PhD Diary – January 2021

It seems that 2021 is going to be as chaotic as 2020, at least for a while. Aside from that, I have been making personal progress, albeit slower that I would have liked. Whilst I am still a night owl, my sleep schedule has been consistent, and I am more open and willing to work at later times when the house is a bit livelier. Also, the past few weeks have been far more productive. For the first time in a while, I am satisfied with the reading I was able to do whilst still retaining the concepts and linking it with previous knowledge. I’ve found that it helps me when I relate my reading to existing knowledge or even my extracurricular activities. José Zagal touches upon it in their book Ludoliteracy: defining, understanding, and supporting games education about how to leverage a student’s personal knowledge & experience of games to establish links between them and the concepts of game studies. To an extent, this is something that I am doing with my own reading but linking both my game experiences and other literature. Doing this puts the literature in a wider context and helps fits the information within a ‘network of knowledge’. My research relates to my hobbies which does help, so I am going to continue this approach for the future.

One thing that is taking me a while to adjust to is how there is not much work to show now. Having come from taught courses I am accustomed to having assessments due around now. My supervisory team have suggested to attempt a presentation, giving me a deliverable for the beginning of March. I am sure I will eat these words when I am buried in pages of writing, but I always like having more to do. But I know that this is a common feeling and that I should instead focus on the quality of the work, not the quantity. Speaking of the quality of work, I may be getting carried away with the reading. Because the field of skill acquisition is new for me, I wanted to get a broad insight to make informed decisions. Yet, in doing so I have started to look for reading that is deviating from the key questions I am trying to answer at this point. Some of these pieces of reading may be for later in the project, or even afterwards. Whilst it is good to have an idea of what literature is out there, it is more important that what work is being done is focused on the topics at hand. Being more aware of this should make me more cautious with what research is relevant.

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