Writing a full thesis is … so exciting, if you choose the topic of your interest. From my last experience I can say that during one of the courses last semester we should have chosen the topic and written research proposal, which we could continue this academic year. Last year, I had difficulty choosing the worthy issue to research. I chose a topic for which I lost my interest in a couple of months. I remembered forever how one of our professors said: “If you have no passion to your research topic, forget about it. Don’t do it!” This is true, I had no continuous interest to study my topic further about perceptions of students working in homogeneous and heterogeneous groups, I got upset spending time for the research which seemed to me boring.
As last year was also my first year at NIS school I was learning a lot of things and thinking about various issues related to teaching. During the semester in a new academic year I changed my thesis topic. However, again I had a real trouble choosing the research issues, which findings could be beneficial in practice: I was thinking about the best option by reading educational magazines, analyzing issues at school and department meetings. A lot of topics were interesting to me, but how much or how long?
Our “Thesis Writing” course in fall session 2015 helped me to define the topic I am eager to research. Listening and discussing research topics with my groupmates in our thesis group, I have defined my topic of interest: “Perceptions of formative assessment by teachers in experimental schools in Kazakhstan”, because formative assessment one of new reforms in education system in Kazakhstani context. Reading more about it I was getting more excited to complete my full thesis. Inspiration from the topic drives me further to do my research about the topic with more passion. This makes me feel proud of making the right choice of issue for full thesis writing.
Another struggle I am still having is writing literature review, which is the core part of full thesis. To be honest, the more literature I read, the more difficult is to connect the ideas. As my lit review reminds more summary of lit review, rather than analysis and synthesis of the material I read. Having more practice and analyzing common errors, the situation is changing thanks to our instructors and professors for their support in organizing our work to be more effective. I am working hard to manage with this obstacle by following all their recommendations and readings. Gradually it is getting easier to write a lit review, not a summary.
If I were the instructor I would recommend to my students before they choose thesis topic, to think about the ways, how it could be connected with online learning for writing their mini-thesises because online learners are working people, who lack time to do extra assignments even they are important step in their writing progress.
Another recommendation is I would ask students to write a small lit. review on a regular base as a sample for their full thesis, providing the chance to work effectively in the right way.
I wish productivity to all researchers!!!