Thoughts, writing & snippets

Marguerite Koole, PhD

Identity Accelerator #1: Twenty Questions

mkoole, · Categories: Identity

 

Introduction

Twenty Questions is an old game that many of us played as children. But, we can also use it as a “serious game”.  I would recommend that it be used as a warmer later into the semester after the students have already introduced themselves and engaged in some interaction. If used as a collaborative activity, the students can discuss strategy. Online collaborative activities help the students get to know each other better.

 

Modalities

 

Preparation

 

Teacher demonstration

 

Comments

I used this activity last night during a synchronous discussion with some graduate students studying program evaluation. Since I didn’t want to take too much time, I used one concept to get the class warmed up. I chose a concept that allowed the session to focus on a fundamental idea that branched into the current assignment. The concept was “program”. The exercise allowed us to discuss the definition and characteristics of a “program” as per program evaluation parlance. The discussion for the subsequent hour centered on program evaluation planning: focusing the evaluation, determining stakeholders, questions formulation, and selecting appropriate models. For the current assignment, it is essential for the students to wisely select a program of clear scope and boundaries in order to succeed in the development of a program evaluation plan. (It is a 6-week course!  They need to choose something do-able.) Anyways, I recommend that you choose the concept(s) strategically: something relevant and important to the subsequent discussion.  The students appeared highly engaged.

Rating: 4.5 stars 

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Identity Accelerators for Online Teaching and Learning

mkoole, · Categories: Educational technology, Identity, Teaching

As higher education embraces educational technologies to greater extents, it is not uncommon for faculty to find themselves suddenly facilitating online classes. They might be asked to lead online discussions through synchronous tools such as Adobe Connect, Blackboard Collaborate, and Big Blue Button to name a few of the tools available. Asynchronous, text-based discussions remain common likely due to temporal and spatial flexibility.

Those new to online facilitation might feel that the online environment is one of disembodiment offering few contextual or physical cues that instructors traditionally rely upon in face-to-face classrooms in order to determine comprehension, prior knowledge, and attentiveness. Some instructors might feel a sense of isolation because they cannot see and, therefore, feel they cannot get to know their students well enough to anticipate their needs.

Some scholars suggest that online learning offers a more egalitarian environment where learners can interact unimpeded by issues of race, nationality, gender, and social status; others suggest that the online environment is simply another modality. I take the position that online modalities offer an array of social cues. Walther (1996) proposes that participants in mediated environments form impressions of one another much as they would in face-to-face environments, but that it takes longer to generate and collect observations. He argued that online interaction can even become hyperpersonal?leading to greater intimacy as individuals employ additional techniques to plan, contemplate, edit, and project identities of self and others (Chayko, 2008, Henderson & Gilding, 2004; Merchant, 2006, Walther, 1996). Furthermore, anticipation of future interaction has been found in some longitudinal studies to prompt “communicators to seek more information about one another, to act more friendly, and to cooperate in negotiations” (Walther, 1996, p. 12).

Beyond the notion of the hyperpersonal, we might also see students actively shaping their identities based on what they would like to project. Walther et. al. (2006) propose that, in the absence of visual cues in online interactions, people will actively select aspects to present, taking more time to compose their messages. In return, those who receive these messages will develop “idealized attributions of their online partners” (p. 637).

And, humans are never disembodied. In any given online class, students and facilitators are tapping on keyboards, speaking into microphones, snapping pictures, and sharing videos. They are using their fingers, voices, ears, eyes and minds to manipulate the technologies that surround them. They are situated within physical contexts; they have been socialized in physical contexts. And, they bring their situatedness, their prior knowledge, with them into their online interactions. As online facilitators, we need to harness the tools at our disposal in order to get to know our students. We need to learn how to read online cues. Our students also need opportunities to share their prior knowledge and express who they are outside of andin relation to their instructors and fellow online classmates.

To this end, I am going to start sharing and collecting what I am calling “identity accelerators”. These are activities that can be used in a variety of online contexts. I would like to invite anyone out there in the world to share ideas on how to increase engagement and identity development in online teaching and learning environments.

And, I am always looking for ideas and collaborators. Send ideas.

 

References & related materials:

Chayko, M. (2008). Portable communities: The dynamics of online and mobile connectedness. Albany: State University of New York Press.

Henderson, S., & Gilding, M. (2004). “I”ve never clicked this much with anyone in my life’: Trust, and hyperpersonal communication in online friendship. New Media & Society, 6(4), 487–506.

Koole, M. (2014). Identity and the itinerant online learner. The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 15(6), 1–19. Retrieved from http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/1879

Koole, M. (2010). The Web of Identity: Selfhood and Belonging in Online Learning Networks. In The 7th International Conference on Networked Learning (Vol. Aalborg, D). Retrieved from http://www.networkedlearningconference.org.uk/

Koole, M., & Parchoma, G. (2013). The web of Identity: A model of digital identity formation in networked learning environments. In S. Warburton & S. Hatzipanagos (Eds.), Digital identity and social media (1st ed., pp. 14–28). Hershey, PA: IGI Global. doi:10.4018/978-1-4666-1915-9.ch002

Merchant, G. (2006). Identity, Social Networks and Online Communication. E-Learning, 3(2), 235–244. Retrieved from http://www.wwwords.co.uk/pdf/validate.asp?j=elea&vol=3&issue=2&year=2006&article=9_Merchant_ELEA_3_2_we

Walther, J. B. (1996). Computer-mediated communication: Impersonal, interpersonal, and hyperpersonal interaction. Communication Research, 32(1), 3–43.

Walther , J. B., Loh, T., Granka, L. (2005). Let me count the ways: The interchange or verbal and nonverbal cues in computer-mediated and face-to-face affinity. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 24 (2005), pp. 36–65. Retrieved from: http://knowledge.sagepub.com/view/hdbk_nonverbalcomm/n24.xml

Qualitative coding: As I memo, I think

mkoole, · Categories: Identity, PhD Studies, Research · Tags: ,
LiveScribe memo booklet

One way of taking memos; I've been using Atlas-TI's memo feature

I am in the third iteration of coding—starting a fourth tomorrow. Whenever I start a new iteration, it seems overwhelming. And, I only just start to feel comfortable after I have already coded three-quarters of the transcripts. Upon the pilot transcript and the first iteration of coding, I used memos spartanly. I didn’t want to clutter my workspace. Rather, I was interested in just getting the codes added.

However, I have slowly allowed myself more and more latitude with memos. And, upon the third time through, it has become clear that memoing helps me to work through the thought process of why I am coding each segment in the manner I have. Many times, I have selected a code, dragged it onto the segment of text. Then, while memoing, I realize that it’s not quite right. As I memo, I think.

As I memo, I also see greater links with segments that I had previously coded separately. I can see better how they interrelate and should be considered as parts of a greater whole. This might seem a bit cryptic, but it is easy to code each sentence or paragraph—relying on the visual aspects of the text as a cue for when each code begins and ends. This is not necessarily the way to code–at least not for my phenomenographic purposes. (I believe we mentioned similar concerns with coding in the article referenced below.) I am interested in the meaning aspects of the text.  As I memo, I articulate my thoughts on the segment, and find myself better able to conceptualize the connections between the segments, between the segments and the transcript within which they appear, and between the segments and the collection of transcripts in the project.

A major advantage of using memos is that it is a record of thought. And, by retracing thoughts, codes can be reviewed, kept, modified, or changed completely. When there is a large quantity of data, time will elapse between the coding of each segment. It is nearly impossible to remember how each decision was made. Having a record of thought processes it extremely important. I have even included memos indicating my own shifting from one decision to another by comments such as, “I have decided to code this segment as X. Hmmm . . . no, I think I will code it this way instead . . . because this part of the segment indicates . . .” Being able to trace my hesitance, indecision, changes of mind helps in the final evaluations/decisions.

Recommendation: use memos; use them often.

References:

Garrison, D., Cleveland-Innes, M., Koole, M., & Kappelman, J. (2006). Revisiting methodological issues in transcript analysis: Negotiated coding and reliability. The Internet and Higher Education, 9(1), 1-8. doi:10.1016/j.iheduc.2005.11.001

Working on my CV. I didn’t realize how busy I had been over the last few years!

mkoole, · Categories: Identity, Mobile learning, PhD Studies, Research, Uncategorized · Tags: , , , , ,

Publications, Presentations and Workshops

Book chapters

Koole, M., & Parchoma, G. (2012). Networked Learning and the Web of Identity. In S. Warburton & S. Hatzipanagos (Eds.), Digital identity and social media. London: Information Science Reference, an imprint of IGI Global. [Coming out in July]

Koole, M. (2009). Chapter 2: A Model for Framing Mobile Learning. In M. Ally (Ed.), Mobile Learning: Transforming the Delivery of Education and Training (pp. 25-47). Edmonton, Alberta: AU Press.

Stauffer, K., Lin, F., & Koole, M. (2010). Chapter 19: A Methodology for Developing Learning Objects for Web Course Delivery. In M. R. Syed (Ed.), Technologies Shaping Instruction and Distance Education: New Studies and Utilizations (pp. 280-289). IGI Global. doi:10.4018/978-1-60566-934-2.ch019

Papers in Refereed Journals

Koole, M., & Parchoma, G. (2012). The Ethical and Practical Implications of Systems Architecture on Identity in Networked Learning: A Constructionist Perspective. Interactive Learning Environments. [Coming out in May]

Fahy, P., Spencer, R., & Koole, M. (Awaiting review). The self-reported impact of graduate program completion on the careers and plans of master’s graduate: Second report in a series.

Koole, M., Letkemen McQuilkin, J., & Ally, M. (2010). Mobile Learning in Distance Education: Utility or Futility. Journal of Distance Education. URL: http://www.jofde.ca/index.php/jde/article/view/644/1107

Garrison, D., Cleveland-Innes, M., Koole, M, & Kappelman, J. (2006). Revisiting methodological issues in transcript analysis: Negotiated coding and reliability. The Internet and Higher Education, 9(1), 1-8. doi:10.1016/j.iheduc.2005.11.001

Presentations

Identity

Koole, M. (2012). Ontological and epistemological threshold crossings of doctoral students in networked learning environments: “My ontolo- . . . what?” The 4th Biennial Threshold Concepts Conference and 6th NAIRTL Annual Conference (June 27-29). Dublin, Ireland.

Koole, M. (2012). A Social Constructionist Approach to Phenomenographic Analysis of Identity Positioning in Networked Learning. The 8th International Conference on Networked Learning (April 2-4). Maastrict, Netherlands.

Koole, M., & Parchoma, G. (2011). The Web of Identity: Identity Formation in Online Learning. CIDER Sessions (online presentation). The Canadian Institute of Distance Education Research. URL: http://cider.athabascau.ca/CIDERSessions/Koole2/sessiondetails

Koole, M. (2010). The web of identity: Selfhood and belonging in online learning networks. The 7th International Conference on Networked Learning (May 3-4). Aalbourg, Denmark. URL: http://www.networkedlearningconference.org.uk/

Mobile Learning

Koole, M., de Waard, I., & Elsayed Meawad, F. (2010). Mobile Learning: Solutions & Challenges. CIDER Sessions (online presentation). The Canadian Institute of Distance Education Research. URL: http://cider.athabascau.ca/CIDERSessions/mkoole/sessiondetails

Koole, M. (2010). Mobile learning: Do the benefits justify the cost and time? New Era Teaching and Learning (online presentation). Commonwealth of Learning. URL: http://www.bcedtech.ca/moodle/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=259

Ally, M., Cleveland-Innes, M., Koole, Marguerite, Kenny, R. F., & Park, C. (2009). Developing a Community of Inquiry in a Mobile Learning Context. Learning and Technology: A Capital Idea! (Canadian Network for Innovation in Education Annual Conference, Ottawa, Ontario) URL: http://www.cnie-rcie.ca/?q=node/115

Koole, M. (2009). Workshop: Go Mobile! Advantages, Issues, and Examples of Mobile Technologies in Distance Education. 8th Annual International MADLaT Conference (Winnipeg, Manitoba). URL: http://www.madlat.ca/conference2009

Koole, M., & Ally, M. (2008). UMLAUT-M Understanding Mobile Learning at a University Through MobiGlam: Utility or Futility? MLearn: The bridge from text to context (October 6-10). Telford, UK.

Koole, M., Ally, M., Elsayed Meawad, F., & Letkeman McQuilkin, J. (2008). UMLAUT-M: Understanding Mobile Learning at Athabasca University through MobiGlam. Canadian Network for Innovation in Education Annual Conference (April 27-30). Banff, AB.

Koole, M., & Ally, M. (2006). Framework for the Rational Analysis of Mobile Education (FRAME) Model: Revising the ABCs of Educational Practices. International Conference on Networking, International Conference on Systems and International Conference on Mobile Communications and Learning Technologies (ICN ICONS MCL’06) (pp. 216-216). Mauritius: IEEE. doi:10.1109/ICNICONSMCL.2006.103

Koole, M. (2006). Practical Issues in Mobile Education. Fourth IEEE International Workshop on Wireless, Mobile and Ubiquitous Technology in Education (WMTE’06) (pp. 142-146). Athens: IEEE. doi:10.1109/WMTE.2006.261363

Koole, M., & Ally, M. (2006). Framework for the Rational Analysis of Mobile Education (FRAME) Model: Revising the ABCs of Educational Practices. The 1st International Conference on Interactive Computer Aided Learning (IMCL), April 19-22. Princess Sumaya University for Technology, Amman, Jordan.

Ally, M., & Koole, M. (2006). Workshop: Best practices for instructors and trainers who use mobile devices to deliver instruction to students. The 1st International Conference on Interactive Computer Aided Learning (IMCL), April 19-22. Amman, Jordan.

Koole, M. (2006). Mobile Devices in Distance Education: Compare, Consider and Collaborate. 5th World Conference on Mobile Learning (October 20-26). Banff, AB.

Koole, M., & McGreal, R. (2006). mLearning: What is it and where is it going? Innovations in Education: Challenges, Issues, and Solutions. (CADE/AMTEC Annual Conference) May 23-26. Montreal, QU.

E-Portfolios

Moisey, S., Hoven, D., Kenny, R., & Koole, Marguerite. (2009). E-portfolios – A Viable capstone activity for graduate programs. Learning and Technology: A Capital Idea! (Canadian Network for Innovation in Education Annual Conference, Ottawa, Ontario) URL: http://www.cnie-rcie.ca/?q=node/115

Hoven, D., & Koole, M. (2008). Integration of an e-Portfolio into a Master of Education program. Invited presentation for the Teaching and Learning Effectiveness Program. University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB.

Koole, M. (2007). Reflecting, scaffolding and showcasing: Integrating an e-portfolio tool into a master’s program. ADETA: Distributed Learning in the 21st Century (October). Edmonton, AB

Technology & Learner Support

Spencer, R., & Koole, M. (2008). Value and uses of open source products in support of graduate student learning. MADLaT: E-Learning Comes Together (May 8-9). Winnipeg, MN.

Spencer, R., & Koole, M. (2008). Workshop: Moodle – An open source LMS. MADLaT: E-Learning Comes Together (May 8-9). Winnipeg, MN.

Wagenaar, C., & Koole, M. (2007). Podcasting in a blended learning environment: Alberta Children’s Services. ADETA: Distributed Learning in the 21st Century (October). Edmonton, AB.

Spencer, R., Moisey, S., & Koole, M. (2007). Moodle and the Master of Distance Education Program. Moodle Moot. Edmonton, AB.

Cleveland-Innes, M., Koole, M. & Kinsel, E. (2006, May).  Teaching presence in online communities of inquiry: Learners, facilitators and learning.  Paper presented at CADE/AMTEC Annual Conference Conference, Montreal, P.Q.

Cleveland-Innes, M., & Koole, M. (2005). Learner Support in Online Learning. Annual Conference on Distance Teaching and Learning (August 3-5). Madison, WI.

Cleveland-Innes, M., & Koole, M. (2005). Workshop: Student Support Technology. Annual Conference on Distance Teaching and Learning (August 3-5). Madison, WI.

Cleveland-Innes, M. & Koole, M. (2004).  Role adjustment for students in online environments.  Invited keynote address, Learner Services Forum 2004, Campus Saskatchewan.  Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

Fun Projects

When your doctoral thesis has a life of it’s own

mkoole, · Categories: Identity, PhD Studies, Research · Tags: , , , , ,

Yes, I think this title says it all. My thesis just seems to motor along. I’m not sure anymore if I’m the one controlling it, or if it is whispering paths I should take. As I look upon my schedule and my proposal, however, it is pretty much going as planned with a few minor hiccups along the way.

Although I had planned to do much of the writing in 2012, it turns out that I did large portions of the methodology chapter and literature review at the end of 2011. Analysis, which I had planned for the beginning of 2012 is on target. As I look back, why did I do so much writing when I did? Two reasons: 1) conferences, and 2) it intuitively made sense. And, having already put much thought into my proposal, I was able to take some liberties.

A mossy street in SOS de los Reyes Catolicos, Spain

One of the speakers at a PhD student workshop at the Networked Learning Conference in Aalborg, Denmark back in 2010 had suggested that many doctoral students leave data collection too late. I heeded this advice. Collecting data early allows some analysis and consideration earlier in the process. Hopefully, if the project was untenable, I could shift gears before becoming too invested in one particular path. To prepare for an early data-collection, I decided to focus on the methodology chapter. In retrospect, I found this to be very helpful. A solid grounding in the methodology and methods along with consideration of issues of trustworthiness and philosophical commensurability guided the structure and performance on the interviews. I was also able to pull-together a symposium on phenomenography for the up-coming Networked Learning Conference in Maastrict, 2012.

After interviewing the participants and transcribing their comments, I shifted my attention to the literature review. At first, I considered doing some analysis prior to the literature review in hopes that the literature review would not influence my observations. But, as my supervisor pointed out, I am not doing grounded theory. In any case, I have found that the transcripts speak to me very separately from the ideas collated in the literature review. In some ways, the literature review helped to open my mind to new possibilities. It also helped me to consider my philosophical position and theoretical framework in much greater detail. And, again, I was able to submit an abstract to another conference, this one on threshold concepts in Dublin.

What I have found surprising is how many ideas have fallen into place. In my spare time—that is, when I take breaks from coding—I read some of the seminal works that I have earmarked as requiring attention. My latest discovery is Bakhtin. I can see how his work might be affiliated with social constructionist philosophy. His work resonates with me and is helping fill in some gaps in my framework. Slowly, I hope to work my way through the stack of books and journal article piled high around me.

Although this process seems in control, I do not entirely feel like I am controlling it. It’s as if something is guiding me along and presenting options–interspersed with moments of inspiration that change the course of my work subtly and continuously.

Common sense preparation for an online interview

mkoole, · Categories: Identity, PhD Studies, Research · Tags: ,

Before starting an interview, there are some practical, must-do preparations. The items on this list might appear obvious, but I recommend using it and ticking off each item as you prepare for an interview.

Get a glass of water. Stretch. Get comfortable.

Turn ringer off all phones in the vicinity of the interview.

Turn off browsers, email, and other distractions.

Clear workspace of unnecessary debris, so you have space.

Have a page ready and open to start typing if you wish to take notes during the interview.

Have note paper and pens available (low-tech can be helpful).

Turn on your spare computer. You may even wish to navigate to the communications software you are using (Elluminate, Adobe Connect, or other software).

Use two recording devices, if possible. I am using Adobe Connect, but I also use a LiveScribe pen as a secondary device. Make sure all your software is up-to-date. You don’t want updates going on during or after your interview (potentially causing you to lose data).

Test your computers and your recording devices. (You may even wish to do some tests the night before with a friend or family member.)

Print your interview schedule, so you can jot quick notes on it as the interview proceeds. Use the interview schedule wisely. Your methodology and goals should dictate the extent to which it structures your interview.

Relax and think about your approach before you start. Review any information that you might have about your participant(s). Review your goals.

Additional suggestions or advice for ensuring smooth-running interviews is welcome.

Considerations for conducting phenomenographic interviews

mkoole, · Categories: Identity, PhD Studies, Research · Tags: , , , , ,

I am finally ready to start recruiting participants for my doctoral thesis on Identity Positioning of Doctoral Students in Networked Learning Environments. The seemingly endless wait for ethics permission and institutional permission (sometimes known as site permission) was actually a very useful time. I used the time for further reading and reflection on phenomenography in light of the recent methodology workshops and my readings on methods.

PhenomenographyBowden, J. A., & Walsh, E. (2000). Phenomenography (p. 154). Melbourne, Australia: RMIT Publishing. Retrieved from http://www.informit.com.au/products/ProductDetails.aspx?id=PHENOMENOGRAPHY_ERIN

 

Learning & AwarenessMarton, F., & Booth, S. (1997). Learning and awareness. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

 

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Why study interviewing methods so intensively right now?

I feel strongly that one must understand one’s methodology before collecting data. And, it is important to be mindful of all the choices that one must make while employing data collection methods. Some researchers utilize data collected previously by other researchers for other research purposes. This might be suitable avenue for researchers who have difficulty accessing some participants or whose projects are on tight time constraints. It might also be done simply for convenience. In some cases, seemingly perfect data sets can be procured from national databases such as the UK Data Archive. As I read more deeply about phenomenography, I sense that it is in the best interests of my own study to collect data carefully with sensitivity to phenomenographic theory and procedures of analysis. This is also the position taken by Bowden (2000):

Whatever research method is used, researchers need to articulate the purposes of their project and to keep those purposes in mind at all stages of the research—in the design of the investigation, in the development of the data collection processes, in the collection of data and in the analysis and interpretation. (p. 7)

 

What is a phenomenographic interview?

Interviewing is the most common method for collecting data in phenomenography (Walsh, 2000, p. 19, Marton, 1986, p. 42). Trigwell (2000) and Dunkin (2000) suggest that the ideal number of interviews rests around 15 to 20. In phenomenological studies, the number of suggested interviews might be less as phenomenology seeks to explore the essence of an individual’s experience in some depth. Phenomenography, on the other hand, focuses on the limited possible ways of experiencing a given phenomenon across a group of individuals. The outcome space (results) is a compilation of categories of description which expresses the variation. As such, it is necessary to reach a balance between depth of description and breadth of experience among a group of individuals.

Interviews are typically semi-structured (or “guided” if you choose Olson’s terminology) and last roughly 40 to 60 minutes or until the “the interviewer feels the experience has been described, and the meaning of relevant words has been revealed (Trigwell, 2000, p. 67). Most phenomenographers seem to agree that the participants should have sufficient flexibility to describe the experiences as they wish in their own way. Hence, most questioning and probing is open-ended. Bowden (Chapter 1) and Prosser (Chapter 3), in working with children, prefer to offer “problem questions” that the participants are asked to resolve. By asking participants to work through problems or tasks “interviewees are encouraged to reveal, through discussion, their ways of understanding a phenomenon, that is, to disclose their relationship to the phenomenon under consideration” (p. 9). Most of the questions in a phenomenographic interview follow from comments of the participant (Trigwell, 2000). Some sample questions that Bowden supplies (p. 10):

 

Prosser offers some interesting observations on eliciting information from the participants:

While it is relatively easy to get interviewees to describe their strategies, it is much more difficult to get them to discuss their intentions underlying their strategies and their conceptions of phenomena. (Prosser, 2000, p. 44).

To approach the participant’s conceptions, the researcher must consider the interview/discussion as a whole. According to Marton & Booth (1997) interviews take place on two levels: the interpersonal contact between the interviewer and the participant and at a metacognitive level in which the participant relates his/her awareness of an experience (Marton & Booth, 1997, p. 87). So, whilst the researcher attempts to maintain focus on the target conception(s), he/she must also provide room for the participant fully express related nuances and details. In some cases, it might be helpful within the context of the co-constructed interaction (see previous blog postings on interviews), for the researcher to share her own experiences. However, Bowden (Chapter 4) warns against “leading too much” to avoid influencing the participants. As per my previous blog postings on interviewing, anything that the researcher discloses during the interview should be as carefully transcribed and reported as the participant’s dialogue.

In some cases, a phenomenographic interview might seem to revolve tediously around the same question over and over again. This is partially true. A phenomenographic interviewer will ask similar questions in different ways so as to elicit a number of different views on the phenomenon. “Typically, a range of questions is used to provide views of each conception from several angles in order to make the description of the conception as rich as possible” (Dall’Alba, 2000, p. 94).

 

References – refer to

A primer on phenomenography . . . a lead-in to interviewing

mkoole, · Categories: Identity, PhD Studies, Research · Tags: , , , ,

In a metaphorical sense the group of readers can be thought of as a prism through which the text passed, to be refracted and to exit in distinctly different meanings (Marton & Booth, 1997, p. 150).

Definitions

The following definitions are in no particular order except that I hope that one flows to the next. Also, they contain direct quotes from the books below with more specific referencing at the bottom of this page.

PhenomenographyBowden, J. A., & Walsh, E. (2000). Phenomenography (p. 154). Melbourne, Australia: RMIT Publishing. Retrieved from http://www.informit.com.au/products/ProductDetails.aspx?id=PHENOMENOGRAPHY_ERIN.

 

Marton, F., & Booth, S. (1997). Learning and awareness. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
 

 

Phenomenography

 

Learning

 

Conceptions

 

Apperception

 

Description

 

Category of description (CoD)

 

Outcome space

 

Experience

 

Structural aspect (how)

  • How the explanation is given (Trigwell, 2000).
  • Indirect object.
  • “The structural aspect of a way of experiencing something is thus twofold: discernment of the whole from the context on the one hand and discernment of the parts and their relationships within the whole on the other” (Marton & Booth, 1997, p. 87).
        • Internal horizon of the structural aspect: “The parts and their relationships, together with the contours of the phenomenon” experienced (Marton & Booth, 1997, p. 87).
        • External horizon (context) of the structural aspect: “That which surrounds the phenomenon experienced, including its contours” (Marton & Booth, 1997, p. 87).
Referential aspect (what)

  • Meaning
  • What is focused on; the content (Trigwell, 2000).
  • Direct object.
  • Also has a structural and referential aspect with internal and external horizons. (Yes, this is a bit confusing; Marton & Booth’s (1997) diagrams help greatly).

 

 

Figure & Field / Focal & Figural

 

Awareness

 

Discernment

 

But, what has this to do with interviewing? That is the topic of my next blog posting.

 

References

Bowden, J. (2000). Chapter 1: The nature of phenomenographic research. In J. A. Bowden & E. Walsh (Eds.), Phenomenography (pp. 19-33). Melbourne, Australia: RMIT Publishing.

Bowden, J. (2000). Chapter 4: The experience of phenomenographic research. In J. A. Bowden & E. Walsh (Eds.), Phenomenography (pp. 19-33). Melbourne, Australia: RMIT Publishing.

Dall’Alba, G. (2000). Chapter 6: Reflections on some faces of phenomenography. In J. A. Bowden & E. Walsh (Eds.), Phenomenography (pp. 19-33). Melbourne, Australia: RMIT Publishing.

Marton, F. (1986). Phenomenography: A research approach to investigating different understandings of reality. Journal of Thought, 21(3), 28-49.

Marton, F. (2000). Chapter 7: The structure of awareness. In J. A. Bowden & E. Walsh (Eds.), Phenomenography (pp. 19-33). Melbourne, Australia: RMIT Publishing.

Marton, F., & Booth, S. (1997). Learning and awareness. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Patrick, K. (2000). Chapter 8: Exploring conceptions: Phenomenography and the object of study. In J. A. Bowden & E. Walsh (Eds.), Phenomenography (pp. 19-33). Melbourne, Australia: RMIT Publishing.

Prosser, M. (2000). Chapter 3: Using phenomenographic research methodology in the context of research in teaching and learning. In J. A. Bowden & E. Walsh (Eds.), Phenomenography (pp. 19-33). Melbourne, Australia: RMIT Publishing.

Walsh, E. (2000). Chapter 2: Phenomenographic analysis of interview transcripts. In J. A. Bowden & E. Walsh (Eds.), Phenomenography (pp. 19-33). Melbourne, Australia: RMIT Publishing.

Trigwell, K. (2000). Chapter 5: A phenomenographic interview on phenomenography. In J. A. Bowden & E. Walsh (Eds.), Phenomenography (pp. 19-33). Melbourne, Australia: RMIT Publishing.

More on Two-Person Interviews (TPIs)

mkoole, · Categories: Identity, PhD Studies, Research · Tags: , , ,

For a description (Part 1) of Dr. David Morgan’s TPIs, please refer to my previous blog post.

The effects of structure on the TPI

The degree of structure you use in your interviews will affect the data you glean. Highly structured TPIs suggest greater interaction with the participants and the interviewer. The greater the structure the more the interviewers controls the questions and answers. Highly structured interviews allow a researcher to dig into issues in depth and in great detail. In a case in which the interviewer questions each TPI participant individually, the participants may build upon each other’s responses, but still answer the questions separately. This is sometimes referred to as a serial interview.

High-structure TPIs Low-structure TPIs

High Structure

 

Low Structure

 

 

On the other end of the continuum, a low-structured or unstructured TPI (which, I believe, is the intent of Morgan’s TPI method) will permit greater interaction between the participants themselves. In a low-structure TPI, the interviewer stimulates conversation through the asking of questions or by setting up tasks. Less structured interviews are more exploratory in nature. And, a researcher using an unstructured TPI approach will have more opportunity to observe interactions between the two participants.

Homogeneity vs. heterogeneity

This refers to the similarities and/or familiarity of the participants to each other. For example, are they students in the same program? Are they from the same country?

According to Morgan, focus groups usually involve homogenous groups. But, it is possible to do either with TPIs. In one-person interviews (OPIs), the rapport between the interviewer and the participant is very important. In focus groups and TPIs, the rapport between the participants is important. As this technique is yet still very un-researched, the impact upon the quality and kind of observational data derived from homogenous vs. heterogeneous participants is yet unknown. I suspect that the quality of such data is also very much related to the kind of study and the kind of data sought by the researcher.

The TPI setting

Since the goal of a TPI is to encourage conversation, the interviewers will place the participants into a comfortable arrangement in which they can face each other just as they would in a normal conversation. In a face-to-face TPI, this might mean that the participants are sitting somewhat adjacent to each other. The interviewer will place herself somewhat apart from the conversants. Of course, this will be dictated by cultural patterns of appropriate proximity.

But, how can one achieve this online? Using video-conferencing technology, I would recommend that the interviewer ask the participants to use their video cameras and any of the other tools available (instant messaging, etc.). Once the main questions have been asked or the activity is introduced, the interviewer can turn off her camera. In some cases, she can make her camera less prominent. In a case in which the activity might be to use a whiteboard or brainstorming software, the interviewer can allow the participants to take control.

Conversation starters

In many face-to-face situations such as classrooms or workshops, facilitators use various ice-breaker techniques. How can this be done online? Well, whenever I chat with someone in a different province or country, I am curious about their weather, time zone, seasons, etc. Morgan recommends that conversation starters are 1) easy to answer, 2) interesting to both parties, and 3) something on which they want to hear someone else’s opinion/experience. If the conversation starter is somewhat removed, then the interviewer must find a way to bring the conversation back to the topic of the interview.

For a description of Dr. David Morgan’s TPIs, please refer to my previous blog post.

David Morgan’s Two-Person Interviews (TPIs)

mkoole, · Categories: Identity, PhD Studies, Research · Tags: , , , , , ,

Presentation at Thinking Qualitatively Workshop Series offered through the International Institute for Qualitative Methodology. (June 22, 2011)

At first glance, this idea does not seem altogether that new. Yet, to my knowledge, no one other than Dr. David Morgan, a sociologist at Portland State University [oops! I thought he was from the U of A!] has conceptualized and named this form of interview format. Dr. Morgan acknowledged that other authors have mentioned “micro groups” and “mini-groups”, but there is not much in the literature. Please post a comment if you have seen any literature about this kind of interview.

To understand it, I will first outline the similarities and differences with regular one-person interviews and focus groups. This will be grossly simplified, but it allows a point of departure for an examination of TPIs.

One-person interviews

Diagram: one-person interview

In a conventional one-to-one interview, the interviewer communicates with a participant.

Focus group

Diagram: focus group

In a focus group, the interviewer facilitates a conversation. But, the participants then carry on, sometimes forgetting about the presence of the interviewer. Focus groups allow a researcher to accomplish at least two things: 1) ask questions, and 2) observe interactions among focus group members.

Two-person interviews (TPIs)

Diagram: Two-person interview

TPIs represent a hybrid of the focus group configuration. Naturally, the number of participants is more limited which reduces the logistics problems of gathering four to six people (or more) together for a meeting. TPIs also allow the interviewer to observe the interactions between the two participants. As such, one of the main goals is to encourage a conversation between the two participants.

According to his presentation, each time you add another person to the interview setting, you add additional complexity. In a dyadic situation, the participants exchange views bi-directionally. If a researcher adds an additional conversant (triad), there is a possibility for three separate conversations. The conversation can split.

Dr. Morgan illustrated how time is (possibly) shared within the three configurations above:

Interview time Configuration Time Data
1 hour session One-person 1 hour for the participant Questions answered; one perspectiveObservation of individual only
1 hour session TPI 30 minutes each Questions answered; two possible perspectivesObservation of interaction
1 hour session Focus group (6 people) 10 minutes each Questions answered; six possible perspectivesObservation of interaction

 

Next, I will write about some of the interesting issues that Dr. Morgan mentioned including: heterogeneous groups, homogeneous groups, under- and over-disclosure, interview structure, relationships and rapport, and backchannels. And, I will discuss how this might help my phenomenographic study.

See more on TPIs: http://kooleady.ca/thoughts/?p=647