Using the APA Level Heading Outline

Most dissertation students at one point or another become overwhelmed during research process. For many this happens during the review of the literature. There are so many articles to identify, obtain, and then organize. Therefore, it is important to have a system that builds your confidence that the articles you find you’ll be able to locate when it comes time to read and write. May I suggest a system that starts with the development of what I call the APA level heading outline?

APA Level Heading Outline

When organizing to write your dissertation proposal, I recommend you use an outline. The outline should align with the appropriate Walden checklist for your methodology and the headings in the outline should be formatted as they are in the dissertation template; level 1 headings (centered, bold, and title case) and level two headings when necessary (left justified, bold and title case). All of the headings are predetermined for you except for the ones in the literature review. Work with your chair to determine your level 1 literature review headings. The headings should provide a full description of the topics covered by your research questions. Here is the template version I give my mentees to individualize for their own study.

OutlineAPAProposal

Outline3Pages

Using the outline provides several benefits. First, it helps you to know all the elements that required for the final product. If you consider each level 1 heading as its own mini-paper, the whole process seems less daunting. You can also use the outline as a task-list, and “check” headings off as you write them. I keep an outline for each of my mentees and I change the text color of the completed heading and insert a comment bubble with the date I approved that heading. This provides us with a bird’s-eye-view of what’s been done, and what still needs to be done. Last, I suggest the outline be used to help you tag articles for where in the paper you’re likely to need it.

For example, if a study has the research question:

How effective is technology-enhanced feedback given to doctoral students during the dissertation writing process?

the following APA level 1 headings might be used to organize the Literature review.

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Twitter as Teacher PD Part 2

In part 1 of my series titled “Twitter for Innovative Thinkers,” I shared a tutorial titled Educator’s Guide to Twitter: The Profile Page. In that video I provide an explanation of how Twitter is used by the movers and shakers in education, and did my best to convince you that Twitter is really a gold mine of professional development. I’m now introducing Part 2 of the series, and I’ve titled this one “Hashtags and other Twitter Terms I don’t know.”

In this tutorial, I walk you through the elements of a tweet, so that you can be an intelligent consumer of information you come across on Twitter. I also provide tips for when you’re ready to move into the contributing phase of social media and show you how to engage with tweets responsibly. By the end of this tutorial, You’ll be able to use hashtags to find new people to follow, and have a strategic plan in how to connect with some amazing people on Twitter.

I will also take this time to share my favorite people to follow.

@alicekeeler = Alice Keeler Google Certified Teacher

@gcouros = George Couros author of “The Innovator’s Mindset”

@cultofpedagogy = Jennifer Gonzalez co-author of “Hacking Education”

And my favorite Hashtags

#WUInnCurr – our EDPD 8012 course hashtag. As you find resources that align with topics of our course related to Innovative Curriculum, share them with us by using this tag.

#innovatorsmindset – George Couros’ book title and all things innovative

#TTOG – teachers throwing out grades

#21stedchat – 21st century education discussion

#edsocialmedia – using social media in the classroom

#hacklearning – great innovative ideas and I LOVE their Twitter chats

#TEDedChat – Discussion about Ted Ed topics

#globaled – globally connected educators

#edumatch – connecting educators to educators

If my tutorials have helped motivate you to spread your wings and reach out on Twitter, let me know. My Twitter handle is @djSTEMmom. I’ll see you soon!

Twitter as Professional Development

As a PhD candidate, maybe you think you’re above Twitter. Maybe you’ve only seen it used for egotistical self promotion, or worse just to share with the world what someone ate for lunch. However, I’m here to say that Twitter is actually the best way to connect quickly with teachers of like-mindedness, as well as with teachers who will boggle your mind with what they do in their classroom. Twitter is a powerful learning tool for educators.

While George Couros, author of Innovator’s Mindset, doesn’t say you HAVE to be on Twitter to be innovative, he has said, that many teachers who are innovative happen to be on Twitter. There’s just something about connecting with other educators around the world that helps us to have a more balanced and global approach to what we do in the classroom.

To encourage you to consider Twitter as a viable professional development (PD) tool, I’ve   started a tutorial series titled “Twitter for Innovative Thinkers.” Part 1 is called “Educator’s Guide to Twitter: The Profile Page.”  In this first tutorial I explain how Twitter is used by innovative people (compared to popular culture) and  I then go through the elements of a Twitter profile page to prepare YOU to set up our own account.

In Part 2 titled “Hashtags and other Twitter Terms I Don’t Know” I will share the construction of a tweet along with the importance of a hashtag.  Coming soon.

I double-dog dare you to open a Twitter account today and begin experiencing learning (as a teacher) like never before! Have Fun!

~Dr. Darci Harland

AutoCorrect: Save Time and Finger Jams

Why Use Autocorrect?

When I was writing my dissertation, there were certain words my fingers just didn’t like to type. One such word was “asynchronous.” And unfortunately it was in the title of my study, and I used it A LOT. I have since found a wonderful tool embedded in Word where you can “teach” your computer to auto-correct words for you! Imagine how great it would be if all I had to do was type asy/ and “asynchronous discussions” would automatically appear. Imagine the efficiency!

What Does AutoCorrect Do?  AutoCorrect allows you to assign a “text tag” to be replaced with a text of your choosing.

How Can You Use AutoCorrect? I like to use AutoCorrect to speed up my grading. For example, when I come across a sentence where the ideas are not clear, I insert a new comment and type

huh/

and Word replaces it with

I’m not sure what this means. Please rephrase for clarity.

 See how much nicer that sounds?

Here’s another example I use a lot. (Maybe I’ve used it on one of your papers?) I type in

anthro/

and Word replaces it with

This is an example of an anthropomorphism. Theories, concepts, paper sections, and literature reviews can’t “do” anything. Work on rephrasing this. See Walden Writing Center Website and this blog post

Notice I can include links? Are you starting to get a feel of the power of this tool? Read on to figure out how to make it work for you during the dissertation phase.

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Power of Google Scholar for PhD Students

If you haven’t yet harnessed the power of Google Scholar, you need to. There are lots of little ways that Google Scholar can help you find what you are looking for, and to help you reach “saturation” of the literature. Walden library suggests you use Google Scholar to supplement your database searches, not replace them!The Power of Google Scholar for PhD Students

#1 Tip: Pay attention to the links under the citation.

Use the “Cite” link to find the APA formatted reference. Always double check it, as it may not be exactly right, but its a good place to start. And you can also import the reference information into various bibliography software programs.

Cite_GoogleScholar

CiteReference_GoogleScholar

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