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On Friday we had our school postgraduate poster presentation, which as a 2nd year PhD student I was required to participate in. I've never produced an academic poster before, let alone presented it, so I think it was a very valuable experience to have in a 'safe' environment. 

I've had a little difficulty in working out what should appear on a poster, and how much detail I ought to give. I think the conversations I had around my poster have given me a little more insight and I thought I ought to write it down.

  • Start from the research questions. I need to work out what my single over-arching research question is.
  • Present more information about the face-to-face (tabletop?) games I am investigating. It is important that there can be 15-30 participants, not the normal 5-6 that are involved in most boardgames. 
  • I need to be much clearer about my design. 2x2, draw it out. I put it in the presentation I did, so why didn't I carry that through?

I still think less text is better, so I'll have to juggle that a little, but I'm sure I included irrelevant information so we'll see. I'll try harder for my next one. (Maybe it's time to brush up on my comic-drawing?!)

I've also just had my thesis committee meeting for this year. I'm waiting for my supervisor to come back through and give me the feedback, but I enjoyed it more than last year. I got a lot of useful information on what areas I need to defend and beef up my knowledge of. Again, a lot of it centred on what I had left out. 

  • I need to introduce my topic better. Introduce Social Identity Theory properly with historical references, talk about why that not a different group theory (done very well in Jonas Heide Smith's thesis*). 
  • I need to stay focussed on my research question (write it down!). That's not just in my reading, but in my coding too. If something isn't going to have an effect on my research question, don't do it! 
  • It would be useful to think about all possible outcomes to my experiments, and what conclusions I could draw from them. 
  • I need to clarify what I'm varying, what references I have to back up why that's going to have an effect, and really look hard for 'confounding issues'. 
  • And I need a contingency plan. If my experiments take longer to organise than I'd hoped, what can I do in the meantime? How can I make sure I hit that September deadline? 
  • It might also be useful to show how I could do this using only one board game. See if it's possible. Interesting idea.

I think one of the hardest things for me to do in terms of writing is going to be including all the relevant information. I think my brevity often comes from discarding information that to me is obvious or disinteresting, and it's only when I discuss it with others that I realise I've done it. I know I do it when I'm chatting sometimes and bouncing through ideas, I hadn't realised I did it quite so much when I write. All useful feedback and a part of the learning process. 

Now. Back to my code while I wait for feedback. 


*Smith, J.H., 2006. Plans and Purposes: How Videogame Goals Shape Player Behaviour. IT University of Copenhagen. Available at: http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/summary?doi= [Accessed April 5, 2012].

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July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBenjamin Zeitlyn

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