This evening I celebrated, I’ve completed another assignment toward my professional doctorate. My second module can more or less be considered done.
More or less because I have to assume I’ve passed.
A pass would make my life. Because I’m not ready to reacquaint myself with SPSS anytime soon.
My second module was Quantitative Research Methods.
And here’s a secret. I consider myself rubbish at anything associated with numbers.
Time and time again I’m proven to be quite good with numbers, in assessments at work, reviewing our financial status in work, and staying on top of all things finance related at home. But I still have trepidation.
Completing the prescribed reading for the module in no way quashed my fear.
One good book I’d definitely recommend is “The Tiger that isn’t: Seeing A World Through Numbers” With context. It’s really good at getting your head around numbers and what statistics may or may not mean, it really doesn’t help with the word of variables; mean, mode and sum; chi-square, ANOVA and Linear Regression.
As always, the module was far too intense.
The taught element was a mix of first and second year PD students, which was a great opportunity to meet people who survived the first year.
I felt at the time that I coped well through the taught element. Which consisted of three days in a computer lab using SPSS.
On reflection, I may have coped well compared to my peers, I may have followed instructions really well on how to use SPSS, but no, I have no idea what I was generating in terms of data, other than it was the same as what was showing on the lecturer’s screen.
And, I think this is my failing. I am no better at interpreting the tables I can now produce on SPSS. Graphs, yes. But all the tests, and their significance. Only to an extent.
I received my feedback on my draft, and it was as damming as I thought it would be.
Because I’d left it too long before booting SPSS up on my laptop and had to relearn it.
In between submitting my draft and my feedback two good things happened.
I received my feedback on my first module. I have enough to progress to my thesis, and also a bit of leeway to maintain my average.
So the good thing is I now have some percentage points to eat into.
And I’ll have to make up the rest if I do scrape a pass for my second module.
I also attended the taught element of my third module. Which was again combined with some second year students as well as MSc students.
And reflected on the words of the second years as they reflected: “if I had this module in my first year I wouldn’t have come back”.
There is so much to be said for peer support, to know it’s not just you.
And also because the third module was so interesting.
I am meant to be on this track.
I have to figure out how I can undertake my thesis when I thought it would be predominately quantitative analysis.