Autoethnographer Communities of Practice at NLC2010

I am thrilled to share the news that my paper, Autoethnographer Communities of Practice, has just been accepted to present to the 7th International Conference on Networked Learning NLC2010! This conference is at the beginning of May in Aalborg, Denmark. It will be the second time I have presented in Europe, and the first time I am presenting there as the single author / researcher on a paper.


I am really looking forward to finally meeting some of the people whose work has helped my own thinking in the Technology Eenhanced Learning (TEL) / Networked Learning field, including Etienne Wenger (one of the keynotes), David McConnell, and Chris Jones. I am also excited to share some of my research findings about studying those who engage in autoethnography, as this is something that does not seem to be frequently used in the networked learning research community.

I will speak more about this as the conference date approaches. Hope to meet some of the other networked learners I speak to online and have never met F2F.

Community of Practice Struggles, Part 1

Tree Looking UpI have spent the past 2 hours catching up with colleagues and (perhaps) soon to be colleagues in the CP2 Community, where there have just been 2 Research and Dissertation Fests this week (one I could attend, and one I could not), as well as on Twitter.

Between reading and chatting on Twitter about Nancy White’s amazing recipe, seeing how other people I know were doing the same, discussing ways of using social media for community building (some direct Tweets I received and replied to about this topic), reading how Lilia Efimova had an idea and how she is considering blogging about this still unformed topic as she knows the benefits (and then she finally did blog about these thoughts), not to mention my chats with Jacquie McDonald, chatting about a research idea around Communities of Practice with Etienne Wenger (who did a discussion and co-facilitated the CP2 Foundations course I recently completed), and getting other ideas from colleagues via Direct Tweets, I realize I have a lot of interests and like reaching out to this distributed community.I also like their reaching out to me.

With all this, I wonder why I struggle with consciously enlarging my own community of practice. I tend, for example, not to look for people on Twitter and Facebook, but rather process all this if “friended” first. Perhaps I do not want to be pushy? rejected? or even seem needy? Ironic, as more and more of my work is in the area of communities of practice; perhaps more of my life should be there, too?

Research Interest Clarification, 2009

phenomenologyI recently had to re- introduce myself to a colleague regarding where my current research interests are, and I thought it may be interesting to share with a wider audience, as I do get asked to explain what I am interested in (since I cannot oversimplify this, however hard I try).

One of the things I learned about myself in the module at Lancaster I just finished is just how much I love qualitative methods. Not just qualitative studies in my own content areas, but the rich methodological particulars in themselves. Yes, I couldn’t believe it when I first said that a few weeks ago – I knew I was interested in application to practice, but now find myself loving the complexities and issues around selecting, using, and assessing various qualitative methods. I can see myself really exploring this more in itself . . .

Since my background is adult education, I tend to think of myself as an adult educator. I like critical theory and constructivist frameworks, and am fond of Wenger’s Community of Practice model, as well as Jack Mezirow’s Transformative Learning framework. I am a proponent of postmodernity, and as such am interested in identity development, especially in online blogs and other forms of social media where narrative inquiry and autoethnography can be used.

Now, to see how all this can develop toward a thesis direction . . .

The Link Between Research and Practice: Experiences of HRD and Other Professions ~ My Article

Another of the articles I worked on for some time was also just published in the current issue of the journal Advances in Developing Human Resources — The Link Between Research and Practice: Experiences of HRD and Other Professions.

I will repeat the abstract:

Creating synergy between research and practice is viewed as the basis for creating successful and meaningful HRD outcomes and is fundamental to the maturation of the profession. Given this, there is naturally an interest in the strength of the relationship between research, theory, and practice, and this has been reflected in the journals of the Academy of Human Resource Development from their inception. In this article, the authors summarize some of the key points from the last 10 years of those journals and put them in the context of research-to-practice experiences in other professions. We conclude that HRD practitioners, practice, and professionals are hampered by the lack of connection between practice and research in the field.

I appreciate the work and support of my co-authors, Darren and Sophia!

Practitioner Perspectives on the Gap Between Research and Practice ~ My Article

One of the articles I wrote was just published in the current issue of the journal Advances in Developing Human Resources — Practitioner Perspectives on the Gap Between Research and Practice: What Gap? This article was several years in the making, and I am thrilled all our efforts have finally come to fruition.

I will repeat the abstract:

The research-to-practice gap within HRD is an increasingly important focus of research.This study empirically investigates this issue from the perspective of practitioners, who are directly asked about their use of research. Results suggest that practitioners use "research," though the term is not used in the same way that those who engage in academic and scholarly research use it. This peer-reviewed research is perceived to not be reaching practitioners, who instead turn to their own communities of practice to meet their research needs.

The biggest surprise with our findings is how the term “research,” as in “we are doing research,” means so many different things to different people. I hope this work helps move the discussion within the area of scholar-practitioners along.