An update on my current PhD research

It’s been a while! With most of my time taken up with the UMI piloting activities and the UMI deliverable over the past 2/3 weeks, it’s now time to focus on my own PhD research and to update you on where I am and what my next steps are.

I completed my COP Literature Review Analysis and following a meeting with Trevor last week where we discussed my analysis and results, it was decided the contributions from my paper would be the following:

  • Amend the 3 structural elements (pillars) of a COP (Domain Community and Practice) to also include Participation, Learning and Knowledge
  • Define these new structural elements
  • Case Study that identifies them within the Coderdojo Community – analysis of Coderdojo interviews

I am aiming to write a four page paper and submit it to NordiCHI 2018 (deadline April 15th) and I am also looking to submit something to CHI 2019 (deadline September 13th). This week and early next week I will be focusing on writing the Abstract, Introduction, Literature Review and Phase One of my study for the paper. I will also begin mapping these structural elements against the Coderdojo interview transcripts. I have arranged to meet with Trevor again next Wednesday, March 7th.

Along with the paper I am also working on three other elements of my research which will continue over a longer period of time:

  • I am nearly half way through my PhD and as I was told it is never too early to think about the ‘bigger picture’. Over the next few weeks, I want to sit down and think about my PhD contribution in more detail – what will my design, methological, empirical and/or theoretical contribution be? What work do I need to do to achieve this contribution? This is something to think about for my next PhD review towards the end of April.
  • I want to look into what research already exists on using Social Media as a learning resource/tool. (This may lead towards my empirical study) How do people use social media? How do teachers/students behave online (i.e. social media platofrms)? What are the most popular social media platforms and why?
  • I am also working on developing a draft survey to distribute to teachers to gain an understanding into their use of online communities/community invovlement. What communities are they part of? What online resources do they use? How can these resources be improved? What can improve the teaching of STEM? Why do/don’t teachers join communities?
  • I would also like to distribute a survey to students to gain an understanding of their perception of STEM. Why they do/don’t study STEM subjects? Would they be interested in pursuing a STEM career? Why yes/no? Do they understand the meaning of STEM? How can their learning of STEM be improved

I have a busy few weeks and months ahead but there is certainly plenty for me to work on!

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