What did I learn from my research project?

Without going into too much detail about my struggle with this project, the primary thing that I can say I’ve learned from this project is that I have a few ingrained preconceptions of “what research is” and “what research papers look like.” For example, when I’m told to include my citations in APA format, I assume that this means “read stuff and write about it, making citations with quotes, paraphrases and summaries,” but really, this wasn’t the approach that my research topic/question/process required. My instructor would probably say that I overthought this project and that my major challenge was keeping it small for the purposes of this class. She’s probably right, but I think I’m just wired that way.

I was disheveled on a couple of levels throughout this project (I wonder if anyone else in my class got as overwhelmed as I did on this one… probably not, I think I’m just having that kind of fall–like it would be great if I ever was healthy again.) I did really appreciate being able to talk to my instructor for some guidance along the way–she and I spoke a few times on the phone, which was great. Really, though, I value that kind of interactivity, so as a student, I think that a face-to-face class makes that a little handier!

In five years, what will I remember? I’ll probably remember the realization that my final project required a big rewrite. Sigh.

I don’t feel like my research successfully gave me feel of the “student experience” of going through a research model, because I had some timing complications of collecting the case study data from my students. Therefore, I’m not really sure that I can say that this assignment has influenced my philosophy of education/vision of myself as an instruction librarian. If the purpose of the assignment was to help me get my arms around the concept of embracing a research model, I still don’t think I’m there. I kind of wonder if actually leading a student through something like that would help me out. (Stay tuned, I believe I’ll get the opportunity in the next week or two. A new project is awaiting.)

P.S. I’m still not done with this beast.

P.P.S. I think that I want a Grad School Barbie for Christmas. She looks/feels just like me. Except I have her life and a full-time job, just like Real Job Skipper.

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