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Led by the “Knows” (Workshop 0108)

10:50 - 11:50 on Wednesday, 7 September 2011 in 8.90
0108 Led by the Knows? Critically reading learning technology case studies John Traxler, Doug Belshaw, Andy Black
0108 Led by the Knows? Critically reading learning technology case studies John Traxler, Doug Belshaw, Andy Black

Background: Case studies are generated by research activity, by trials, projects and initiatives, and often find their way into published collections of case studies. They can then be used as ‘raw material’ by book publishers, funding agencies and advisory bodies in learning technology as effective ways to test concepts, influence policy and inform practice. However no-one involved in the process, from the original researchers and developers, through the editors and publishers to the practitioners and managers, seems to take a step back to question what inferences are made by readers and how these inferences are shaped, deliberately, accidentally or unconsciously, by the forces, processes and choices along the way.

Ideas to be explored: Two sets of case studies relating to learning technology will be distributed to participants. These will form the basis of the activities and discussions within the workshop. Questions include:

Individual case studies: what is missing in any specific case study? how and why is a case study different from a conference presentation or a journal paper?how have the images, graphics and design shaped the readers’ perceptions of the case studies?

Case study collections: how has the editorial or introduction shaped the readers’ judgments about the case studies? how were the case studies selected for a specific case study publication? what is missing in a collection of case studies? what should a writer write and how should an editor edit? what seems to be the purpose of a case study collection?what should we infer from a collection of case studies? what confidence can we have in our inferences and their relevance? what are the spread, depth and quantity of case studies around a given topic needed to substantiate an argument or make a point? what are funders trying to say; what have they not said, what has not been selected?

Intended outcomes for participants: This workshop is intended to enhance the ability of participants to critically evaluate case studies and transfer insights into the context of their own organisation. Participants should leave the workshop better equipped for the informed and critical reading of learning technology case study collections.