It is all connected!

I encountered INF537 Digital Futures Colloquium, near the end of my MEd KN & DI journey. It promised the opportunity to consider the impact of knowledge networks, of collaboration and innovation in digital cultures of learning and what this can mean for my professional development and practice.

From the start I was confronted by a repeating truth: in collaborative digital environments we learn with and from one another – whether it be with and from this cohort, our subject coordinator, industry experts, exemplary practitioners or thought leaders – as I wrote in my introductory blog post for this module (Wocke, 2019a). I involuntarily thought back to what some of the thought leaders and exemplary practitioners I came across had to say about a digital culture of learning:

  • Downes (2006) said knowledge consists of the network of connections formed from experience and interaction with a knowing community.
  • Brown (2000) said the Internet is not only an informational and social resource but a learning medium where understandings are socially constructed and shared.
  • Rheingold (2011) said we co-construct our learning in collaborative learning communities online.
  • Siemens (2014) said networked learning happens through external social spaces, where social systems and technology systems are now part of human knowledge.

It is, it seems, all about collaboratively learning in a connected knowing community. It was time to bring my learning into spaces where it can be socially constructed and shared. When I came across the term “outward-facing learning” in Module 1, it resonated immediately.  I was determined to develop as a participatory learner and share my thoughts as a connected learner during this module:

I started off by participating in every single discussion on the INF532 Padlet board and Flipgrid. When the Flipgrid slot was too short to share my view on communities of practice, I created and published my first podcast (inserted below).

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

This I shared in a blog post (Wocke, 2019b) and via Twitter (Wocke, 2019c). I was quite surprised when two members of the cohort actually listened and commented – I AM part of a community of collaborative learners, it seems!

During my research for the paper on Digital Scholarship, which I wrote about in A revolution by digital scholars (Wocke, 2019d), I realized that open access has developed further than just free and unrestricted access to research, it’s also about open data, transparency in peer review and an open approach to science assessment (“Openness Inspires Innovation”, n.d.). This convinced me to make this part of my practice and bring my personal research for the INF537 research paper into the open. I included in my project proposal links to my working data gathering documents, effectively giving open access to the project as it developed (see below).Project porposal for INF537 Assessment 3

Since scholars like Weller (2012) proclaims that blogging sits at the heart of being a modern academic and that newly constructed knowledge can be shared in so many new formats and media in the digital domain, I decided to further turn my learning “outward-facing” through blogging. I produced the narrative part of the data gathered for the INF537 research project into a series of  blogposts, that I called August Online, thereby further developing my reflective practice (Wocke, 2019e).

I have to be honest that not everything worked according to plan. In a post called Modelling Digital Scholarship (Wocke, 2019f), I proudly announced my intent to be authentic in making my learning “open”, by blogging out loud as I investigate digital scholarship and by posting a “draft” of my paper for my cohort members to comment on – REALLY practicing how I see knowledge creation developing in the digital era. Sadly, two factors kept me from reaching this goal: firstly, time constraints did not allow me to complete a draft in time for comments, and secondly, this (admittedly small) cohort proved on the whole to be disappointingly unresponsive and un-collaborative. None the less, all of this proved to be part of the learning curve, and at the end of this module I am not surprised to look back on my learning and find “It is all connected!


References

Brown, J. S. (2000). Growing up digital: How the web changes work, education, and the ways people learn. Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, 32(2), 11-20. Retrieved from http://www.johnseelybrown.com/Growing_up_digital.pdf

Downes, S. (2006). Learning networks and connective knowledge. In Collective intelligence and elearning. https://doi.org/10.4018/978-1-60566-729-4.ch001

Openness inspires innovation. (n.d.). Retrieved August 18, 2019, from PLOS website: https://www.plos.org/who-we-are

Rheingold, H. (2011, July 22). Learning reimagined: Participatory, peer, global, online [Blog post]. Retrieved from Connected Learning Alliance Blog: https://clalliance.org/blog/learning-reimagined-participatory-peer-global-online/

USC: Learning and Teaching. (2014, January 21). Overview of connectivism – Dr George Siemens [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yx5VHpaW8sQ

Weller, M. (2012, April 29). The virtues of blogging as scholarly activity [Blog post]. Retrieved from The Chronicle of Higher Education website: https://www.chronicle.com/article/The-Virtues-of-Blogging-as/131666

Wocke, G. (2019a, July 15). INF537 digital futures colloquium – A new journey [Blog post]. Retrieved from Gretha Reflecting website: https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/grethaw/2019/07/15/inf537-digital-futures-colloquium-a-new-journey/

Wocke, G. (2019f, July 29). Modelling digital scholarship [Blog post]. Retrieved from Gretha Reflecting website: https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/grethaw/2019/07/26/modeling-digital-scholarship/

Wocke, G. (2019b, August 3). Communities of practice: An audio reflection [Blog post]. Retrieved from Gretha Reflecting website: https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/grethaw/2019/08/03/communities-of-practice-an-audio-reflection/

Wocke, G. (2019c, August 3). #INF537: My reflection on Communities of Practice, where I applied Wenger’s definition to a Facebook group for school librarians in my PLN, got too long for flipgrid and I posted a podcast on my blog https://bit.ly/2YHxHbY [Tweet]. Retrieved from https://twitter.com/GrethaWocke/status/1157528399893729281

Wocke, G. (2019e, August 4). Why this? [Blog post]. Retrieved from August Online website: https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/augustonline/page/3/

Wocke, G. (2019d, September 5). A revolution by digital scholars [Blog post]. Retrieved from Gretha Reflecting website: https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/grethaw/2019/09/05/a-revolution-by-digital-scholars/

How (and why) has my online behaviour changed during my master’s studies? INF537 Assessment 3

This blogpost contains the gist (some bits summarised, sometimes blatantly copied and pasted) ) of my INF537 Assessment item 3.


The Internet is, without a doubt, the most universally important technological invention of my lifetime. This transformative medium, the result of a convergence of developments in digital, communication, and mobile technologies, has allowed for the creation of an online, networked society where we can learn, work, create, play and socially mingle (Brown, 2000, p. 12). For more than two years now, as part of this Master of Education program, I have been immerged in and occupied with studies focussing on aspects of our interaction with this environment. Through my studies my understanding of how knowledge is created and exchanged in online networked environments, and how these different knowledge interactions transform learning, has radically changed and caused conceptual shifts in my online behaviour and relationships – but exactly how and why?

Here is what I did… Early in my studies I created a map of my engagement with online technology, according to White and Le Cornu’s (2011) Visitors and Residents Typology for Online Engagement,

For this assignment I created a second map, this time created at the end of my studies.

The hoped for is a better understanding of how I have developed as a connected learner, knowledge creator and educator. Understanding “how” and “why” I engage with digital resources, tools and spaces will better inform decisions about my online social presence and time spent online. It will also allow me to model exemplary behaviour to my students and colleagues and assist them in being aware of and developing good practice and habits.

All this led me to the question: “How (and why) has my online behaviour changed during my master’s studies?”.

Autoethnography, is a self-focused, intentional and systematic ethnographic approach to collecting, analysing and interpreting data about how the self is influenced and shaped in a specific socio-cultural context (Ngunjiri, Hernandez, & Chang, 2010, p. 2). This approach proved an ideal fit for the purposes of this study, where I needed to collect, analyse and interpret data about how my behaviour is influenced and shaped in the online world. To compensate for the fact that autoethnography concentrates on a single participant, it is essential to include metrics that provide multiple perspectives on the cultural phenomenon being studied and therefor an analytical autoethnographical approach was followed, where data was gathered through self-observation and self-reflection (Cohen, Manion, & Morrison, 2011, p. 128; Chang, 2008, p. 115). For self-observation purposes, detailed factual data about online actions and transactions, and related thoughts and emotions, were gathered and recorded systematically in spreadsheet format in a daily log for a designated period of one week. For self-reflection purposes, a “field-journal” was kept in the form of daily blog entries. For four weeks, reflections on my online engagement, this research study, and how it all related to knowledge networking theories, were recorded in these blog posts.

In autoethnographical research, data analysis and interpretation are interwoven processes in which the researcher “zooms in” (analysis) and “zooms out” (interpretation) of the collected data. Analysis allows attention to details, while interpretation allows a holistic view of the data and cultural context under study (p. 162-164). Interpreting the data in terms of the modes of engagement developed by White and De Cornu (2017) allowed me to create a mapping of my current online engagement , as shown in figure 2 above.

The final step in this study was to determine what a comparison of the two mappings would reveal about changes in my online behaviour. Cohen, Manion and Morrison (2011) suggest a narrative as one way of organising and presenting data interpretation, reasoning that a narrative can help the (auto)ethnographer and reader to understand the experiences of both the participant and the cultural phenomena being studied (p. 553). Ellis, Adams, & Bochner (2011) argues that autoethnography is both method and product, validating the fact that the final product of the research process is an autoethnography – a written interpretation of the findings, in which I could relate my online modes of engagement to aspects of the theories I had studied (p. 273).

Did analysis of the data inform my answers, and does the conclusions allow me to answer my inquiry questions?

  • What does a current mapping of my online behaviour look like in terms of the V&R framework? The new V&R map shows clear resident behaviour in both personal and institutional quadrants, with only a few applications in the visitors end of the continuum.
  • How does a map of my online behaviour at the culmination my studies differ from a map created at the beginning of my studies? New social media tools have appeared in both personal and institutional areas with strong resident use. Use of Facebook is more residential, but now almost entirely professional/institutional. The move of Google searches towards the resident end of the continuum is an indication of a better understanding that all transactions executed while being logged in to a Google account, leaves a trace, whether intended or not.
  • What are the possible reasons for the changes in my online behaviour (if any)? A strong belief in the value of a personal learning network and in communities of practice developed during my studies. This is probably responsible for a shift in the use of Facebook, but also in the introduction of Twitter and LinkedIn as professional networking tools. A subsequent general increase in use of mobile technology and online spaces may be responsible for the increased use of personal application in resident mode.

The research question was adequately answered in the final autoethnographical narrative, finding a correlation between the study of concepts such as communities of practice, personal learning networks, social networking and connected learning.

All research should have a beneficial or practical application for others and qualitative research methods should help us to better understand a phenomenon in a given community or setting (Méndez, 2013, p. 282). While the goal with the study was of an entirely personal nature, and can be judged as successful as such, the method and techniques can be of value when transferred to other contexts. Individuals, groups and institutions wanting to engage in a process of systematic sociological introspection to better understand personal or organisational online engagement can benefit from implementing the methods developed in this study.

It is clear to me that my online behaviour has changed significantly – and will probably continue to do so, as I have come to believe that learning IS social, it IS a network forming process and knowledge? Well Siemens may be correct: knowledge may be a networked product, but I like Stephen Downes’s explanation that knowledge may consist of a network of connections, formed from experience and interactions with a knowing community better.

More about this in the next, which may well be the last, blog post on Gretha Reflecting…


REFERENCES

Brown, J. S. (2000). Growing up digital: How the web changes work, education, and the ways people learn. Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, 32(2), 11-20. Retrieved from http://www.johnseelybrown.com/Growing_up_digital.pdf

Chang, H. (2008). Autoethnography as method. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/40010651_Autoethnography_as_Method

Cohen, L., Manion, L., & Morrison, K. R. B. (2011). Research methods in education (7th ed.). New York: Routledge.

Downes, S. (2006). Learning networks and connective knowledge. In Collective intelligence and elearning. https://doi.org/10.4018/978-1-60566-729-4.ch001

Ellis, C., Adams, T. E., & Bochner, A. P. (2011). Autoethnography: An overview. Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 12(1). Retrieved from http://www.qualitative-research.net/index.php/fqs/article/view/1589/3095

Evaluating digital services: A visitors and residents approach. (2014, February). Retrieved from JISC website: https://www.jisc.ac.uk/full-guide/evaluating-digital-services#

Méndez, M. (2013). Autoethnography as a research method: Advantages, limitations and criticisms. Colombian Applied Linguistics Journal, 15(2). Retrieved from http://www.scielo.org.co/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0123-46412013000200010

Ngunjiri, F. W., Hernandez, C.-A. C., & Chang, H. (2010). Living autoethnography: Connecting life and research. Journal of Research Practice, 6(11). Retrieved from http://jrp.icaap.org/index.php/jrp/article/view/241

USC: Learning and Teaching. (2014, January 21). Overview of connectivism – Dr George Siemens [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yx5VHpaW8sQ

 

White, D., & Le Cornu, A. (2011). Visitors and residents: A new topology of online engagement. First Monday, 11(6). Retrieved from https://firstmonday.org/article/view/3171/3049

White, D., & Le Cornu, A. (2017). Using ‘Visitors and residents’ to visualise digital practices. First Monday, 22(8). Retrieved from https://firstmonday.org/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/7802/6515

 

A revolution by digital scholars

A summary of my thoughts on how scholarly publishing … through the open access movement … is transforming the open-ness of the entire academic research process. A more complete version of these thoughts were submitted as Assessment item 2 for INF537.


Image by rawpixel from Pixabay

Image by rawpixel from Pixabay

Research and the dissemination of research results through scholarly publishing are an essential way in which our society expands knowledge. Through the past centuries scholarly publishing has dictated the recording and disseminating of research findings and has consolidated into the formalised structures of journal articles and monographs.

The journal is an important type of formal scholarly communication that not only serves to communicate peer-reviewed research results but enables authors to establish ownership and precedence of ideas, build personal reputations and further careers, and potentially obtain future research funding (Johnson, Watkinson, & Mabe, 2018, p. 15, 77). Journals are typically published by commercial publishers or learned society publishers, who sell subscription to journals to readers and archiving and curating institutions such as libraries (p. 43). It is standard procedure in the traditional scholarly publishing model that neither author nor reviewer receive remuneration for their work and that the author transfers intellectual property rights to journal publishers, allowing the publisher to explore all commercial rights. Publishers still argue that this should not be viewed as a “giving away” of rights, but as an exchange for services provided, such as semantic enrichment (copy editing, tagging, etc.) and dissemination of content (Johnson, Watkinson, & Mabe, 2018, p. 14).  BUT when digital innovation and its ability to connect everyone everywhere and almost instantaneously and freely share information, since digital media are infinitely reproducible at zero marginal cost (Pearce, Weller, Scanlon & Ashleigh (2010), p. 34) it became clear that while paying for access to journals was common practise in the world of print publishing, where physical copies of articles had to be delivered to every reader, this is not justified in the digital world (“Openness Inspires”, n.d.). Another really valid argument against the current publishing model is that since the majority of research is publicly funded and executed by researchers without direct compensation, it is unjust that results are hidden behind technical, legal, and financial barriers which are maintained by publishers, locking out most of the world’s population and preventing the use of new research techniques (“Open access”, n.d.).  The affordances of digital innovation clearly brought great tension between the stakeholders in the traditional scholarly publishing model and a growing discontent over the proprietary model of publication.

Digital innovation improved the efficiency of the editing process, the speed with which peer-review can be conducted and enables almost immediate, ubiquitous access to the content of scholarly publications. Pearce, Weller, Scanlon & Ashleigh (2010) stresses that digitization creates possibilities for openness and transparency (p. 34). SPARC favours the development of an open system of communicating research results, to which anyone can contribute and benefit from. SPARC views this concept of openness with potential to be responsible for the most distuptive change in scholarly publishing (“Open access,” n.d.). Open access (OA) is understood to be the free and immediate online access to research results and scholarly publications, with the unrestricted right to (re)use content (“Open Access,” n.d.; “Benefits of Open,” n.d.). cOAlition S, a group of national research funding organisations with backing from the European Union, see open access as foundational to research and the scientific enterprise, pronouncing no justification for a subscription-based model of scholarly publishing and mandating all research funded by them to be available without embargo through open access repositories from 2021 (“Why plan, S” n.d.).

At first open access only presented a challenge to the traditional publishing model, but soon it became a model and strategy for research and governing organisations to improve knowledge circulation and innovation (“Open science (Open access)”, n.d.). The concept of openness is now being applied to:research data, raising the question of how data can be made open and be re-used to reproduce and advance research results; a more open and transparent peer-review process can become more open and transparent; and  scientific evaluation (Penev, 2017, p. 1). Self-archiving of pre- and post-publication copies of journal articles on personal websites, in institutional or national repositories, via archiving institutions such as libraries, or through uploading to scientific social collaboration networks such as ResearchGate and Academia continue to improve open access to scholarly content (Johnson, Watkinson, & Mabe, 2018, p. 114; P. 98; p. 80). Digital scholars increasingly find media other than publication of journal articles to share their academic thoughts – e.g. videos, podcasts, blog posts, and slide casts. While these are not commonly accepted as scholarly publications yet, they make more effective use of the affordances of digital and linkable media than text-based journal articles – an example being JoVE, a peer-reviewed video journal (n.d.). Weller (2012) correctly reasons that a key aspect of the digital revolution is not the direct replacement of one form of scholarly activity with another, but rather the addition of alternatives to traditional methods of scholarly publication.

The changes to the scholarly publishing model that was made possible by the digital revolution is now reforming not only scholarly publishing, but the nature of research, as well as advancing scholarship into a multi-faceted digital scholarship.


REFERENCES

Benefits of open access journals. (n.d.). Retrieved August 31, 2019, from PLOS website: https://www.plos.org/open-access

Johnson, R., Watkinson, A., & Mabe, M. (2018, October). The STM report: An overview of scientific and scholarly publishing (Report No. 5th). Retrieved from International Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers website: https://www.stm-assoc.org/2018_10_04_STM_Report_2018.pdf

JoVE website. (n.d.). JoVe. Retrieved from https://www.jove.com/journal

Open access. (n.d.). Retrieved August 18, 2019, from Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition website: https://sparcopen.org/open-access/

Open data. (n.d.). Retrieved August 18, 2019, from Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition website: https://sparcopen.org/open-data/

Openness inspires innovation. (n.d.). Retrieved August 18, 2019, from PLOS website: https://www.plos.org/who-we-are

Open science definition. (n.d.). Retrieved September 1, 2019, from FOSTER website: https://www.fosteropenscience.eu/foster-taxonomy/open-science-definition

Open science (Open access). (n.d.). Retrieved September 1, 2019, from European Commission website: https://bit.ly/2jYLJCm

Pearce, N., Weller, M., Scanlon, E., & Ashleigh, M. (2010). Digital scholarship considered: How new technologies could transform academic work. In Education, 16(1), 33-44. Retrieved from https://ineducation.ca/ineducation/article/view/44/508

Penev, L. (2017). From Open Access to Open Science from the viewpoint of a scholarly publisher. Research Ideas and Outcomes. https://doi.org/10.3897/rio.3.e12265

Was ist open science? [What is open science]. (n.d.). Retrieved September 1, 2019, from OpenScienceASAP website: http://openscienceasap.org/open-science/

Weller, M. (2012). The virtues of blogging as scholarly activity. The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved from https://www.chronicle.com/article/The-Virtues-of-Blogging-as/131666/

Weller, M. (2017). The digital scholar revisited. The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved from http://blog.edtechie.net/digital-scholarship/the-digital-scholar-revisited/

Why Plan S. (n.d.). Retrieved August 31, 2019, from Plan S website: https://www.coalition-s.org/why-plan-s/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Developing a codebook – Part 1

For the INF537 Research Project I am looking at my online behaviour and how and why it has changed during the +- 2 years of my studies. I mapped my online activities and transactions at the beginning of my studies and again +- after the first year and reported on it in the INF532 Network literacy evaluative report (scroll down towards the end). I will use this mapping as a baseline to work from.

The tool I used for the mapping was developed by the researchers involved in the Digital Visitors and Residents project (I blogged about this project now in 2019 and earlier in 2017). During this project a Codebook for Visitor and Resident Interview Transcripts was developed and used to code interview and survey responses. “It is important to note that the project was designed to help teaching staff better understand the way their students were engaging online” (White and Le Corno in First Monday, 2017).

downloaded from pixabayI used this codebook as a basis from which to start development of my own coding scheme. I immediately realised that I would have to make major adaptations as much in the original coding scheme is not relevant for my time and context. Here is my working document with comments and questions added to the original codebook

For example: :

  • In 2011 when the original codebook was developed, not only online transactions were coded, but other information seeking behaviour, e.g. personal meetings and using books and handwritten notes, which I do not have to take into account.
  • Distinction was made between which type of network was used, whether the technology used was self-owned or not, etc. this level of detail has really become obsolete in our mobile-connected world – we are connected, period.

Image by William Iven from Pixabay

  • I may modify the “Place” category to keep track of “where I was” = home, work/school, elsewhere. This may be interesting in the light of White and Le Corno’s follow up article from 2017 where they comment on the “blurring” of activities, where work is done form home and private transactions happen at the workplace. Not sure if it is relevant to my study though.
  • So much of what we do now is “on the Internet” that further development and refining of the categories for “websites”, “databases”, “VLEs & CMSs and “software” is needed.

The category that most interests me is the one for “Agency”. This need some more thought to apply to me!

I also see that I need to bring in theoretical concepts that we learnt about and models into my codebook.

— Connectedness – thinking of Rodd Lucier’s framework

— Stages of PLN Adoption – Jeff Utecht’s framework

— Seek, sense, share – as proposed by Jarche (as Personal Knowledge Mastery)  and adapted for curation by Kanter

— Engagement genres – White and Le Corno again in 2017

I am so glad that I started this process early in this project. It will take time to develop the codebook and the concepts behind it.

In the meantime I will be able to tabulate my daily online activities better, as well as reflect on each day‘s online transactions.

…I’ll be back.

Considering autoethnographic research

The research project for INF537, the capstone for MEd Knowledge Networks &Digital Innovation (KN &DI) provides the opportunity to investigate and aspect of KN & DI in more detail. The single aspect that fascinated me most in my studies is how we learn socially in this connected world. It was clear to me that I want to investigate an aspect of this in more detail. Recent restrictions on research using social media without pre-clearance from the CSU Ethics Committee has made this more difficult. Julie Lindsay, our subject coordinator, suggested a lesser known method of qualitative research, namely ethnography. I started to investigate…

Image by David Bruyland from Pixabay

WHAT IS  AUTOETHNOGRAPHY?

Ethno = race/people/culture + Graphy = process of writing or recording

Ethnography =  the study and systematic recording (graphy) of human cultures (ethno); also : a descriptive work produced from such research (from Merriam-Webster)

Autoethnography is the research method that accommodates subjectivity and emotionality, by the systematic analyses and description (graphy) of personal experiences (auto) in order to understand an aspect of culture (ethno) (Ellis, Adams and Bochner, 2011, p. 273). The method combines elements of autobiography with ethnography when studying a particular aspect of a culture – the phenomenon, as well as it’s associated relational practice and shared experience (p. 275). Ethnographers are retrospective participant observers, who look analytically at personal experience in order to highlight and illustrate facets of cultural experience, contrasting their experience against existing research and literature. Emergent understanding is facilitated though exploration of feelings, stories and happenings together with field notes, interviews, memoirs and/or artefacts.  Patterns of cultural experience are discerned as the author’s experience is analysed alongside data, abstract analysis and relevant literature (p. 278).

A written ethnography is a thick description of a facet of a particular culture. Readers provide validation by comparing their experience to that chronicled by the researcher.

Critics of autoethnography see it as being not rigorous, theoretical and analytical enough, but rather being too emotional, self-absorbed and based on biased data and not fulfilling scholarly practices of hypothesizing, analysing and theorising (p. 289).

WHY USE THE AUTOETHNOGRAPHICAL METHOD?

Approaching the end of my masters’ studies, I have a desire to “pull together” the themes I have studied and compare personal practice and experience against theoretical knowledge. I wish to study and evaluate my development as a connected learner, a knowledge network practitioner, and digital scholar through the analysis of my online behaviour, both in the beginning and latter stages of my studies.  Given the circumstances, autoethnographic research is the most appropriate means of investigating what I had already established as my research focus.


Academic research must contribute to the existing body of knowledge.

How will this project I am about to undertake be useful to others?

This the main challenge I face.


Sources useful in becoming informed about the autoethnographical method:

Autoethnography in Wikipedia – as always useful background info

Autoethnography: An Overview by Carolyn Ellis, Tony E. Adams and Arthur P. Bochner
published in Historical Social Research / Historische Sozialforschung in 2011 – very thorough overview and most cited paper

Autoethnography: Critical appreciation of an emerging art by Margot Duncan published in the International Journal of Qualitative Methods in 2004 – excellent description of how she applied this research method and ensured that it satisfies the requirements ofacademic research

Autoethnography as a Method for Reflexive Research and Practice in Vocational Psychology by Peter McIlveen published in Australian Journal of Career Development in 2008

Digital Storytelling as Autoethnography in Anthropological Pedagogy and Practice, a chapter from Deep Stories by Aaron Thornburg – in case I decide to produce a digital artefact as product

 

 

 

 

Digital Visitors and Residents – revising

In a 2011-2013 joint project of Oxford University and OCLC Research, funded by JISC, the researchers (primarily David White, Alison La Cornu and Donna M. Lancos) set out to gain a deeper understanding of:

  • what motivates users to engage with specific aspects of the information environment in a given context;
  • understanding the complex context that surrounds individual engagement with digital resources, spaces and tools;
  • how they acquire information and why they make the choices they do (JISC Guide, p.1-2).

During the project the V&R continuum was developed to map individual and group engagement with digital technology for learning in an attempt to develop better approaches to and understanding of online behaviour.

Visitors use the Internet as a tool to accomplish a task or have a “need” to be find information or use a tool. They do not set out to leave a trace – entering and exiting without actively leaving a trace of their presence or use and not contributing.

Resident users maintain an online persona, and “live” a part of their lives online, often through contributions to social media networks, blogs and uploading images and other digital artefacts. “The web has become a crucial aspect of how they present themselves and how they remain part of networks of friends or colleagues.” (Tallblog).

Visitor and Resident characterisations represent two extremes on a spectrum/continuum of online behaviour. The continuum provides a simplistic way to describe a wide range of online engagements as well as a useful way to understand motivations in different contexts. When this linear continuum is plotted on a two-axis system with another variable – for example professional and personal use – the schematic mapping provides insight into a user’s online engagement.

The initial ideas were put forward in a post on the TALL blog about Online Education at Oxford and was reported to the academic community in an article in First Monday.

Here are links to other sources relevant to the project:

In their research quantitative evaluation tools such as surveys and compiled statistics were used but found to create a “narrow picture of performance”. They then further employed qualitative research methods (diaries and interviews) to gain insights into the “how” and “why” of user engagement with technology. For the INF537 research project I plan to investigate another angle: by using autoethnography methods, I will add a personal touch when using the V&R framework to gather and analyse data and map my online behaviour. Through this investigation I hope to gain insight into how and why and my online behaviour has changed during the two years of my Med KN&DI studies. I predict a shift towards the Resident behaviour pattern and believe that this will be explainable in terms of my increased understanding of and commitment to connected open learning practices.

I first blogged about Visitors or Residents in an online world in June 2017 and undertook to return to this at a later date – as promised, I am back now…

Scholarly or academic publishing (now)

John Bond does a good job of introducing the topic…

 

Scholarship and scholarly practice are important functions of higher educational institutions. In Boyer’s (1990) widely acknowledged description of scholarship, he proclaims the first facet, namely scholarship of discovery, or research, as central to the work of higher learning and at the heart of academic life.

Research, then, is understood to be the formal, systematic and intentional process undertaken to increase understanding of a phenomena of interest, with the implicit intent to communicate findings of the investigation (Leedy, Ormrod, & Johnson, 2019). For Boyer’s (1990) further facets of scholarship, namely integration, application and teaching to occur (pp. 17-18), it is imperative that the results of research be produced in a reliable format and disseminated in a way that allows critical interpretation and analyses as well as assimilation into the body of knowledge about the subject.

Over more than three centuries, the dissemination of research findings have consolidated into the formalised structures of journal articles and monographs, where scholarly journal articles are short written pieces that report on research projects, and monographs are longer and more comprehensive in their cover of a topic. Excellent review of the development of academic publishing as we know it in this article by Larivière, Haustein and Mongeon.

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The scholarly journal is an important type of formal scholarly communication that not only serves to communicate peer-reviewed research results but enables authors to establish ownership of ideas and establish precedence, build personal reputations and further careers, and potentially obtain future funding. In 2018 the International Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers published The STM Report (STM), an excellent (if publisher biased) overview of scientific and scholarly publishing (authored by Johnson, Watkinson, & Mabe). Peer review, the process whereby articles are scrutenised by other experts prior to publication, is fundamental to scholarly journals, as this process assesses originality, significance and soundness of the research as well as validity of findings and conclusions (STM pp. 47-49). Reviewers of articles typically receive no remuneration for their services. I thought time = money, no?

Journals are typically published by commercial publishers or learned society publishers (more in STM p. 43), who either sell article content or subscribed access to content. It is standard procedure that an author transfers intellectual property (IP) rights to journal publishers for no fee, allowing the publisher to explore commercial rights. The STM Report argues that this should not be viewed as a “giving away” of rights, but an exchanges for services such as copy editing, tagging and other semantic enrichment and dissemination of their work (STM p. 14).

The development of digital technology has/is changing traditional scholarly publication significantly, but is also disrupting this process through the affordances of new participatory, open, social media.

Blogging and reflecting on my online behaviour

For Assessment item 3 in INF537 I have decided to do an autoethnographical research study of my online behaviour. Specifically, I want to determine if, how and why my online behaviour has changed during the two years of my MEd KN&DI studies. Here is a link to the research proposal. For this purpose I am writing a daily blog post to reflect on my online behaviour – I call it August online.

Communities of Practice – an audio reflection

As part of Module 2 of INF537 we are invited to think about Communities of Practice (CoP)…. Here I share my “thoughts and experiences with ‘Communities of practice’ – theory and real life observations” in a podcast (since the 1:30 on flipgrid was way to short).

Communities of practice must be one of the oldest forms of social learning around. Etienne Wenger and his co-authors and associates provide us with a useful definition and framework with which to describe and investigate CoPs. In the podcast embedded below, I discuss my understanding of this form of social learning and investigate the extent to which a Facebook group for school librarians: Int’l Library Connection functions as a CoP.

Listen to my reflection here… This is my first attempt at creating a podcast, part of my personal challenge during INF537 to be a participatory learner and share my thoughts as a connected learner.

 

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

 

Modeling digital scholarship

Module 1 of INF537 has set the scene for learning during this session. We are to employ and apply Socratic seminars and colloquia in the collaborative digital environment as we learn with and from one another, our subject coordinator, and a series of “experts”.

Module 2 of INF537 is challenging me to understand how the digital, networked and open environment is transforming scholarship. I have identified the main issue to investigate as being “open”. In an attempt to be authentic I am making my learning “open” by blogging out loud as I investigate digital scholarship and learn.

Follow my thoughts as I complete Module 2 and prepare for Assessment item 2 here….. discontinued … see disclosure below….

 

DISCLOSURE: So, if I am going to be “open” and transparent about my learning during this study sessions, I also need to report when things do not go wrong. I had this grand plan to write a series of blog posts about my learning about digital citizenship, write a draft and post it for my cohort to comment on – really practicing the practice that is developing in digital scholarship. Fact is, I did not have as much time for this as I thought. Being fair to myself: the main reason is that the nature of – and preparation for -the research project I chose for INF537 Assessment 3 took up way more time than I had originally planned. The secondary reason is that this (admittedly small) cohort has been disappointingly unresponsive and collaborative this far and I really do not think that anyone would have taken the time to give me good feedback. I will now incorporate the blog posts intended for Digital Scholarship – Blogging outLoud here.