I survived last semester and now I'm in Spring 2016 taking 2 classes: Survey Research and College & University Teaching. Both are keeping me plenty busy, but both are manageable at the moment.
With each semester, I'm feeling better and better about my research focus. I started looking at "gaming" in general in the business/corporate sector. Then I found myself pushed into gamification, which is a subset of games. I've done 80% of my research in that area. Now, I'm beginning to think I need to do more research on game-based learning. I also need to do a lot more research, and even a full literature review, on new employee orientation since that's the group I'll use for conducting my study. It's okay, though. I'm realizing that it's all part of the process.
It's nice that I have two major assignments this semester that can be targeted toward my topic. One assignment is to conduct an opinion survey. I'm able to work with HR to conduct a pilot survey that will help refine my research question! The second assignment is to write a 20-page research paper. Although I haven't fully refined my topic, I plan to explore how college professors are using game-based learning or gamification in their classrooms. We have to actually conduct a small survey for this project, as well. Although my dissertation research will focus on corporate employees, this paper will help give me a different perspective and I'm sure the process will be beneficial.
Near the end of the semester when these courses get harder, I may not be so positive about the whole thing, but for now, I'm feeling good about the journey.