Thematic analyses

Above, you will find two documents. One is a transcript of interviews. One is a transcript of two focus groups.

First, some context:

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Several years ago, I took a course as a doctoral student among a group of undergraduates. My project as a doctoral student was to conduct a Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (very similar to Action Research) study on the class. The professor was trying out new things in the class and wanted to know how effective the class was with these changes.

I conducted two focus groups with half of the class members–during the first two or so weeks of the course and at about week 10. She also asked me to conduct individual interviews of half of the class members during weeks 6 and 14. (Another grad student conducted focus groups with the other half and individual interviews with the other half).

I have attached the focus group transcripts. You will see that one set is from Sept. and the second from November.

ALSO, I have the transcripts from the first set of extended interviews.

DIRECTIONS:

1. Choose one set of data to analyze (EITHER the transcript of two focus groups OR the transcript of Extended Interviews).

2. Using the information we covered this semester, analyze the data from the data set you chose. Come up with some thematic analyses from the transcripts and report on your findings. Bold the themes you discover, and include examples to bolster your findings.

3. From your notes, write up your analysis. Begin with a brief discussion on the topic (I gave you some background above) and the method. Then discuss the various themes you found, as well as what this means. Include examples from the transcript to bolster your analysis. Upload it here.

Notice that this is worth 40 points–more than most of your Application Assignments are worth.

Introduction—3 points

Specified themes: 5 pts.

Analysis of the themes: 12 pts.

Evidence (examples) that demonstrate the themes and analysis from the transcripts (12 pts)

Conclusion that wraps up the analysis 3 pts.

Spelling/grammar/punctuation, sentence style : 5 pts.

Focus Groups below:

Focus Group #1
September ____________
NDSU Library
(5 members present)
Think about the first time that you wrote those journals. Remember the first time day of class, Dr. ___________had us write a journal right away. Do you remember some of the questions?
Student 2: “What are you feeling right now?”
Student 5: Yeah, that was her last question, “What are you feeling right now?”
Student 3: “What are your expectations for the course?”
Expectations for the course, your goals, what are your fears…
Student 3: “Explain yourself; Talk about yourself, write down what you are.”
Right. So, let’s talk about your expectations of the class. What were your expectations of the class? What were you hoping to gain?
Student 5: I was hoping it would be a good discussion class. I haven’t had a whole lot of courses that I’ve had really good discussion, just really bad discussion. No discussion, or, um, mostly just, yeah, just lecturing. I mean there’s just not really an opportunity to discuss because the class is too big, or the instructor is dumb and doesn’t know how to communicate discussion, you know what I mean?
Student 4: Also like one person talks in class; you always have one or two people acting as spokesperson, but I think in this class everybody talks.
Student 1: And I’m hoping, too, that, just, that, you know, everyone gets a chance to say how they feel and that no people boo them back. And I think that everyone is going to be able to talk and have a chance to talk and I’m expecting that because if it wasn’t, it wouldn’t be good discussion
Student 2: I kind of thought, too, besides the discussion part, that, it’s like, I haven’t really heard a lot about women in communication, like their roles. I haven’t learned a lot about that, so that, I don’t know, that could be something I could take with me.
Student 3: Yeah, I wrote down that I wanted to learn more about females and communications so that I could become a better female communicator and be that more confident and strong when I’m out in the career world and get some good information and putting it to use in my future.
How about your fears or concerns about the class. What were some of those at the beginning?
Student 3: I saw fear, and I thought, the first thing that came to mind is that I’m afraid of spiders. So I wrote down “I’m arachnophobic.” I don’t know; fears about the class, I put down, um, giving long papers, cuz I’m the biggest procrastinator in the world.
Student 5: That’s what I wrote down too, a big long research paper.
Student 3: Because you put it off, you put it off until the night before.
Student 4: I had no idea what this class would be about; I never do until it starts; really, how can you tell with the little written description in the book what you going to learn or what the teacher wants from you. I would like to know more; it’s hard for me cuz I don’t know, I think the class is interesting, but I want to do my best to understand it.
Have your impressions changed since the beginning at all; some of the expectations that you might have had, or some of the fears, some of the questions; has that changed?
Student 3: I really like our teacher; I feel like she–she seems to me like a really, um, strong, confident female communicator. Like she knows she’s distinguished; she has a lot of, um, experience in her lifetime of teaching and people she’s met. Look at she talked about that she had lunch with the President and the Vice President, and I’m like, “okay, she’s going to teach us something that no one else can”, you know, so I admire her a lot and hopefully I’ll learn some of it.
Student 1: And I like that fact, too, that she lets us teach instead of her being up there all the time. I really pay more attention, you know, and I’m more interested, just because they’re my fellow, you know, students, and I pay a lot of attention to them, and the power point, too, helps a lot; it makes the lecture interesting and spawns discussion, so I really like that.
Do all of you like that set-up of having to teach a class?
Student 4: I learned a lot about my chapter. I mean I could tell everything from that chapter.
Student 3: I love our teacher. I think she has so much class, so much character and I have so much respect for her.
Student 2: Yeah.
Student 3: And now, like, you never know what class is going to be like and everything, and sometimes it’s going to be hard, but it sometimes can be so interesting, and I think she’ll put it so I’ll understand it.
Student 5: I agree, I like her, I think that, um, I think that she’s got a lot of experience behind her, and I think that she has very much dedicated herself to studying how people learn best and her goal seems to be to get us all to learn, not to get through the course, not for everybody to get an A; she wants everyone to learn and participate.
Student 4: Oh, I don’t know, the first day, she kind of came in with her little skirt on, and I didn’t know what she’d be like, but she was so cool, like she came off totally, I mean even though she’s so little, she’s a really strong woman, so I just thought she was really, really interesting.
So your 1st impression…
Student 4: I just thought she was kind of a girly, like really feminine, which not that it’s bad, but I just kinda thought she was just kinda, you know, this bold character.
What do you think about not having any tests?
ALL 5 STUDENTS: LIKE IT!!!
Student 3: I hope ever teacher will do this.
Student 4: No stress. I mean I love it. I mean I thought it was interesting that I can just listen and never have to be stressed out.
Student 3: Yeah, I’m not stressed about “Oh, I have to remember this. I have to make sure it’s like this and like this for the test… and blah, blah, blah…
So do you think you’re grasping issues, or full concepts?
All 5: BOTH!!!
Student 1: And like not having the test makes me want to learn more, for some reason. Makes me that much more interested because, like, you know, you’re not pressured to learn it. You can just pick up what, you know, you want to take in, and the rest you don’t really have to worry about, you know.
Okay, what about the service learning project that she’s going to have you do, and be honest. I know some of you have had me before, and I’ve had service learning before, so don’t sit there and feel that you need to say something because you’ve taken from me.
Student 4: I had your class and I had that assignment, too. And I’ll always remember Head Start. I really liked it and really learned from it
Student 3: I’m looking forward to it. I’m hoping, you know, to get into something that’s interesting, and that if she’s able to contact those people, I have a choice of what I’d like to do, that’s great. I’m excited. I think it’s gonna be good, cuz what I did for Intercultural, honestly, working with those kids from all different countries of world was absolutely amazing. I really, I think that more classes should have the opportunity to do hands on, to go out and actually do real-life stuff cuz, I mean, that’s what it’s all about. I think that’s great.
Student 5: I have done service learning before, and I have to say I have never had a really good experience with it because as long as it’s something that I’m being forced to do, you know, like I have to do it for this class, and I have to put in my ten hours or my letter grade is gonna drop, that kind of stuff, um, it’s no fun. And especially if it’s a class where your opportunities are kind of limited, like, you have to go to this place. I mean its just, I’ve never really gotten much out of it honestly. We had to do a lot of it in high school, and I’ve had to do it before in college and I’ve never really done anything that I’ve enjoyed. It’s kind of been like, “well, I’ll do it, and then it’s over.” You know what I mean? I’m hoping that this will be better.
But you have an open mind about it…
Student 5: Yeah, umhmm.
Student 2: Well, the intercultural class, I did the nursing home, and that’s probably not the best choice, so I’m really excited about this one, cuz you get more choice and I’ve learned my lesson that that was not my strong point. I don’t know, I think it should be fun, we have more opportunity to do different things.
Student 1: And I went to Bethany Homes before, and I did like that, you know, and you were put in an environment which you weren’t familiar with where you kind of had a chance to notice things, you know. And I think with this, too, having more choices, you know, people will actually go to the things that they think they will enjoy. The enjoyment factor will be much higher than any other factor that you have.
And why do you think she’s having you do this? What’s the purpose behind making you go put 10 hours somewhere else?
Student 1: I think the purpose of that is to put the issues and like the theories and all that we learn in class, you know, to use. And I think it’s maybe hands on, and then we can apply like those kinds of concepts with things that we actually see, and I think that’s gonna lead to everything we’ve learned in class.
How about the rest of you? What do you think? Why do you think she’s having you do this, or did (student 1) say it all?
Student 3: She said it all.
How about the research paper, or the paper that you get to make it with that project? Earlier you said “ooh, papers, don’t want to!”
Student 3: Well, I think papers are easier to write if you can, like, talk about personal experience and you can talk about yourself. That’s easy for me. But researching papers, that’s more difficult for me. That’s just my own personal strengths and weaknesses. I can talk about myself, and I can talk about personal experiences, but when it comes to researching in the library and finding really good sources, and using the right information, that’s hard for me.
Student 5: I have a really hard time like when I have to do research papers, you know, finding sources isn’t so bad, but it’s really hard for me, like, it’s so much pressure not to plagiarize because when you read it and you read it and you read it, then that’s how you think of it., you know, and it’s just a big headache. But you know if you have to write, and “oh yeah, I went to a nursing home, and I have people,” and it’s just a lot easier to put it into your own words and you don’t have to worry about it because it’s all out of your head.
Did you find any value in the learning style activity that we did at the beginning? The trying to see what type of a learner are you: are you an action learner, are you a…
Student 4: I think that was kind of interesting.
Student 5: I didn’t think there were enough questions on the quiz, cuz I’ve taken like a longer version, and it was a lot more accurate than this one. I thought that, you know, like I thought that my results were wrong because it was so much shorter.
Student 1: And some of those questions seemed the same. Like I don’t know, I’ve taken quizzes before you know where every other question is you know like the same one, and, I don’t know, I just. I found out you know my results that yeah, that did apply, like to what I think I am as a learner. That actually did come out, so it helps me to back that up.
Student 4: I think I’m all the way across. It’s like, “oh, I’m that one; I’m the next one.” I’m every one. I don’t know.
Why do you think she had you do this activity? Why do that? What do you think her goal was?
Student 2: So we can see ourselves now, and she can know so she can adjust, you know, to know what people are. I mean most teachers don’t ever do that, so I think it’s pretty cool that she cared enough to know to let us know what her learning styles were.
Student 5: And I think she wanted us to know like that it was her goal to reach every learning style and that her unorthodox method, like there’s a reason that she’s not giving us tests.
Student 4: I would have to say too, that, she wanted us to know that if you’re not understanding one thing very well, it’s because of your learning style. It’s not that you’re not a slow learner, you might just learn differently.
Student 1: Like how she said in class, too, how some people will get some things, and some of us won’t. And I’ve already found that out, like, there’s been one or two things and I’m like “What, what is that?” But then, okay, I’m just going to go back in and reread it or think it over” and then, you know, I’ll get it, so.
How do you feel about the focus being on you and not Dr. _______? Meaning you are carrying the class, myself included, I guess. That’s all us students are carrying the class.
Student 3: I feel like, this is weird, I feel like we’re all older now or something. It’s like it’s a really mature, you know. I mean it’s like I’m more immature than everybody! No, I think its good. It makes me almost want to know more about the teacher kind of, like I want her to talk to me even more cuz I’m a student used to the teacher talking all the time. I’m kind of like wondering why she’s not talking more. It’s kind of like were supposed to be more included and I think it’s cool, it’s neat. And yeah, I think it does make us talk more and more, so it is way more discussion. Like every day is a discussion and I like that.
Student 4: I’ll always have the same respect for her, even though she’s not doing all the talking. But I kind of felt, I kind of lean toward her like I want her to speak.
Do you think that it’s because of her, or do you think that you’re so used to having someone teaching?
Student 2: Well, yeah, we’ve always had the teachers always teaching, and for us to teaching, yeah, I think we want her to give us more feedback and make sure we’re…
Student 4: I respect the teacher. I mean I just did mine. Oh my God, it was work! You know, one chapter took me 48 hours I think. I worked on it day and night. I felt like I was always constantly thinking about what I was going to say. God, teachers must be stressed!
Are you comfortable with the way the class is being run? Or would you like a change in balance? Would you like her participating more? Or are you comfortable?
Student 4: I like that she talked a lot when I was teaching and with Jayne, I think she did put in a lot of examples.
Student 3: It took the pressure off you a little bit. It’s important when you present that she gives you feed back because if she doesn’t, you’re kind of thinking, “Oh wait, did I do something wrong?”
Student 5: She’s the voice of experience in the class, and if she doesn’t give her input and her feedback, kind of like, well, you know, we don’t know how things are supposed to go.
Student 4: I think it’d be kind of strange if she didn’t kick in just a little bit, but I think she did really well in her comments with me.
Student 1: Even if it’s nonverbal cues, I mean nodding your head up and down, at least you have some resources that you’re on the right track.
Student 2: Also some of the impressions she brings up, and some of the comments she makes make strong impressions. I think that that helps, too.
What appeals to you the most about this class? What appeals to you so far?
Student 3: I like, um, when we talk about every day things, things that can apply in our lives with the stuff in the text. I like that. Like when we brought up breastfeeding the last day, the last class we had. I mean like just how nurturing mothers, like I want to be one because there was a lot of differing opinions in the class. You know and women being equal or pro woman or pro man, you know, talk about that—I think it’s very interesting to talk about things that we can discuss in everyday life. It’s not like X=pi, you know? I don’t know—it’s interesting to me.
Student 1: I like the fact, you know, that everyone can talk; they can say what they feel, you know, without anybody kind of getting mad or anything about that. Like you said, everyone has input. It’s seems to me like everyone is respecting each other, which is good,
Student 4: I’m a communication major. I’m sure a lot of us or all of us are, but I think it’s neat that we can communicate actually in a communication class
Student 2: I don’t know. I think I like the whole thing because it’s all really different. It’s not usual. It’s not the usual class, so I think that’s definitely different. It was on this class when I went the first day and then came home and told my roommates, and you know, and I don’t really do that.
Student 5: Yeah, I was excited, it was a smaller class and that, you know, the teacher was interested in getting us to discuss and you know, there wasn’t going to be tests and that kind of thing. She knew all about the information, and, I don’t know, I think it’s how a college class is supposed to be, you know.
Like you know when your in high school it’s like “Well, when you get to college, you know, you have all these, you know, deep, in-depth, you know, discussions” and then I get to Bio 150 and it’s all between two people. It’s [the gender class] different. I like it. It’s how it should be.
What would you like to see changed? Is there anything you’d like to see changed? I know we’ve only been in there for 4 class periods. Is there anything so far that perhaps you’d like to see changed?
Student 1: Not really. I don’t know. I guess maybe eventually there might be some things, but I really don’t think I’ve been in there long enough to realize that yet.
Any other comments that you have about the class: It’s performance, it’s activities, anything in general that you’d like to say?
Student 4: She makes it fun learning. She gets us excited.
That’s it!
Student 3: Just for the record, I hate Bio 150.

Focus Group #2
November 9, _______
Minard 201
The class in general. How is the class in general going ?
Student 9: It’s going it okay. In my opinion, I’m stressed about the paper.
What about the paper are you stressed?
Student 9: Um that I haven’t done all my service work, so. I guess it’s my fault for procrastinating, but it’s kind of stressful knowing that I’ve got this huge paper due in a week and It’s worth a third of my grade for the class.
Student 1: I don’t know when I can do it.
Student 3: Yeah, me either.
Fifteen pages. Some of you have asked, you weren’t sure of what the requirement was, is that correct? You all know what the requirement is, or what’s in the paper of what should be in it?
Student 3: I, I don’t know. I hope she talks about it again on Tuesday. I’m still a little bit unclear about what she really wants, what she’s going to be looking for, what she thinks will happen. I mean, I’m loving my service project, but I don’t know what I can talk about for 15 pages.
Okay. How about the rest of you? What are your thoughts?
Student 4: I don’t know, 15 pages is bad. I don’t know, I’ve never written 15 pages before.
Student 8: I think 15 pages could have been feasible, and should be a valid page number for a class at this level. But I don’t think that our project was organized well enough to make sure that everybody got going on their stuff, everybody did what they’re supposed to be doing. I think that it was just way too “Go do service work for 10 hours, do it wherever you want.” Do you know what I’m saying? Did you guys feel like she was kinda just
Student 7: Yeah, but she called it active learning. You know like what she said in class at this level and at our age.
Student 8: Yeah, Yeah.
Student 6: I sometimes I think, too, that that’s all well and good, but sometimes I just don’t have time to be that active of a learner. I mean, I have three jobs, and I’m, taking, you know, I’m trying to graduate next semester, I’m trying to get every thing done as much as I can. As much as I’d like to, there just aren’t enough hours in a day. SO, as far as that goes, for our final, I’m hoping that when we turn in our first draft, it’s not 15. Because I’m not going to have all my hours done by next Thursday.
Student 8: Oh, she’s not expecting you to be done by next Thursday. It’s just a draft.
Student 4: I like that idea, too, that she really pushes that we have that first draft done. Because a lot of teachers might not say that, but she’s making us and helping us even more. We’ll all have the first draft done, and we’ll all get help from her.
Student 1: I’m hoping to come you know, turn in five and you can go do more, go do your service learning. Connect it with everything you’ve learned., Push yourself a bit. I know with the ten hours that we have, how long was it, Shannon, for your class?
Five or six pages. That was… What number is this class. This class is a 400 level. That was a 200 level.
Student 1: And that was, yeah, five. So.
Go ahead, what were you going to say?
Student 8: I was just thinking about how, I mean, 15, I’m just like we haven’t been tested on anything that we’ve been learning in this class, and I just feel like I like it. I like the idea of the class. But I just feel like we should have to write a 15 page paper because my gosh, we haven’t even had a test! We’ve been sitting around teaching ourselves and discussing stuff all semester. There’s been no, you know, how you retain, other than a couple journals where she’s had us talk about things we’ve learned. But I feel like I’m obligated to write a 15 page paper to prove that I’ve learned something in this class. Do you know what I’m trying to say? But I’m kind of stressed about like that, you know, Ten hours of service and relate all these concepts that we’ve been learning for the whole year into a paper. I wish there would have been another way to maybe demonstrate. Even if it had been broken up into two papers, or um a different way that demonstrates everything we learn, because we did talk cover a lot of stuff, and to relate it all into one experience.
Okay, what could have been done to help you with the service project. What do you feel was not done, or what do you think could have been done or should have been done to assist you. OR was everything done that should have been done?
Student 5: We didn’t really have any direction at all. And it’s like it’s really hard, especially for a class like this, to just volunteer and have some sort of gender-relevant experience. Because all the places that we looked at. Like the YWCA, you’d think would be really relevant, but then if they’re going to be having us do, you know, office work, and like cleaning and stuff, that’s not helpful to anybody.
Student 9: I think it would have almost been better, and I think I almost would have enjoyed doing some kind of study instead of doing service learning.
Student 1: Yeah, like a project.
Student 9: Yeah, like doing a study, and interviewing people on gender or something like that that would have been maybe a little bit easier and then reporting our findings in the study? So we’re still applying it.
So some sort of research project?
Student 9: yeah.
Student 4: Like pick a concept that we’ve talked about in class and research it. We’re on this huge campus with all these people.
Student 1: yeah, talk to the students, talk to the professionals. Find out how it changes, what’s changed. Different generations, how generations vary, How people change, stuff like that. I think that would have been a lot more helpful for one, I think it would have been more relevant for another. I mean yeah, we can try and do the service learning stuff, and try and look and observe and see if we see any of the theories in play. But we’re still, I mean, we’re not going to know if were looking at something. Like I’m kind of half ways thinking now I’ll go, and try and do some service learning stuff today. And I’m wondering if I’m going to be looking at stuff and trying to make theories fit because we’re so short on time now, and if I’m looking at stuff and being like “oh, yeah, that’s a good example of how that is like that” when really it might not be that accurate.
Okay.
Student 4: Um, our group is really lucky because we have, um, two girls our age from Sudan, and we’ve asked them so many questions on what the males do and what the females do. We’ve gotten a lot of answers Different answers. I think mine will be easier then. I think it will be.
Student 1: That’s very interesting. Just going over there, seeing, talking to these people. It’s just, I don’t know how to put it. I mean a new beginning, and what they’ve gone through to get here, and their still waiting for their parents to get here, that’ll be another year to see them. I mean, just, you know, and waiting 5 years to become an American citizen. Not knowing how to act fully as an American. And just, it’s really interesting. And I’m really glad we’re doing it. I just, I just have a little anxiety about what all I’m going to write about. I want to talk about my experiences. I want to talk about what we did together, what they were like, how they take their shoes and socks off and walk around barefoot in their apartment because I’m sue they walked around barefoot a lot naturally But you know, I don’t know exactly what theories I’m all going to talk about. Um, she wants a lot of theories or a lot of vocabulary or ah specific terms. I don’t, I’m, I don’t know myself.
Student 7: Dang it! I thought the end part of our papers were supposed to be about how we could apply that to ourselves, or how we would relate to these women.
Student 9: I understood it as we spend a few pages describing our experience, and then the rest of it just sort of applying it to the new concepts that we’ve learned this semester.
One of the things that Dr. Pearson did with our, with the discussions was hand out a sheet that organized the discussion. Did that help at all? She handed out a sheet that organized how we were supposed to do our presentations. First, did that help in that area at all?
Student 3: I think it helped more people.
Student 8: I think it changed how people started presenting, because she made it a requirement to do something creative. Because I think everyone had an idea in the first round. But I think people stopped, you know, used the power point and handed out an outline and read it to the class. But then when she said you know, we’ve gotta do some active stuff in here, then all of a sudden, everybody had obvious things that they wanted, you know what I mean? Ideas, questions, discussions. So I think it helped just to bring out the creativity.
Is that something that would help with the service learning, a paper like that? Or a descriptor or something? Would that help?
Student 5: I think so, yeah.
Or is that in the syllabus? Is that already been described?
Student 5: It’s just a paragraph.
Student 4: It’s just like what you (student 9) just said. 2-3 pages on describing your experience, 5-7 on applying it to class, and 3-5 in its conclusions.
Student 6: Are we supposed to pick multiple theories? Are we supposed to analyze our experiences? Are we supposed to describe it? Are we supposed to focus on one theory and do that? Or one chapter? Or one, you know, or can we use as many theories as we want? Are we supposed to do an in-depth analysis on what we thought or we supposed to say “here’s what happened. “
Student 9: I’d like to know what she’s looking for in our paper because it has been so vague. And the reality of it is she’s grading our paper, and it’s most of our grade. So if we don’t know what’s in, what she expects the paper to be like, we’re not going to know how to do the paper well. I mean I’d like to say “These are the kinds of things I expect to see in the paper.” And even if, what would be helpful would be if she had ah, um, I can‘t think of the name, You know, like so many points for this, and..
A Rubric?
Student 9: Yeah, a Rubric. If she had a rubric telling us, you know, “I’m going to give you, grade this is worth so many points”, You know, “your organization is worth this much, and the applying it to this is worth this much” then that would lay out more “this is what I want to know, and this is how much emphasis I’m putting on it” would be helpful.
Student 8: I think turning in a rough draft will be helpful, though, too, because, like I was telling Stef, okay, by this time next week, we’ll have our rough draft in. Like we’ll basically not be done, but the majority of our work for the class will be over until she gives them, I mean unless we have considerably lots to do or other stuff to add. But, I mean, it will be like a nice stress relief to turn in that draft because then it’s just that, at that point, it’s just like waiting to get feedback about it.
Any other suggestions or anything about the service learning? None? Okay. Um, let’s talk about the book. We’re in a different book; We’re in a new book. What are your thoughts or feelings about the book?
Student 3: I think it’s kind of the same thing as the other book, just kind of, in different chapters, or, summarized differently
Student 4: I think it’s more difficult to read.
Student 3: Yeah.
Student 1: All the studies, like I know that they help, like, try and prove that certain points in the chapter. But I know mine had one study and it took a bunch of pages and I skipped like lots of them cuz I could not understand, like no matter how hard I tried, I could not understand like half the vocabulary, and everything is based on numbers! And I don’t like that. I don’t like coming to class and saying “such and such a percentage did this, and the other percentage did that.” I mean, I don’t, I don’t like the numbers. I’d rather have them say “more people did this than this.” It’s difficult. It’s just difficult. Yeah. And boring.

Student 9: It’s probably harder because we actually have to think about how it applies to what we’re doing, and um, where as the other book, it like it laid it out in such a way, or was written in such a way that it was easier maybe to apply it to our lives or what ever. With this book, you have to take a study and then sort of like the conclusions from it, too. It is harder reading.
Student 8: And like for a lot of the chapters, I felt like, and I read a couple of the first chapters, and then it just got so l hard, I haven’t been able to keep up. But I felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere. Like it was saying this hypothesis, it was talking about the experience, and then the experiment wasn’t even proving what their hypothesis, You ended up getting no where. Like you read the whole chapter and I was like “okay, so what is it? What did it prove?” I mean it’s good research, and stuff, but I don’t see a point coming from
Student 6: It doesn’t seem to have anything concrete. It’s like it just builds and builds and then, nothing.
Student 8: Yeah, yeah. And then it’s like just “oh”, there’s no. And you think it’s going to do this, you think it’s going to show this and then it doesn’t.
Student 6: and then you say “Hello, maybe it didn’t quite match up. But I still think I’m right really deep inside my heart.” And I’m like, “whatever.”
Student 8: But I think it brings up a lot of issues, like in my chapter, at least, like, I thought it was it brought up some interesting issues and things to think about. But.
Student 6: I think it provides more of a good basis for discussion than it does really to draw facts out of the chapter, and say, “here, 293 people thought this, or whatever.” You know, I think it was more a good basis for discussion. I think it’s sort of factual information.
Student 4: I thought mine was hard to teach. It was on non-verbal, and we had, everyone’s had a nonverbal before. And we just had it in the other book.
Student 1: yeah, I had that one.
Student 4: And I couldn’t get the audience, whatever, yeah the audience, you guys into it cuz it was just like “yeah, we know what that is, we know what that is.”
Student 1: Yeah, what you covered is what we covered in the last book .
Student 4: Yeah, exactly.
Student 1: It’s the same stuff.
Any ideas why we have to do it again?
Student 5: to fill up the semester so we don’t come up short?
Student 3: to fill up the semester.
Student 4: Maybe think about it again.
Student 3: I want her to teach.
Student 8: that’s what I just thought of.
Student 3: I’m sick of the “student, student, student.” I want her to teach.
Student 9: Cuz she’s got good ideas and experiences, and more, I mean she’s been in the field for so long.
Student 1: She’s always apologizing for her little mini-lectures, but always enjoy them.
Student 5: Yeah, me too. She’s always like “Oh, I’m sorry, I shouldn’t be teaching.” Well, you’re the teacher.
Student 3: She’s been to Africa several times. Please talk about it! I’m interested.
Student 5: I’ve never been to Africa. I’ve been to Moorhead. But my experience doesn’t compare to hers. Who wants to listen to me?
Student 6: I liked, I liked us doing it, you know, when we did the first book, and all of us taught something out of the first book I thought that was cool. But, I don’t know if doing two books is like kinda like overkill.
Student 3: I think it’s overkill. OVERKILL.

Do I put that in bold?
Student 3: yeah!
Student 6: Because, yeah, I mean, I think we are all interested in hearing what she has to say, and having her lead discussion sometimes. You know. Sometimes I feel like she’s just kinda sitting there waiting for us to hit upon some kind of point, and we’re just not quite getting there, not quite getting there, and not quite getting there. And I think we’d be able to, or we’d discuss a lot more if she’d participate.
Student 8: And we’re so fortunate to have someone like her on the staff at NDSU, someone with all her experience and all of her knowledge.
Student 3: Exactly.
Student 8: and all of her leadership, and then we’re teaching the class ourselves, and it’s like, it’s like you said, one book would have been fine, but now it’s like, Teach us. You’re so smart!
Student 3: Talk to us!
Student 4: I got it that she’s using us as a study, cuz she’s said, “No, I’m supposed to be learning from you guys.” I was like…
Student 5: It’s like, when I was teaching the class, it was so fun, and I was so excited for it, and it was so cool. But now it’s like, we want her knowledge. Because all we know is what we teach out of the chapters that we’ve read.
Student 9: And I don’t think we’re retaining anything. I’m not retaining anything.
Student 5: And she could expand on that so much. And it’s like we’re not benefiting from having her
Student 9: Yeah, anybody could teach this class.
Student 6: It’s kind of like having group communication all semester.
So you’d prefer a balance of the presentations and the lecture from her—a balance between the two.
Student 3: yes.
Okay.
Student 1: It’s not that, it’s not, I mean I felt like I’ve learned a lot. But like with everybody presenting, you know, us doing activities, and it being a different thing every day, I don’t know, like, I just feel that, for some reason if she did lecture half the time, I would pick up on it more. Or if we had to do more journaling about like, if she taught something and she had us journal about it later, that might be okay, too. I don’t know, maybe more journaling would’ve helped and then she’d give us feed back about that. I don’t know.
Student 3: I think so, too. Because like when, when we journaled yesterday, “Apply this concept to something you’ve read.” Well, you know, I can’t keep reading because I can’t get myself through it! You know, so I’m sitting here going “Ahh, haven’t obtained any knowledge, don’t know what’s going on. Better just pick something generic, you know. And it was really frustrating for me because I come to class every day, and I listen and I participate in discussion, But then when she’s like “journal about this thing,” you know, it was like I couldn’t even do it!
Any other discussion about the book? Then let’s segway into the journaling. That’s a good segway that you gave, both of you. Okay. Journaling. From what I hear, you’d like to have more specific, um. More journals with more specific topics or am I on the right track? What are you saying.
Student 4: Yeah, or just anything
Student 3: Take some more points from this book, I think.
Student 8: Or like, we talked about this in the book. We talked about this theory. How do you guys feel about this? What happens, how can you apply it.
Student 1: When she says journaling, I almost think it should almost be more like a personal thing, rather than what I’m going.
Student 8: yeah, talk about how it applies to you more.

Student 1: exactly. And the only thing that criticize, is like I know I got one journal entry back. And I think it happened here with other people. I know we’ve talked about it. But like, I think there was one journal entry where she had us pick two theories and talk about them. I know I picked one of them, and she said “Where did this come from. “ I know it came from the book, and I know it came from my chapter, and I probably should have shown her that. But, yeah, like, if you, I think if you, especially in that case, if you know, I knew where it came from. But, I don’t know, I felt like she criticized too much.
How about the rest of you? Do you feel that your journals—are they going okay? Do you want more? Is the feedback appropriate? Enough? Not enough?
Student 3: I just, I, journals, I want to talk, I want to apply it to my life. And then I want her to say, “yeah, that is how, that’s right. You know, you did apply it right. That’s a good example.” Tell me If this is right, cuz I just think that would be more effective that way. You know, and in my journal, my journal, I do think about my own personal things,
Student 9: That’s what I thought the journal would be actually, when I started. Cuz it started with a “here, we’ve learned about these concepts. What do you think about them?”
Student 3: Exactly.
Student 9: Instead of like mini-quizzes practically. Let’s see how much we can remember.
Student 4: It would have been really great practice for our service project paper to be able to apply the theory. But now we.
Student 8: But now it’s too late. And that’s another thing. We’ve done like 5 journals, and we’ve got like a month left of class. And so we’re probably, and we have 10 total.
Student 9: One will be on our service learning. So.
Student 6: And four more, but aren’t we almost done with the book?
Student 8: But its almost over, I mean my gosh, we’re going to be writing like crazy.
Any other comments about the journals? Okay, what about class room discussion. Is there enough? Not enough? One day she had us journal about classroom discussion, and then she came back with the outline of what it is to be a good college student. And from what I’ve seen and noticed, things like discussion have opened up some. Do you perceive that? Or not? How’s discussion going?
Student 4: When we wrote that journal, I swear the next day, in class, it was so quiet. No one wanted to talk. And I had my presentation that day and I was like “Oh my gosh, no one was talking!” And I was asking questions and looking at people like “help!” And I didn’t get anything out of it. And then she got up and said, got that pamphlet out, and she read it, and after that, it was like “Whooosh”.
Student 9: Well, some days it’s like. Some days you have better discussion than other days. You know, it seems a few less are talking some days, then some days everyone’s talking and some days no one wants to talk. Which I think it’s normal. It also goes with our moods.
Student 3: I feel sorry for ____ (male student in class).
Student 1: I wish that _____. would talk more.
Student 9: It must be frustrating, you know.
Student 3: But imagine, though. I can understand why maybe sometimes he’s hesitant to talk. I mean
Student 9: It’s the material being covered, too.
Student 5: I think so, too. I mean he has the opportunity to be like this—like all the women want to know.
Student 8: Oh, and I have him, like gosh, he’s in three other classes of mine. And he just says, sometimes I leave class and I’m like “oh, my god”. I sometimes feel like their really sensitive, and sometimes _____. and I will be like, “Man, how do you do this?” and he’s like “I don’t even say anything any more.” He’s like “ I don’t want to offend anybody. I don’t want to, you know, I don’t want to open my mouth. I feel like some people in there aren’t even worth responding to.” So he just mentioned that he’s just getting through the class. That’s all he cares about any more.
Student 1: And some of the things that like, maybe are real sensitive, things that are talked about, I’m not saying it’s men and male bashing, but…
Student 8: It is.
Student 1: And I look at him, and he’s the only one, and sometimes just feel like he’s sitting in the corner. And just there. Not necessarily every, but like, it’d be directed at him.
Student 3: Yeah, imagine being in a class with all guys, and you’re the only girl, and they’re talking about how they feel inferior, and how they’re angry, or they’re hurt, or they’re whatever, victims, or their this,
Student 8: And you want to stand up, but you’re like, how can you.
Student 3: Of course! You’re out-numbered. Why would you? I mean it would be difficult for me, anyway.
So how can you solve this?
Student 6: I don’t think you can. I don’t think that, in a class like this, I just think that it’s really unfortunate. And I wish, and sometimes I feel too, like it gets just out of hand, you know, like male-bashing and stuff, and things like I just want to say , “Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, I know lots of guys who aren’t like that, who don’t wear that, who treat
Student 9: Yeah,
Student 3: That’s right.
Student 6: You know, and I know lots and lots of guys, my best friends are guys, and all this kind of stuff, but I just thing that as long as people, as long as their trying to foster and atmosphere of open communication, those people who are open who do have all those negative opinions towards males are going to speak, and if ______. doesn’t feel confident in stepping up, not realizing, I don’t know, that a lot of us would support his point of view. I mean maybe if he realized that, he’d have more confidence in what he’s saying. If he doesn’t realize that a lot of us feel the same way that he does about this. And have the same points of view that he’s not gonna. I mean. It’s gotta be, I mean he’s gotta have the confidence to speak up for that himself. Cuz I can stand up and say , “Well, you know, I think, I have guy friends who do this all the time. “ Blah, blah, blah. But it’s not the same coming from a guy.
Student 4: Well, he’s taking a Women and Gender class. So, I mean.
Student 9: He told me that he took it cuz he wanted to understand a different viewpoint and stuff. And cuz he just got married, too. So he wants to maybe understand where his wife is coming from or whatever. And now, his view is like, “I don’t want to be in this class. I totally had been open to listen to things and to learn, too. But I don’t want to be here.”
Now you had just said, Student 6, that sometimes you feel you want to say, “But that’s not how it is.” And the rest of you nodded and things like that, too. But how often does anyone do that, and why not?
Student 6: I have before, but sometimes you generate more wanting to dwell.
Student 8: I know. Sometimes I get really frustrated. And sometimes it’s like. And sometimes it’s like I sit back and thing “These people are not even worth arguing with. “ The people I think who have this really, and I’m not saying anybody specific. But anyone in class that’s got these really negative points on male’s behaviors have almost like blinders on. And no matter what you say, you’re not going to change their mind. That’s how they think. I think how I think. And I feel like I would, I just, just by saying something would get me more frustrated, so let people discuss
Student 5: There’s a lot of time I have something to say, but I just don’t because I know what kind of discussion is going to follow. It’s like, “Well, I don’t have the energy to argue about that today, or it’s goinna take an hour, and someone is trying to present, and we have to stay on track. So it’s like I hold back a big part of the discussion because I know what’s gonna follow, and it doesn’t
Student 8: And I think it’s inevitable in a class like this, where you’ve got all kinds, I mean you’ve got people who are very feminist thinking, you’ve got people that are very, more conservative in thinking. So there’s always going to be conflicts in a class that’s this open with discussion. SO I think like you said, it’s just. Using your judgment. Like sometimes things are best left unsaid if it’s just going to cause a big debate. Sometimes debate is good, but you’re right, we have to stay on track in here. People are trying to accomplish their getting their chapter done and stuff done
Student 6: And sometimes when you get involved in a big debate like that, nobody wins. Anyways. And I know I’m one of the big talkers, and sometimes I’m like “God, shut up, you’re talking too much.” Especially after those things came in, I felt really bad because I know, I mean I’m sure, that there are times when other people are talking when we are thinking, “Well, if she would just shut up, then I would be able to talk. Sometimes feel bad, and sometimes I’m like “I’ve gotta say this!” But uh, I mean, I’ve gotten into, you know, some big discussions like that Spectrum discussion. And I won’t say anything about that. But I just walked out of here mad. Like I was just ticked when I left. I was just like ticked for an hour after I left here. And I thought nobody won. What was even in the point of getting into that discussion. The other person won’t back down and I’m not going to back down.
Student 4: I don’t think this class is for who’s winning. She doesn’t want discussion for someone to win. She doesn’t want a discussion for the majority and then nothing for losers. She doesn’t want that at all. She just wants us to say our points. And this whole thing, that’s my opinion, that’s her opinion. You don’t have to change your opinion. You don’t have to be against their opinion. You know, sometimes you want to think, “No, I wish they didn’t think like that. “ That’s unfortunate, but you know, I know she doesn’t want anyone steaming out.
Student 8: It is, kinda, like you don’t want to, you shouldn’t be taking it personally or anything. I know what you mean. Like when things touch on your personal. I mean I remember that discussion. You are personally involved with the Spectrum. Then, you know, it’s hard not to get. But I think, just to make a positive point, I think that when she has us journal about how we’re feeling, that’s a really good stress release, cuz it gives you an opportunity to say everything you’re thinking without being interrupted and without having to debate it with anybody. And you get your whole point in.
Student 1: Plus she knows that we’re different. You know, you don’t have to go and talk to her about why you’re not revealing. She’ll just know.
Student 8: Yeah, why, maybe you aren’t talking as much in class. You know like maybe you used to talk, but not anymore? There’s some girls in class that I think don’t ever say anything sometimes, you know, so I think being able to get it out on paper in a journal is really helpful.
So, overall, what do you say are the strengths of this course?
Student 9: I think it’s opening my viewpoints. I mean it’s helping me to see more. I mean through our discussions and like I’m just learning more about feminist issues. Before this class, actually, I wouldn’t have considered myself a feminist. Now I am referring to myself as a feminist, but not as a feminist-male-bashing way, but in the feminist, “I think we all should be treated equally” way.
Student 6: Third wave feminism. Cuz I remember from my chapter.
Student 1: Feminists want to be equal with men They do not want to dominate and suppress men.
Student 9: Right, yeah, like I believe it that way.
Any other strengths of this class?
Student 6: Despite the aggrevation of doing everything. I do feel discussion is a strength of the course, because it gives you an opportunity to see other people’s points of view, and to get your self heard and see things from away and say “Oh, never thought of that.”
Student 1: But, you know, we can apply like just like communication, you know like eye contact—you can practice that while you’re talking. And stuff, and you know in all you other classes, you sit back and let your peers.
Okay. Any other strengths? Guess what I’m going to ask next? What are some of the weaknesses. The overall weaknesses. We’ve talked about several things you’d like to see changed. Any other things you’d like to see changed, or what do you think are weaknesses? Any thing beyond what we’ve talked about?
Student 5: I think we kind of covered most of it. It’s kind of like I’m kind of disenchanted with it now. Like when we first met, I was so excited for this class. But now, with the repetition of the material, and the frustration, big frustration, with the service project, and the journals not being journals, It kind of, it’s kind of gotten more tedious. Like it was very, very enjoyable, but now, it’s not so much enjoyable.
Do you all agree?
Students all nodded or said Yeah.
And last question: Any other comments?
Student 3: Maybe next time say, “_____ (male student)., how do you feel about this” and then “all the women lay off now for a second, _______., how do you feel? “
Student 9: It has to be the right environment to handle that.
Student 8: And I know that there’s no way to regulate or promote it, but I think this class would have been very interesting if there had been an equal ration of men and women here. And I know there’s nothing you can do. And it could have been really, debateable. But I think it would have been very interesting for guys to maybe hear where women are coming from Because I don’t think that guys understand where women are coming from when we feel like we’re being suppressed. I think guys sometimes stuff just goes over their heads, and their just like they don’t realize they’re being insensitive or that and women could maybe get some feed back on why, well guys could say well hey, we do this because we’re suppose to, and when you have a guy like J. J. who I think is kinda shy to begin with.
Student 4: I did my first presentation with him, and he is quiet. Kinda quiet and kinda just sit there.
Student 8: If there was some way to promote the class to guys. I mean at least the guys in speech comm.. We could talk to the advisors.
Student 6: I think we should change the name to “Gender Communication.”
All students: “Yeah,” “Take the ‘women’ out.” “Thank you.”
Student 9: And not have it be so men-bashing like this is with different texts and stuff.

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