I have just returned to Melbourne, after a five month visit to the UK (which is where I am from) which from both a research perspective and for personal reasons was excellent.
Whilst there I visited my second supervisor at Nottingham University and we worked on my second case study for my PhD. A game called Balance Ninja. We built, tested and ran a study all in the space of a few weeks and I was able to get some great research findings from the data.
These findings I've written up and submitted to a conference, so are currently in review, but I was also able to use them to strengthen my research. As part of my candidature at RMIT I have to pass research milestones at the end of each year - preparing a draft document of the thesis and presenting to a panel made of my two supervisors, an independent member and a panel chair. Whilst back home I found it really rewarding writing up the last two years worth of work and seeing it come together, and fortunately I passed the milestone last week with no amendments (yay!).
Although I have no amendments that I need to make directly to the document I left the presentation with plenty of feedback and questions that need answering: what is my research not about? Why is it relevant now and who is it for? As well as feedback that I need to begin developing my critical and personal voice more when discussing related work.
All in all, I've had a great end to my second PhD year, visiting another Uni and seeing family and friends that are usually 10K miles away! And I hope to keep up the work momentum, finishing a third case study fairly quickly in order to concentrate on the writing and honing my contribution.
Part of this endeavour involves committing myself to reporting and documenting my research more regularly, so I'll use this blog as a vehicle to do that. Lets get started on my third and (hopefully) final PhD year!