Nicola Beddall-Hill ( & Bump ) LDC ESRC PhD candidate Ensemble TLRP TEL project Developing mobile ethnographies using novel digital tools: stories of visual methodology and analysis with an iPhone 3GS and head mounted camera – (Presentation will be on Slideshare afterwards) Strand: Using New Technologies International Visual Methods Conference: 13 th - 15 th September 2011, Open University, Milton Keynes, UK Supervisors: Prof. S. Quinsee & Prof. P. Carmichael
Mobile setting, moving through time & space, with sometimes difficult weather & terrain to negotiate.
Needed to achieve the least obtrusive but closest observation method possible - to view the students’ interactions with each other & the technology in this unfamiliar, & often informal, learning setting.
Could not operate as a detached observer – 24/7 experience
Ethnographic approach using mobile methods of research & a variety of digital tools to collect the mainly qualitative data.
DATA COLLECTION: FIELD TRIPS Field trips 2009 Lake District 2009 Malta 2010 Lake District Students 6 (4 male, 2 females) 10 (6 males, 4 females) 10 (7 males, 3 females) Projects 2 projects of 2 days 1 full day, 4 half day data collections 2 projects of 2 days Total data GB 17.88 (Not including indoor DV) 27.3 20.45 Digital ethnography Video, photos, field notes, GPS tracks, questionnaires & focus groups. Digital video, still photos, field notes, audio recordings, also focus groups Video, photos, field notes, GPS tracks, questionnaires & focus groups. Mobile methods Head camera No additional to above Head camera & iPhone 3GS
Relatively new methodological development based around the suggested paradigm shift of ‘Mobilites’ (Urry, 2007) & the affordances new mobile technologies facilitate.
Mobile methods enable ‘co-present-immersion’ (Urry & Buscher, 2009), that is the ability to stay in motion with those they are observing through different modes of movement & by using a variety of different data capture methods.
For mobile learning research this enables the researcher to observe & the rich ‘in-world’ interactions instead of evaluating the role of the technology post learning.
720p HD video capture at 60fps, up to 10 hours record time (2hr using rechargeable batteries)
Weather resistant & rugged design
Stills & video at variety of speeds in HD & VGA quality
Mountable flip camera with internal memory (128MB) which is expandable with SDHC Cards (up to 32GB)
Has built-in software for editing videos
Built-in mono microphone
RRP £45 for camera & £12 for Gorilla tripod
Using head mounted Cameras – weighing up the pros and cons… DD = Device dependant Advantages Disadvantages Excellent sound & picture quality (DD) Delicate equipment - easily broken! Reduced capture of participants’ faces Creates a lot of footage to review -but can ‘tag’ sections (DD) Some are water others weatherproof (DD) Difficult to maintain the correct recording angle Focused recording of the mobile device & interactions around it Not clear what is happening on the mobile device’s screen Students are interrupted less by using this method Visible to the public (DD) which can create anxiety for some Long record times, easy download (DD) Focus of attention/event is not wholly selected by the researcher
Using the iPhone 3GS – weighing up the pros and cons… Advantages Disadvantages Reasonable sound & picture quality Capture is researcher-led Quite robust for use outdoors & lightweight Difficult to view screen in sunlight & not waterproof! Can capture many different types of data, only using one device Poor zoom & sound range Wide choice of applications to choose from Expensive equipment Students are interrupted less by using this method Students & public may not know they are being recorded Long record times & large storage, easy download & synching Occasional signal loss & wrong application selected
Overall issues encountered with new technologies
Head camera: Which to use, various battery, file format & quality issues.
iPhone: sometimes difficult to .
Head camera: Student embarrassment around wearing & lecturer discomfort at potential interference & lessons being filmed?
iPhone: Difficult for students to know when they are being recorded, too comfortable with its social vs. research role?
Thematic Analysis is poorly defined & explained – for guidance see Braun, Virginia and Clarke, Victoria (2006) Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 3 (2). Pp.77-101.
“ Through its theoretical freedom, thematic analysis provides a flexible and useful research tool, which can potentially provide a rich and detailed, yet complex account of data.” (Braun et al., 2006:78)
The themes do not ‘emerge’ but are actively identified by the research through submersion in their data, which occurred through the storytelling.
These themes were compared across cases, refined, challenged & examined within the conceptual framework.
Recording participants in time & space, monitoring via GPS and constant video – invasion of privacy? Both participants & public?
But… the strict anonymity enforced by the University committee. What is essential & what begins to erode the richness of the data? It also reduces data sharing possibilities within the large TEL network.
Possible answer: self recording? However extra burden upon students in this case & will often ‘miss’ the mistakes which are of the greatest learning consequence.
Instead sensitivity & good trust relationship with participants needs to be built with clear roles for the technology being used.
Mobile methods are growing in popularity especially given our increasingly ‘mobile’ lifestyles & challenges researching them –
** See: Urry, J. (2007), Urry, J., & Buscher, M. (2009) & Ricketts-Hein, J., Evans, J., & Jones, P. (2008)
New technologies are enabling this growth, but need careful consideration about their social/research roles –
** See: Beddall-Hill, N. L., Jabbar, A., & Al Shehri. S. (2011), Beddall-Hill, N. L (2010) & especially Brown, K. M., Dilley, R., & Marshall, K. (2009), Murthy, D. (2008)
Ethical issues are emerging around these methods and tools – we need to be sensitive in their implementations –
** See: Lally, et al,. (2011) & Wishart, J. M. (2009)
New methods of analysis needed for this type of data? Integrating geo-visualization data to map time & space…
Email: [email_address] Twitter : http://twitter.com/citymobileangel Web: http://www.ensemble.ac.uk/ Nicola Beddall-Hill ESRC PhD candidate Learning Development Centre TLRP TEL project Ensemble Learning with mobile devices in the field
Beddall-Hill, N. L., Jabbar, A., & Al Shehri. S. (2011) Social Mobile Devices as Tools for Qualitative Research in Education: iPhones and iPads in Ethnography, Interviewing, and Design-Based Research . Special Learning Without Frontiers Conference issue 2011. Journal of the Research Center for Educational Technology. 7 (1), 28-4. Retrieved September 12 th 2011 from http://www.rcetj.org/index.php/rcetj/article/download/154/239
Beddall-Hill, N. L (2010) Witnessing learning in mobile settings using a head mounted camera. In E, Brown, E. (Eds.), Education in the wild: contextual and location-based mobile learning in action. A report from the STELLAR Alpine Rendez-Vous workshop series. (pp.39-42). University of Nottingham: Learning Sciences Research Institute (LSRI)
Brown, K. M., Dilley, R., & Marshall, K. (2009). Using a head-mounted video camera to understand social worlds and experiences, Sociological Research Online, 13 (6),1. Retrieved June 15 th 2009 from http://www.socresonline.org.uk/13/6/1.html
Lally, V., Sharples, M., Bertram, N., Masters, S., Norton, B., & Tracy, F. (2011). Researching the Ethical Dimensions of Mobile, Ubiquitous, and Immersive Technology Enhanced Learning (MUITEL) in Informal Settings: a thematic review and dialogue. (FUNDED by EPSRC/ESRC RES-139-25-0402) Submitted to Interactive Learning Environments (Special Issue).