Doctoral Defense of
Mikko Vesisenaho
Seugnet Blignaut (Professor)
North-West University
Potchestroom, South Africa
Research Design
• In one sentence, what is your research
really about?
• What did you discover through your
research that ...
Ethnographical Stance
• What are the epistemological
commitments that underpin your
research strategy and approach?
• How ...
Research Design & Methodology
• Explain the research design of your thesis
• What is Development Research? Why DR?
• How d...
Research Methodology
• Did you make use of mixed methodology
research, or did you pragmatically employ
both qualitative an...
Theoretical Framework
• Has the CATI-model been an external
framework, or is it an actual result of this
research?
• How d...
Theoretical Constructs
• What were your reasons for selecting
constructivist learning as part of your
theoretical framewor...
Theoretical Constructs
Sustainable development: “… development
that meets the needs of the present
without compromising th...
Theoretical Constructs
• Provide a clear picture of the context in
which this case study took place.
• What were the outco...
Theoretical Constructs
“Metaphorical concepts are those which are
understood and structured not merely on their own
terms,...
Theoretical Concepts
Metaphors:
• Why did you choose a traditional African
village as an “instructional interface
metaphor...
Research Findings
• What is the single most important
theoretical or methodological invention in
your research design?
• D...
Research Findings
• How in this research have you gone about
protecting yourself from finding what you
expected? That is, ...
Transferability of Research
• What are the main achievements of your
research?
• What has your thesis contributed to the
k...
Value of Your Research
• Explain and position the value and
contribution of your research in terms of
the global tensions ...
Value of Your Research
• Does your research speak only to
information technology sciences, or also to
other paradigms such...
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Example questions from doctoral defense of Mikko Vesisenaho

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Questions posed by Prof. Seugnet Blignaut (North-West University) during the public examination of Mikko Vesisenaho's doctoral dissertation.

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Example questions from doctoral defense of Mikko Vesisenaho

  1. 1. Doctoral Defense of Mikko Vesisenaho Seugnet Blignaut (Professor) North-West University Potchestroom, South Africa
  2. 2. Research Design • In one sentence, what is your research really about? • What did you discover through your research that we do not already know from the existing knowledge base on your topic?
  3. 3. Ethnographical Stance • What are the epistemological commitments that underpin your research strategy and approach? • How did these epistemological commitments guide and influence your research?
  4. 4. Research Design & Methodology • Explain the research design of your thesis • What is Development Research? Why DR? • How does it differ from Action Research? • Why did you not use AR? • In retrospect, how would your change your research design to place more emphasis on the research and less on the design?
  5. 5. Research Methodology • Did you make use of mixed methodology research, or did you pragmatically employ both qualitative and quantitative approaches to best capture data? • What did you do marry these two contradicting research approaches? • How do you define your position as a researcher in a “mainly qualitative study”?
  6. 6. Theoretical Framework • Has the CATI-model been an external framework, or is it an actual result of this research? • How does it relate to other developmental frameworks? • How did your case study interact with the CATI-model?
  7. 7. Theoretical Constructs • What were your reasons for selecting constructivist learning as part of your theoretical framework? • Your research participants came from an authoritarian society. What did you do to foster constructivist learning principles? • In retrospect, would you have considered other underpinning philosophies for teaching and learning computer science education content?
  8. 8. Theoretical Constructs Sustainable development: “… development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs …” • In retrospect, how would you build onto this definition? • What are your expectations for sustainable development through your project in Tanzania?
  9. 9. Theoretical Constructs • Provide a clear picture of the context in which this case study took place. • What were the outcomes of you needs assessment in terms of contextualization? • How did the context influence the selection of computer science course assignments? • How did you evaluate the assignments in terms of specific contexts and a constructivist learning approach?
  10. 10. Theoretical Constructs “Metaphorical concepts are those which are understood and structured not merely on their own terms, but rather in terms of other concepts. This involves conceptualizing one kind of object or experience in terms of a different kind of object or experience … Abstract concepts are defined metaphorically in terms of concepts that are more concrete and more clearly structured on their own terms.” (Lakoff & Johnson, 1980, p.195)
  11. 11. Theoretical Concepts Metaphors: • Why did you choose a traditional African village as an “instructional interface metaphor” to carry the learning of abstract concepts such as programming language via foreign objects such as i-blocks? • How did you go about contextualizing the local learning content through the i- blocks?
  12. 12. Research Findings • What is the single most important theoretical or methodological invention in your research design? • Did this finding surprise you? • Did we not know this before? • How is this finding going to influence your future research?
  13. 13. Research Findings • How in this research have you gone about protecting yourself from finding what you expected? That is, what specific strategies are built into your research design to yield the possibility that you might be wrong?
  14. 14. Transferability of Research • What are the main achievements of your research? • What has your thesis contributed to the knowledge in the field of I4D? • How can the outcomes of this research be transferred to other developing learning contexts?
  15. 15. Value of Your Research • Explain and position the value and contribution of your research in terms of the global tensions between the constructs of developing socio-economic inclusion versus e-globalization
  16. 16. Value of Your Research • Does your research speak only to information technology sciences, or also to other paradigms such as software engineering, information systems, educational technology or instructional design? • Do you see this as a challenge or as an opportunity?

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