Thursday, 29 April 2010

Feedback received

The 3rd module started on Monday and I haven't got my password yet so that I can see the blackboard. I'll need to get on there today.

Got the feedback from the second module. I haven't studied it much but she says there are minor changes to be made. This is great news! Onwards and upwards.

Monday, 26 April 2010

Done it!

It's been a struggle but the Research Methods draft is done. The deadline is today (thank god for the extension) and I finished it late Saturday night. The last few weeks have been very distracting with the house move and the eye problems and last weekend was no different.

I went to the eye hospital on Friday, was diagnosed with an ulcer and given drops to be taken every hour all day and night! With Saturday taken up by wedding tasting in Gloucestershire I wondering whether this draft was just not meant to be. I had 1000 words to write so it was still possible but with these restrictions it was going to be hard.

Nothing happened Friday night and I woke Saturday very tired. We drove to Gloucestershire and did the tasting but were done by mid-afternoon. So I sat down to work at 3:30. I pretty much worked continuously until 11:30 with a big break for dinner and smaller ones (particularly early on) for sport checking and listening. I had a couple of really intensive hours towards the end as the finish line was in sight. Like last time it gets easier knowing you are nearly there. I'm pretty pleased with what I've done and thanks to my first assignment mark, I'm confident it is good enough. However, this is a very different type of essay so I'll wait for the draft feedback. I just hope there isn't too much of a rewrite. My lesson learnt from the previous module is to try and do the rewrite as soon as you get the feedback. I left it ages last time and it played on my mind.

Anyway, the 3rd module officially starts today. I've got a very busy week at work but I'm looking forward to what is a purely online module.

It feel really good to have effectively finished the second module before I start the third.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Still 2/3's done...

I have moved house and, as a result, things are still 2/3 done. I underestimated what we were doing on Monday to prepare for the move. Technically, there was time to work but travelling is tiring and it didn't happen. Tuesday we moved. Long day.

I now have two weekend to finish. It was going to be one weekend but we've just been given an extension for the draft of a week! It's not Monday, 26th April. This is very useful. But I will still try and finish this weekend.

Sunday, 11 April 2010

2/3 done

I writing this on Sunday evening having had two days of writing. Basically, I'm 3200 in, about 2/3 done. Friday didn't happen. For some reason, I couldn't get started. I was due on Saturday to go out but I didn't and instead made a start finally on the writing. I managed to start at 9 and managed a couple of 3 hours stints with a bit more added on in the evening. I finished the day on about 2000 words. Today I started a bit later and was worried it wasn't going to happen. The morning wasn't as focused but once I got going I was ok. Although I only advanced 1200 words in total I actually wrote more than that as a lot of the stuff I copied and pasted to start things off last week was deleted. The system has been good. I've approached each section by reading what I numbered as that before thinking and writing. It's useful because it breaks things down for me and stops me being overwhelmed.

I am off on Monday and Tuesday for the house move. I should be able to do some more tomorrow as we are now actually moving but running some errands. I depends how long it takes. It would be great if I could do the last third and then have the week to tidy things up.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Ready to write

I'm hoping now I can write as efficiently as possible. Yesterday I spent many hours going through all the documents I've created recently of the best quotes and categorised them according to section of the essay they will refer to. The plan is that I can now refer quickly and easily to the right bits when I start each section. A side product was that it forced me to become familiar with what content I have and give me a better understanding of the information. Hopefully, this will help.

I won't be doing anything tonight as I'm out for someone's leaving drinks. However, tomorrow is a study day so this where I hope to really get going on things. I hope, hope, hope that it will flow smoothly when I start. But it's difficult to tell what will happen.

Saturday I am out all day and the plan is not to drink too much so that on Sunday I can work hard.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, 6 April 2010


This is an update for the easter weekend.

Looking at the plan I made things haven't been like clockwork. However, I am pretty happy with the progress.

On 2 and 3. I did my 500 words although this was mostly copying and pasting from my other blog which recorded the group project progress as it went on. Outside of this, I continued reading and noting and decided that I needed to finish reading and noting the articles, the new/blogs and the research books before I could properly start writing. On 3, I did this for the news/blogs. It took hours but it means that I've now got all the good bits in one place on one google doc (which I can now print out).

Sun 4th was a write off. Helen's parent's came round and pretty much stayed the whole day. I could have worked before they arrived but the grand prix was in the morning so that was that.

Mon 5th, this was a good day even though no words were added to the assignment. I finished reading and noted my articles and now have quotes from 10 relevant ones on google docs. The train strike being called off is a pain but at least it means I can now print off these documents.

Tues 6th, today I've started reading my last research book. I should be possible to finish this today (which is handy as the book is due back today) and this will leave me with 4 books noted. I have another one due back on Friday and I've not decided whether to read this and delay the writing of the assignment. I suspect not.

Anyway, I should be in a position tonight to start writing with only the following documents around me:
- a document for the news/blogs
- documents for the articles
- documents for the research books
- my set text (Bryman book)
- Project documents

This is as simply as I can as I can get it and certainly better than if I had the individual new/blogs/articles lying around everywhere.

With the train strike off, I am in the office Tues-Thurs which might be a good thing for my study. We will see.

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

The definitive plan

This plan will take me to success with regard to the second assignment draft. It's due on 19th April and the aim is the get it done a few days before then.

As this point no words have been written. So things have to start soon. Easter holidays start tomorrow and I have 6 days off including the weekend. The strategy is to write 550 words on 9 days between now and 19th. The chosen lucky days are:

2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11.

The aim is the blog each day I do work.

Today I need to print off what I've done in terms of notes. As I still haven't read all the articles and some of one of the research books these won't be included which is a shame. However, I have the hard copies for reference.

Once this is done I need to think about structure. I would imagine that as I start writing I will come up with information for one section but overlap into others. This is fine and how I did the previous assignment.

I'm getting drunk tonight so tomorrow will be difficult but I need to finish reading if possible.

Anyway, off I go!!

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

2nd assignment plan

Nothing much has happened with the second assignment yet. As of Monday, 15th March I have 5 weeks to do my draft.

I set a weekly target of 15 hours work. The first week I am experimenting with a daily time plan:

Mon - 2 hours
Tues - 2
Wed - 3 (this is the final lecture)
Thrus - none
Fri - 2
Sat - 1
Sun - 5

Let's see how it goes.

Monday, 1 March 2010

1st assignment finished!

It only took another 3 hours on Sunday to finish it. As I write this I only have to change the referencing from Oxford to Harvard which shouldn't be intellectually challenging. In the end it was easy and looking back the hard work was done over Xmas and in December. I'm pretty sure it will be good enough to pass however I'm not that confident of a good mark. The section I was aksed to include was difficult because I couldn't find a lot of information. I made do with what I could find but it might not be good enough.

Anyway, I should be able to hand it in this week and now I need to start on the second assignment. The data collection is happening this week and we are in week 8 of 10. After this week's homework I need to start work on the assignment. I have a good base because I know the topic and the what needs to be done. However, the next step which I need to start focusing on is reading the books on the reading list.

Anyway, now the first one is out of the way for better or for worse. I have 6 whole week as of today. This isn't a great deal of time but remember it's the draft due date not the final assignment one.

Monday, 22 February 2010

A weekend of ups and down

I blogging here because I had intended to finish my 1st assignment last weekend. Well I failed! However, oddly I don't feel terrible about this because significant process was made. The problem was that I had one too many drinks on Friday night and this led to a Saturday of inactivity as I recovered. Also, with Helen going away it was easy just to laze around. However, I went to bed early and started Sunday nicely. In the end, I managed 5 hours and completed the big section I had to rewrite. I now only need to rewrite the introduction. This shouldn't take as long, however you never know as the source for this are new. I'm toying with the idea of organising a couple of study days in the next few weeks and using one of them to finish my 1st assignment and the other to start the second.

I stopped work on the 1st assignment late yesterday as I need to keep up with the 2nd module homework and project work. This week is the start of the data collection.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Sessions 4-6 - 12.5hours

Not good. It's been a struggle. The work that I have done has been on the second module and keeping up with the project we are doing. Only by engaging with the processes involved in completing the project can I successfully write the assignment. However, I've done nothing on my first assignment.

There are 3 main reasons:

- House hunting - We spent 1 day doing this, so that's not really an excuse. This is more an emotional distraction than a physical one.
- Consultancy - I did my first day's consultancy on Web 2.0 on 16/02/10 and this dominated my thinking for the few days prior to it. For example, on Sun, 14/02/10 instead doing MA work I did 7 hours preparing for this session. In general, I've been really busy anyway and staying late to do work rather than MA work.
- Laziness/tireness - There's still been time and there's been times where I could have worked and didn't.

Things will need to change and it should be possible this weekend. I now have less than a month to do my 1st assignment so I need to start soon.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Session 3-4 - 10 hours

This week came with a rush at the end of the week with the majority of work done on Monday and Tuesday. I did manage 4 hours of reading on Sunday. About half of the work was homework so not directly related to the assignment/project. However, it's useful stuff as it's teaching me about the different research methods.

My work on the project this week was:

- Writing up the decisions we made in the group discussion during session 3 including the finalised research questions and the research methods
- Reading on the subject matter
- Summaries of reading
- Reading and noting of example paper
- Writing up process of the mini-project in my blog

Next week I need to start reading on the research literature as well as continuing on the other things.

I aim to start earlier in the week (Thurs/Fri) to get the homework reading and activities out the way. Then I can start with project stuff.

In addition, I need to plan for amending the first assignment based on my draft comments. I will probably need a couple of weekends on this and the deadline is mid-March. I want to get this out the way before the start writing the research assignment.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Research module Update - Session 2-3 - 7.5 hours

The target of 10 hours per week has been set for each week. So I missed it straight away. However, I'm pleased with the end of this week as I did 2 hours Monday and 2.5 hours Tuesday. The weekend was a right off because my family was staying however it could have been better.

The reading for the min-project has begun, the weekly questionnaire activity was done and the reading was done. At least with this module the assignment focus is clear and can be tackled earlier.

In addition, I received feedback on my first module draft. Not too bad, there are sections to rewrite. I have a while to hand this in and I estimate I'll need a couple of good goes to get this done. I aim to start work on this next week, ideally after I've done the 10 hours allocated for that week. It would be shame to leave it until the last minute after getting the draft in on time.

Monday, 11 January 2010


I've done it! Actually it was done two days ago but I've just tidied it up and sent it off for comment. So I've succeeded in my task.

Things went according to plan last weekend. It only took 6 hours of work on Saturday. I worked from 9-12 and 2-5 and it was done. Luckily for me much of the writing was thinking without reference to articles so I just got on with it and the time went quite quickly. All the plans I set for myself worked fine but the key was getting started on time on Saturday.

I've very proud of this achievement as previously I would have been staying up until 4am on Monday morning to get this done.

So now I wait for feedback and hope I don't have to completely rewrite it.

Monday, 4 January 2010

The rest of the holiday

The daily blog just didn't happen. But I thought I'd reflect on the MA learning I did over the holiday.

I suppose if you compare it to anything I've done before it's pretty good. However, if you add up all the work I did it wasn't. I think I should be pleased overall as I managed to do the bulk of the work. Currently, I sit on 3600 words. I have a vague plan about how I'm going to fill the rest of the words but there a lot of thinking to be done. I basically have a week left but realistically it's going to be done this weekend.

For the paper I've read and written about 15 articles on learner models that have reflection as their focus. In addition (and this was the hard bit) I've read about reflection theory from 4 or 5 sources. Some of this was easy but a lot of it was hard to understand. The hard part is knowing what's important for your study and what is not. This way you can avoid reading tons of interesting but useless stuff. I've also got the 15 or so articles I've read and googledoced before I decided on the focus. Those ones won't be used in the paper but I don't consider it wasted work as by reading these I was able to think about my focus.

Anway, it's nearly done but there still work to be done and done soon.

I wasn't able to really block out days and work solidly. There was a few hours here and there and a few days where nothing happened. Last weekend was a disappointment as very little happened. However, I was plesed with my progress from Xmas to new year.