Dear Jo…

I’m asked often the difference between studying towards a PhD and an EdD. Whilst many understand a PhD, fewer know of EdD’s and the process. Now I’m not saying this because I’m in my final year of my EdD, but I’m a total EdD convert. 

The EdD is more structured and progress reports are similar to drafting sections of chapters, with more PR submissions than a PhD. The EdD is also a professional doctorate with the purpose of the research to contribute to professional practice in education. I’m thankful to say that my doctorate feeds my day job on a daily basis and vice versa.

So what’s the catch? For me there’s only one, the forging of where my day job ends and my doctorate begins. Not in the aspect of time management of undertaking an EdD in three and a half years in parallel to working full time, but in the content writing. 

Don’t get me wrong, I sometimes wonder if I should be on a MOOC Eggheads special, however my biggest downfall is actually the mental separation between when I write for business and when I write for academia. Strangely when I write for journals etc. I’m fine (new book chapter with Professor Graham Pike out shortly) but when I write for my doctorate as it’s so close to my day job I sometimes slip between the cracks of my two roles. So what to do?

Well, my supervisor struck upon a genius idea. As my role is partly in learning design and work with academic authors to create pen portraits for MOOCs, then I should have a pen portrait for my thesis. 

So everyone meet Jo. Jo this is everyone. Dr Jo is an academic who doesn’t know much about MOOCs but would like to create a MOOC within her role and needs to understand how to create an engaging learning design. I find myself thinking of Jo often, and use her in meetings with my supervisor. I ask myself when writing ‘what would Jo want?’, ‘does Jo need to know this?’ and it’s helping me to frame my writing and forget the divide between doctorate and day job. 

My next deadline is the 10 April where I’m due to submit 45,000 word first draft of my thesis. So I best get back to it otherwise Jo and I will be burning the midnight oil. The 31 October final submission isn’t that far away either. 

Until then, I’m still Doctor in Waiting… 

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