Phase E—Design of Further Research and Engagement


“I have clear objectives with respect to product—both written and practice—and process—including my personal development as a reflective practitioner. I have arranged my work in a sequence (with realistic deadlines) to realize these objectives.”


You are probably around a third of your way into the time allotted for your project. Having identified many and varied research tasks to prepare you to write a compelling report (Phase D), you now need to prioritize those tasks and perhaps adjust how you are framing your project (Phase A). Phase E approaches the design of the research and engagement ahead by articulating a broader vision for your work that integrates your reflection on the Reflective Practitioner Goals. This broader vision should motivate and guide you in completing the tasks that you work into your design.

Tools and Processes

Strategic Personal Planning
Research and Engagement Design
Making Time and Taking the Time


Note: The word design in phase E refers primarily to planning so that you can undertake what you really need to do during the course of completing your project. This planning is easier said than done. This sense of design does not encompass preparation of effective questionnaires, determining a statistically valid sample of people to complete them, and so on. As a comprehensive text on that kind of research design, see Schutt (2016).

In session 6
Review the Reflective Practitioner Goals.
Strategic Personal Planning through the first stage: Practical Vision.

By session 7
Time permitting, complete the full Strategic Personal Planning, proceeding from Practical Vision through the three subsequent stages: Underlying Obstacles, Strategic Directions, and Action Plans. If pressed for time, you might use Freewriting to formulate Action Plans directly after the Practical Vision stage.

By session 8
Complete a Research and Engagement Design that lays out a realistic sequence of completable steps to realize your vision for the project and overcome anticipated obstacles.

Follow up

We all know what it is like to make plans or to-do lists that get eclipsed by other calls on our time and attention. If this starts to happen—or even before it has a chance to happen—arrange a buddy to check in with each day, if only to make sure that both of you have made time to review your practical vision, design, and specific action plans. Indeed, this is the appropriate point—if that has not happened already—for discussion with your peers about establishing a Support and Coaching Structure to get everyone to finish their research and writing in the time available. At the same time, if, like everyone, you feel pressed for time, the practice of Making Time and Taking the Time addresses that by having you acknowledge each of the different personas you have and assigning time for each every day. As you move towards Drafting—if not earlier—the consistent practice of Daily Writing is valuable.
Schutt, Russell K. (2016). Understanding the Social World: Research Methods for the 21st Century. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.