This is an archive of the original site and you may encounter broken links and/or functionality

Changing pedagogy (2 Proceedings Papers 0207, 0229)


11:30 - 12:30 on Tuesday, 7 September 2010 in Room B63


207 Shifting themes, shifting roles: the development of research blogs
Rebecca Ferguson, Gill Clough, Anesa Hosein


229 Out there and in here: design for blended scientific inquiry learning
Anne Adams, Sarah Davies, Trevor Collins, Yvonne Rogers


207 Shifting themes, shifting roles: the development of research blogs
Rebecca Ferguson, Gill Clough, Anesa Hosein
The study described in this paper investigated the use of research blogs by postgraduate students over a four-year period. An initial, one-year, pilot using grounded theory focused on the research blogs of three first-year doctoral students (Ferguson et al. 2007). Analysis indicated that blogs were used to promote a community where students were encouraged to reflect and share ideas, skills and stories of research life. The blogs also acted as memory repositories and encouraged collaboration. The main study followed the students’ blogs for another three years, as they became members of an academic community of practice (Wenger 1998), completed their doctorates and took jobs as researchers. Using participant observation, coupled with thematic analysis using the themes identified in the pilot study, it investigates changes in the use and content of research blogs during this period. All three students continued to make use of their blogs for reflection over this period, and they became more expert in the new literacies associated with this practice (Burgess 2006; Lankshear and Knobel 2008). Once the students had made the transition to early-career researchers, the nature of their blog use changed and began to fragment. This was due, in part, to issues of confidentiality, and data protection associated with their employment (Walker 2006). While they continued to use their original research blogs to promote community and collaboration, the constraints of their work meant that new posts were often posted in closed blogs, or were marked as protected. At the same time, they were required or encouraged to make use of project-related blogs as part of a planned communication strategy by their employers. The findings of this longitudinal study clarify the changing expectations and needs of learners, employers and society in relation to researchers’ blogs, and identify skills, awareness and knowledge needed to support the use of blogging by research students.


229 Out there and in here: design for blended scientific inquiry learning
Anne Adams, Sarah Davies, Trevor Collins, Yvonne Rogers
One of the benefits of mobile technologies is to combine 'the digital' (e.g., data, information, photos) with ‘field’ experiences in novel ways that are contextualized by people’s current located activities. However, often cost, mobility disabilities and time exclude students from engaging in such peripatetic experiences. The Out There and In Here project, is exploring a combination of mobile and tabletop technologies in support for collaborative learning. A system is being developed for synchronous collaboration between geology students in the field and peers at an indoor location. The overarching goal of this research is to develop technologies that support people working together in a suitable manner for their locations. There are two OTIH project research threads; the first deals with disabled learner access issues, these complex issues are being reviewed in subsequent evaluations and publications. This paper will deal with issues of technology supported learning design for remote and co-located science learners. Several stakeholder evaluations and two field trials have reviewed two research questions: 1. What will enhance the learning experience for those in the field and laboratory? 2. How can learning trajectories and appropriate technologies be designed to support equitable co-located and remote learning collaboration? This paper focuses on describing the iterative linked development of technologies and scientific inquiry pedagogy. Two stages within the research project are presented. The 1st stage details several pilot studies over 3 years with 21 student participants in synchronous collaborations with traditional technology and pedagogical models. Findings revealed that this was an engaging and useful experience although issues of equity in collaboration needed further research. The 2nd stage, in this project, has been to evaluate data from over 25 stakeholders (academics, learning and technology designers) to develop pervasive ambient technological solutions supporting orchestration of mixed levels of pedagogy (i.e. synthesis to specific investigation). Middleware between tabletop ‘surface’ technologies and mobile devices are being designed with Microsoft and OOKL (a mobile software company) to support these developments. Initial findings reveal issues around equity, ownership and professional identity. Please see ALT’s Conference Proceedings publication for the full version of this paper.