On Friday night I drove up to the Walden residency in Los Angeles to meet with my dissertation committee chair, Dr. Joe Nolan. I finished my residency units in the summer of 2005, but I’d been using this particular event as a self imposed deadline for finishing the second draft of my proposal (chapters 1-3 of the dissertation, including the literature review).
In my case, this second draft was a lot of work. I turned in a 423 page first draft. My committee really tore into it and left me a lot of good feedback and suggestions for tightening it up. (Dr. Jose Quiles highlighted every paragraph to indicate whether it should be kept, severly shortened, or cut altogether… and Dr. MaryFriend Shepard inserted comments throughout, catching far more APA errors than I thought possible.) In the end, I managed to get it down to a much more reasonable 89 pages. I cut half my research questions (sub-questions actually) to make this possible, so the study is now strictly focused on how games can support constructivist learning. There is also a section on social change, of course. I cut all the game design and organizational change sections. I also cut every single block quote (except for one), and cut most direct quotes in favor of very succinct paraphrasing. Some whole subsections were casualties as well.
As usual, I’m interested in any feedback anyone can offer on this draft. Not that I’ll be making any more changes (if I can help it), but all of this will be rewritten again for the final dissertation – and of course, I’m passionate about the topic, so I want to get it right… and hear dissenting opinions. So, here is the new proposal:
I’ve also updated my IRB docs: