Getting feedback – writing a PhD proposal, pt.2

About six weeks ago, I published a post called A Dream Upon Waking (writing a PhD proposal, pt.1) where I started describing the (slow) process of writing my PhD proposal. I was delighted to receive some very useful feedback from fellow bloggers (and as a matter of fact, if you’re also writing a research proposal, I would suggest you follow the link above and read these comments).

So, I’ve been hard at work since then and I’ve finally come to something that hopefully looks like a fully-formed research proposal. I’ve already phoned a friend, so this time I’d like to ask the audience:

If you’re interested in educational research, digital literacies, social media or networked learning, I’d be immensely grateful if you could take a minute to read my proposal and comment on it.

Click here to read my PhD proposal.

You can leave comments on the page itself, or you can use the ‘comments’ section at the bottom of this page. Your feedback will be much appreciated!

Thanks for reading,



4 responses to “Getting feedback – writing a PhD proposal, pt.2

  1. Have commented! :-)

  2. Doug, thanks ever so much for taking the time to do this! Much appreciated. Looking forward to your new book – think I shall pre-invest in it :-)

  3. I like the idea of crowd-sourcing your proposal edits, but I found it difficult to make any useful comments. I wouldn’t drop one of the two factors (cognitive and cultural) though – how would you choose which was less important? Having said that, is the sample size going to be big enough to distinguish cultural factors? will their choice of that particular course make them too homogeneous and how will you tell whether this is the case or not?

    If reducing the size of the questions, I would ask if you need to have the second question. Is it actually a question or is it an organising perspective?

    Maybe this is considered old hat these days (I don’t really work in e-learning any more) but I think that Brown, J. S. and Duguid, P. (2002). The Social Life of Information, Harvard Business School Press still gives a good overview of some relevant issues, even if some of the technology references may seem quaint.

    Good luck….

  4. Hi Rachel, thanks for commenting! Very useful.

    I think you’re right, keeping both elements is probably best. They’re quite closely linked in my opinion (well, all 8 are, but I need to focus) and seem suited for qualitative inquiry.

    In terms of how many interviews, I thought 10 would be a manageable number if they are one-to-one, in depth interviews. Probably quite a lot to transcribe too. How many would you recommend? The limiting factor would be the number of students on the unit, which I think is usually about 15.

    Thanks a lot for the reference! Sounds very useful, I’ll have a look at it.

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