CIRTA 2009


Published on

The relationship between theory and practice is complex and multifaceted: Classic studies in software engineering and interface design (e.g. Suchman, 2007), for example, have shown that practice is not the direct implementation of theory, and that theory is not simply the codification of practice. Instead, practice, as Bourdieu says, brings with it “a logic which is not that of the logician.” In this presentation, Dr. Norm Friesen, Canada Research Chair in E-Learning Practices, will look at the issue of practice in its relation to often theoretical concerns of research, drawing practical examples from the contents of his recent monograph Re-Thinking E-Learning Research: Foundations, Methods and Practices (Peter Lang, 2009). These examples include a narrative study of one instructor¹s integration of technology into an ESL (English as a Second Language) classroom, and a conversational analysis of exchanges between learners and an intelligent pedagogical agent.

Published in: Education, Technology
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

CIRTA 2009

  1. 1. Re-Thinking Research to Re-Engage Practice Norm Friesen [email_address]
  2. 2. Overview <ul><li>Specialized and everyday meanings of “practice” & practique </li></ul><ul><li>How “practice” is used in e-learning & design </li></ul><ul><li>Origins and challenges of the use of “practice” </li></ul><ul><li>Ways of renewing the connection with practice: ethnomethodology, conversation analysis, discursive psychology </li></ul><ul><li>Implications of this renewal & reconnection </li></ul>
  3. 3. Everyday & Specialized Meanings <ul><li>Practice has multiple but closely interrelated everyday meanings: </li></ul><ul><li>Medical, legal or religious practices: It is what we do, as members of a professional or other group. </li></ul><ul><li>Practice makes perfect: It can improve through repetition and is tied to habit (think of “practice makes perfect”) (see, for example, Schön, 1982, 60) </li></ul><ul><li>Theory vs. Practice: as the opposite of mere words or theory (“practice what you preach”). </li></ul>
  4. 4. Practice – Practique? <ul><li>Practice: entraînement, répétition </li></ul><ul><li>Practice: habitude (habit) </li></ul><ul><li>Practice: usage </li></ul><ul><li>Practique : procedure, as opposed to theory </li></ul>Pierre Bourdieu Michel de Certeau
  5. 5. Specialized uses… <ul><li>Best practice (in implementation, etc.) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ A well defined procedure that is known to produce near-optimum results” (Wiktionary) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>ACM: 62,000 hits for “practices:” “State-of-practice”, “work practices”, “design practice” </li></ul><ul><li>Communities of practice : “a group of people who share an interest, a craft, and/or a profession” (Wikipedia) </li></ul>
  6. 6. Practice & Communities of Practice <ul><li>Understanding computers and cognition: A new foundation for design . Winograd, T., & Flores, F. (1986) </li></ul><ul><li>Plans and situated actions . Suchman (1987). </li></ul><ul><li>Cognition in practice: Mind, mathematics, and culture in everyday life. Lave, J. (1988). </li></ul><ul><li>Situated Learning: Legitimate Peripheral Participation Lave & Wenger. (1991). </li></ul>
  7. 7. Suchman: Plans and Situated Actions <ul><li>activities such as everyday planning and mathematical reasoning are “primarily situated, and [such] situated actions are essentially [improvised or] ad hoc ” (Suchman, 1987, p. ix; see also Suchman, 2007; Winograd & Flores, 1986). </li></ul>
  8. 8. Suchman, 1987, 2007 <ul><li>“ primary concern in [the book is] to suggest a “shift in the status of plans from …control structures that universally precede and determine actions, to discursive resources produced and used within the course of certain forms of human activity” (p. 299). </li></ul><ul><li>the rationally “‘planned’ character of our actions is not… inherent [in these actions] but is demonstrably achieved.” </li></ul>
  9. 9. Consequences for theory and practice <ul><li>Practice (activity) is not a direct enactment of theory (plans, scripts, algorithms, decision trees) </li></ul><ul><li>Practice has an autonomy and “logic” of its own </li></ul><ul><li>The locus of human action and interaction is discourse, rather than cognition. </li></ul><ul><li>This implies a new type of vocabulary and a “reconfiguring” of human and machine </li></ul>
  10. 10. Dourish, 2001 <ul><li>The important point to recognize here is that these practices emerge not from the designers of the system, but from the actions of its users. This means two things; first, that true places emerge only when really occupied day-to-day, not in demonstrations or experiments that last a few hours; and second, that place can't be designed , only designed for . (Dourish, 2001; p. 91) </li></ul>
  11. 11. The Practice Turn <ul><li>Over the past three decades, a radical change has occurred in what analysts view as the principal psychological basis of activity. Whereas philosophers and social investigators once cited mental entities such as beliefs, desires, emotions, and purposes, practice theorists instead highlight embodied capacities such as know-how, skills, tacit understanding, and dispositions. </li></ul><ul><li>(Schatzki 2001, p. 7) </li></ul>
  12. 12. From The Practice Turn <ul><li>&quot;'practice' brings into view activities which are situated, corporeal, and shaped by habits without reflection. This notion has been extraordinarily successful and has now been extended to cover every sort of human activity.&quot; (Thévenot, 2000, p. 64) </li></ul><ul><li>Practice has &quot;a logic which is not that of the logician.&quot; (Bourdieu, 1992; p. 86) </li></ul>
  13. 13. Focus on Practice to reengage the connection with Research
  14. 14. Methodologies <ul><li>Narrative: understanding of developments from the perspective of the participant (ch 1): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Technological change in the classroom as negotiated through teacher values and priorities </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ethnography: practices & communities of practice studied in context (First Monday) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Involves observation and participant observation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Requires relatively length periods of observation </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Ethnomethodology <ul><li>The “methodology” in ethno- methodology refers to the those used by people everyday in everyday acts </li></ul><ul><li>They use these in the “contingent accomplishment of socially organized practices” (Garfinkel, 1967, p. 33) </li></ul><ul><li>Its concern &quot;with sense-making&quot; has been said to make &quot;it a natural framework for undertaking a study of instructional practice&quot; (Koschmann, Stahl & Zemel, 2007, p. 134). </li></ul>
  16. 16. Ethnomethodology in CSCL <ul><li>the participants are the ones in possession of subject matter and methodological expertise, rather than researcher: </li></ul><ul><li>“ it is up to the members themselves to work out through their interaction what is to be treated as relevant and it is the task of the analyst to discover what these relevancies might be” (Koschmann, Stahl, & Zemel, 2007, p. 137) </li></ul><ul><li>“ Instruction and instructability” have been important “topics in ethnomethodological research from its earliest days” (ibid, p. 134). </li></ul>
  17. 17. Conversation Analysis: empirical technique for ethnomethodology <ul><li>rigorous micro-level analysis of technologically-mediated communication </li></ul><ul><li>focuses on how meaning and order are “achieved” specifically through routine conversational “work” or “talk-in-interaction” (Schegloff, 1986, pp. 111–112) </li></ul><ul><li>Focuses on how meaning and order are “achieved” specifically through routine conversational “work” or “talk-in-interaction” (Schegloff, 1986, pp. 111–112 </li></ul>
  18. 18. Telephone Calls <ul><li>Hello, Hi, Hi! How are you? Fine, how are you? Okay. Good. What’s new? </li></ul><ul><li>Hello? Hello. Hi. You were you sitting by the phone? No, I’m in the kitchen where I was talking to a friend of mine earlier; I was just putting my fried rice on my plate to go eat lunch. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Telephone Calls, con’t <ul><li>Jerry? Yeah. Irene. Oh hello, Irene. I just… I was just thinking about you just this moment. Uh the phone rang so long, I was worried. Oh? Uhuh. Well I just got in, oh, not 5 minutes ago from the hospital, and um the only thing I can report… </li></ul><ul><li>Hello? Hello Bonnie. Hi, this is Marlene. Hello. How are you? Fine. Good. Do you have Marina’s telephone number? </li></ul>
  20. 20. Telephone Calls, con’t <ul><li>Hi Donnie. Guess what? What? My car is stalled! </li></ul><ul><li>Hello? Are you awake? Yeah! I just got up. Oh did ya? Yes. Well good. I’m alone. Bud left me last night. </li></ul><ul><li>Hello? Hello? Could you speak a little louder? Whose this? Robin. Hi, its Evelyn. Hi! I didn’t recognize your voice. Oh really? Yeah. Ah, it’s the same old me. </li></ul>
  21. 21. Discursive Psychology <ul><li>Combines ethnomethodology as an approach with conversational analysis as a method to produce a way of analyzing and talking about the “mental” </li></ul><ul><li>Topics of psychological significance arise and are used and negotiated as resources in conversation. “Agency, intent, doubt, belief, prejudice, commitment, and so on,” as Edwards and Potter (2005) explain, “are built, made available or countered...” routinely in everyday talk-in-interaction (p. 242). </li></ul>
  22. 24. Simplified version Jill Valery Jill Valery - Saturday, 28 February 2009, 03:23 AM Lisa, I have had similar experiences where I have had no response to a post and also found it disheartening, and then thought it must be because the post was too boring to respond to [1, 2] . I suspect that, because we are being &quot; forced &quot;[3] to write these, I will have a similar cynical and, hopefully erroneous, reaction in the future. I think I need to find a forum over a topic that I am passionate [4,5] about. [1] Donna: There could be many reasons why there is no response. Maybe others are intimidated? Maybe they do not agree and cannot think of how to say so? [2] Lisa: interesting response. Mine is usually 'hmmm they don't care&quot; or &quot;I've offended them&quot; - seems my issues are related to interpersonal and not content [3] Lisa: I'm seeing this word frequently - interesting [4] Lisa: which is? [5, instructor] Jill, if you got passionate about how you could use Marginalia in your teaching, I don't think we'd be bored!
  23. 25. What is happening here discursively? <ul><li>Participants focus on the realm of the mental and social to discuss causes or topics that could potentially be technical or logistical in nature </li></ul><ul><li>Students (and the instructor) are all addressing issues of response, non-response, passion, boredom, as well as interest and potential dis-interest in what the other has to say. They use resources to do so: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Verbal Resources: e.g., exclamations, interrogatives, the psychological concepts of interest, passion, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They enact interest and availability (Lisa’s response of “ which is ” ?) and by explicitly insisting on such interest and availability ( “ I don't think we'd be bored! ” ). </li></ul></ul>
  24. 26. Emphasis on Relational Practices <ul><li>“ your situation is this ; mine is that .” </li></ul><ul><li>A great deal is taken for granted, is not questioned; not subject to questioning and hypothesis formulation/testing </li></ul><ul><li>Conversation as a kind of “work” to negotiate and establish what is happening and how it is understood by participants; reality of what is happening is “achieved” </li></ul><ul><li>This is the basis for social relations, and ultimately, of all knowledge </li></ul>
  25. 27. Implications for Research <ul><li>What is the foundation of knowing and learning? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The relationship between naïve and expert knowledge, models, conceptions is reversed </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What is the relationship between learner and technology? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The difference, not the similarity between user and technology is important. We are not processing information. </li></ul></ul>
  26. 28. Wolf-Michael Roth The nature of scientific conceptions (2007) <ul><li>Naïve vs. Expert – conceptions, frameworks, mental models </li></ul><ul><li>7000 articles on conceptual change </li></ul><ul><li>Students resistant to conceptual change </li></ul><ul><li>understandings are articulated in talk, in social situations, some are scientific, others not </li></ul>
  27. 29. Naïve Knowledge (in Practice) vs. Research / Theory <ul><li>Epistemologically </li></ul><ul><li>Superior </li></ul><ul><li>Foundation for Knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Needs to be interrogated; is “just” one form of knowledge among others </li></ul>Research / Theory Practice Research / Theory Practice
  28. 30. Learning  Technology Relationship <ul><li>Technology is not effective educationally because it processes or represents knowledge as does the human mind (post-cognitivist) </li></ul><ul><li>the &quot;actions&quot; or operations of computers and their intelligibility are different than those of human learners </li></ul><ul><ul><li>They are not situated or embodied; do not rely on interactional resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They are not built on situational common sense or on everyday understanding </li></ul></ul>
  29. 31. Kaptelinin and Nardi (2006)  <ul><li>Despite [its initial] success, challenges to the cognitive paradigm began to appear as early as the mid-1980s. The limitations of the traditional information-processing paradigm were demonstrated in seminal books by Winograd and Flores... and Suchman [in the late 1980s]. By the early 1990s, these limitations were acknowledged in the main- stream HCI community...The trend toward the need for a broader focus in research and development was [also] identified by leading researchers [in HCI]. </li></ul>
  30. 32. Re-engaging with Practice <ul><li>Everyday practice (& the knowledge that is a part of it) has an intrinsic value & wisdom </li></ul><ul><li>Embodied & situated educational practice is intrinsically valuable (classroom, hallway, lab) </li></ul><ul><li>Understand the complexities of practice as it is found & situated; it cannot be captured as a “use-case” or sequence in a workflow </li></ul><ul><li>It’s not about the technology itself, but about how it is (or is not) engaged with in situated practice </li></ul>
  31. 33. Everyday versus “Expert” Knowledge <ul><li>Knowledge ordered according to subjective significance </li></ul><ul><li>Unsystematized knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Routine activity </li></ul><ul><li>Reality as indubitably given </li></ul><ul><li>Avoidance of doubt </li></ul><ul><li>Ordered according to paradigmatically-grounded criteria </li></ul><ul><li>Systematized knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Reflected methodical activity </li></ul><ul><li>Questioning the conditions for understanding “reality” </li></ul><ul><li>Systematization of doubt </li></ul>
  32. 34. Everyday versus “Expert” Knowledge <ul><li>Safeguarding of what is known </li></ul><ul><li>Avoiding alternatives </li></ul><ul><li>Concentration on one meaning </li></ul><ul><li>Based on everyday praxis </li></ul><ul><li>Pragmatically motivated </li></ul><ul><li>Vocabulary is close to experience </li></ul><ul><li>Oral </li></ul><ul><li>Doubting what is known </li></ul><ul><li>Looking for alternatives </li></ul><ul><li>Multiple meanings expected </li></ul><ul><li>Systematically separate from it </li></ul><ul><li>Theoretically motivated </li></ul><ul><li>Vocabulary is distanced from it </li></ul><ul><li>Written </li></ul>
  33. 35. Research and Networking: SSHRC Grants & E-Learning
  34. 36. Overview <ul><li>SSHRC Overall </li></ul><ul><li>Types of SSHRC Grants </li></ul><ul><li>Types of collaboration in grant applications (mentoring) </li></ul><ul><li>Parts of an application </li></ul><ul><li>Tips and techniques </li></ul>
  35. 37. With SSHRC: It’s not about how much money you get, its about how you get the money.
  36. 38. SSHRC Overall <ul><li>Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (one of three granting councils founded in 1977) </li></ul><ul><li>Education clearly in Social Sciences & Humanities (not part of the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council) </li></ul><ul><li>SSHRC doing more special, targeted grants lately; has promised to target “hybrid” disciplines </li></ul>
  37. 39. Practical implications? <ul><li>Don’t base research on tapscott (2x); Kurzweil; Gladwell, Educause </li></ul><ul><li>Instead, base on: Marx & Smith; first monday; Benkler; Castell; </li></ul>
  38. 40. Types of Grants <ul><li>SRGs, RDI’s, IOF, Conference, </li></ul><ul><li>SRGs: the success rate has ranged between 38% and 42%. </li></ul><ul><li>. </li></ul>
  39. 41. Parts of an application <ul><li>SSHRC CV: 60% weighted in favour of research achievement </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Publications: categorized by peer review status, significance in career, other grants </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Proposal: 40% </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1 page summary: promotion, practical relevance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Objectives: 1/3 page; Methodology: 3 pages </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Program of research: 2.5 pages </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dissemination: 1/3 page </li></ul></ul>
  40. 42. Research Team <ul><li>Co-applicants: they co-develop the grant, and “co-investigate;” need their SSHRC CV and an institutional signature </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Find a “mentoring” co-applicant who has had success in previous SSHRC application </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be very selective; co-apps are evaluated in the grant </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Collaborators: support the grant & its activities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Just” require their CV; good for “bringing in” the right balance of expertise in interdisciplinary work </li></ul></ul>
  41. 43. Other parts of the Team <ul><li>Community Organizations </li></ul>
  42. 44. Tips and Techniques <ul><li>The ideal application is Schizophrenic </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Enough specificity for the experts. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Enough generality for the rest. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use the Application Summary to pitch your case for importance and originality. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Avoid jargon (from Doug Peers) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Write, write and re-write: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A great deal needs to be fit into a few pages </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Avoid claims or approaches that exclude or target (negatively) </li></ul></ul>
  43. 47. <ul><li>This conference invites papers, in English, focusing on such issues as:   </li></ul><ul><li>Recent developments in media theory in North America and central Europe, for example: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Media and materiality </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The construction of “mediality” in theory and practice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Media and the (post)human </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The “mediatic turn” as milestone or misnomer </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The foundational contributions of McLuhan, Innis and the Toronto School, of Flusser, Luhmann, Kittler and others </li></ul><ul><li>Media as means of socialization and education </li></ul><ul><li>Towards a philosophy of media (Inter)disciplinary implications of media-theoretical developments </li></ul>