I was so glad I did. It was really helpful ( which wasn’t a surprise to me of course as Chrissi is always helpful ! ). Even though I have been following Chrissi’s work and PHD progress for a few years now (including being a participant for her research ! ) and have heard her talk many times about various things, it was so illuminating to hear and see her talk with such passion about her work in this particular context.
Chrissi shared some of her PHD journey with us and in typical Chrissi fashion got us all thinking in a creative and fascinating way. Chrissi is a true open practitioner and always very generous with the way that she interacts with the community. Chrissi shared her experiences of the viva itself and how she prepared including keeping a reflective diary and mapping her study visually – this is such a great idea. She talked about her Phenomenographic research (over 100, 000 words in the interview transcripts alone ! ) and her insights into collaborative learning and shared her experiences including shaping research questions and how she was able to contribute to knowledge.
I was interested to see Chrissi’s Research questions and asked her to share how long it took her to refine her questions. For me, I’ve been struggling with coming up with Research Questions that are sufficiently refined ( my PHD is a modular programme so we get to practice for each paper we write). Chrissi talked about how she kept a spreadsheet of her research questions and so could see how they had evolved. Again another great idea. The amazing Martin Weller did a fab job of facilitating the discussion (he was of course channelling the lovely Bea de los Arcos who couldnt join us last night ) Martin mentioned that writing research questions is something that a lot of new researchers struggle with and suggested that this might be something that the GO-GN website could highlight as a feature so I’ll be watching that space closely ! )
I also loved the way Chrissi kept us engaged with the conversation and focused our attention at various points by using coloured screens ( she used these at the points where she wanted to ask us to do something !) This worked really well and meant that we were able to contribute to the chat with focus and keep on task ! I’ll definitely be experimenting with this technique !
The GO-GN folk are a bunch of PHD Open Researchers at various stages in their own journeys and it was great to connect and take comfort in the fact that we are not alone ! We shared various methodologies that we are using / thinking of using and the discussion and some of the alumni of the group also shared some great hints and tips of their own in the chat box in relation to PHD Research questions and viva preparation. This included using a specific twitter hashtag – Catherine Cronin mentioned this and said she had lots of great advice and questions and felt really supported by the community. Catherine shared her hastag of #phdvivacc
Chrissi has shared her journey and her dissertation on her blog which can be found at https://chrissinerantzi.wordpress.com
If you missed the webinar and want to take a look then you can watch the recording below and Chrissi’s also written a blog post here. You can also head straight over to the GO-GN Website where you will find more goodies !
Chrissi’s GO GN Webinar