Category Archives: Student Blogs

Mixed Methods – When Students Want to Stand Out

Hey guys,

~~ Whatever thoughts came to mind while reading, I recorded ~~

MIXED METHODS ARTICLE REACTION:

After skimming through this week’s assigned research article, “When students want to stand out: Discourse moves in online classroom discussion that reflect students’ needs for distinctiveness” by Li-Tang Yu, et al., I definitely felt a personal connection to the objective of the study, exploring how students with different needs for uniqueness participated in online classrooms, or virtual learning experience. My first question before delving into the introduction section was, “What constitutes a student to have ‘different needs for uniqueness?’

At first guess, I assumed this specified group of students to each have either a learning disability, mental illness, or some form of cognitive impairment. Perhaps, students with physical-limitations due to chronic disease or sudden injury, or maybe those who have neurodivergent qualities found on the autism spectrum disorder. Harnessing the motivation to participate in an online class is a challenging task, especially for the students who lack the confidence in themselves to speak up and ask for help. As I continued on reading this study, I was continually bombarded with zoom university flashbacks. What a wild and eerie time ~~

 I remember, although I struggled to adjust at first, I enjoyed the time spent learning in online classroom platforms. In the comfort of my own home. Bathroom break on my command. Time felt slower, and I felt more in control of my learning and weekly time-planning. My difficulties adjudging (or “assimilating”) to and back from the online learning world to the physical classroom, in a way, supports what Brewer (1991) had said about Synder and Fromkin’s (1980) Uniqueness Theory, which is that social identity is derived from two opposing forces, assimilation, and differentiation form others. This makes total sense – humans carry with them an embedded biological need or want to belong, to be a part of a safe community with like-minded individuals. Yet, humans also want an occasional ego-boost so that they feel different, noticed, and perhaps, appreciated.

I will end this blog post with this quote, “Because individuals are said to vacillate between wanting to belong and wanting to stand out and be recognized for their unique contribution to a group, Kreiner, Hollensbe, and Sheep (2006) suggested that one’s need to be unique is likely to affect identity work, which in turn seems essential to the internalization of academic discourse (Duff, 2010)” (by Li-Tang Yu, et al., 1). This quote emphasizes the unfolding connection between the need and want to belong, and yet to also feel uniquely different is a defining identity characteristic, which will inevitably influence or impact the internalization of academic discourse. By the way, I don’t know, if what I’m saying or trying to articulate here in this blog post, even makes sense ~~

UPDATE ON RESEARCH PROPOSAL DRAFT:

Okay, so now I’ll try and sum up what’s going on with my research proposal drafting process, in which I obviously plan to work on more so later today. I have a lot of words and ideas on pages right now, which is good yet overwhelming me with how easily I can lose track of my own thought-writing-planning process. As for the sources for my literature review, I have accumulated 14 solid research articles so far, and have annotated seven of them [in which are still considered in the drafting citation phase]. The seven annotated articles were thoroughly skimmed through several of times and chosen to be cited within my introduction section because of their closer relevance to my inquiry question, similar participant demographic, or thoughtful discussion on the different thinking styles and states of human consciousness.

My introduction is still a mess; paragraphs with great detail and quality content sporadically placed throughout my document. I’m a messy writer, and often write what comes to mind or feels write, then go back to read some of the research articles in hopes to revisit my messy draft for refinement, deleting paragraph-ideas that no longer serve the direction of where my research inquiry question is intending to go. I have refined my research question multiple times, and now feel satisfied with it. I feel fine in terms of finding research article sources, annotating, and finding connections within and between them.

However, I am struggling with the construction and organization of my methodology section. I’ve planned out some draft ideas of data collection methods based on the phenomenological approach to research design. I’m definitely researching a phenomenon – the emergence of cognitive creative functioning and influence on self-identity amongst Kean University students.

I’m choosing to do a small focus group sampling size of ten students, who each leisurely practice a form of artistic-creative expression. The ten students can be from either an undergraduate or graduate program at Kean. I would like to plan for only two students to engage in the same form of artistic-creative expression. This means 10 different students but only 5 different forms of creative expression will be analyzed in my study. This way I can conduct deep cross-comparative analysis between the creative processes of students engaging in the same form of creativity (e.g., two students painting or drawing as a form of creative expression) and between those engaging in different forms of creative expression (e.g., dancing as a form of creative expression vs. writing).

I plan on implementing structured and unstructured interviews with participants before, during, and after their engaged experience of creative production. For this to happen, there will need to be three separate phases or stages of the interview process. The first stage will be a structured individual interview, with some open-ended questions with each participant. The second stage will involve unstructured, conversational questions while directly observing and note taking the engagement and production of creativity at hand (individually, not as a group). And the third stage will be the reflective focus group gathering, where I pose questions as a frame of guidance but will ultimately let the participants lead the discuss on their creative experience, associated feelings or attitudes all throughout, setbacks or unforeseen challenges, insights, or revelations of any kind. My observational notes on the creative productions and the reflective focus group discussion will count as data for this study, and I will use thematic analysis to identify common themes, or patterns of meaning that come up repeatedly.

That’s all I got for this week ~~ my brain feels heavy, and my eyes now hurt but hey, we are almost to the finish line ~~

Xoxo,

Francesca Di Fabio 🙂

Discourse Analysis & Research Proposal Update

Update on Research Proposal Process:

Hey guys,

So, I decided taking on Tyler’s bullet-point approach to my own blog posts as the semester is ending and my focus and attention is now directed more toward refining my research question and writing my research proposal draft. As of right now, I have written a very “rough” draft of my thesis proposal, now skimming through my selected sources, noticing when and where my ideas can be supported and backed by prior research. My rough draft is kind of all over the place, which seems to be okay at this point of the research process. I have so many tabs open, constantly going back and forth, trying to remember which article I read and cited. Refining research is a frustrating process, but as I slowly get more work done, I feel my notes and ideas are aligning and making more sense.

For now, I paused on writing my proposal draft, as I was feeling hesitant about my sources, and worrying if my research process will come together. Now I’m diving deeper into my research sources to work on my literature review. This way, I can have a better understanding and overview of each source that will drive my research inquiry forward. As for Thursday’s class, I’ll have a terrible rough draft of my thesis proposal, and a quarter of my literature review done. ~~ Baby steps, people, baby steps ~~

Response on Discourse Analysis:

The research article, Discourse Analysis: Making Complex Methodology Simple by Bondarouk and Ruël talks about the emergence of information systems (IS), and how recent research studies have showed an interest in discourse analysis. Discourse analysis goes hand-in-hand in understanding the inner-workings behind IS and the behavior associated with handling information technologies as their purpose is to essentially collect, store, decode, process, and transmit digital information to make meaning and understanding.

  • The article is straightforward, stating the authors concerns in the “‘universal’ relationships between variables in the social reality” (Bandarouk & Ruël, 2004). The authors central focus of concern is behind the data collection and decoding process of interpretative studies, especially ones that utilize quantitative methods of data collection. The positive paradigm of research is referenced all throughout the article, which relies on measurement and reason from an observable activity, action, or reason to make generalizable inferences.
  • I guess my question here, would be is the predominance of positivism among IS studies a good or bad thing? Because, as a novice researcher, I truly don’t know. All I do know is that Bandarouk & Ruël illustrate the multidisciplinary origins of “what actually constitutes ‘discourse’ and elaborate on the main principles of conducing discourse analysis in IS studies” (2004). The authors also go as far as to demonstrate an eight-step mode or guide for conducting discourse analysis for interpretative IS studies. Which, I assume is the author’s attempt at making discourse analysis a more simplified research methodology.
  • Truly, I’m still confused on this whole discourse analysis approach to interpretive studies. So, I did some research outside of the assigned article. Of course, I looked up a working definition of discourse analysis, one in which I can understand and apply to this article. According to Emerald Publishing, the Oxford English Dictionary defines discourse analysis as: “Linguistics, a method of analyzing the structure of texts or utterances longer than one sentence, taking into account both their linguistic content and their sociolinguistic context; analysis performed using this method.” I would assume the ‘interpretive’ portion of this decoding approach would involve reading in between the lines for deeper meaning.
  • I was also confused on the term “positivism,” in which the authors reference a lot throughout the article. When I researched “positivism among IS studies,” what came up was the word naturalism. Or, the view that only factual knowledge is gained through observation (the senses), including measurement, is trustworthy. Therefore, it seems to be that the discourse analysis approach must consider the principles of both nature and science when trying to extract valid information by an observed phenomenon.
  • Obviously, research paradigms guide scientific discoveries through assumptions and principles based off how the world operates. Therefore, the eight-step mode of discourse analysis is practical in its application process for novice researchers trying to understand or attempt a discourse analysis method approach. Although I’m still confused on this whole discourse analysis method-approach (one in which sounds tedious and complex), I can leave knowing that the first theoretical implication, or step one is “identifying a theory” (2004). From that point onward, the researcher must transcribe the interviews, always checking whether the words (or collected data) are in line with the proposed theory.

  • One last thing I noticed while skimming through this article is the difference in traditional and discourse analysis interviews. If a researcher chooses to use discourse analysis as a means of data processing, then they must systematically prepare interview questions that align with the consistency of their proposed theory and allows for diversity in responses. This way, the researcher can later conduct an in-depth, meaningful transcription of the phonetic and intonational features behind each verbal response.   

That’s all I got to say for this week folks ~~

Xoxo,

Francesca Di Fabio 🙂

Let’s Talk Phenomenological Research Design & Ideas for My Research Proposal ~

~~ PART 1 ~~

Right away, specifically the first line of this research article, “A Phenomenological Research Design Illustrated” by Thomas Groenewald, I instantly could agree, and can personally relate too, “Novice researchers are often overwhelmed by the plethora of research methodologies, making the selection of an appropriate research design for a particular study difficult (Groenewald, 42). I feel the weight of this line right now as I’m midst collecting sources and research on the topic concerning unconscious and conscious states and creativity. There are several underlying subfields I can tie into this topic, like suppressed childhood emotional trauma, and how such experiences impact the cognitive function of generating creative ideas. However, if I were to analyze the impact of “suppressed childhood trauma” on the conscious and unconscious functionating of generating and selecting creative ideas, this research inquiry question would involve more discomfort on behalf of the subjects, and would not be considered a “minimal risk” research study  

So, I continued to think on my central research topic idea (the human conscious levels & creativity). I re-arranged some of my inquiry questions so that they direct an understanding toward the creative writing processes or artistic-creative processes of college students who actively engage in a form of art-expression. Perhaps, my research subjects could be students from Kean University who actively practice and participate in some form of art expression, which could be writing, painting, drawing, crocheting, singing, or playing an instrument, creating pottery, or taking photos.

I would then maybe design survey questions and open-ended response questions that would essentially verbally walk me through their creative mental processes and how they prepare to connect with such cognitive states. I would have to spend a lot of time making sure that my survey questions are appropriately geared toward questioning the research phenomena I wish to understand. I would then do a deep analysis on the recorded answers to understand their cognitive creative processes and how their creative mental states impact their overall well-being or mental health (or how they feel about themselves after engaging in their form of art expression). I’ve also considered, perhaps, implementing an in-person observation, where I would observe my selected subjects in action while they compose or create their chosen form of art. I would have to pre-prepare specific categories to keep an eye out for during my in-person observations like their facial gestures, body language, the number of times paused for deeper thought and consideration, and their overall focus and attention span. I’ve gathered around 8 research articles (and conducted studies) on my topic of inquiry.

My research inquiry question went from  “How do unconscious thinking processes impact or directly affect the formation or selection of creative and innovative ideas and thoughts?”  to, “How does the unconscious processing of childhood trauma influence cognitive creative functioning and the emergence of creative ideas in adulthood?”  to then,“How does the unconscious creative processes of college students impact their overall mental health and wellbeing?”

I realized that studying internalized, suppressed trauma will be exceedingly difficult.  However, I’m still interested in how unconscious mind states or how unconscious processes impact the quality of creativity, and the generation of such ideas. For example, when I’m stressed because of arthritic pains or personal family issues, I find it much harder for me as a writer to locate ideas and search within for some sign of motivation or inspiration. So, with that established reality, my inquiry question now stands at: “How do unconscious thinking processes among college students at Kean University influence their cognitive creative functioning and the emergence of creative ideas in early adulthood? As a result, how do the unconscious creative processes of college students impact their overall mental health and wellbeing?”

Humans are creative beings filled with endless potential and curiosity. However, when confronted with the realities of life (etc., work, school, chores, personal responsibilities), the endless opportunity for creativity becomes very much limited. Hence, why I would love to investigate this research topic to understand the diversity in unconscious creative processes, and in hopes to find remedies or ways in which to help creative individuals re-connect with their form of art expression when under stress or any environmental turmoil.

~~ PART 2 ~~

Alrighty, a lot has already been said and if you’re still reading this blog post, you are super dope  I’m going to now direct my attention to this week’s selected research article, A Phenomenological Research Design Illustrated” by Thomas Groenewald. First off, I appreciate how this research article’s aim is to educated novice researchers (like us) about the phenomenology method approach to research design and implementation. One of the main reasonings to why Groenewald conducted a research design that essentially functions as a researcher’s guide on conducting phenomenological research was because “[he even] experienced major difficulty in finding literature that provides guidelines on conducting phenomenological research” (43). So, technically, Groenewald’s research serves to fill the missing gap in literature regarding research teaching and learning practices on research methodology.

Phenomenology is a qualitative research approach that seeks to understand and describe the experiential, lived aspects of a particular phenomenon more deeply. It is evident that phenomenology seeks to understand beyond the external factors involved in a particular phenomenon, as Edmund Husserl (1859 – 1938) argued, “that people can be certain about how things appear in, or present themselves to, their consciousness” (Groenewald, 43). Interestingly enough, “To arrive at certainty, anything outside immediate experience must be ignored, and in this way the external world is reduced to the contents of personal consciousness. Realities are thus treated as pure ‘phenomena’ and the only absolute data from where to begin” (Groenewald, 43). I’ve noticed some similarities or connections between my research topic inquiry question, and the contents that make up Husserl’s philosophical method, or phenomenology. My topic question aims to analyze a conscious-subjective experience unique to one’s thinking patterns and forms of self-expression; therefore, perhaps, I could possibly use phenomenology as my chosen research method.

I’m resisting the urge to add more to this blog post, but I’d love to hear some feedback or advice on my research question & if ya’ll think I’m headed in the right direction. I feel like I’m blindly leading myself through all this research, and ahhh – I just don’t know . . .

**Link attached to image**

Xoxo,

Francesca Di Fabio 🙂

Writing & Video Game Design – Phenomenology

Hey, hey, peoples ~~~

While reading, “A Research-Based Approach to Game Writing Pedagogy” by Seth Andrew Hudson, I instantly thought about how I know very little about game writing, and what kind of sub-features that writing genre entails. I would assume, essentially, that game writing involves writing detailed narration or prose with dialogue as to liven up the setting and the characters within the game. I would also assume that game writing entails a great deal of conflict within the game narrative, in which players level up once they have conquered or solved the assigned challenge (or conflict). My knowledge of the video game culture is solely based off watching my older brother and his friends play video games, each one of them connected to a headset so that I can’t miss my brother’s triumphant screams into his computer screen, which vibrate through the thin walls of our home (lol). From my direct observations, I’ve concluded that whatever kind of video game is being played – singular, multiplayer, or a free-roaming-role-playing game (open world games like GTA), that involves some form of fighting, battling, adventuring on quests, playing sports, or racing – all often call for setting up missions and changing levels.

So, inevitably, the game writer and narration designers are pushed to think outside the lines of the stereotypical plot arc of “good story telling.” The characters are essentially faced with a consistent inability (through failed quests or challenges) to achieve a noteworthy success, multiple times over. And if the players happen to be skilled in mastering challenges, the following levels must be more complex in design, like maybe including multi-step conflict challenges within one level, adding more characters into the video game storyline, or altering or inserting more pathways, rewards, consequences, or obstacles for each video game character, (depending on the player’s already-mastered levels or challenges, of course). I feel like writing a video game would feel similar to writing a ginormous, never-ending, action-packed, book series. I can imagine video game writing being very competitive in nature and extremely anxiety-inducing, as the writer must continuously write new creative plot ideas or paths or levels for characters to choose from, especially when there really are no successful teaching frameworks offered within this genre of writing.

The main problem in question for Hudson’s study seems to be that there are no effective pedagogies or theoretical frameworks to teach effective game design writing in higher education. (Hudson, 92). It also doesn’t help that there is little to no support and guidance in this inquiry-problem question from those in this writing genre community, like successful narrative designers, comic book writers, scene editors, and other game writers alike. Professional game writers within the field offer “limited attempts” on how to plan, establish, and execute a deliberate framework of game writing teaching methods that outline effective course design and instruction, probably because they were never taught themselves (Hudson, 93). I imagine these “professional game writers” used their unique writing talents and combined them with their passion for indulging in video games, and basically just taught themselves how to write effective video game designs through colleague collaboration or trial and error. I assume such because Hudson even explained how “the distance between understandings in these two spheres does not indicate a lack of sophistication on the part of the industry or of game writers. Rather, it is indictive of an opportunity for educator-researchers to engage with the field directly” (94). Therefore, there is a high demand for “research-enhanced pedagogy of game writing,” which is something new to my knowledge within the fields of writing studies and interactive digital media (Hudson, 92).

            Without delay, Hudson admits that “it can be difficult to develop pedagogies in creative fields” (92). Video game writing is a creative field of study or practice that not only embraces traditional writing features like composition and poetry, but also requires knowledge on technological design and computer skills. Therefore, teaching methods within video game writing as a genre must reinforce, discuss, and practice the importance of both of these skills for productive results. After reading through the “Conceptual Framework and Research Design” section, I’ve noticed that effective pedagogy of this writing genre really boils down to encouraging those studying the craft of writing (especially creative writing) and supporting them through analyzing rhetorical situations. Future instructors of this writing genre should also encourage them to think strategically when confronting new contexts, challenges, or situations (Hudson, 95-96).  

There’s much more to say about the ways in which institutions or departments heads can turn the sub-writing features and computer skills of video game design into effective, curriculum instruction manuals for teaching in higher education. With that being said, I think that’s all I’ve got to say for this week’s research reading ~~~

**The link to where I found the above photo is linked to the image**

Xoxo,

Francesca Di Fabio 🙂

Grounded Theory Vs. Qualitative Content Analysis

Hey, guys – we back from spring break!! (~ mixed feelings ~) ://

Anyway, this week’s research article, “Reducing Confusion about. Grounded Theory and Qualitative Content Analysis: Similarities and Differences” by Ji Young Cho and Eun-Hee Lee, was not nearly as scary as last week’s article. I found myself hesitant to open up the document and begin my process of breaking down the text so that I can see and feel what the words are trying to tell me. I felt heavy resistance. I felt angry for some reason. It’s no secret that I’ve been avoiding my blog post for as long as I can manage.

My hesitance toward wanting to read came directly from the frustrating experience I had reading and decoding the scholarly article on Network Theory. I’m having PTSD (lol). Nah – I’m being dramatic and just find it interesting to notice the inner feelings or bodily sensations that may arise when confronted with or reading a form of literature. Once I conquered the resistance-avoidance state of numbness, and began to read, I realized that this article was fine (although a bit redundant in nature), and that I’m totally okay (lol). I understand most of what the text is saying, and here I am, right now, writing my blog post. The resistance-avoidance state is now over and I’m in action ~~~ LOL

Anyway, I wanted to shed light on my initial feelings toward this week’s research reading because we happen to talk a lot about the novice student researcher and their individual relationship with research & academia in our class. And Cho and Lee start off this interesting topic, first by explaining how several novice researchers (like me – like us), “especially students who want to conduct qualitative research, are often confused by the [complex] characteristics of the two [qualitative research methods, Grounded Theory and Qualitative Content Analysis] as result of lack of comparative references” (1).

Immediately, the authors were very straightforward about the six areas of difference that emerged through their research, which made following along with the buildup of the rest of the research paper much easier. It’s comforting that the goal of this research paper is to help us, the novice researchers, and to further assist us in the selection of appropriate research methods of inquiries (especially, if taking the qualitative route, which idk, I might dabble in). And, although tedious and confusing in nature & its execution, I can see future me choosing a qualitative approach toward data collection. I don’t know, maybe I’m just attracted to the whole “holistic” or “open-mindedness” attitude that surrounds and hovers over the qualitative. Especially, with the social interactionism or symbolic interactionism meaning-movement that’s now tied into the grounded theory approach.

Anyway, the push for symbolic interactionism widened the scope of variations for grounded theory, allowing for both a creative, open-for-interpretation (Glaser) and a rigorous, prescriptive routine-like decoding process (Strauss & Corbin). But then again – there was a guy, (Kracauer, 1952), who apparently, “advocated for a qualitative approach to content analysis in which meanings and insights can be deprived from the text more holistically” (Cho & Lee, 3). What I find even more funny is that this critique is what took quantitative content analysis and transformed from it, the development of qualitative content analysis by application of the systematic use of a category system (3). Okay. . . so, . . . like just changing the name of the method makes this “newly found” content analysis approach more holistic in nature and less rigid so as to avoid forcing data? Hmmm, I don’t know.

But wait – it gets even better (& more confusing) when grounded theory is continuously defined as a “a systematic generation of theory, “or as a “a set of rigorous procedures to the emergence of conceptual categories.” There is an overuse and overlap of the words like rigorous, systematic, category system, holistic, creativity, interpretation, meaning. It’s like, are these people fooling us and is everything just the same, here? From everything I’ve gathered, it feels like both methods – Grounded Theory and Qualitative Content Analysis – can do the same things or undergo similar forms of decoding techniques or processes.

After reading through each section of this research article, I definitely noticed that the distinct difference between these two qualitative methods or processes is that Grounded Theory aims to generate a theory from comparative analysis and that Qualitative Content Analysis is interested in understanding the overall features generated by directional, hypothesis research questions. I feel like the authors could have simplified this in a more straightforward manner. Idk maybe I’m still mad over last week’s research article and ahhh, – the redundancy of it all!!

ALSOOO ~~~

I thought this was a cool diagram-image thingy that helps explain the grounded theory data analysis steps/ process:

~~ This is another weird blog post for the books ~~

Xoxo,

Francesca Di Fabio 🙂

Odyssey’s Journey

A Greek Mythology Poem

low-angle photography of the corner of brown concrete pillars.

The Odyssey, attributed to Homer,
one of the most enduring stories.
Odysseus, heroic and flawed,
his journey spans years, a witness
to the indomitable spirit.
From the trials of Polyphemus,
to Circe’s enchantments,
Odysseus navigates danger.
The Odyssey is a story
of perseverance, longing to return
To his beloved land of Ithaca, to reunite

with his wife Penelope and son Telemachus.

Through trials, Odysseus remains

determined to overcome every obstacle.
But the Odyssey delves deeper,

into themes of identity,

loyalty, temptation, and time. But through trials,

Odysseus remains determined to

overcome every obstacle.

Literacy Networks . . . & Confusion

Hey all,

This week, I’m like not mentally here, okay. I hope we can really understand what I’m saying. It’s been really hard, lately – so bear with me, here. And, then I’m presented with this lovely research article that made my head spin even faster. I threw up because it reminded me of being dyslexic and how academia scares me (which, through my logical-rationale brain, this makes perfect sense to why I overreacted to this text and to why my relationship with literacy texts of this nature are not so cute). Do you understand what I’m saying, here? Because half of me does and the other half doesn’t.

Remember, people — I’m an open book.

So, with that being said, I’m going to just write random stuff for this week’s blog post that I hope makes sense in relation to, “Literacy Networks: Following the Circulation of Text, Bodies, and Objects in the Schooling and Online Gaming of One Youth” by Kevin Leander and Jason Lovvorn.

What I’ve gathered is that this research article is an ethnographic study that follows and analyzes one youth – Brian – in three different literacy networks which were two from his school classrooms (History and English), and one from his play of a massively multiplayer online game called Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided. I had no idea what any of the jargon meant in this research article, so I looked up everything: Literacy Networks, Actor Network Theory, Space-Time Dimensions, and any other term that made me want to cry. I still don’t understand what Actor Network Theory is and I truly don’t even care for it at this point. This quote, “Literacy is a form of networking that produces space-time” (Leander & Lovvorn, 293), helped me understand the relationship between such confusing jargon. And I learned that literacy network is an expansive notion for theorizing literacy practices, specifically to move and push social practices of literacy forward so to make sense of how the social and wide-ranging text actor features form a relationship with one another in a unique space-time quality.

~~ I have no idea what I just said ~~

Anyway, I think that the environments (in school or out of school) in which literacy learning takes place are considered the “space-time dimensions,” but I could be wrong. To be honest, I couldn’t even finish this article but my failure to finish reading and fully understanding the depths of this research reflects my mental state and internal frustration with myself NOT this chosen piece of research or anything to do with Daniel’s personal selection. I usually love learning, if truly interested in the topic or not – even if the topic makes zero sense to me, I somehow can make the text relatable in some form or another.

Also, the research discussed a lot about literacy practices in relation to making meaning out of text through personal engagement and agency and how one can use the tools within the text and their spatial surroundings to help form or build upon their identity. I found it funny and interesting as I’m personally struggling with my identity (early adulthood mid-life crisis, perhaps?), while trying to read a form of literacy that does not want to agree with my sense of agency right now. I’m certainly not having a meaningful exchange with literacy right now as you can probably sense the annoyance in my voice.

Out of all the gibberish and jargon within this research article, I did agree with the concept that meaningful exchanges in literacy practices can occur outside of the home, school, or workplace (Leander & Lovvorn, 292). With that being said, I also agree with Leander & Lovvorn in that closer examination must be done to help scholarly researchers and literacy educators to “reconceive of literacy as clearly embedded in other activity structures and forms, and [to] consider the special role that literate activity has in shaping the spatial and temporal relationships of streams of activity (292). Setting-based distinctions (home, school, arcade, etc.,) and the diversity that each space-time dimension presents across activities like gaming, blogging, mixing music, remixing fan fiction, etc., offer a great opportunity for understanding differences among literacy practices of learning, teaching, and thinking.

Oh my – thank goodness this blog is technically, considered done (for what I think). I kept telling myself, “B!tc*, write something, anything – just get it DONE!” I hope whatever was said made sense because it kind of does and kind of doesn’t for me. What a weird blog post of mine. Okay . . . goodbye, now.

Xoxo,

Francesca Di Fabio 

A Reflection on Diane Seuss’s “Frank Sonnets”

Your “Frank Sonnets” collection of sonnets is a revelation 

a bold take on poetry’s traditional form as

each sonnet challenges norms with determination, 

breaking free from the constraints it once controlled. 

In this book the sonnets become a vessel

navigating through the emotional terrain and

with each verse, you uncover life’s battles

balancing despair and hope’s delicate refrain.

I’m amazed by the way you confront many themes 

in particular themes likes suicide you approached with grace

infusing wit and wisdom into every line

as you delve into life’s complexities. 

your poems offer readers a profound view 

a true testament to the human journey we all embark upon

Genre Features – Qualitative Research

Hey all,

From what I gathered while reading, Understanding The Genre Features of Qualitative Research: A Case Study by Guo, Y-H, is that this case study has a very meta-component to it, in which the case study follows and documents the process of Lin – a Taiwanese graduate student majoring in English Education – and his progression into a qualitative research community (119). Essentially, this is a qualitative case study being done on a novice research student conducting and compiling qualitative field work data to understand how his limited interpretative writing skills paired with the lowly formulaic style of qualitative data retrieval, will impact his research journey and thesis formation attempts (Guo, 115). A qualitative research study, studying another qualitative research study – OoOo, cool, yo!

Anyway, the design of this case study can easily appeal to and initiate a research learning curve for both students and professors regarding the importance of teaching and conducting qualitative research as a genre. If novice researchers were pushed by their research professors or advisors to steer away from relying on model-imitation techniques of academic research writing, and rather encourage them to study their own naturalistic writing processes – whether it be academic, creative, free-writing, or drafting – they would essentially be practicing and refining their interpretative writing skills on a more simpler level, which differs from that of research-related skills like decoding, or categorizing. Likewise, Guo even asserts that, “[. . .] in transforming naturalistic data into words, the students are actually engaged in the process of writing. Studying their research processes means to study their writing processes” (115).

This way, graduate students can learn how to effectively transform naturalistic data into comprehensible categories of words and meaning in relation to their qualitative inquiry research question(s). Especially, since the qualitative data collection and thesis proposal process entirely revolves around the process of writing and reflecting; otherwise, referred to as interpretive writing skills (Guo 115).

We’ve discovered that qualitative research involves self-centered reflection, as to clear the mind for meaningful, and purposefully driven inquiry questions that drive an effective thesis proposal. We’ve also discussed how research involves interpretive writing skills, which seem to be left out of the curriculum in favor of quantitative research (Guo 122). However, the beginning-inquiry stage of the qualitative research process is seldomly discussed in terms of its genre features and preferred writing styles; thus, leaving students stuck in doubt about their chosen research topic and process (qualitative), which is supposed to feel “freer” than that of the quantitative data collection process. Lin even struggled to find purposeful and meaningful inquiry at the very beginning, He did not know what to investigate specifically and did not follow traditional research procedure by starting from the review of literature” (Guo 118). 

Sometimes, though, too much freedom becomes overwhelming, especially if there is no academic support or training on the complexities of qualitative research as a writing genre. Although Lin chose to conduct his qualitative research through a top-down approach, I don’t think he was ever really taught on how to effectively manage and observe the continual streaming flow of gathering on-site data (Guo 118). Ultimately, I think – after reading about the outside contextual forces – that the qualitative research disconnect is rooted solely on researcher preferences, which in turn, impacts what university students learn; or perhaps, even the fear of getting lost in the written and verbal data observations; or maybe, the avoidance is due to student-homework laziness or an unwillingness to commit through the frustration of interpreting the data and carrying on with it until the end. This is unfortunate in terms of academia and the infinite knowledgeable truths awaiting to be researched and discovered.

I also wonder how professors expect college students to follow through with the multifaceted nature of qualitative research if they: 1) HAVE NOT considered their students’ preexisting knowledge on research implementation; 2) NEVER provide opportunities to learn about qualitative research as a genre, and do not offer enough classroom time to practice writing the qualitative conventional surface features; and 3) DO NOT discuss the recursive, circular nature of qualitative data, and how to avoid becoming overly frustrated.

 This lack of education on the qualitative research process makes it appear more intimidating for college students; therefore, it makes sense to why most of the students chose the quantitative approach (Guo 120). University research institutes and English departments can help to combat the prejudiced attitudes from some science research communities by embedding more qualitative curricular activities or assignments that would be thoroughly guided, step-by-step with the help of the processors’ in-depth explanations. Considering Lin’s Eastern Asian origins and Taiwanese ethnic-identity, I can image that he had to face immense resistance or confront faces of confusion from his classmates, who all chose the easy route in terms of data collection – conducting quantitative research because the data happens to seem more tangible and digestible. So, I applaud Lin for volunteering to be qualitatively observed and analyzed on conducting a form of research that he knows so little about. Go, Lin!!!

 Particularly, because this case study delves deep into Lin’s qualitative writing challenges, and his interactions with his academic advisor and other professors throughout his research endeavors. We are given insight on Lin’s personal struggles conducting, gathering fieldwork data, and writing and editing his data analysis procedure section – over, and over, again. As a graduate student, I felt for Lin and became overly frustrated for him considering there was little-to-no emphasis on the practice and importance of qualitative research (as a genre in inquiry and writing), lack of instruction on academic discourse diversity and “the conventional surface features of thesis writing” (Guo, 122). 

That’s all for this week ~~ I hope whatever I wrote made sense because I did this blog post and skimmed through the reading with a 100-degree fever ~~ woot, woot!!!

Life do be like that sometimes ~~ what ya gonnna do, tho ~~

Xoxo,

Francesca Di Fabio 