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Lightning Talk

Here’s my lightning talk!

As a child, I was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, and it has changed my life in countless ways. The social-emotional effects are often unspoken, under-resourced, and under-researched. Understanding the gaps in research about this topic, I aim to fill them via autoethnographic research.

Winding Down

Just like in a blink of a flash, poof, it is complete, done, and nearly finished.

This has been an amazing journey, as I have discovered so much about research methods and more about myself. I applaud each of you on a job well done and wish you nothing but the absolute best to come. I leave you now with my lighting slides to share with you later in the day. Blessings. 🤗

In a Flash, it’s Over

My original idea for the research proposal didn’t pan out, but I suppose there’s always a chance that that will happen in the research process. In the end, I’ve arrived at a research question that I truly do find interesting and would like to explore. In my lightning presentation, I will (briefly!) share how I arrived at my current research question and explain why I think it is worth exploring.

Regarding both the slides and my pitch, I am definitely on Team Less-is-More for this presentation. (When I have not limited the words on a slide as was recommended, it is because I think that suddenly encountering words after a few bold images highlights the importance of those words, and that is the effect that I wanted to achieve.)

This concludes my blurb! I am looking forward to hearing everyone’s presentations tomorrow night! 


track 11. Lightning Talk! (Outro)

For the final blog post of this course, I just wanted to extend a genuine thank you to everyone involved in this class. You have made my first semester one to remember. I appreciate and am inspired by all of your ideas and thoughtfulness, and I look forward to working with you all more in future semesters. 🙂

Here is the link for my slides: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1rZuuOE55pSbQo_DyTgel-CglaghltlOmHlCmUJ_xK94/edit?usp=sharing

This PowerPoint, blog post, and Lightning Talk were created with the support of Prince’s album “Sign O’ the Times” (1987).

For Example…

HalleuYah! Praise Ye, The Lord! On this Thankful Thursday, There Are No Questions; I have so much to Thank God for. As the Bible says, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28, NKJV). Thank God, I’ve been called for His purpose. He knows how much I love Him. Thus often work all things together for my good. These God winks are blowing my mind. Besides, Ain’t Nobody Mad But The Devil. Not you. Not me. Not us. Just the father of lies.

Okay, now that I’ve got that out of my system, as Computers in Human Behavior:  When students want to stand out: Discourse moves in online classroom discussion that reflect students’ needs for distinctiveness (Yu et al., May 2016) states, “We wanted to extend the ideas of uniqueness-seeking and optimal distinctiveness to explore how graduate students interact collaboratively in the dialogic process of online discussion with two guided questions” (p. 3). I decided, as often, to utilize some research skills to answer the questions.

Therefore, I discovered when it comes to students’ uniqueness-seeking needs that relate to the different discourse moves they exhibit in an online discussion, I found simple examples to help me better understand this theory. For example, let us consider this cute example from a third-grade classroom relating to knowledge-focused sharing time in practice. The Teacher, Mr. Levia (all names are pseudonyms), is facilitating sharing as part of the class’s morning meeting routine. He has communicated with the families when each student will have their “sharing day” for the quarter, and how to prepare at home by selecting a topic and artifact, then practicing sharing. The student of the day, Tara, has brought in a circuitry set from home. Tara’s mom is an electrician, and Tara enjoys creating electronic devices with her mom’s help and experimenting on her own. Tara shares the circuitry kit, explaining some of the things she has built and demonstrating a small circuit that lights up a light bulb.

Tara: So, you connect the wire here, and it completes the circuit.

Mr. Levia: Interesting, Tara. How do you know the circuit is complete?

Tara: Look, I can flip the switch and the light bulb comes on! [Classmates exclaim with excitement.] If the circuit wasn’t complete, the…um…current…wouldn’t flow to the light. So, if the light didn’t come on, I know the circuit isn’t complete.

Juliana: Like our Christmas lights!

Tara: Yes, it’s the same thing as with Christmas lights. It’s a circuit. That’s why if one of the Christmas lights isn’t connected, the lights won’t turn on.

Mr. Levia: Can you tell us about some other things you can build with your circuitry kit?

Tara: I built a doorbell one time. My mom’s going to help me build some more things.

Mr. Levia: What questions or comments do you have for Tara?

[Several students raise hands.]

Tara: Ummm…. Christopher.

Christopher: My papa has some stuff like that. He built a radio!

Tara: I think I can build a radio too….

Christopher: I think you need a different kind of battery, like the bigger one.

Tara: [shrugs] I have some different kinds of batteries at home. These are double-A batteries, but I also have D batteries; those are the big ones. And the button batteries, too, are the small, round ones.

The discussion continues as students engage in an authentic conversation about the circuits, where Tara is using her emerging knowledge to provide information and explain processes, her third-grade peers are asking genuine questions to clarify understanding or seek more information, and the whole class is co-constructing shared knowledge about the topic of electricity. The engaging discourse relates to the NGSS third-grade standard 3-PS2-3, which involves asking questions to determine cause-and-effect relationships involving electronic interactions. The class has practiced this discourse routine daily since the beginning of the school year, so the students have good norms for discussion and continue on their own while their teacher steps back (Wiley & Sons, 1999-2024). So sweet and simple to me. Sometimes, the simplest examples assist with my comprehension.

In addition to more comprehensive assignments and lessons, teachers can build short, entertaining activities that keep students engaged and reveal insights about who they are. We can, too, consider having fun, icebreakers, games, and accolades (so much of what we’ve done within our class session) as a comparison of discourse moves and feelings about the online discussion (enjoyment and engagement) across the semester reveal about students with different uniqueness-seeking needs.

Trevor Boffone, a high school teacher in Texas, asked his students to submit their favorite song to a list at the start of the year. Now, at the beginning of each virtual class, he plays music to kick things off, incorporating students’ picks and his own. Throughout remote learning, Cathleen Beachboard, a middle school teacher in Virginia, says she’s including fun activities like show-and-tells and theme days. This fall, she also adopted a practice that her superintendent uses for staff meetings called “Three Cool Things I’ve Seen.” Once a week, Beachboard calls out three things she’s observed about students from classes that week that recognize them for their individuality.

“I know a lot of teachers are struggling right now to pull students in. I found the more encouragement and authentic praise we give to students, the more they dive in,” she said. These are scary times, but by giving students time to showcase their individuality, they will feel safe and ready to fully engage in learning” (Edutopia, George Lucas Educational Foundation 2024). I could not agree more.

Moving on, I’m grateful that my research project is nearly complete, building upon what we shared during our last class session; I hope my paper is coherent, well-organized, and very informative. Although I think I did a nice job of incorporating various theorists and applying their ideas to the phenomenon of autoethnography. I, too, am not sure if I’ve done a good job of a feasible question topic and introducing relevant details to substantiate my position.

I think I may need to give more attention to how autoethnography fits into my research proposal. However, I still have a bit more research to do in putting my literature review together. I know I will do an effective job of explaining the theory once I have completed proper research in the library.

When my research proposal is fully developed and complete, I beleive it will be a helpful device to all who embrace it. Overall, with all the essential assistance included, I think I may have a very strong proposal that will fulfill the parameters of this assignment quite well. 🤗

Discourse Moves

I thought this was an interesting article. I’ve enjoyed reading about discourse and language, so this was no different. I think this starts a great conversation, especially since hybrid learning has become so much more prevalent since 2020. A lot of educators should’ve read this during the pandemic when we were doing discussion boards.

“Participants establish their online persona, building what Ashforth and Mael (1989) called a self-definition, of which a large proportion is their social identity.” (pg.2) In the framework of this educational setting, I think the idea of an online persona is interesting. This is not to say that it doesn’t happen naturally or intentionally, but I see this coming into play in more social or personal discourse settings.

“In their essay acknowledging identity as social, fluid, and recognized, Moje and Luke (2009) reviewed the different ways that researchers have dealt with the construct of identity by organizing these literature as five metaphors.” (pg.2) I loved the five metaphors. I thought they were so fitting to describe the dynamics and types of identity we engage with. For example, identity-as-position is where much of one’s identity can stem from. Whether you’re a doctor, spouse, parent, or anything, much of your identity can come from your positions in space or life.

“With their uniqueness theory, Snyder and Fromkin (1980) proposed that individuals are influenced by their needs to maintain a sense of moderate self-distinctiveness because they experience negative feelings when perceiving extreme similarity to or uniqueness from relevant others.” (pg.2) As someone who’s in a relationship with someone who isn’t American, I’m constantly being reminded of my Westernized views. The emphasis on uniqueness and individuality is a very Westernized/American thing, as many foreign cultures are community-based and don’t thrive on distinctness. It made me wonder what this study would look like if they leaned into the international students or even had all participants not be from America. “Other limi-tations include that we did not consider the international students’ English proficiency levels as a factor that might have played a role in their facility with the online discussion.” (pg.9) This truly hindered this study. I think it could’ve led to much more insightful results if they tapped into that sector.

“We found a trend between uniqueness-seeking levels and the proportion of cognitive to social moves: students with higher uniqueness needs made more cognitive than social moves, afinding in part explained by survey responses. Kyungmi (MM) explicitly noted that she sought to stand out in academic but not personal interactions.” (pg.9) In this setting, seeing cognitive moves more than social is expected. Them being graduate students, of course, they want to let their intelligence shine. Graduate programs are a smaller cohort, so naturally, you want to stand out more and establish yourself in the group. “Depending on situational factors, such as familiarity with and preference for topics that arose in discussion and group dynamics, students seemed to change in their tendency to stand out from or join others.”(pg.9) This also is an expected “result” of this study. Of course, comfort with a topic and group will lead to various levels of discourse and participation.

I forgot to include this in my last blog post, but here’s a small update on my research proposal. I completed a draft of my proposal last week, which wasn’t too bad. I have 14/15 sources for my literature review, so I’m almost there. My topic is very niche, so finding sources has been a struggle, but it’s coming along. I’m still deciding on a methodology since I don’t know which will feel right and leave me with much to say about it.

blog #11 mixed methods// more research proposal updates

Well, we’ve come a long way this spring semester. We have indulged in many research methods to assist us in our final thesis paper. This week, we have had the pleasure of being introduced to our last method! Mixed methods woohoo, which kind of plays out really well. Mixed methods are essentially a combination of two methods, which we have already learned about! So, at least it’s not new territory. Truth be told, before I started reading, I did not prepare myself for the reading to be about “Mixed Methods”. I figured it would be shown in the title. However, when I did start reading, I kept noticing the word “Discourse” which had me wondering if I was reading the completely wrong paper. I digress. I believe we spoke about mixed methods in the beginning of the semester. It’s a combination of quantitative and qualitative analysis. Although the reading kept mentioning “Uniqueness-seeking theory”, which once gain kept me in a state of doubt. We start with a study that involves participants from a graduate level course with different needs of uniqueness within their online classroom discussions. Since mixed methods make up quantitative and qualitative approaches, case study and discourse analysis fill in those roles. The researchers use case study to collect data, create surveys, and develop transcripts. Whereas with discourse analysis, the researchers are studying their participants, comparing, social practices, and overall a qualitative finding. ONE THING I DO HAVE TO SAY ABOUT THIS READING IS THAT, THE MENTION OF DISCOURSE WAS A TAD CONFUSING. I UNDERSTAND WHY BUT FROM WHAT I REMEMBER ABOUT DISCOURSE ANALYSIS, IT WAS RESEARCH ABOUT THE INTERPRETATION OF LANGUAGES AND CULTURE IN A SENSE. I DON’T KNOW IF ITS JUST ME BUT I DON’T THINK THE MENTION OF DISCOURSE WORKED FOR THIS RESEARCH.

NOW, ONTO THE DRAFT OF OUR RESEARCH PROPOSAL. I HAVE DEFINITELY COMPLETED MORE THAN LAST WEEK. I HAVE 6 SUPPORTING ARTICLES SO FAR, BUT IM HAVING TROUBLE FINDING MORE. I TOOK FRAN’S SUGGESTION AND CHANGED UP MY THESIS QUESTION BECAUSE MY PREVIOUS PROPOSAL SEEMED QUITE BROAD. I THINK THATS WHY IVE BEEN A LITTLE BEHIND TRULY… I SPENT SO MUCH TIME MAKING SURE THIS RESEARCH QUESTION ISN’T TOO BROAD, OR EVEN TOO VAGUE AT THAT. FURTHERMORE, I’M MENTIONING THIS IN MY PROPOSAL. BUT ARTICLES ON MY TOPIC ARE REALLY LACKING! I ALSO have already finished my 2-3 page introduction,, but i still have more tweaks, as this is still a draft. the only thing thats worrying me is the lack of supporting articles out there. my new research question is: “The goal of this study is to understand how educators in American public and private schools balance the demands of their profession with their own mental health struggles. And what coping mechanisms and support systems do they use to maintain their well-being in this challenging environment”. Now, how will I achieve this goal? A qualitative practice, as well as a personal connection would work best with this research. I will use case study to investigate and collect data from participants of this study. With a combination of autoethnography, due to my personal real life experiences from me being a former educator. As a result of my connections, I am surrounded by all kinds of educators in my Graduate Program, along with my former colleagues in the field. I have written out a lot more but this is more progress than i had last week. i appreciate all of the help from my peers. it has made this whole process a lot less anxiety ridden.

The Last Post: Mixed Methods

After reading the last article, “When students want to stand out: Discourse moves in online classroom discussion that reflect students’ needs for distinctiveness,” I started thinking about the journey I’ve been on, learning about all of the different research methods we have covered in this class. I certainly know more now than I did when the class began, and it was interesting to see how the authors of this study chose to mix together two methods with which we are familiar, discourse analysis and constant comparison. The purpose of the study was “to explore how students with different needs for uniqueness participated in online classroom discussion and to examine their collaborative interaction in the dialogic process of the discussion” (Yu et al. 1).

The reasons that a person might seek uniqueness or avoid it and the ways that a person might express that need in an online discussion can be so varied that I wondered how the researchers would attempt to measure students’ uniqueness needs. It does seem like the methods that they chose were appropriate for the task, and including surveys in the design of the research makes sense to me. But the researchers did express that it was impossible for them to account for all potential variables: “The dynamic nature of online discussion entailed that more factors than simply uniqueness-seeking needs seemed involved in explaining students’ contributions” (Yu et al. 1). I can easily think of many variables that would influence my own participation in online discussions and have nothing to do with my interest in uniqueness (energy level, comfort and/or history with the other group members, my command of or interest in the reading, personal situations, events immediately preceding class, illness, uncertainty about the goal of the exercise, etc.), and I’m surprised that none of these occurred to the researchers. For me, this study was a lesson in how careful consideration of the set-up of a study in its early stages is essential to its success. This study took up a lot of the researchers’ time and involved a great deal of effort and, unfortunately, their lack of foresight prevented them from getting a clear answer to their research inquiry.

I wrote a blog post earlier in the semester in which I echoed Fran’s concern about going down a wrong path in one’s research. These researchers used discourse analysis (in part) and, in the end, had little to show for their efforts. Because I also intend to use discourse analysis, that old fear crept back into my mind. I’m trying to focus on the fact that I am following a different line of inquiry than theirs and I can learn from their mistakes. I’m feeling cautious but hopeful.