Submission for EARLI 2017

Are you going to participate at EARLI 2017?

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Well hopefully, I am. I just co-authored a submission to a roundtable discussion about the earlier stated interest in Shifting Positions. The aim is to get more input on the topic. In the following,  you will find the abstract that we hope will be accepted.

We wish to portray and negotiate different perspectives of participation as a basic condition when conducting Design-Based Research.  The position of the researcher is not fixed and must adjust and adapt in-process, and in collaboration with practitioners. Although the literature on Design-Based Research addresses perspectives on roles of the researcher, and the co-designers or practitioners, we find that focus is often on skills needed, e.g. being an expert in the field, rather than on the phenomena of shifting positions in the phases and contexts of research. We propose the phenomenon of shifting positions as consequential to the scope and outcomes of a project. Discussing these shifts in relation to benefits and challenges particular to the Design-based Research approach is necessary to stimulate awareness of these issues. As these issues are  valuable to both researchers and practitioners, considering them may generate  recommendations on how to prepare for these shifts when conducting Design-Based Research. To illustrate how positions shift in actual practice, we draw upon two empirical studies conducted in the context of Teacher Education Programme. We present one case where the researcher is positioned as a second teacher within the classroom, and another case where the researcher needs to renegotiate his position as co-designer and researcher after an intervention in the design experiment. Our goal is to gather ideas and contributions through discussion of the concept and characterisation of shifting positions, collectively considering how this concept may advance Design-based research.  

If you are indeed participating I hope you will join the discussions.

Study trip to the Open University Netherlands

Recently I travelled along with my colleagues to visit the Open University of the Netherlands and a group of researchers who were particularly interested in Practice-Based Research and Networked Learning. In the following is just a short wrapup from the trip.

We were very well received by our colleagues there and they had planned a great week for our stay as shown in the table below:

skaermbillede-2016-10-08-kl-16-15-37As part of the programme, we collaborated a conference where both research teams could present different parts of their research to a broader audience (mainly masters students at the university and colleagues). I have written briefly about the conference in an earlier post:

Confrence on Practice-based research methods

At the conference, I had the chance to give a presentation on the “Concepts of transfer and transformation in designing for situated knowledge across contexts”
My presentation was mainly on presenting different views and positions on the concept of transfer and relate those views to my own research. In my presentation, I did partly describe and problematise the concept of transfer and argued that transfer should not be seen as an isolated phenomenon but in correlation to learning and transformation of knowledge situated in contexts
You can see my slides here:

Concepts of transfer and transformation in designing for situated knowledge across contexts from Roland Hachmann

As part of the workshop, questions arose on the concept of participation and how we actually are able to identify which contexts participants bring into and across social constructions. How are we able to know, which prior experiences and knowledge, participant bring into a situation and how actions are related to them. These kinds of questions are important for my study and I will need to engage further with these perspectives.

Another hot topic at the conference was on the notion of quality in empirical research and who should actually conduct this kind of research. On one hand, it was argued that universities were perfectly able since research is not dependent on a specific practice or limited to specific contexts, and on the other hand it was argued that research should indeed take into consideration and recognise practice as complex and research as an entangled part of this complexity, which could not be neutral. Again a topic that will be both important and interesting for me to elaborate on. Right now there is a similar discussion on, whether research conducted by professionals at Departments of Applied Science (At University Colleges) do a special kind of research that differs from Universities hence the strong commitment and involvement in practice. At this point, I’m not sure where I stand. I will be back on this topic in another post

Workshop: Methodology and instruments for practice & participatory-based research

As another activity, I, together with my Ph.d.-fellow Lea and dutch colleague Arnoud, planned a workshop on a topic that we think as highly influencing Participatory research or in my case, Design-Based Research.

The main focus of the workshop was on locating benefits and challenges on engaging into studies from a participatory or design-based perspective. We wanted to have a focus on which qualities others saw in Participatory- or Design-Based Research and especially on shifting positions of the participants in a research design.
In short, literature on Design-Based Research often addresses perspectives on roles of the researcher as well as the co-designers/practitioners, but the focus being on skills needed, e.g. being an expert in the field, rather than on the phenomena of changing positions in the phases and contexts of research. As researchers, we find this insufficient and lacking understanding the social construct of empirical research. 

To facilitate the discussion we divided the two teams into three groups discussing the following:

 

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After discussing the input from the three groups we presented two examples (dilemmas) to illustrate how positions, shift in actual practice, we (Lea and I) drew upon two empirical studies from our own research conducted in the context of Teacher education programme. The first example shows how the professional background of the researcher influences the participants’ positioning of the researcher. The second example shows how the position of the researcher is questioned by the co-designer while developing a practice with and through the design. Both examples provide cases where the position of the researcher is not fixed, and thereby not limited to being the expert, nor does it take a neutral or invisible stance in the setting.

The two examples are shown below:

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Special issue to come:
To repeat and summarise  all points of discussions would be too much in this post, but as a result of the trip, we agreed to collaborate further on a special issue where we will present, discuss and reflect upon the various topics from our week. Lea and I are, in collaboration with Charlotte Wolff writing on an article the focuses on shifting positions as a phenomenon and we are looking forward to publishing it next year. For now, we are still in the  investigation phase, but since publishing articles undergo a long process the actual writing process will soon begin.

More to come on the account as well.

Below you can see the two research teams from Denmark and The Netherlands:

SDU team:
Nina Bonderup Dohn
Jens Jørgen Hansen
Stig Børsen Hansen
Lea Tilde Rosenlund
Roland Hachmann

OUNL team:
Maarten de Laat
Steven Verjans
Emmy Vrieling
Femke Nijland
Arnoud Evers
Rob Martens
Charlotte Wolff

Confrence on Practice-based research methods

On the 19th – 22th of september I’m traveling to the Netherlands together with the rest of the research group.

We are going to meet with colleagues from the Open University to discuss our research. On the 20th september the university facilitates a conference. The title of the conference is “Practice-based research methods”, and the different contributions will look at practice-based research methods from different perspectives. The main perspectives will be:

  • Situated knowledge, practice and networks
  • Practice-based research and valorisation
  • Networked learning
  • Significance of context
  • Designing practice-based research

The program can be found here

Concepts of transfer and transformation in designing for situated knowledge across contexts
In this session, I and my PhD Fellow Lea will introduce ”the transfer dilemma” and present a theoretical overview of transfer and transformation of knowledge in education as it can be seen over the last century including alternative perspectives and critical voices in the theoretical landscape of transfer in education. We will draw upon these views on transfer and transformation of situated knowledge to introduce our own  research and present our own empirical projects on designing for teaching and learning across contexts supported by digital technologies.

The twitter # for the conference is: #OU_OW.

Conducting the Literature Review

One of the first steps to take in the progress of my ph.d. project is to get an overview over what has been published on the topic of my study by accredited scholars and researchers. It’s not an easy task because it involves a great number of decisions and considerations.

First of all I’ll have to consider which review methods my field of study actually has a tradition of conducting. For that I’ve tried to get a grasp of some basic literature, that could guide my choices. So I found an article by Grant & Booth (2009), that gives my a starting point.

In their article aims to provide descriptive insight into the most common types of reviews. In the article Grant & Booth claim that

…the diversity of terminology used means that the full potential of these review types may be lost amongst a confusion of indistinct and misapplied terms.

The method used in the article is SALSA a simple analytical framework—Search, AppraisaL,Synthesis and Analysis, through which the locate 14 different review types.

Although the domain of the article is  ealth information and health care I believe the article can be used generically across domains. A Quick overview over the 14different review types are shortly shown here:

  • Critical review
  • Literature review
  • Mapping review/systematic map
  • Meta-analysis
  • Mixed studies review/ mixed method review
  • Overview
  • Qualitative systematic review/ qualitative evidence synthesis
  • Rapid review
  • Scoping review
  • State-of-the-art review
  • Systematic review
  • Systematic search and review
  • Systematized review
  • Umbrella review

To go into each of the review types here would be to demanding and for that i encourage you to read the article yourself.

For my project it seems that the “Literature review” might be the right way.
Grant and Booth point out that weaknesses of this method is

Literature reviews lack an explicit intent to maximize scope or analyse data collected. Any conclusions they may reach are therefore open to bias from the potential to omit, perhaps inadvertently, significant sections of the literature or by not questioning the validity of statements made. Additionally, authors may only select literature that supports their world view, lending undue credence to a preferred hypothesis. 

So it seem that I will have to cope with this weekness somehow.

Luckily I’m not alone in the progress. But that is another topic for another post.

References:

Grant, M. J., & Booth, A. (2009). A typology of reviews: an analysis of 14 review types and associated methodologies: A typology of reviews, Maria J. Grant & Andrew Booth. Health Information & Libraries Journal, 26(2), 91–108. http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1471-1842.2009.00848.x

Project plan approved

Project plan for approval

This week my project plan was finally approved by my supervisor and sendt to the Ph.D. committee.  Hopefully they approve. The great thing about getting there is the proces of getting more aware of the directions, theoretical points of view and the methodologies of the project. Although there are still many wquestions to answer to, the project seems to have gotten in a direction, that reflects my research questions.

My research question

I haven’t revealed my research questions on the blog yet, so here we go:

How can pedagogical designs support students in transforming situated knowledge between educational contexts and professional contexts – and how does the use of praxis, as experimental labs and the use of mobile- and web-based technology enhance this transformation?

Short description

My research focusses on teachers education as the educational context and middle school (10-12 years) as praxis context, where the students experiment with the knowledge and competences gained through their study. It is my believe that through continuos boarder-crossing between education and praxis, the situating and transformation of knowledge is enhanced and empowered. It is my further believe that both education and praxis will innovate through the process.