Research Method Ideas for the Project

As I have generally received positive feedback for the “ambitious” direction I am headed (regarding the research project that I have been designing here over the past few weeks), I now want to think a bit about the method I am considering for this work, especially before I tighten up the problem and research question.

I was initially planning to use  phenomenography, though think that may not work due to the size limitations of the expected 3 participants, the limitations to the semi-structured interview questions I need to use (as phenomenography would require me to rigidly use the same questions with everybody–leading to the eventual categories), and given that I am not sure I will be able to categorize much as this is an exploratory study.

I am now thinking about using some form of ethnography, something that blends the ethnography of Wittel with that of Hines and Efimova, perhaps in a more Focused manner, similar to that detailed by Knoblauch. I expect to conduct interviews and possibly review blogs or other social media as examples of the participants’ work, as needed. I will get more specific here as a next step, after I (hopefully) get some feedback first.

2 thoughts on “Research Method Ideas for the Project

  1. I have been thinking a lot about your recent posts about thresholds and blogs as I’ve been nudging our dog out over actual thresholds in this cold weather. I know your point is to identify threshold and revelationary thinking that results from blogging and social network discussions, but I’m also wondering if those participating in the discussions haven’t traveled over many thresholds already. What sort of learner uses this path? Are they extroverts in the Myers-Briggs definition that rely on external stimuli to clarify their thoughts? Are they primarily visual learners? Are they students that have a limited local community of practice? Will understanding who is successfully using blogging and social networking as an educational tool help educators guide its use by more students with various learning approaches in the future?

  2. I like the points Darlene is raising – it made me wonder whether educators can also learn from all the many ‘unsuccessful blogs’ which die after a short period. Clearly, blogging does not appeal not all learners – at all times. My personal experience with blogging as a learning tool revealed also problems as to the politics of identity and management of such which either forces learners to maintain more than one blog or ‘mess’ with their online identity whenever assessment takes priority.

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