Postcards from an EdD

Postcard from an EdD | First Year Down

First year of my doctoral program down and only…two and a half to go?!? Whose idea was this, anyway?

In actuality, this three year+ program is moving by quickly. Keeping my head down each evening and weekend to study leads to the months flying by. This next year will consist of regular courses but then I will transition into independently working on my dissertation for the year and a half that follows.

The fall semester was a struggle for me. This EdD program focuses on us conducting action research, which is defined as practical, hands-on information gathering and problem solving in our local context (read: job/work environment). My general topic for my action research problem of practice has always been building community in online courses. But at the beginning of fall semester I decided to start job searching with the intent to leave the full-time lecturer job I had held for five years. While this is a good change and a long time coming, no change is without stress, especially when your doctoral research problem of practice is based on your job!

I spent a good chunk of the fall semester fretting about my research and what my problem of practice would look like come spring. Ultimately, on advice of my doctoral faculty, I’ve decided to reorient my focus to my business, Lindsay O’Neill Consulting. I’m going back to my roots! As my business is mostly training and consulting with libraries, my new problem of practice is examining how academic librarians teach information literacy to online students.

Along the way last fall, I landed two new jobs. I’m the new part-time Assistant LMS Systems Administrator at Arizona State University as well as new adjunct faculty at University of San Diego in the M.S. Learning Design and Technology program! I’m thrilled to be back at ASU (I worked in ASU’s Hayden Library from 2012-2014) and I’m even more thrilled to have landed on the campus’ Leadership and Workforce Development Team, which is the hub for a lot of training and professional development on campus. Also, now I get a tuition waiver for the EdD program, which is awesome! I am also delighted to be able to teach for University of San Diego. I love teaching and am so happy to keep on doing it!

This semester in my EdD program, I am going to be conducting Cycle 1 of my action research project. That means I’m going to be doing a free webinar covering strategies for teaching info lit to online students targeted at academic librarians. After working on a different problem of practice for the past year, this is a big shift for me and I have a lot of catch up to do. But the good news is that this should be a sustainable problem of practice to work on and it should carry me through the dissertation!


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