Dissertation Proposal

Into the Edu-verse: Early-Career Educators Seeking Induction Support on Social Media

On November 26, 2019, I successfully defended my dissertation proposal for my PhD in Educational Psychology and Educational Technology through Michigan State University’s College of Education. You can scroll through my slides below (use the arrow keys) or view them here.

At the end of the defense, I asked my committee for advice on sustaining a project as large as the dissertation, and they offered some great wisdom. I thought I should share:

  • Set the dissertation as your job.
    • The dissertation gets first priority and best energy.
    • Touch the dissertation every day. It takes a lot of mental energy to get back into it after being away for a while.
  • The dissertation will happen when you want it to. The writing is not linear, but often happens in bursts when motivation is high.
    • Sometimes the data will energize your writing, so lean into that.
    • Other times, the data will be depressing. Reach out to a committee member to chat when that happens.
  • Plan vacations and be intentional about time away from the dissertation.
  • Start or join a writing group.
    • Swap bits of writing and coded data for analysis.
    • Exchange services as second coders for inter-rater reliability purposes.
K. Bret Staudt Willet
PhD Candidate

My research focuses on networked learning—specifically, how social media platforms can support induction and ongoing professional learning for K-20 educators.