Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: March 27, 2020

“Write until it becomes as natural as breathing. Write until not writing makes you anxious.” ~Christina KatzAmidst the stress and constant concern associated with the COVID-19 worldwide pandemic crisis, I had greatly hoped to present non-pandemic related content in this list of articles from around the web. Of course, I knew that would be a long-shot, but I was hopeful regardless. As textbook and academic authors, we are unfortunately not immune to the “real world” issues that span the globe and this list demonstrates some of the ways our academic community has been impacted by the novel coronavirus and how we are addressing the related effects.

Included in the collection are tips for writing while distracted, continuing research efforts and managing the risks associated with the pandemic, and completing PhD defenses virtually. There are also articles on imagining forward, the impact of COVID-19 on academic conferences, and methods for teaching online. Finally, there is an opinion article on the importance of coming together as an academic community in times of crisis.

Anxiety is inevitable at times like this. Writing, for many of us, can be an outlet for that stress and concern. To maintain a healthy writing habit during this time of crisis, it may even be helpful to follow the advice of Christina Katz who said, “Write until it becomes as natural as breathing. Write until not writing makes you anxious.” Happy writing!

Twelve top tips for writing while distracted

We’re all quite distracted at the moment: by world events, changes in routine, the needs of family members and friends, and our own emotions. Yet many of us still have writing work to do. And it’s hard. Writing is hard anyway, and in this time of massive uncertainty it’s harder than ever.

I have been thinking about this a lot as I have a whole bunch of writing on my to-do list right now. I’ve also been watching and participating in online conversations about the difficulties people are experiencing when they’re trying to write. And I’ve tried out a few strategies of my own in recent days. So here are my twelve top tips.

The best laid plans… Qualitative research design during COVID-19

In this moment of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the ideas of emergent design and researcher and design responsiveness take on new meaning and import; they can serve, I argue, to connect more traditional qualitative methods with participatory frameworks and critical and humanizing methodologies such as trauma-informed methodology and Chronic Illness Methodology, which I describe below.

Managing research risks – riding the wave of #phdpandemic

In the normal run of things researchers seeking funding often have to produce a risk management schedule. They have to anticipate things that might go wrong, things like those listed above, and decide whether these are a high, low or medium probability. Then they put a contingency plan in place. Then they go on.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone put down pandemic as a risk. Who actually knew that this was going to be a thing, and that it would close down labs, projects, and perhaps even the PhD? But now it is on us.  Now is the time when risk management thinking becomes really real. What do we do?

Virtual thesis defense

Virtual defenses have quickly become the norm, thanks to the social distancing and stay-at-home orders related to the coronavirus. But they are not new. Graduate students who cannot be on campus, or whose committee members can’t be there, have been Zooming and otherwise virtually defending research for years.

Imagining forward: Visual storytelling to make research accessible for practice

It is my delight to be the SAGE MethodsSpace Mentor-in-Residence for March 2020. This month focuses on qualitative research design, and this piece, Imagining Forward: Visual Storytelling to Make Research Accessible for Practice, is a vital contribution to qualitative research methodology. This post speaks to the research imagination as it relates to representations of research meanings and data. The piece focuses on the ways that qualitative researchers can, and we argue, should, re-imagine our approaches to conducting research broadly, and specifically our methods for analyzing, sharing, and representing data.

Coronavirus is a wakeup call for academic conferences. Here’s why

The current international health crisis surrounding coronavirus is wreaking havoc across the globe and is now also having a major impact on the scholarly ecosystem. Academic conferences are being hardest hit as event after event is cancelled to reduce the risk of the virus spreading further.

Poll on tools for online teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic

I ran a poll about teaching from home during this pandemic. Do we have the tools for teaching online? And did our universities provide them or did we buy these tools ourselves?

Free resource: “Teaching Social Research Methods and Data Science Skills Online”

This white paper aims to contribute to the small but growing body of literature on best practice and tips for developing curricula and teaching social research methods and data science online by sharing experiences of the team who developed SAGE Campus.

Coming together in crisis times

The COVID-19 crisis has deepened the divide between the faculty and administration on most campuses. Though this is a time when we need to come together, we live in a culture of mutual mistrust. Unity is much easier to describe than it is to achieve.