Into the Labyrinth : A PhD Comprehensive Portfolio

Academic Growth - Courses

The purpose of this section of the comprehensive portfolio is the analysis and selection of key learning that supports my declaration of readiness for doctoral research. In this pathway into the labyrinth of my PhD journey, I outline the steps taken and the timeline through the five courses in order to exemplify and validate proficiencies in academic writing, scholarship, and research.

Doctoral Seminar 1 was held in July, 2018 at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay. This course was a re-introduction to the field of educational research, examining the history and philosophical foundations, and current debates – particularly in the area of social justice education. Qualitative research methodologies were introduced and the habits of mind in academia were explored. It was here that the four sentence summary of research articles was applied to my reading of scholarly journal articles.

Field of Study - Cognition and Learning was an online course in the fall semester of 2018, with a focus on cognitive sciences relating to teaching and learning. Foundational and contemporary research and philosophical orientations were explored. Key areas of cognition and learning were discussed.

Directed Study - Digital and Media Literacy provided a four-month period of intensive exploration into the topics of media and digital literacies with a focus on defining and contextualizing historical and current trends in the field. This was connected to the teaching and learning of media and digital literacies in faculties of education from both the teacher educator and teacher candidate perspective.

Doctoral Seminar 2 was held in July, 2019 at Brock University in St. Catherines. This course explored quantitative research methodologies and examined the application of statistical methods to research design. Critical examination and evaluation of qualitative and mixed method approaches was integrated into in-class tasks, group projects, and research proposals.

Research Colloquium held online in the fall of 2019 focused on examining dissertations from a critical lens. A diversity of approaches, perspectives, and topics were supported by literature and research methodology. While the focus was on the writing of a research proposal, there was extensive opportunity to explore proposals and dissertations for purpose, form, content, and methodological research decisions.

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