Why I record my meetings with my doctoral committee

Just sharing what I’ve learned about the value of recording committee meetings; this has proved to be especially important when meetings aren’t 1-on-1 and there’s lots of chatter and sometimes varied perspectives (as is the case for me with three members of my PhD committee).

Taking notes in this scenario just doesn’t often work for me. Sometimes, I have the attention span of an excited puppy…



Plus, we can talk! And I struggle to take detailed notes and remain present. I do still jot a couple of notes into my meeting minutes, but trying to keep up with listening to three other people talking (and asking me questions and thinking) can feel overwhelming. Further, I need to be and feel fully present because my committee meetings don’t contain a lot of information-transmission or “telling” but involve a lot of probing and clarifying type of feedback and, of course, discussion of next steps (probably like yours!).

So, with their permission, I video record my meetings. This has proved to be so valuable because, in the moment, critical feedback can sting, folks. But the ability to listen to the feedback at a later date can often take the bite out of the interaction.

In fact, I journaled about my last committee meeting; in short, it felt incredibly challenging in that moment & I felt that emotion in my body, it felt hard to focus & I felt I couldn’t articulate myself and ultimately, when we’d wrapped, I left the meeting feeling deflated…

But I went back to recording a few days later and seeing and hearing the meeting from from this point of view provided me with different perspective. My feelings at the time are also valid, but I feel that having the meeting recorded allows me to tackle critical feedback at a later date when it’s not so raw. Recording also allows me to return to and summarise the meeting’s next steps with precision.

Do you record your meetings? I’d love to hear your experiences on why/why not!

RAISE Reading Group (June 2022)

Recently the RAISE Network (Researching, Advancing & Inspiring Student Engagement) discussed our (Dr. Cathy Stone and Dr. Rebecca Bennett) paper, Conceptualising and Building Trust to Enhance the Engagement and Achievement of Under-Served Students, published in The Journal of Continuing Higher Education.

Dr. Rachel Forsyth chaired the discussion, and while Cathy, Bec nor I were unable to attend, we are so grateful for hearing about the discussion. You can read the thoughtful write-up by Dr. Forsyth via the AdvanceHE website, linked here:
https://connect.advance-he.ac.uk/topics/14367/topic_feed_posts/1256842

and replicated below:

You can join RAISE on 5 July for their last session of the UK academic year, when they are planning a happy and positive discussion about this paper:

Picton, C., Kahu, E. R., & Nelson, K. (2018). ‘Hardworking, determined and happy’: first-year students’ understanding and experience of success. Higher Education Research & Development, 37(6), 1260-1273. https://doi.org/10.1080/07294360.2018.1478803

More information and registration at this link.

#100DaysofWriting Inclusive & Engaging Pedagogy

During our upcoming workshop on Thursday, 8/26 (6-7pm ET), we’ll be joined by Pascale Guiton and Eve Higby to discuss how to better engage students across different platforms, develop inclusive pedagogy, and nudge students toward success both inside and outside the classroom! There will be something for everyone to learn and we especially encourage students to join to share their experiences!
The session will take place Thursday, August 26, from 6-7pm ET.
Register here: http://tinyurl.com/100DaysRound6