The impact of Digital Learning at organizations in Qatar.

Especially to compare before, during and post COVID how employees thinks about it. The aim of the dissertation workshops / action learning set (ALS) meetings is to enable you to become experts in practitioner research as you progress your individual research projects; learning with and from your set.

To be productive a dissertation workshop requires participation from all members of the group.  The set facilitator (tutor) is an expert of the process but may not necessarily be an expert on your chosen research topic.  The set provides a ‘safe place’ for you to develop you research expertise and progress your research project. Feedback and discussion on emerging issues or chapters will be provided by all set members, the facilitator will normally provide their feedback last in group discussions so as to avoid the trap of the facilitator being seen as ‘the expert’.

It is essential that you attend as many dissertation workshop meetings as possible, most participants attend all of them and it has been our experience that participants who attend regularly get better marks, are more likely to keep to deadlines and generally are far more likely to succeed with the dissertation. The Programme Team has therefore agreed that a minimum attendance level of 80% of the dissertation workshops is expected.

You will also need to agree your approach to reading and commenting on each others work.  As you might expect, this part of the process can be quite time consuming and since all members of the group should contribute to this process, it is essential that we set up some guidelines to ensure that time can be managed effectively.  It is anticipated that you will produce draft chapters/ sections for feedback from the group, circulating these approximately a week in advance by email and then printing all the work, reading and making notes on it, ready to undertake constructive feedback to colleagues.  It is helpful to circulate your up to date objectives each time you send work through for comment (so that everyone is aware of what you are aiming to do!).  All members of the workshop will review everyone’s work, you will learn a lot from each other and from feeding back to each other.  It is usual to have a different member of the group ‘chairing’ each workshop to ensure that everyone gets an appropriate amount of time to discuss their work. Once the feedback has been provided you will be expected to reflect on this and incorporate aspects of it into your work.  However, please do note that the master’s programme is based on a requirement for independent study. You must take ultimate responsibility for your dissertation and learning.  You dissertation workshop tutor is also your dissertation supervisor and one of the two assessors. Your facilitator is there to guide and support you. They are not able to formally assess your draft work until submission. However it is recommended that you share your methodology and data collection methods for their review and guidance.At the first meeting you will need to discuss and agree your approach to emails within your particular workshop, e-mail will be a useful tool to develop effective learning amongst your group. Please ensure you access Aberdeen e-mail on a regular basis to support other colleagues.

It is essential that you make maximum use of your time over the next few months – they will pass quickly and the time required to plan, research and write your dissertation should not be underestimated (remember it is the equivalent weighting to 4 other modules on the programme!). This will mean negotiating personal time where you can commit yourself solely to your research. You will probably want to discuss the time commitment with your family, friends and work colleagues.  Please ensure that you plan your time carefully, regularly reviewing any plan that you produce to ensure that you are able to meet the ‘milestones’ you have set , in order to ensure that you complete your dissertation on time with the minimum stress possible. Some participants choose to take the day off when attending the University for an ALS meeting. In this way they can spend time in the workshop and also take the opportunity to attend the LRC and to organize their work for the forthcoming weeks.

You should maintain a research diary from the commencement of your research, this can be used to record: critical incidents, initial analysis, summary of literature and on-going reflections.  If you are using an ethnographic approach, Alvesson (2009) provides useful advice on how to use this approach.  An integral part of the marking criteria is to produce a reflective learning account of the research process undertaken in the dissertation. The diary can be used to record your on-going reflections, thereby enabling you to produce the final written account with appropriate detailed examples.

 

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