Reflecting on my research process – getting to the point

Getting to the point and the fine line of my purpose in researching is something I do not think I always do well but this time, doing research, I am being a lot more thorough and open to where it takes me.  However, I also find that I end up with so many ideas about what my resulting project will be that I cannot refine it enough to be a good piece of academic writing that someone else can gain something from.

So how to I make sense of my ideas and my research and reading? It is evident from my critical reflections recorded on this blog how I’ve been trying to make sense of my research and reading.  I have been prolifically reading through articles based on the search terms I started with, including: metacognition and goal-setting; critical reflection and goal-setting; and, metacognition and critical reflection.  However, from the literature uncovered as a result of those searches, I started research other things such as: goal theory; judgements of confidence (JOC); self-regulation and goal-setting theory; and,  metacognitive awareness in goal-setting and critical reflection.  As I’ve read my knowledge of these topics has grown and so I’ve found my ideas about the focus of my project for uni getting confused but also refined.

As I’ve read these many articles I’ve copied sections of particular interest and relevance from them and put them into a Word document that records the article they are from and page numbers and I have now got a long paper trail of my research and reading, which I can reflect on and make notes from.  I am also recording my ideas for my project rationale and method in a separate note on my computer and will continue to develop it.  The purpose of my project has always been about helping my students to set deep, highly thoughtful goals that increase their learning outcomes and metacognitive awareness along the way.  However, as I’ve read more I’ve had my focus being refined and changed to consider looking at it from the angle of ‘what is it that is stopping my students from setting deep, highly thoughtful goals now?’ or ‘why do my students set very superficial, broad goals that do not identify what they really want to achieve?’.  I’ve been considering whether or not I should look more at the the psychological hinderances to good goal-setting that my students might be experiencing as well.

I will continue to work on a solid rationale for my project by critically reflecting on my the sections of the literature that I have gathered and see where it leads me.  The gaps that the literature has identified gives me a starting point but I am only doing one project, not several.



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