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Archive for the ‘RSH9103QNB’ Category

Course completed + Looking to RSH9104B

Sunday, March 28th, 2010

I finished RSH9103QNB using the revised topic rather than my original topic. The original topic had two significant flaws – the sample would have included firms subject to Wal-Mart’s Packaging Scorecard and that list is not publically available, and since it was new research, there were no previously validated surveys to use. I will hold this topic for future research; I realized that the purpose of a PhD dissertation is to GET A PHD not to open a new research can of worms.

So I wrote on my second topic, which is based on previous research with validated surveys; however, the population included self-identified sustainable firms and publically identified sustainable firms. Essentially, I am looking at firms which are identified as sustainable and their purchasing activities. I don’t have as much excitement for this topic but my goal is to get a PhD (see GET A PHD above).

I decided to take a leave of absence for 30 days (LOA) and start RSH9104B in May rather than April. The main reason is that this course is very time-bound and many people do not complete it in time and have to take it twice. I want to have my topic polished up and the first assignments completed in April so that I can turn them in at the beginning of the course. I am very busy with work and teaching at the University of Phoenix, so I don’t have time in this next week to pull these things together. I need to do some more reading and developing my ideas and really immerse myself into this paper.

Here are the assignments in RSH9104B:
Activity 1: Submit a 1-page paper identifying Committee Members including contact info and reason I selected them (which is very funny since we do not select our own committee any more – the dean’s office does). This is a quickie turn-in.

Activity 2: Revise topic paper from RSH9101B based on learnings from subsequent RSH classes (and for me that means re-doing the whole thing). I will dedicate significant time in April for this one.

Activity 3: Define critical and unique terms; this assignment requires use of third-level headings, brief definitions, and supporting citations. I already have a good idea of what I need to do on this assignment and plan to have it completed in April.

Activity 4: Create an abridged literature review, which includes 7 to 10 of the most relevant studies/works related to the topic. I think I will have issues here because I have so many relevant studies and will have to prioritize them. This is a brief review which lays the foundation for the Literature Review section in the dissertation.

Activity 5: Measurements/assessment Paper summarizes the literature related to variables and constructs, and includes measurement validity and reliability. I am using a survey that has been used several times. I will include a section on research repetition here.

Activity 6: This paper reflects on the appropriateness of the research design and is called “Justify Research Design.” At first glance it appears to be repetitive but I will have to dig into the assignment.

Activity 7: Revise Annotated Bibliography; this activity makes the assumption that I missed something in earlier papers. LOL

Activity 8: Submit Concept Paper – this one is the real reason I am taking a LOA: it has to be submitted no later than the end of week 6/beginning of week 7. After submission, the Chair and Committee has 14 days to review it, and request changes. This starts the cycle of change and review, change and review, until my Chair permits me to to do the next activity.

Activity 9: In this activity, the Concept Paper (CP) is submitted for University Review. This is a blind review and revisions can be requested over and over. If my paper does not pass University Review in a timely manner (they have 14 days each cycle, which by the way, eats up lots of time), I have to re-take the course.

RSH9104B is really designed for concentrated work on the topic; and with two jobs + my freelancing on the side, it is hard to find the time. I plan to work under a schedule in April to do this work and take a day or two of vacation to make it happen. RSH9104B will start on May 1st with an end date of July 24th. After grading some papers this morning, my plan is to develop a timeline to complete these assignments. This will help me stay focused!

Envisioned Research Plan

Saturday, March 13th, 2010

I am working on the final assignment in RSH9103QNB:

Based on your problem statement, purpose statement, research questions, method, and design identified in RSH9101, RSH9102 and course activities, compose a comprehensive paper in which you discuss the envisioned context and variables in your envisioned research. Also, include discussion of envisioned data collection method and analyses along with the reasoning behind your selection. Finally, propose plans to ensure validity and reliability of your outcomes. The expected length of this assignment is 8-15 pages.

So here is my quandry: Do I work up this assignment based on my original topic, or the revised one that a previous mentor steered me toward because he believed my original topic was not do-able? I am vacillating! So this evening I declared a truce with my dissertation topic and have been organizing the stack of journal articles I printed in the past week. I am bad about printing and setting aside articles for a more in-depth reading. Right now I am punching holes and snapping them into my binders with alphabetic dividers. I use small sticky notes for individual articles’ author names. I have other 3-ring binders with school papers in them cataloged by course number. This all sounds as though I am organized but if you could see my desk you would not think that!

I plan to get up tomorrow morning and get a fresh start on this paper, hoping that my research muse shows up!

Warning: G-Power is a time stealer

Sunday, March 7th, 2010

So today I finished up the 11th activity in RSH9103QNB and got ready for the 12th as outlined in the syllabus:

Consider your study, conduct a mock power analysis using G*Power. Include the results of your power analysis in a word document. Submit these results along with a brief paragraph, approximately 250 words, stating the role of a power analysis in your dissertation, and why you must include a power analysis in your paper.

Sounds pretty straight forward, but little did I know it would take me way too long to even get the program up and running and start working on the assignment. The syllabus directed me here and so I read up on G-Power. G-Power is a tool that a researcher can use to identify the sample size most appropriate for the study, i.e. one that provides enough of a sample, but not too much of a sample. The idea is to find at what level is the size meaningful.

Well, I downloaded G-Power 2 and then after installation a little note pops up and tells me that G-Power 2 cannot run on my Vista system…that is, after it went through even setting up some “missing files” to run the program. So I went back to the website and downloaded G-Power 3. This program also tells me that I am missing some files so I have to wait for those to download. Then the setup informs me that I have to reboot, then it finishes setup. Then I can’t find the program on my computer.

Five minutes later I find the program and run it. And I am not sure what I am supposed to do with it.

So I spend an hour looking up the two pdfs the syllabus gives me, plus reading the tutorials on the G-Power website, plus doing a Google search for any information that I can find about power and G-Power.

I end up spending way too much time just prepping for this activity. I haven’t even started writing yet. Of course, the activity is only 250 words or about a page, but I have to understand the program and G-Power before I can write even a word!

MS Word page numbering help

Sunday, February 28th, 2010

Someone shared a some information about page number formatting in MS Word with the nculearner forum. I took a look at the website and there are a number of helpful documents and tutorials available.

The page on page numbering has lots of helpful hints and tips! One of the documents is “Word’s numbering explained” (highly recommended reading) and “How to control page numbering in a Word document (super highly recommended reading). We students get so tied up in constructing and formatting our papers, that we often lose sight of CONTENT MANAGEMENT. Even my students at the University of Phoenix get nervous when those three little letters are mentioned: APA. I believe that we spend too much time focusing on formatting and not focusing on style and content, the true meat-and-potatoes of any paper.

My solution is pretty simple: learn all the tips and shortcuts you can about formatting so that you spend less time on these types of insipid activities. Every student-scholar should spend simply MINUTES on formatting and HOURS on research and writing. Unfortunately, it always seems it is the other way around. I receive more questions on formatting the Reference page in APA than I do on locating and using those same references!

Bookmark The Word MVP Site and others like it so that you can focus on what is fundamental to your assignments; research and ultimately….


Bivariate statistics & the Little Nagging Voice

Sunday, February 21st, 2010

I finished up the 6th of 13 assignments in Activity 6 this evening. The title is “Applying and Interpreting Bivariate Statistics: Tests of Differences.” Activity 7 is “Applying and Interpreting Bivariate Statistics: Tests of Association.” Each of these are worth 10 points. I cannot upload #6 until Dr. M returns #5. I expect he will return it today because he has had #5 since 02/16 and today is the 21st. Mentors are to return assignments within 5 days.

Activity #7 is answer questions 2-8 and 14 on pp. 566-569 of the Zikmund text. These 8 questions are statistics-related, as have been most of the assignments in this class. I have gotten pretty good at using MS Word’s Microsoft Equation object to add the equations to my paper!

Stats is not my best subject, but so far in this class, I am doing fine. However, I feel like I work the problems very slowly and double-triple-quadruple check myself when I really do not need to. It’s odd how your psyche lies…”you can’t do these problems”…”you are going to miss this one”… “you are dumb in this subject”….I wish I could turn off that little nagging voice!

Snow in VA

Saturday, January 30th, 2010

Well, it’s been snowing since about midnight and we now have about 5″ on the ground.
Here’s a snow pic for you…Snow 01-30-10

I worked about 4 hours yesterday on an assignment in RSH9103QNB and am still not finished. Right now, I am taking a blogging break, then will fill up my trusty coffee cup and get started once more. I use my Saturdays to get some work done – especially in the mornings when it is very quiet. Husband and our two dogs are still in bed and I don’t have to use the ear plugs to keep myself focused on my school work. This week I teach a COM/285 class at the University of Phoenix, Richmond. My plans today are to work on the assignment mentioned above and post the syllabus for COM/285.

I have been writing this morning and just published an article on Associated Content:

Send Local Severe Weather Reports to the National Weather Service via Twitter

Be sure to read the article and tweet about your severe weather, too!

New APA 6.0 templates

Saturday, January 16th, 2010

I see that NCU has posted new APA 6.0 templates in the Dissertation Center. I see the Concept Paper, Dissertation Manuscript, Dissertation Proposal, and Topic Paper Templates. I haven’t had an opportunity to print these out, and will not until much later. It will be a while until I need those templates. NCU is requiring APA 6.0 for dissertations accepted after Jan 1st, 2010. I am trying to learn the revised APA guidelines, and still puzzle a bit over why some of the changes were made. When I received my first 6.0 manual, I read it through, but have not had a chance to do the same for the revised/replaced 6.0 (I have the corrected 2nd printing).

Today I have been working on RSH9103QNB-5, Applying Univariate Statistics. I had to review statistics a bit to answer some of the questions, and admit that it took me longer to work up this paper than I had thought it would. I’m all finished now, and plan to work on assignment 2 tomorrow. That is – either before or after husband and I go see AVATAR!

Statistics reviewed in RSH9103QNB

Sunday, January 10th, 2010

I am still avoiding turning in assignment 2 in RSH9103NB. This assignment is a first pass at my dissertation questionnaire design. I am still not 100% convinced that my ideas for a questionnaire will work – my biggest concern is the sample. I think it will be very difficult to pull the sample together. Essentially, I had thought to send out questionnaires, but after talking with several people, I have discovered that most of the time the questionnaires are not returned. The best way to do it (it seems) is through an internet survey. My second concern is the breadth of the study design. I am afraid that I need to actually broaden the topic so that the research is applicable to more than just a small group. My topic is very specific, so that if people do not respond to a survey, the design is shot.

So, I am continuing to work on assignments in RSH9103QNB without turning them in. NCU does not allow turning in assignments out of sequence so I have to turn in assignment 2 next. I am working on assignment 5 now, “Applying and Interpreting Univariate Statistics.”

Here are all the assignments, so that you can get an idea of the statistics reviewed in this course:

1: Considering Questionnaire Design
2: Hypothetical Questionnaire Design
3: Application of Editing and Coding Techniques
4: Application of Descriptive Statistics
5: Applying and Interpreting Univariate Statistics
6: Applying and Interpreting Bivariate Statistics
7: Applying and Interpreting Bivariate Measures of Association
8: Multivariate Data Analysis
9: Secure a Chair for Your Dissertation Committee
10: Probability and Non-probability Samples
11: Sampling Procedures
12: Power Analysis
13: Envisioned Research Plan

Clearly, assignments 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 10 are statistics reviews (you could consider 11 as well). So for all those who are thinking about this course but t-r-e-m-b-l-e at the thought of STATISTICS, make sure you hand onto your statistics books for review!

NCU Dissertation Sequence

Sunday, January 3rd, 2010

The course I am in right now is RSH9103QNB, Quantitative Methods. You can see from this Sequence chart that this is the third of four RSH (Research) classes at NCU. The student chooses either a quantitative, qualitative, or mixed methods class for this third course. In this course, not only do I complete assignments, I also secure a chair for my dissertation committee. My chair will be the instructor for the next RSH course, RSH9104B. During RSHI9104B, I select my committee members. After these four RSH courses, I take Comps (CMP9200), which is a course in which I will have to right four scholarly papers. Right now in our nculearner Yahoo group, we have been discussing some of the changes to the Comps. I had heard that NCU was going to move this course before RSH courses (which makes a lot of sense to me) but then I was told that they are considering it, but that has not been finalized. Once I complete CMP9200, I will be considered ABD (all but dissertation).

All of that seems so far away right now, but in reality, I will be at that point within the year!

NCU Dissertation Sequence

RSH9103QNB Quantitative Methods

Saturday, January 2nd, 2010

I turned in the first assignment today for RSH9103QNB, “Considering Questionnaire Design.” My mentor for this course is Dr M, and the course dates are Jan 1 through Mar 26. This first assignment was a book-question-and-answer set from Zikmund’s chapter 15.

The second assignment is “Hypothetical Questionnaire Design” in which I am to create a questionnaire based on my chosen dissertation topic. So I skipped this one (temporarily) and moved on to assignment 3, “Application of Editing and Coding Techniques.” This one is also a book-question-and-answer set, this time from Zikmund’s Chapter 19.

I won’t be able to turn in assignment 3 before doing and receiving back graded 1 and 2, but I am on a roll with those book questions. I want to re-research my topic some before I work on a survey for it.

I receive blog reader questions from time to time asking me how I set up for these book-question-and-answer sets. First, I type out every question in my paper so that when I refer back to the papers I know what the assignment was about. This has been very helpful as the assignments build on one another. It is simply of way of assisting with categorizing my responses. I use page break in MS Word between questions. By typing out the questions first, when I read I know what to focus on. Then, I read the entire chapter and any other links provided in the syllabus.

Most of the time, the questions are little essays, about a page, maybe two pages in length. I always use a lot of references, and follow APA rules, including voice. Of the 13 assignments in this class, 9 are book-question-and-answer type.