dissertation progress

Well, I have finally gotten my topic approved. I know I’ve delayed my dissertation for some time due to personal and health issues, and I’ve actually felt embarrassed to ask for more time. But, both my dissertation mentor and my academic advisor have been more than generous, and my latest deadline gives me, I think, another 9 months to finish my current section.

I’m still planning on using the TIPP in my dissertation and feel very fortunate to have such a gifted individual allowing me to use her assessment. As I have said in previous blogs Shelly Loewen has been instrumental in not only encouraging me to pursue my doctorate degree but also in letting me bounce ideas off of her throughout my doctorate program up to this point.

I had a slight scare about a month ago upon seeing that her website was down, but we have spoken since then, and everything is under control.

So, enough with my rambling, what is my dissertation topic? A Reliability and Validity Study of the TIPP Assessment for Use with Adolescents. This second step that I’m completing now is the methodology to include my population description, sampling techniques, rationale for both population and sampling, and the actual methodology description. For the most part, I feel fairly confident about what I’m doing. I have emailed the Peninsula School District to inquire about their computer labs in the elementary and middle schools and also to confirm the process by which I need to request permission to request student participation in my study. I had emailed them more than a year ago with my initial questions. However, the computer I was using died, and I lost the email that was sent to me. I’m hoping that the process will be simple, and they will be interested in helping me out.

My biggest concern is statistics. I understand correlations; however, with the TIPP assessment giving a categorical profile as a result, it is difficult for me to consider a simple Pearson’s Correlation Coefficient. It would seem, according to the little I have read and conferring with my dissertation mentor, that Cronbach’s alpha for intraclass reliability would be the most appropriate. But, I don’t know enough about it to proceed. I think for now, I want to have everything completed with the exception of my explanation and rationale for Cronbach’s alpha, and then I can confidently approach my mentor again for a crash course in statistics.

Beyond that, I am excited about this study. The more I think about it, the more I want to be in a position where I can evaluate educational programs and assessments. What would that job be called or where could I find that job? I’m not sure. I have done some searches, and have not found exactly the title with which I could be satisfied. I suppose I’m looking at a consultancy job; however, the problem is my dissertation will be the first time I have ever evaluated anything!

I will post again when I’ve completed my methodology review form.


About debhalasz

I am a free-lance writer, skilled in writing press-releases, profiles, web copy, articles, and album reviews. I also am a skilled researcher in all areas. I have a MS degree in Educational Pscyhology and am currently in the dissertation phase of my PhD program. My passions are second language learning, learning strategies, music, musicology, neuroscience, and neuroeducation. I am a fan of all genres of music and love learning more about both indie and major-labeled artists as well as the behind-the-scenes people who make them look so good! View all posts by debhalasz

2 responses to “dissertation progress

  • Anonymous

    You will be fine! just hang in there. What is your research question? if you do not feel comfortable in using the research design/meth. that you have selected maybe you can rewrite your question and use something that you can explain. The job title that you are seeking is called many different things, assessment analyst,testing coordinator (in some small districts this person does both). Please understand that you must be
    advanced in your use of SPSS or something similar to get one of these positions. The salary that goes with the position is somewhere between 55,000 and 69,000. The funny thing is many of these people have never taught students or have school administrative experience. They are strictly numbers people. I would recommend buying the following book SPSS Survival Manual by Julie Pallant. It does a great job of explaining the use of SPSS and an even grater job in discussing which research design to use. I am currently working with a friend to help him complete his paper after 6 years.
    He will go to defense in 3 weeks.
    Hang in there you can do it!

    Dr. Bryant

  • Deborah W. Halasz

    Thank you very much for your encouragement. My research question is simply whether the assessment is reliable and valid for adolescents — specifically fifth and sixth graders in a rural environment.

    Thank you also for the suggestion of the book. I will look into it! I have no idea how I passed my statistics classes!

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