I can fairly confidently say that expression was not hyperbole- everyone was incredibly motivated about their projects, and equally supportive of each others’ projects. While presentations aren’t a comfortable experience for me,  the experience was valuable: I’m glad I was encouraged to apply in the first place, and that I listened.

Now, to process the ideas I learned about over the last two days.

P.S. If anyone is curious about what I did, my presentation slides are up on Google Drive, as well as two versions of the questionnaire I developed for my research. The Word doc is an exact copy of the version my participants took through Qualtrics, and the PDF version solely contains the questions.

Academic Update- February 2017

November’s deadlines were supposed to mark the unofficial end of my MSc. However, I’m going to be in academic-land for a little longer now, as I’ve been offered two really cool opportunities involving my MSc work. (So these should really just be called academic updates now…).

The first opportunity I’ve been given is presenting my findings at a conference on Open Educational Resources in April. That’s somewhere between awesome and terrifying right now, especially as I’m really not a fan of presentations, and that I wasn’t  expecting to be accepted when I applied!

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Uni Update- November

On November 15th I handed in my dissertation, and officially completed my MSc.

Having finished is a strange concept; I haven’t got used to not spending most of the day writing yet. Not spending all my time thinking about my dissertation and the ideas surrounding it also means I’m catching up with a lot of ideas I had been ignoring (and plenty of tasks I had been ignoring too).

It also means I’ve had some time to think about the dissertation module as a whole and about elements I wish I’d done differently.  Beyond the obvious wish that I’d procrastinated less, one part that I know I would change is supervision.
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Uni Update – October (Part 2)

I’ve now received the marks back for my presentation from Tuesday, so that’s two out of three dissertation elements complete.

While my actual score (62, one mark higher than my proposal score) was unexpectedly high, the feedback I received was what I had already assumed: the weakest point by far was in not explaining my sample and method clearly enough, while the strongest point was in how I explained my results. Also, the feedback said I made sense of why the research is taking place within UWE and right now- that I got its relevance across and connected it to the study aims. I’m glad I got that feedback, as I struggled with explaining the research relevance in my proposal, so to know I successfully communicated it this time is reassuring.

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Uni Update- October

Uni Update- October

I’m now in the final month of dissertation writing, and thanks to  completing my presentation defence today, I’m 20% closer to finishing the overall project too.

Overall, I think the defence went quite well- given how long I took to get it finished, things could easily have gone very wrong. I only finished the script on the morning- repeatedly changing my mind about how much context and history I needed to include, combined with doubting my ability to explain the idea well, meant I’d repeatedly put it off until I felt more confident about what I was doing. In hindsight, that was a really bad idea, and I got lucky.

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Uni Update- July

This month I’ve finally been able to release my questionnaire, which is a relief.

After my and my supervisor’s attempts at piloting gained a grand total of 7 participants, I wasn’t feeling optimistic. But checking over the results from the 7 pilots showed that my questions were well-designed, and worked better than expected.

I’d expected that I would have to revise the survey inbetween piloting and releasing, but my alpha scores were high enough (a fixable 0.655 for the lowest section, up to a surprising 0.926 for one section) that we could release it straight away.
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Uni Update- June

The majority of my MSc time is now officially over, as a few days ago we received our finalised marks for our completed modules. I got a Merit, with an overall average of 64% (and my 90-second-late essay was reprieved, which was nice). Due to how our marking system works, the maximum I can now get is a Merit even if I somehow aced the dissertation. I’m finding that knowledge helpful- it means I can’t be worrying about trying to reach a grade that’s actually impossible to reach.

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Uni Update- May

May was a big month in uni terms, as we had three difficult assignments, forming an entire module. We also had our last taught lecture block, so technically we finished uni on May 7th.

Our final day of uni started with the group presentations we had been preparing since the start of April. While presentations are my least-favourite type of assignment, I wasn’t excessively scared about this one, as we’d been able to go through our scripts multiple times and work on each others answers.

We ended up with a Distinction for our presentation, which I’m very happy about; normally hearing the word “presentation” sends all expectations about doing well straight out of the window, so to do well on one was surprising.
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