Reality Bites: Tales from Dissertation Land Episode 1

So I’ve been struggling with my dissertation.  I’m working on conducting a Q-Study to create a taxonomy of CBE programs for comparative purposes on program effectiveness (in the future.)  And, while it’s great that there are so many new reports and more research coming out of the field, keeping up with all the research while working on the literature review is proving…. challenging.  I thought that blogging about the process might be helpful in order to get some thoughts back from folks as to resources, direction of research, ideas, etc. (think semi-crowdsourcing a dissertation,) while also holding me accountable to incremental progress.  Nothing says motivation like the potential of public shaming.

In my definition of terms for CBE I’ve leaned at least partially on Clarifying Competency-Based Education Terms through ACE and Blackboard by Deborah Everhart, Cathy Sandeen, Deborah Seymour and Karen Yoshino, which has been invaluable.  I’ve created a table of explanations of “what CBE itself is” that includes definitions by:

  • C-RACs Framework for Competency-Based Education
  • Hall and Jones’ definition from back in the day out of Competency-Based Education:  A Process for the Improvement of Education (1976)
  • iNACOL (from the 2013 report Mean What You Say:  Defining and Integrating Personalized, Blended, and Competency Education
  • C-BEN (Competency-Based Education Network)
  • CAEL (Council for Adult and Experiential Learning
  • Educause (from their 7 Things You Should Know series)
  • Quality Matters Higher Education Rubric’s Glossary

Any other organizational definitions I should include?  Any input would be appreciated!

Goal for this week:  Finish literature review.  This is not a joke.  Finish the literature review.  I think I can I think I can I think I can.  (For those of you without 5 year olds that’s from The Little Engine that Could.)  

Side Note:  Whenever I hit a mental wall, thinking of all the things to do, I remember 2 things:

  1. Working mothers with 2 or more kids are the most productive employees (note this if I’m looking for future opportunities and anyone doubts a mom’s productivity due to many priorities!) – Also great related commentary here by Jessica Irvine:
  2. And Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Estaire did – only backwards and in high heels.

#LeanIn #IAmTheLittleBlueEngine


Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Estaire did but backwards and in high heels


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