I really learned a lot about myself and my ability to put in 20-hour days this quarter (due to taking 3 classes, minimal sleep, a job, and 2 kids). The process of discovering and narrowing down a thesis was demanding and at times flustering. I think it would be well-advised to come into the class with a general thesis topic already in mind. As I struggled to land on a preferred topic, I ended up conquering major research and write-ups for four separate topics first. Ouch!
As this was the beta course, the concept did seem a bit all over the place. I felt that we focused in on the exact wording of our thesis, when perhaps we could have come up with a loose statement, then completed all the research (thus gaining knowledge in the field of focus) and toward the end (but prior to the written argument paper) narrowed that thesis statement in further.
Because of my evolving concept, deadlines at the end, including a video, an infographic, and an 8-page written thesis concept were due in less than 2 weeks was grueling….
I also found it hard to appropriately critique other students thesis concepts when I knew very little about the topics. And, while I am up on this soapbox, I am fairly sure I missed the appropriate theme on the paper and infographic and video. I made them all as if they were truncated versions of my actual thesis, when in fact I think they were just supposed to be relevant to my processes and experiences in the course.
Deep breath, phew! That said I learned a lot about myself, research, and other classmates topics in this course. I have met new friends and contacts that will guide me through and offer feedback outside of this course. I felt that the collaboration center meetings were extremely helpful and Louise certainly put in more time than I think could be expected from any professor.
Photo credit: myanderings-myanderings.blogspot.com