BORDERLESS | Thesis it!


Thursday, April 6, 2017

#KONTINGPUSH #thesis is life #kaya ni #road to graduation. These are just some of the hashtags I read and see online, especially during the last few days of classes.

Ask any graduating student what subject they find stressful and I am sure they will tell you it is their research class. They find research stressful because it demands so much time from them. It requires them to think critically and out of the box. They need to find books and other sources to support their topics. They battle sleepless nights trying to complete the chapters of their research. So, no wonder thesis class is one of the most stressful courses.

I have been teaching Communication Research for two years already. As an instructor of this course, I must admit I underwent challenges and difficulties. I have a hard time thinking what possible methodology to use to make students appreciate research.

I started the semester giving them library work. The instruction was to look for literature support in their chosen topics. Now I realize I should have given them ample time to brainstorm on possible topics instead of focusing more on literature support. In other schools, I learned that teachers allot at least one month in identifying the problem and crafting objectives. I thought that is a good idea.

If students are focused on identifying their topics, as an instructor you are assured that writing the literature review and other chapters of research would be very easy. I also learned that for the students to appreciate the value of research, one strategy would be making them undergo the different research methodologies like survey, FGD, among others. By the time they write their proposal they are already familiar with the ins and outs of research.

However, despite these teaching strategies, you can only do so much. One factor to consider is the interest of students to actually do research. Some of them are too lazy to accomplish the tasks. Some students do not want to squeeze their brains. They would rather sleep.

But there are students really interested in research. They are the ones who visit the adviser frequently. They ask endless questions and their aim is to improve their paper. They are not sensitive when it comes to constructive criticism. Instead, they treat comments as motivation to further enhance the quality of their paper. At the end of the semester, they are now ready to subject their paper to interpellation via the panel members.

A student could finally say with pride the expression, “THESIS IT!” after the panel members deliberate the paper and decide that the paper meet their standards. It is not an easy feat. Students battle stage fright as they present and defend their paper.  Some of them could hardly utter a word because of fear. When they finally surpass this ordeal, they feel mixed emotions. Some of them cry. Some jump for joy and some are nonchalant.  

The feeling is unexplainable.  After the drama and heartaches, perhaps students should not forget to say thank you to their adviser, to their panel members, and to their thesis partners. They would not be able to reach this far without the help of these people. They are part of the victory achieved.

The journey of completing the thesis is a roller-coaster ride. It will turn your world upside down literally. But not matter what happens, you must never give up. Focus to your goal and work hard to get it so that at the end of day you could finally say, “I have survived it, THESIS really it!” (rcampillan@usa.edu.ph/PN)

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