How much progress have I made on my thesis in the last month? Since last I posted about my thesis, I have completed the majority of my interviews. Out of 30 I need, I have all but four completed, and three of the four remaining scheduled. Out of about 20 eyetracking sessions, I have completed all but about 7, with probably 3 of the remaining scheduled. I also presented some preliminary findings around the eye-tracking at the Geological Society of America conference in a digital poster session. Whew!
It’s a little strange to have set a desired number of interviews at the beginning and feel like I have to fulfill that and only that number, rather than soliciting from a wide population and getting as many as I could past a minimum. Now, if I were to get a flood of applicants for the “last” novice interview spot, I might want to risk overscheduling to compensate for no-shows (which, as you know, have plagued me). On the other hand, I risk having to cancel if I got an “extra” subject scheduled, which I suppose is not a big deal, but for some reason I would feel weird canceling on a volunteer – would it put them off from volunteering for research in the future??
Next up is processing all the recordings, backing them up, and then getting them transcribed. I’ll need to create a rubric to score the informational answers as something along the lines of 100% correct, partially correct, or not at all correct. Then it will be coding, finding patterns in the data and categorizing those patterns, and asking someone to serve as a fellow coder to verify my codebook and coding once I’ve made a pass through all of the interviews. Then I’ll have to decide if the same coding will apply equally to the questions I asked during the eyetracking portion, since I didn’t dig as deeply to root out understanding completely as I did in the clinical interviews, but I still asked them to justify their answers with “how do you know” questions.
We’ll see how far I get this month.