Applying for ethics approval

Posted by matthew on Feb 25, 2005 in eroleplay.net, research, roleplays

People smile with recognition and empathy when I mention that I’m preparing an ethics application. Fellow postgrads fix me with a grin and tell me how much fun the process is. My supes all but giggled when I mentioned the 9 pages of tedious paperwork I found on the human ethics web page, but they didn’t mention anything about the supporting documentation required. Everyone who has been through the process understands that it’s daunting enough that they don’t have to issue any warnings. They just smile knowingly.

Preparing an application is difficult at the best of times, but preparing one in a hurry is definitely not recommended. Unfortunately I really needed to get mine in this round, so I made a particular effort. It won’t be approved until mid April, which is just enough time to get my study done.

Going through this process does have its benefits. Firstly, it forced me to consider my methodology more carefully. Secondly, it made me get in touch with a whole range of people and start talking about actually collecting data. This turned up the unexpected piece of info today that I really ought to be doing my questionnaires and interviews with Civil Litigation students. Third, it got me thinking about analysis, which has already got me worried. I need some training. It turns out that SGS offers a whole bunch of <a href=”http://www.gradstudies.unimelb.edu.au/prog_services/programs/upskill/research.html”>research skills seminars</a> in first semester. I’m going to attend a couple of them for sure. I also need to get hold of NVIVO.


Milestone time

Posted by matthew on Feb 20, 2005 in eroleplay.net, research, roleplays

Last week I officially came back from my Leave of Absence, which I took because my fieldwork can’t start until first semester. Returning from leave means that I need to complete my progress report, which is a one-year milestone for my thesis. Having a deadline does wonders for motivation, so it has meant I have converted a lot of my notes into useful material in a short space of time. The Lit Review section is now looking pretty good. It probably needs a little more SST stuff, but I can add to it later. The Introduction is also not bad, and I included some background material on my case study which I think works well. I will no doubt revise the Introduction for readability, but I’m reasonably happy with progress. It’s now off to the supes for their comments and then it comes back to me before being sent off to the department. I should know in a few weeks whether they think progress is satisfactory.


Divide and Conquer

Posted by matthew on Feb 9, 2005 in eroleplay.net, research

Yesterday I uploaded the latest version of my Project Summary, which now includes a substantial amount of the Literature Review and a framework for the other chapters. It’s the first version with a structure somewhat resembling the final thesis. A fair amount of work remains to complete the chapter, with 3 of the subtopics still in note form only (see Notes). However I’m making daily progress on it at the moment. The key is breaking the writing down into achievable chunks — getting from note form to written form is only possible in this way I think.


eRoleplay.net is born

Posted by matthew on Feb 4, 2005 in eroleplay.net

Well, that was pretty painless. I decided it was time to register a domain name for this site at last*. I have been thinking about a few alternatives to do with ‘online’ and ‘roleplay’ but noticed that the shorter ‘eroleplay.net’ was free so I grabbed it.  If nothing else, it will be quicker to type in.  The transition to the new account was painless, once I realised that I didn’t even have to export the database. I registered the domain, Joel created a new account on the same server, I installed Drupal 4.5.2 from drupal.org, tarred the files from the old account and ftp’d them to the top level of httpdocs in the new account.  The only other thing necessary was editing one line in the conf.php file to point to the existing database. Along the way we got an update so hopefully that won’t cause anything weird.

*This post was originally made on my thesis work log.