How we understand research practices: The example of the Semantic SpiderSanna Rimpiläinen and Katy JordanThe Ensemble Proj...
What is the ‘Semantic Spider?’                                                                             Thesauri,Databa...
The Ensemble Project•   Ensemble: Semantic technologies for the    enhancement of case-based learning•   3 years 2008-2011...
Semantic technologies for the enhancement of            case-based learningCase-based learning:                      Seman...
An Interdisciplinary Project – Multidisciplinary                   areas of study                       Software          ...
Multidisciplinary backgrounds of           researchers                                                          Anthropolo...
The Evolution of the ‘Semantic Spider’
Managed Data                              Thesauri,       Databases                     Multimedia                       W...
Managed Data              Web               Sources                   Triplestore                  and Reasoner           ...
Thesauri,  Databases                     Multimedia                     Published                                         ...
Legacy                     Digital                             Structured                        Web  Databases           ...
Legacy               Digital                       Structured                       WebDatabases            Repository    ...
2009-12
Digital      Structured   Taxonomies               WebDatabases     Libraries        Data      Ontologies             Serv...
Practice ofdoodling“I think we’ve got to becareful here not to sort of,erm, fall into a trap ofassuming that there issome ...
Spider: Simplified representation of the            Semantic Web • Doodles become translated into a diagram, presented in ...
Stabilization of diagram through…  LJMU team Project                    •Unexpected adoption by the team                  ...
Stability and fluidityFor the Computer               For the EducationalScientists (creators):         Researchers (consum...
Multiple Spiders: ‘more than one, less        than many’ (Mol, 2003, 55)                      Thinking tool               ...
Spider: Mediating artefact between the different participants in the project?Boundary Negotiating Artifacts: Borrowed arti...
Boundary negotiating artifacts usedalso to:              Ensemble -team• record, organize, explore  and share ideas;      ...
Practice negotiating artifact?• Interdisciplinary research team ~  heterogeneous network-> Internal boundary – problematic...
“not so much of what the Spider is but            what it does”• Spider enacted as a research tool• Led us to examine the ...
Thank-youMany thanks to all involved in the  Ensemble Projectwww.ensemble.ac.ukKaty Jordan - klj33@cam.ac.ukSanna Rimpilai...
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How we understand research practices: The example of the semantic spider

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Jordan, K. and Rimpilainen, S. (2010) How we understand research practices: The example of the semantic spider. Presentation at 'Socio-material and Posthuman Readings of Digital Learning: An Ensemble Project Seminar Day', Liverpool John Moores University, 17th September 2010.

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How we understand research practices: The example of the semantic spider

  1. 1. How we understand research practices: The example of the Semantic SpiderSanna Rimpiläinen and Katy JordanThe Ensemble Projectwww.ensemble.ac.uk
  2. 2. What is the ‘Semantic Spider?’ Thesauri,Databases Multimedia Published Ontologies Collections Materials etc Conversion Services Aggregators and Reasoning Engines Services and APIs Devices Collaborative Environments Visualisations
  3. 3. The Ensemble Project• Ensemble: Semantic technologies for the enhancement of case-based learning• 3 years 2008-2011• £1.5 Million FEC• Six UK Universities (Liverpool John Moores, Cambridge, City, UEA, Stirling, Essex) and two international partners (MIT and UT Sydney)• Engaging with ~6 disciplinary settings across UG and PG courses at Cambridge, City and LJMU• Team includes education researchers, cognitive scientists, computer scientists and disciplinary specialists
  4. 4. Semantic technologies for the enhancement of case-based learningCase-based learning: Semantic technologies:“The work of the project is focused on - integration of heterogeneous data settings in which sources complexity, contestation or rapid - advanced search tools change makes some kind of case based - representations and visualisations of learning the pedagogy of choice.” data (Tscholl et al., 2009) - collaborative functions (Carmichael and Martinez, 2009)
  5. 5. An Interdisciplinary Project – Multidisciplinary areas of study Software Design Software Higher Engineering Education CSCW Computer Sciences Programming Ensemble Psychology ProjectRequirements Engineering Education History HCI Design Philosophy Teacher Sociology Education
  6. 6. Multidisciplinary backgrounds of researchers Anthropology Criminology Sociology Geology Biochemistry English Software Educational CSCW Design Research HCI Programming BiologyCognitiveScience Computer Requirements Software Sciences Engineering EngineeringPsychology
  7. 7. The Evolution of the ‘Semantic Spider’
  8. 8. Managed Data Thesauri, Databases Multimedia Web Published Ontologies Sources Collections Materials etc Conversion Services Aggregators Triplestore and Reasoning and Engines Reasoner Services andEndpoint Sparql APIs Devices Collaborative Environments Web Client Visualisations2009-01 2009-03
  9. 9. Managed Data Web Sources Triplestore and Reasoner Sparql Endpoint Web Client2009-03 2009-05
  10. 10. Thesauri, Databases Multimedia Published Ontologies Collections Materials etc Conversion Services Aggregators and Reasoning Engines Services and APIs Devices Collaborative Environments Visualisations2009-05
  11. 11. Legacy Digital Structured Web Databases Repository Data Services Thesauri, Databases Multimedia Published Ontologies Collections Materials etc Conversion Tools Conversion Conversion Conversion Tools Services Tools Mulgara Semantic Aggregators Triplestore and Reasoning Engines SPARQL Services and APIs Gateway Devices Collaborative Environments Visualisations Web Applications Mobile Devices Structured Data2009-05 2009-11
  12. 12. Legacy Digital Structured WebDatabases Repository Data Services Conversion Tools Conversion Conversion Tools Tools Mulgara Semantic Triplestore SPARQL Gateway Web Applications Mobile Devices Structured Data2009-11 2009-12
  13. 13. 2009-12
  14. 14. Digital Structured Taxonomies WebDatabases Libraries Data Ontologies Services Semantic Triplestore SPARQL Web Applications Faceted Search Visualisations Network Exploration Annotation 2009-12 2010-02
  15. 15. Practice ofdoodling“I think we’ve got to becareful here not to sort of,erm, fall into a trap ofassuming that there issome sort of grandnarrative, whereby somescribble gradually becameelaborated. - - I think it isimportant to realise thatsort of [Amy] and I, drawthis kind of stuff *all thetime*. This is just one ofthe things that we dowhile we’re sitting roundwith a piece of paper.” –Jim
  16. 16. Spider: Simplified representation of the Semantic Web • Doodles become translated into a diagram, presented in a Powerpoint • A very simplified diagram, a ‘cartoon of the semantic web’ (not a ‘face’ – more like a ‘mask’) • Purpose to communicate the ‘single concept of data aggregation’ Thesauri, Databases Multimedia Published Ontologies Collections Materials etc Conversion Services Aggregators and Reasoning Engines Services and APIs Devices Collaborative Environments Visualisations
  17. 17. Stabilization of diagram through… LJMU team Project •Unexpected adoption by the team External rest of the team meetings conferences Decision about technology • choices VRE • Repeated presentations at multiple eventsPartner • Translation into a html-institution format and then into anseminar Exhibit made it more like an object than a representationTEL programme Postgrad students
  18. 18. Stability and fluidityFor the Computer For the EducationalScientists (creators): Researchers (consumers): Fluid, changing, temporary Stable, static tool; some ; part of thinking practice have adopted it as part of their work practices
  19. 19. Multiple Spiders: ‘more than one, less than many’ (Mol, 2003, 55) Thinking tool Tool for making sense of ‘Cartoon’ technologies‘Not a design tool’ ‘Helps with design’Instructional Engagement tooltool ‘Not my thing’ Planning tool Demonstration Communication tool! tool
  20. 20. Spider: Mediating artefact between the different participants in the project?Boundary Negotiating Artifacts: Borrowed artifact “Borrowed artifacts that are taken from its creator in one community of practice and used in unanticipated ways by those in another community of practice. Designers use borrowed artifacts to augment their understanding of design problems. The practice of borrowing occurs when communities of practice are in close proximity.” (Charlotte Lee (2007, 331):
  21. 21. Boundary negotiating artifacts usedalso to: Ensemble -team• record, organize, explore and share ideas; Experts in technology• introduce concepts and techniques;• create alliances;• create a venue for the exchange of information, augment brokering activities;• create shared understanding about Non-experts in technology specific design problems (Lee 2007, 333)
  22. 22. Practice negotiating artifact?• Interdisciplinary research team ~ heterogeneous network-> Internal boundary – problematic concept (c.f. Edwards et al. 2009)• Spider – helps to mediate and negotiate the relationship between different work practices
  23. 23. “not so much of what the Spider is but what it does”• Spider enacted as a research tool• Led us to examine the work practices of the interdisciplinary team;• Unearthed unexpected multiplicities of opinion, practices, skills, expertise etc.• Points to further blurring of disciplinary ‘affiliations’ in the interdisciplinary team.
  24. 24. Thank-youMany thanks to all involved in the Ensemble Projectwww.ensemble.ac.ukKaty Jordan - klj33@cam.ac.ukSanna Rimpilainen - s.k.rimpilainen@stir.ac.uk

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