Positivism doesn ’t provide a way to examine the meaning of phenomena Neither does It account for the the judgments that researchers need to make in scientific practice
research is fundamentally about creating meaning through interpretation a tradition of interpreting biblical texts Today, the study of interpretation is applied to many fields Valuable because it couches observations in terms of meaningful social practice, what people are doing
Hermeneutics is not… Assigning meaning through metaphor IP metaphor of cognitive science, becomes more real than the observed behavior Good for explaining potential overlaps between what humans and computers do Bad for explaining the mind in terms of creativity, play, exploration Before IP, the steam engine was a popular metaphor for the mind
Another way of assigning meaning to phenomena is by removing it all together through reductionism. This means reducing a phenomena down to operationalized, fundamental components and “laws” Is the mind just the sum of its chemicals and the frequencies of its firing synapses? What meaning can be derived from frequency data out of context? Rorty said,…
If not abstracting or reducing then what? Hermeneutics is for interpreting behavior in terms of what people are doing. Because behavior transpires within the real world, and not within the mind, it is concrete. A property of the world we live in. Where social practices take place. Why is this important? Behavior is nested with social practice!
If behavior is concrete and nested within social practice, how do we observe and interpret behavior in virtual environments?
http://www.flickr.com/photos/eeko/3337615282/ Again the point is what people are doing This matters whether we are observing in person or virtually
If these are your measures, they need to be organized by what social practices they are a part of.
Just as what people are trying to do gives meaning to their actions in the real world, so it does in the virtual world. We propose that observational data be clustered by the tasks and practices the they are a part of.
“ testing and estimating causal relations using a combination of statistical data and qualitative causal assumptions”
Between, within, and overall slopes
Stewardship over these new capabilities to make, as we see, more reliable and valid recommendations.
Learning Analytics as Interpretive Practice
Learning Analytics as Interpretive Practice Michael Atkisson and David Wiley Allen Communications and Brigham Young University
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Interpretation ≠ Science Just the facts, ma ’am.