Archive for the 'Research questions' Category

Almost comic

Published on March 18, 2008

The amount of times I change my research questions is verging on the ridiculous. Still, I will get there. I know they’re out there somewhere, waiting for me to find them. I think these ones are pretty close: Main question How is asynchronous dialogue used to build shared knowledge over time? Sub-questions How do tutors […]

Going around in circles

Published on March 4, 2008

In the last month my entire thesis has undergone a radical rethink, as I have moved completely away from community, to consideration of temporality in the context of asynchronous dialogue. I think this is the right move to make – I’ve got excellent data to support a study of temporality, and it fits in with […]

Why is this interesting?

Published on December 14, 2007

I came to my data from the point of view of communities. How do communities learn together? Why is it valuable to learn as a member of a community? However, on closer examination, I’m not studying a community. My data comes from task-based groups (thanks for that insight, Etienne). True, they have been structured to […]

Research questions

Published on November 26, 2007

One day I will achieve the ultimate research question – I will look at it and know it is right. Until then… How do task-based groups of learners identify and use the resources of asynchronous conferences to support their learning? What constrains their identification and utilisation of these resources? Look, I’ve taken ‘communities’ out of […]

Research questions revisited

Published on October 20, 2007

Well, I’m working on my literature review, so I’m bound to tinker with my research questions, aren’t I? Also, an initial pass over my data showed me that if I just look at the skills and resources that people use to learn together online, I’m going to end up with a list. And not a […]

Community or community of practice?

Published on July 12, 2007

I’ve run into a real problem with the idea of ‘comunity of practice’. What is the difference between a CoP and a community? Lots of people just take the CoP idea as is, and run with it. People who critique the ideas seem to do so in terms of thinking the model through – do […]

General thesis outline

Published on July 10, 2007

Just to remind me what my thinking was at this point: ·         Learning is a social activity and therefore it is always situated culturally, historically and socially. ·         Learning communities provide good conditions for learning, because they come together with that purpose in mind and can mobilize aspects of community such as shared purpose, shared […]

Shifting ground

Published on May 18, 2007

I’m changing my research questions again – this time more profoundly than usual. Which key skills do members of an online learning community use to support their learning and teaching? Which key resources do members of an online learning community use to support their learning and teaching? Resources identified by Neil Mercer in’Words and Minds’ […]

Are students ever off-task online?

Published on May 14, 2007

This is an extract from my supervision minutes from last December. It contains a lot of points which are important to the development of my research, so I’ve put it here to remind me of these. Examine the resources used by students – local resources and broader social resources – and at how they use […]


Published on November 20, 2006

Shifts in the power structure of the conference. Who are the members expecting to have power? When do they take power? When do they have power passed to them? When is power forced upon them? How does this happen? Why does it happen?