Weaving Conversations

TLT Knowledge Log

Reflections on a KA

Posted by C Elizabeth Thomas on February 1, 2007

I logged in today to the Connectivism Conference that I’ve been looking forward to and one of the first posts was a question from someone asking for information about an online PhD program in online learning. As I wrote a response about my experience with Fielding I began to reflect on how far I’ve progressed in the last year. At this time last year I had left my position as Vice President at a small college in New Hampshire, I had begun working for a startup developing software for higher ed, and was about to board a flight to Atlanta, GA to participate in my Fielding orientation (called OPS). I thought I had my plan all worked out, and realized the flaws in my plan within days. OPS asked me to think hard about who I was, what I wanted and how I would organize my learning and how I would assess myself and what I would need to do to meet my goals. For the first time in my educational life as a student I was not told what to do or how to get from point A to point B. Now… this may be the way it works at other doctoral programs as well, so all I can speak to is my experience… It has been a rocky year. I was confident I could make good progress (and I have). I was hopeful I could make a contribution to the institution and my fellow students (I think I have) and I thought I’d be working on my comps right now (which I’m not!). As I think why not… it’s really because owning my own work and asking myself to think and behave like a scholar practioner has been more effort than I thought! And… of course… the research using Grounded Theory is so new and to some extent so controversial that it takes a good amount of effort to translate that research into the work I do as an education professional in higher education.

This blog probably represents the type of transition I’ve felt… making my thinking public, asking and hoping for true collaboration, and taking risks with not knowing… not being articulate… not being even particularly thoughtful… all are opportunities for growth and learning.

All in all, a great experience and a great ride. So… my goal still is to finish by July 2008. Let’s see… that means meeting with my dissertation committee in July 2007 at national session… yikes… I better get back to work!

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