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.

Visitor or Resident in the online world?

In 2001, Prenski helped us make sense of our emerging digital behaviour when he coined the phrase “Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants”. With time, our online behaviour has changed so significantly – because of the growth of information networks, online tools and mobile connectivity – that this classification is no longer enough or even completely true.

A decade later David White, in collaboration with JISK and others, came up with a different, and insightful, way of looking at our online behaviour: They argue that our engagement lies on a continuum between being a visitor and a resident to the online world. Visitors, use the internet as a tool with which to fulfil an information task, and do not intentionally leave evidence of their online presence. Residents, see the internet as a place or a space where they choose to spend a part of their lives, creating an intentional social presence and identity (White & Le Corno, 2011). Most of us do at least a bit of both.

In the video, embedded above, White reasons that being a “digital native” is not”a foundation for using the web effectively for study, for critically evaluating digital resources, or even having the capability to formulate and express cogent arguments online. These are examples of learning literacies which don’t come for free online.” This is very important in our understanding of the importance for our students to develop the “new”  literacies (digital, media, information, etc.) for 21st century learning.

White added another continuum – from personal to institutional (or professional) engagement – to this topology, forming a quadrant on which to chart our online interactions.

David White maps personal and institutional online engagement in terms of intentional behaviour as “visitors” or “residents”.

By mapping the online use of different tools one gets a picture of your online behaviour. This can be quite useful for personal reflection, management of your own information behaviour, or in actively developing your personal learning network (PLN). This can also be a valuable activity in helping students visualise their own online behaviour and in aiding the management and development of their digital identities.

What does your online engagement look like? JISK and OCLC Research developed a Digital Visitors and Residents mapping app that you can try.

Here is a representation of my online engagement –  now, in July 2017. I predict that my view of it will change before I complete this unit of study.

I will report back.

A final thought:

The other two short videos in this Jisk Netskills series are also excellent.

Visitors and Residents: Credibility

Visitors and Residents: Open Practice 

I will blog about this is another post.



jisknetskills. (2014, March 10). Visitors and residents [Video file]. Retrieved from

OCLC. (n.d.). Visitors and residents. Retrieved from OCLC Research website:

Prensky, M. (2001). Digital natives, digital immigrants. Retrieved from,%20Digital%20Immigrants%20-%20Part1.pdf

White, D. S., & Le Corno, A. (2011). Visitors and residents: A new topology for online engagement. First Monday, 16(9). Retrieved from