This week’s blog will officially be my last thesis progress blog for my time within the MA in English Writing Studies Program. This week is dedicated to finishing everything on the below checklists, which I am almost done with. My final submission for my thesis project will be submitted in the form of a website, that will host all of the artifacts of my project. I will be publishing and submitting the site by the beginning of next week, so be on the look out for it!
Hi all! In this week’s progress report, I am proud to announce that I have officially finished the student version website! Between getting my own writing scholars ready to end their semester, and preparing for the last three weeks of mine; I was in a Go Mood. Alongside finishing the site, I made major edits to my Research Proposal, completed my #OTESSA21 proposal submission, and finished off my last major assignment for my NJIT course. Getting all of this fun stuff done before Thanksgiving really helped relieve some stress off my shoulders. Posted below is the video of my presentation, where I discussed the creation of both the student and instructor version of the e Learning websites.
Hi fellow scholars! Unfortunately, my news from last week of presenting at Research Day at NJIT will not be happening. The university has decided to postpone it to next semester. Even with this unfortunate news, my thesis is still trugging along. I did MAJOR edits on the introduction and literature review within my Research Proposal. I am currently finishing up the last three tutorial videos for the student version site. Since I will not be sharing any more of my tutorial videos into the end of my thesis, in this week’s blog, I will let you guys read the edited version of the introduction and literature review within my Research Proposal.
Goals for the coming week:
- FINISH student version site
- Add in “notebooks” for 6 different scholars
- Continue to make edits to Research Proposal
- Make slight edits to instructor version site
4 more weeks to go.. It is grind time!
Between our last class meeting and coming into this week, I have been focusing on finishing up the tutorial videos for the students’ site. These past couple of days have felt more heavier and crunch time. Alongside completing work for the M.A. program here at Kean, I am also trying to finish my semester strong at NJIT. Luckly, I was able to carry my thesis work along to the course I am taking at NJIT. With that help of my fellow communication peers at NJIT, I have been able to refine the lit review version that is within my research proposal. This week, I will not be giving a preview of my last three videos for my students’ site. But I would like to leave you all with some cool news:
- I will be presenting my thesis work at NJIT Graduate Research Day this upcoming Monday! Below is a flyer for more details:
- I will start back preparing to move forward with starting my research with the 3rd grade students within my AmeriCorps position. I will need to talk to Dr. Zamora and Dr. Charles and what my next steps will be.
Lastly, I will leave you all with a checklist of the all last bit of wrapping up for my thesis project
This week’s thesis blog post is going to be simple and sweet. I have been doing a lot of creating throughout my entire process of creating a site centered around a student’s perspective. Through tutorial videos I have been uploading to youtube, these videos are a greeting starting point with these moc version sites.
I did a little self reflection of my understanding on educational technology. It is definitely a big field, and I wish to grasp as much as possible so that I can finalize TAWP. I was also entertaining the idea of pitching my content to google; due to the fact that creation of the site (which as puts protection to an extent), on who can access the information. Would anyone have any suggestions on this matter?
To end off this lovely blog post, below are the components of my thesis I worked on today, alongside my course schedule of what I am working on this week.
FYI: My course schedule is showing the things I planned to do in advance. All other material below is me putting on 3x times the work … Graduation, here I come!):
TAWP Students “notebook”
Working Thesis Progress Calendar:
Congratulations, you are officially a graduate student! I know the road has been tough (and hopefully fun!). This is where the real fun begins and where you get to shape your academic path. By all means, there is no “right” way to go through your graduate career. Everyone experiences life in general in different ways, and school is no different! With that being said, I want to cover five main components of areas to help you through your time in your garden program:
- Get to know your professors
- Get to know your fellow cohort of scholars
- Stay organized.. At at least try
- Make everything count!
- Try applying theory to practice
Get to know your professors
Please do not let the intellect, or seriousness, of your professor intermediate you into not talking to your professor. As graduate students, some of your professors might be your biggest supporters. I am not saying invite your professors out to eat.. Maybe try talking to them after class to get a better understanding of their field of work and what academics interest them. Attempting to make that extra effort goes a long way!
In my own experience within my current MA program, my biggest supporters are my professors! From my program director (who is also a professor within the program!) to my Research & Methods professors have become my extended academic advisor/family! Through afterclass talks, small emails (and some perks of being a GA), I was able to find out about different opportunities to further my academic and professional interest. Which no bring me to my next.. Making friends.
Get to know your fellow cohort of scholars
I truly believe that this is one of the most important aspects of being a graduate student. Getting to know other people with your program helps you not just learn about them, but your own understanding/interest in your particular field of study. There may be some upperclassmen that can give you great advice on how to navigate through the program!
I was able to make friends with two of the graduating “seniors” of my program before they left. From talking to them and attending their Senior Simposime, I was able to get an idea of the direction I wanted to go for my future thesis project. Quite honestly, because of them, I was able to get a read of how professors were in curtain classes and how to prepare for them!
Stay organized.. At at least try
Even though this point may sound self explanatory.. I still am going to explain it. As your semester goes on, assignments, projects, meetings, personal life, and everything else you can think up will come to bite you in the butt! So to prepare, I would recommend buying a wall and hand calendar. It’s easy to both write things down while in class, and then transfer them to your wall calendar at home. I promise, these will probably be your most used school supplies.
I am a bit extreme.. So take this advice at your own risk. Since I wear MULTIPLE hats, I try to keep separate calendars for each aspect of my life. I currently have two calendars in my room (one wall and one regular hanging). I write down important personal information and dates to keep track of. I also have a weekly calendar I use to keep track of school/job todos. Lastly, I have a calendar on my ipad to keep off things that are too much to write on a paper calendar. As I stated previously, I am extreme and I have multiple calendars…
Make everything count!
This tab is more so for the next blog post, but I think it is vital to mention it now. Believe or not, there is life after academia! So with that said, try to make everything you do or experience in your graduate program count towards your future ambitions. Employers will be impressed with seeing that you can transition from academic work to practical work. By all means, it is always easier said than done, but try to get creative with it!
I like to do multiple projects and occupations at once because it helps me develop my understanding and professional experience. So to break it down, my future career ambitions are the following:
- Tenured Professor (English Studies or Media Design)
- Instructional Designer
- Media Design Specialist (I have some experience, but I would like to go in different aspects of the field!)
- Researcher (The Pedagogy of Writing and education technology)
Through my educational blog (this one here!), work that I do as a graduate student/assistant, currently being an adjunct professor, and other side projects I work on; I try to make all my materials align with each other so that I could put it on my Cover Letter (Cover Letters are important.. Start making one!).
Starting a new degree can be both exciting and challenging at the same time! But if you follow at least some of the steps I presented to you, it will make the process even more enjoyable!
This week’s thesis is focused on fixing surface errors within the Instructor’s version of TAWP. Again, giving a big shout out to Karel, for bringing to my attention the audience I am targeting. Keeping in mind that I have two separate audiences (Instructors and Students), I have been rigorously working on a student friendly version of TAWP. Last week, I shared two sample videos of my shirt tutorial videos for each portion of TAWP. This week I am also sharing two more videos that I have created (they are hyperlinked below):
Alongside doing these videos, I have also created interactive google slides “notebooks” that students will have access to. They will be able to take their own notes alongside the ones I have provided for them. I am not quite ready to share the actual student friendly version of TAWP, but I will provide one of the “notebooks” I have created. Below is the google slides “notebook” for Prewriting:
Lastly, I am so grateful that I decided to take classes at NJIT! The reason for this is that it has helped pace me with keeping track of TAWP student versions and my Lit Review. I kind of hit two birds with one stone in this aspect. One of my final projects for this class is to create any form of communication through any multimedia-model, along with any topic (I believe I discussed this in a previous blog). For one of my assignments this week for this class, we are peer reviewing the Lit review we are submitting. This is really fortunate for me because I get to have multiple people give me feedback on this .. including the professor at NJIT (she is AMAZING by the way). She loves what I have so far and she is confident that it will turn out great!
In all, my thesis is definitely moving forward to a positive place. The last note I want to leave off for this blog is my current thesis progress schedule:
In this week’s update on my thesis progress, I can definitely feel the express train of getting things done! I have also picked up some new digital tools that will help me further develop the student site version of TAWP. I recently did a one time app purchase for GoodNotes! I like the design of the digital writing interface, as it seems a lot more inviting and familiar with students who are used to writing on paper (alongside the actual notes I took within the application). With that being said, I will give you all a sneak peek into one of my tutorial videos for TAWP Student site!
Alongside this discovery of another useful application, I have been sticking with my thesis progress schedule. This week I decided to double up on the load of work, this can be seen below on my working thesis calendar. Alongside the calendar are small specific notes as to what each week details (of course I have to double back and put dates next to those too!). I will be embedding pdf versions of my notes I wish to share (limited access!). Even though this is the most tedious part of the thesis so far, it feels good to get through it!
Also here is a limited access of the notes I took to edit my Lit Review from last week and the most edited version of my Lit Review! Also below is one of the videos I will be adding to the TAWP student site:
Just because time is quickly winding down towards the end of the semester, I decided to make this fun little countdown as a boost to keep going towards the end!
So this is the time we are waiting for! We have gotten accepted into our desired programs! With that being said, there are crucial steps to prepare before your first day of class. Below is a list of essentials that should be done prior to your first day of being a Graduate Student!
- Make sure all materials are submitted
- Submit school deposit
- Apply for institution and outside scholarships (GA ship)
- Meet with Program Director for Advisement
- Make semester schedule
- Get school materials together!
Make sure all materials are submitted
Even though this step sounds like it should be done in Guide to Grad School: Getting your application started, this still can apply to this step as well! Some institutions accept students without fully having all materials.
I was accepted into my first MA degree without having my official transcripts. Once I was accepted, I had to send the official transcripts to my designated institution. Also, make sure to submit ALL transcripts of institutions that you have attended and/or earned credits from! I attend two institutes for undergraduate, completed courses at the county college near me, while also completing a graduate certificate… you can imagine how many transcripts I had to submit! Take into mind that most institutions charge between $7 – $10 a transcript. Be sure to have your school and money management information together when doing this process!
Submit school deposit
This is one is pretty self explanatory, but still important to mention. There is always going to be a deposit to save your spot in the program, so just be sure to pay that!
Apply for institution and outside scholarships (GA ship) & Financial Aid
Honestly, I should have posted this topic at the beginning of the post, but there is always a method to my madness…. Be sure to have a financial plan even before you submit your applications for grad school! You want to make sure that you will be able to go to school and live a decent life (welcome to broken grad student life!). Below, I will list financial option to help in looking for aid:
- Applying for FASFA
- Looking for internal scholarships available in your desired institution
- Graduate Assistantships
- Department scholarships
- Looking for external scholarships
- Sallie Mae Graduate Scholarship Search
- Search some up on google!
Meet with Program Director for Advisement
Here is where the fun really begins! I hope at this point you have taken on the initiative to make yourself familiar with your desired program, and have done a bit of research on the program director. If not, that is totally fine! But at this point, you should be reaching out to the Program Director of your program. You should be doing the following when meeting with the Program Director:
- Make semester schedule (this is where you could determine if you want to be a part-time or full-time student
- Try to start mapping out how and when you are trying to graduate (it is also okay not to know exactly what you plan to do!)
- Get to know your Program Director, they will be your biggest ally to graduate!
Get school materials together!
Last but not least, it is time to get your materials together! Depending on the type of program you will be attending, will determine the type of materials you need. Speaking from my own experience, I needed a really good computer to design on; I am graduate assistant and my program focuses on digital writing. Some of you might be fun science folk, so you may need to look into text books. Some advice I would give on that aspect is to look for these textbooks in a digital version so you can carry them anywhere! Trust me, you will thank me later.
With that said, hope these tips and tricks helped you guys and look out for next post!
For this week’s Thesis Progress Report, I am still sticking to my proposed schedule from Last Week’s Post. I think this method of breaking down task week by week is more efficient and gives me the appropriate amount of time to work on each attribute of the elements in my thesis. Below I will share the following images; All items to be submitted (along with the amount that is done!), the current week I am working on, and a pdf of the current edits to my Lit Review (this week is dedicated to this portion, so I am still making edits :)) ).
Here you can find a pdf of the revisions that I have made thus far: Lit Review Edits/Notes (so far!). I will be still making edits until 10/22.
I feel very good in the direction and pace I am going with my thesis process. I feel as though I am now set and ready to finish the rest of the semester out strong! Coincidentally, now I have a set order/schedule for all my work and school life! Knowing this has definitely lifted a heavy load off my shoulders.