Things to do in week 2

What follows is a brief re-statement of what we talking about during the workshop. The thing to do this week is to go over the points below making any notes you need to make, identifying any issues or things that are confusing and posting any thoughts about any of this on Slack in the week_2 channel.

There are two pieces of reflective writing and one piece of academic writing to be completed. Very roughly, the first task is a taking stock piece, i.e. where you are at in terms of your doctoral studies and what you feel you need to improve, add or work on in terms of skills/knowledge/habits. It will also serve to introduce yourself to the group.1 The second piece of reflective writing is a progress report, what you've been up to in terms of working on your academic presence/identity and what further things you need to do. The final piece is an assessment of what you have achieved by the end of the course and what still remains to be done. There will always be things to be done! :)

For the academic piece of writing it can be anything at all, a draft of a journal article, a conference paper, a draft chapter of your thesis, or part of your proposal. You need to discuss what this might usefully be with your supervisor as soon as you can given the time constraints of the course and the requirement that you give feedback to your colleagues on their writing before they submit it to me.

The logic of the course is spelled out here. If the course is not complementing your work, I need to know!

Course resource. This wiki and Slack. We sorted out the odd glitch on Saturday but if you are still having problems please let me know. The wiki has a lot of stuff on it. You don't need to read it all but you ought to have a good sense of where to find the material that is of interest to you. The wiki is one attempt at trying to curate resources around the notion of academic practice. You will curate the material that is useful to you. Your notebooks are so important as you work through these ideas. If you are not scribbling in them it will be very hard work writing reflective pieces.

Weekly themes. My intention is to try and craft themes that fit your needs. So I need to know what they are and/or your suggestions of themes you'd like to explore. The themes on the wiki at present are from last year and they were used from the year previous when the course was all about reading and writing about academic practice. The course has been re-worked to be about working on improving, developing and refining those things that go towards your academic identity.

The assessment tasks. Covered above and the notes for each I hope. Questions always welcome and Slack the best place to put them.

Signalling progress. It's important to keep flagging questions, issues, problems or whatever. I can't help if I don't know.

A very small community of scholars. One of the joys of academic work is working with good people and being able to support one another, share resources, ways of doing things and have good debates/discussion about key ideas. It's a habit thing! While it might seem that your sole purpose now is to get that thesis and its preliminaries completed, how you do that matters. This is a small but highly experienced and talented group of people. You each have much to offer. Don't be shy. Be open with one another. It will work well if you do.

Digital habits. There are a lot of notes on the wiki about this. It's about being able to reflect on how you do things, what, perhaps you might want to improve, what you are unaware of and would like to develop or at least explore. The increasing role that various digital technologies play in academic work is impossible to ignore. Importantly, "the digital" keeps shifting and as it does so too do the ways academics work. Much of this work is secret, i.e. how one reads, how one conducts searches, how one writes, how one curates resources etc.

So establish a list of your digital habits and rate them in terms of what you think you are good at and what you may want to develop or improve and then there will likely be some new habits you come across, perhaps via this course, that you may want to explore.

Networking. A key part of academic practice is establishing networks and there is no shortage of advice in this regard. Part of networking is being visible, and today that means having some kind of digital presence. At the workshop we talked about academic facebook groups2, twitter, blogs, and facebook like academic groups, e.g. Academia and ResearchGate. We can have useful conversations about how to make use of these various approaches to networking and building your academic identity on Slack.

Questions to think about. The list is here.

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