This class has been a challenge…meaning a challenge to overcome in finding and establishing a thesis topic. A mental, academic challenge that pushed me consistently.
But for this class’s first run, I think it did pretty well. We were told that this was a beta form…a skeleton…and that things would change from time to time. Our class would set the example for this course’s track. But, I do think the groundwork and timing of the course was well set; the goals well explained. Everything connected and helped students progress to the final thesis statement version. Worked kind of like a video game – we leveled up with each challenge. I admit that I knew how to do basic research, but not this intense. I now feel that I can handle the pressure of research!
The biggest thing to me is the IRB, which Clark points out in her book. Since SCAD is not a research institution, thesis work has not breached this barrier (well, maybe not to public knowledge). But, there are times when a thesis topic can be considered human subject and research. I was able to get more information from UC’s IRB and they suggested this to future SCAD students who might need IRB review. There are private IRBs, but they cost money. And, SCAD students can approach other universities with their work, and possibly reap the benefits of that university. UC is going to oversee my thesis work, and therefore will allow me to survey their patients. Plus, UC seemed very interested in this topic as well. Anyway, this can work for SCAD students as well at other institutions. It’s always safer to get on the IRB’s good side instead of doing something where work is deemed inappropriate. Journals also will not take published work without the IRB approval. Even though SCAD students may not come across these journals, ones who include human subjects might do so.
Just something that might be added for those who might toggle upon this process. I had no clue where to start. Luckily, I work at a university where research is vital to their identity, and they know federal rules.
One thing I’ve learned…go back and try again. Go back and revise. A topic is ever-evolving and is never really set in stone until that approval by the final committee. Keep revising and improving. This thinking even goes into the thesis writing itself. Listen to others and their thoughts, as this can help you establish yours.