Reflections on my presentation at the Temple University Japan Applied Linguistics Colloquium 2016

Hello all,

Today another TUJ Colloquium is behind us…

I want to say thank you for attending my talk this afternoon. I greatly appreciate your support, and the feedback I received afterward, reminding me of what Mischler (1990) said: research is a craft. The beauty of the colloquium is the supportive atmosphere it provides to hone our craft.

The talk I gave today is titled Think Aloud vs. Stimulus Recall: Obtaining Responses to Writing Feedback in which I discussed my use of two different protocols for interviewing my learners in my blended writing class: Stimulus recall and think-aloud. If you want to know more about these check my list of references here.   What was a learning experience for me is that I provided transcripts from two interviews: one which is a stimulus recall and another a think-aloud. I asked to participants to code the transcripts with colors denoting the following:

Screenshot from 2016-02-07 22:54:28Now these are not as defined as they should have. I think if I want to continue with data sessions. I would need to give examples- or descriptions of what these are. What do I mean about “problematic” for example? What do I mean by “informative”? How do you define a “mental  process”? I think a little more thought should have gone into this.

The second thing I need to consider, and this was suggested by a friend later, was to limit the amount of information. I gave the whole transcript, and I think I might have immersed the participants in “my data” and I think it was easy to get lost in it. The best thing to do is zero in on the important parts, the actual section of the protocol rather than all the interaction that transpired. Rather than coding, asking some pointed discussion questions about protocols would be much more rewarding for me and the participants. I had two groups, one specialized in one protocol.  Instead of this, having discussion questions and both copies of the different protocol transcripts might have allowed for a better compare and contrast. This way might be easier for them to digest, allowed for more interaction and for me to get a more objective opinion about the data rather than rely on my own.

I plan to do more data sessions in the near future, and I think adopting these two learning experiences may make the sessions more fruitful.

Mishler, E. (1990). Validation in inquiry-guided research: The role of exemplars in narrative studies. Harvard Educational Review, 60(4), 415–443.


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