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Archive for July, 2010

Next step – Comps

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

Dr. T approved my CP on July 19 and so now…on to Comps! I will continue to work on the CP and have it ready to turn in on the first day of the first DIS class. I will start CMP9200B on August 1!! I will be given 4 questions to answer within 7 weeks. Some folks have told me that Comps is super hard, and others have told me they are challenging but interesting. Actually, I am very nervous about that class! I plan to take off a few days of vacation to concentrate on writing and hopefully, knock out at least two of the questions the first week.

I dialed into the NCU Comp Conference Call hosted by Dr. Mary Doran on Tuesday. Each question should be answered in 10-15 pages, and the idea is to synthesize and perform a thorough analysis. The grade will be an S or a U…which means that I have to get at least 80% to pass. If I get less thn 80%, I have to re-enroll and get new questions and a new mentor. So double the work! I sure hope that I can pass Comps. If I do, I will be ABD, “all but dissertation.”

CP revised & strengthened

Saturday, July 17th, 2010

I incorporated the committee’s feedback and turned the concept paper (CP) back into Dr. T today. The work took me longer than I had anticipated; much longer than the few hours I had guessed in the last post. I took the time to consider the feedback and find a way to answer it without destroying the general outline and flow of the paper. I have a tendancy to overwrite, and so am very conscious of word efficiency in the CP. “Say it and move on” is my mantra these days.

I believe the paper is stronger and clearer now. It feels kind of odd to have someone making edit suggestions because I have been working in sort of a “student vacuum” with little interaction with mentors. I wonder what these three learned folks really think about my paper. Did they read it and think it worthwhile? Or did they read it and think, oh man, she is never going to get through University review with this thing?

For all you quant lovers, here are some stats from my CP:

– 85 pages long, including NCU title page, APA title page, and TOC.
– Introduction is exactly 2 pages long.
– Statement of the Problem is 197 words.
– Purpose of the Study is 341 words.
– 6 research questions.
– 17 key terms described.
– Lit review is 10 pages.
– 60 references.
– Annotated Bibliography is 36 pages.

So now we are playing the waiting game again. I don’t know if Dr. T will send the paper back for revisions, or send it on to the next step. I have just 7 days left in this class and still don’t know if I will pass on to the next class (Comps) or remain in RSH9104B. I keep reminding myself to be patient!

The committee reviews my CP

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

Dr. T forwarded back to me the copies of my concept paper (CP) marked by my two committee members, Dr. B and Dr. L. I really did not know what to expect…would they thumbs-down my proposal? find fault in my thinking? see no value in a study of this sort? poke holes in my rationale?

Well, actually, none of the above.

Dr. B commented on some formatting and Dr. L made suggestions regarding supporting some statements with references and moving a few things around. She also commented on some duplications of my purpose and problem statements, but they are in there because those sections were assignments and it was required to duplicate. Dr. B’s comments about formatting puzzled me because his recommendations do not follow the CP template. I sent a note to Dr. T to find out if I should make those changes or follow the template, which is NCU-mandated.

So I will make these modifications to my CP and return the paper back to Dr. T. It is already 10:30 PM on Thursday and I have to get to bed to be able to get up at 5AM tomorrow for work. So I will probably turn my CP back to Dr. T on Saturday. It will probably take me about 2-3 hours to review, plan, and make the modifications. I will also use a change matrix to keep track of the modifications and show that I addressed each recommendation.

To tell the truth, I am kind of excited to be working on the returned CP, even with the changes I have to make – I do not like the waiting-for-returned-work feeling. I wish this process could go faster! If I did not have to work all day tomorrow, I would stay up tonight and make the changes!

Assignment 9 turned in: CP revision

Sunday, July 11th, 2010

When Dr. T returned my assignment #8 back to me, he only had one comment: “Be sure to fully explain the type of research because nonexperimental is not providing full information.” So I added a paragraph and a new reference to address typology of nonexperimental research (Johnson, B. (2001). Toward a new classification of nonexperimental quantitative research. Educational Researcher, 30(2), 3-13. doi:10.3012/0013189X030002003).

Then I turned the revised paper back in just now as #9. So the breath-holding and finger-crossing begins again.

I expected more comments on #8, so I am still not sure if I will pass through this course by July 24. I wish I knew because I plan to take some vacation days to work on comps and need to get those days on my work schedule. Should I plan for comps in August or September? I wish I knew!! My life in business and academia are often juxtaposed because those in academia are on their own timeline and not prone to scheduling as we are in business. That is a pet peeve of mine because I have to schedule tightly to get in work at the corporate building downtown, work as an adjunct, work as a student, and family and personal time. Oh and I can’t forget the two hours of commuting I do every workday.

Anyhow, I am off to pour an adult beverage and sit by the pool and read a girlfriend’s new novel – all to celebrate turning in #9, which felt so far away a month or so ago.

First submission of the CP

Monday, July 5th, 2010

I am holding my breath.

Literally.

You see, I submitted RSH9104B assignment 8 just now – the first submission of the concept paper (CP) to my chair. All of the RSH course activities have been building to this moment. I think I hear a drum roll….

Yes, my CP is 82 pages of pure excitement!

Here is how the Table of Contents (TOC) ended up:
Introduction
Statement of the Problem
Purpose of the Study
Research Questions
Hypotheses
Significance of Research
Definition of Key Terms
Brief Review of the Literature
Sustainability and Sustainable Development
Sustainable Supply Chain Management: Integration and Collaboration
Corporate and Purchasing Social Responsibility
Summary
Research Method
Operational Definition of Variables
Measurement
Instrumentation
Sample
Data collection and analysis
Ethical assurances
Summary
References
Appendix A Replication of Carter and Jennings Purchasing Social Responsibility Questionnaire
Appendix B Annotated Bibliography

I have been eagerly checking the Learner page all day watching for the return of assignment 7, the Annotated Bibliography, so that I can turn in the CP as assignment 8.

My class ends on July 24 and I am hoping I have enough time to get the CP approved. The CP is reviewed by the chair and committee within 14 days. The syllabus says that revisions are likely. Once changes are made, it is sent on for University Review, which is a blind review. At any stage I can be asked to make changes which will stall the process. Ouch!

So I guess I will continue to hold my breath….

Working on Concept Paper on the 4th of July

Sunday, July 4th, 2010

I am pulling the concept paper (CP) together today. The CP format is based on a template provided in the NCU Dissertation Center. Although there are some good things about the CP template, there are some aggravating things as well. It is offered at a very high level and some of the statements are vague. There are also hidden and written-over styles (and if you know MS Word you will get that). I wish that the styles were identified in a clearer way (rather than visually), or better yet, the template should have been saved as a template in MS Word.

The table of contents (TOC) gave me a few headaches because the last time I did one start to finish was in MS Word 2003 and now I am using 2007. It took me about 45 minutes to set up all my headings and then I did not want all the 3rd level headings to show in the TOC so I had to change the styles on those items I did not want to show in the TOC.

Well, I am done with the TOC now and am working on proofreading. Dr. T has my assignment 7 (annotated bibliography) and this first submission of the CP is assignment 8. I hope he will return assignment 7 within the next few days so that I can send him the CP. Once Dr. T and the committee approve the paper, assignment 9 is the submission to the University reviewers.

My class ends on July 24 and I am far off my original proposed schedule because I had to turn in assignment 2 eight times before the problem and purpose statements were acceptable. I am hoping that the CP will not cause as much heartburn, but I have read and talked to other students who struggled with its acceptance.

It’s the 4th of July and Husband has been working on the pool – so I am hoping to sit by the pool this afternoon and NOT THINK ABOUT SCHOOL!!!!!!