Dissertating and blogging …

For today’s post I have a request for all my academic friends.

Does anyone know of any dissertation that was done all or in part using a blog as the format? Or any other digital (non-linear, monograph) type format?

I am preparing to go back to school to finish my PhD. What is even more exciting is that my new supervisor is encouraging me to explore blogging as a way to write / disseminate my research. My topic of research will be exploring the learning that occurs as a result of breast cancer blogs. Since the study involves exploring blogs, it makes sense to see if blogging might also provide a means for writing a dissertation. The question is, has this been done before? Has anyone looked into it? What has already been learned?

It actually reminds me of a discussion I had with some folks at the dLRN conference – about theory – but also about the idea in academia of “standing on the shoulders of giants”. I find this need to look at what others have done interesting. Does it matter? Should it matter? The reality is, that if someone else has done this, regardless of their topic/field of study, the processes that they engaged would make it easier for me. I can learn from what they have done. Whoever they are, they might not be giants, but they will be someone who has tried something that might help guide me in the right direction.

And so, with that, I ask all my friends and blog readers – do any of you know of anyone who has attempted to incorporate blogging into their formal dissertation? 

5 responses

  1. […] brings me full circle really. When I started back to school I looked into the idea of using a ‘blog’ as a dissertation. What I realize now is that it is a misunderstanding/interpretation of language. It isn’t […]

  2. dogtrax Avatar

    Intriguing … there has to be someone …. right? I mean, right?

    1. Rebecca - @rjhogue Avatar
      Rebecca – @rjhogue

      You’d think … but I’m even looking for any PhDs/EdDs that use blogs for data collection or integrate blogs into the research process in some way or another … I’ve found the one that I mentioned … which is a little useful, but not totally … I’m now consider doing a portion of my data collection as a blog / online interview, for those willing to engage in open discourse, and reserve email exchanges and skype calls for those wanting to contribute in a more private manner … but since I’m looking at what is learned from blogs, it seems only appropriate to use a blog as the medium of both data collection and dissemination …

  3. Arnebya Avatar

    I don’t know answers to any of your questions, but congratulations on working toward your PhD. I’d love to go for it, but as it stands, Sallie Mae will have goons at my funeral making sure it’s me in the coffin, and then they’ll probably shake down my family and friends for the remaining monies owed. I do hope you’ll continue to post about your journey here, as this topics is absolutely fascinating to me (me, who, as an adjunct professor, is still trying to incorporate a PowerPoint into class).

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