thankful for willing experts

one of the things i am discovering from working on my d.min project/dissertation is how generous most academics are with their time and unfortunately how non-generous some others are. i have written before concerning how amazed i was with the incredibly fast and positive response of those involved with john stott ministries and the incredibly slow and negative response from a couple of people i would have considered friends or at least strong acquaintances (if you can’t tell i’m still a little bitter about this but i am trying to let it go). as i finish my proposal and prepare to submit it i am again amazed by the generosity of the many academics with whom i have talked. two different professors at uwsp have willingly loaned me their time and expertise. my research has absolutely nothing to do with their research. they have nothing to gain from helping me (other than maybe a cup of coffee or some homemade cookies) and yet they are very willing to review things for me and make suggestions for improvement. i am very thankful for their help.

the latest example of this is dr. maggie watson, a professor in the communicative disorders department, who has graciously agreed to review the survey i will use to quantify my research. i felt pretty good about the survey i had originally developed. i modeled it on several others i found in other people’s research. you can see it here. pam recommended that i run it past maggie. pam said she is a wiz when it comes to this stuff. so i asked her and she has been gracious enough to evaluate it. her changes were small but should make a dramatic difference in the data i garner from my research. you can see it here. one small change she suggested that i believe will make a huge difference is to never have odd numbered choices on the survey. i had originally asked them to answer “strongly agree / agree / undecided / disagree / strongly disagree.” maggie suggested getting rid of the “undecided” choice by either going to 4 or 6 possibilities (i went with 6). this forces the one tested to make a choice. brilliant.

anyhow i have been pleasantly surprised, though i probably shouldn’t be because it seems typical of most of the ones i conversed with, by how generous with their time the academics i have corresponded with have been concerning my research.

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