data names organisation

Does the name of a learning & teaching unit affect staff perceptions of being understood and valued?

Building blocks

The always impressive Alexandra Mihai recently shared this list of Higher Ed learning and teaching support/development units on Twitter. This led me to muse on whether someone might run an analysis on what the different names in use tell us about this part of the sector.

This is something that I tried myself on a much small data set (n = 66) gathered from a survey that I ran last year in Australia. I was mostly interested in factors that might influence the perceptions staff in these centres (‘edvisors’ in my study) have about how their work is understood and valued. The results were not statistically significant – though maybe this is overrated – but a handful of interesting themes emerged that might inform future work of this kind.

I found that there were three common themes in the naming – something education oriented (teaching, learning, teaching & learning, etc), something descriptive about their work (design or develop) and something aspirational (innovation, futures, etc). Often these were combined. I had also surveyed edvisors about their perceptions that their work was understood/valued by direct managers, other edvisors, academics and managers/leaders in other areas based on a 7 point Likert scale.

These are the notes that I put together as I was analysing some of this data – it’s really a pre-first draft.

The names of edvisor units in HE institutions may contribute to understanding and valuing of edvisor work because this is commonly where academics will be referred to receive pedagogical, design or technological support for learning and teaching. I conducted thematic analysis on the names of units provided by respondents to see if key themes would emerge in the way institutions describe edvisor units and, by association, the work they do or the purpose they serve. I found that 15 unit names included a variation of an aspirational term like transform, innovation or future and 11 included more descriptive, functional language such as design or develop. 52 unit names included either learning and teaching (or teaching and learning), learning, teaching or education. There were also overlaps where unit names could include words from several of these groups.

I compared the mean values for feeling understood and valued for edvisors working in units with names with a variant of education or learning and teaching with those working in units with a variant of future or innovation. I also compared these values for units with a name containing design/develop against those with a variant of education/learning, as well as doing a third comparison of these values between units with a variant of innovation/future and those with a variant of design develop. Within each of these comparisons I looked at whether a unit name included a term on its own, included both terms or included neither.

The names of units that they work for appear to have very little impact on the mean values edvisors’ perceptions of being understood or valued by any of the stakeholder groups. The most interesting differential in all of these values was found in perceptions of being understood and valued by academics when edvisors worked in units with variants of both education/learning and design/develop in their name.

If this is an area you are interested in working on or discussing further, I’m happy to chat.

edvisor Instructional Designer Learning design learning designer

Thoughts on: “Many hats, one heart”: A scoping review on the professional identity of learning designers (Altena, Ng, Hinze, Poulsen & Parrish, 2019)

While I did read this when it first came out at the ASCILITE 2019 conference, I revisit it now that I’ve done my own deep dive into the activities and knowledge areas that help to define different edvisor role types including Learning Designers (LDs).

I know and respect all of the authors of this paper and we are (mostly) part of the same community of edvisors in Australasia. We have parallel research interests but different perspectives and focuses. I say this because there are some things in this conference paper that I question or comment on but this is mostly just because of differences with my chosen approaches. As part of the growing field of scholarship on Third Space education workers, instructional/learning designers and associated practitioners, there is much value to find in this paper.

Most of this comes from my notes as I read through the paper and can be scattered.

Learning Designers are increasingly employed in universities to support institutional digital and pedagogical transformation agendas

Altena et al. 2019 P.1

This opening sentence speaks volumes to me because it touches on two points of contention in this space, particularly among LDs. Firstly, maybe it just flowed better on the page but I note that digital (technological) appears before pedagogical. How much of an LD’s job is technology oriented and how much is about pedagogy is a hot topic, with many LDs (in my experience) feeling that their pedagogical expertise often undervalued at the expense of providing technical support. Secondly, the question of who LDs primarily serve – the teachers or the institution – is often raised in commentary of people questioning the value of LDs and their peers (or, more the case, the need for to change teaching practices).

This paper is about a scan of the literature intended to identify key attributes (using Barnett’s knowing-doing-being framework) that offer a clearer definition of LDs than is currently available. It claims to find

the unique capabilities of learning designers as transformative change agents to student learning

Altena et al. 2019 P.1

This is probably the point at which our respective research projects and aims diverge, as I contend (for now, at least) that there are three key role types of people doing work with this focus in Australian Higher Education – academic developers, education technologists and learning designers – and there are many overlaps between these three. I do believe though that there are also distinctive characteristics of each that we can use to differentiate them, so I am interested to see what they find.

Interestingly, the search terms used included learning technologist and educational technologist but no variation of academic developer. Whether this is an acknowledgement that ADs exist and are sufficiently different or not is unclear. Given my personal belief that Ed Techs and LDs are notably different roles, I find it interesting that they were included in the search. At the same time, given the liminality of many role names in this space, it doesn’t seem entirely unreasonable (but I’d love to see more detail in the data about the two).

Literature published in peer reviewed journals or conferences between 2008 – 2019 centred around the work of LDs in Higher Ed was methodically reviewed and filtered and found 29 worthwhile articles. As a scan of the global literature (compared to my Australian focus) it is not surprising that North American publications were highly represented (80%) but this did lead me to wonder if the practices and experiences of North American Learning/Instructional Designers are reflective of the wider cohort. (Again though, I acknowledge that I am using a much narrower lens). Which leads to another question – why would it be different? (Though I suspect it just is)

The authors note that they were surprised that Learning Technologist didn’t appear in their sample of papers – given the North American lean of the sample, the term instructional technologist might have been more helpful. I’ve seen that appear a bit in their literature about this space.

The attributes/descriptors that they found relating to LDs showed a definite skew in the literature towards ‘doings’ (n=26) over ‘knowings’ (n=9) or ‘beings’ (n=5). This is utter speculation but I wonder whether much of this research was written by non-practitioners and may have had more of a focus on the outcomes of LD activity than the nature of LDs and their identities. If that were the case, we might reasonably expect to hear more about doings/activities. There could be other reasons, of course and in my own research, I explored relatively equal numbers of activities and knowledge areas. I didn’t look at ‘beings’ in much depth at all other than in trying to extract data about perceived ‘purpose’ from an open text question about what people do in their roles. Exploring values and ideology deeper in future data collection is definitely high on my agenda though.

Altena et al. looked at the most commonly discussed knowledge areas, activities and values/purposes from the papers in their review to help shed light on attributes that may help define LDs.

The top ‘knowings’ (knowledge areas) were:

Instructional design and models (n=13)
Technical knowledge (n=13)
Knowledge through professional learning (n=13)
Learning theories (n=11)
Educational research (n=9)

I assume technical knowledge to be related to the use of educational technologies but what “knowledge through professional learning” means is a little less clear. Is this other assorted skill sets that they needed training for or might it be knowledge relating to the provision of training? (Which would seem to me to be high on the list and otherwise absent). Similarly ‘educational research’ might refer to remaining current on emerging research or undertaking research. Here I see the Australian experience as possibly being somewhat different to the North American one, as (acknowledged by the authors), LDs here are rarely given the opportunity to engage in research.

They go on to categorise knowledge areas as ‘Threshold concepts’ (mostly the theory but also some technology knowledge), ‘Just in time knowledge (more reactive knowledge and maintaining currency) and also “Contribution to knew knowledge” relating mostly to research. In my own research I am starting to see different sub-categories of pedagogical knowledge that align with the first two – though the ‘threshold concepts’ I suspect are more strongly aligned with Academic developer identity.

The top ‘doings’ (activities) were:

Course and assessment design (n=18)
Providing expert advice (n=15)
Relationship building (n=15)
Project management (n=12)
Digital asset management (n=12)

These get categorised into Course and curriculum design, Project management, Professional development, Stakeholder engagement and Assess production/technical support. Again, these broadly align with activity categories that I’ve found but I would suggest that curriculum design is more strongly associated with ADs and technical support (including systems administration) with Ed Technologists. (Which isn’t to say LDs do none of that, just less).

Some future questions for me to ask in subsequent data collection that this prompts are something along the lines of – what do you do and what should you be doing? what would you like to be doing in your role?

The final attributes most commonly associated with LDs they found in the literature relate to ‘being’. I need to explore identity theory a bit more because this seems valuable but I think it also links a bit to Kemmis’ ‘relatings’ and the cultural/contextual parts of practice theory in general. These were:

Shared vision (n=5)
Establishing governance (n=5)
Having leadership (n=4)
Being ethical (n=2)

The governance and leadership parts speak to me here and may be gaps in what I have gathered data on to date in terms of key practices. (There is a whole separate piece on the activities, values and knowledge areas of junior vs senior edvisors and also those in central vs faculty teams that complicates this)

A couple of handy final quotes to wrap up that may be useful later:

…the values, attributes and ontological perspectives of learning designers are implied or rarely articulated within the papers

Altena et al. 2019 P.4

…if we are to move this profession forward, further research that seeks to establish higher education benchmarks for the entry to knowledge, skills and personal values, attributes and ontological perspectives required of learning designers working within the higher education sector is needed

Altena et al. 2019 P.5

This paper offers some useful insights into the vibe of research describing learning designers. It shows the complexity of these roles as they juggle everything from pedagogy to technology and managing people/projects to creating new knowledge. The more work we see like this, the clearer the picture may become.


Ed tech must reads: Column #26

First published in Campus Morning Mail 15th March 2022

List of Centres for Teaching & Learning / Digital Education teams from Alexandra Mihai

Most universities have their own units dedicated to supporting and enhancing learning and teaching. Their Twitter feeds often provide the first glimpse at interesting applications of technologies in teaching in these places. Alexandra Mihai has assembled an ever-growing list of these accounts to help you to connect with the wider Technology Enhanced Learning and Teaching world. (Something I learned is that Twitter gets thingy if you follow too many accounts at once so you may need to space it out)

Fundamental Design of Flood Management Educational Games Using Virtual Reality Technology from International Journal of Online and Biomedical Engineering

This seems somewhat pertinent at the moment – perhaps someone might share it with the PM’s empathy coach. Rismayani et al., researchers in Indonesia, developed and tested a mobile VR based flood simulation to help teach the residents of Makassar how to respond better to flooding. They outline the hardware and software design and approaches taken to working with the local community.

Ethics, EdTech, and the Rise of Contract Cheating from Academic Integrity in Canada

The question of how we deal with academic integrity and contract cheating is never far from the minds of institutional leaders. Ed Tech vendors make great promises but Brenna Clarke Grey argues that overreliance of these solutions are not the answer and what is needed are more robust cultural changes and better stewardship of student data.

Professional services staff digital insights survey from JISC

The shift to working from home due to the pandemic has profoundly affected ideas about how we work in Tertiary Education. The ripples of this will no doubt be felt for years to come. Jisc has recently released a report from a survey of UK professional staff shedding light on their experiences working online and considering options for doing it better. (It follows previous surveys of students and academics)

Aloud – Dubbing video into other languages from Google

Google’s Area 120 is their experimental hub. Their latest offering is Aloud, which offers to transcribe, translate and dub your videos into another language – currently Portuguese and Spanish with Hindi and Bahasa-Indonesian to come soon. The service is free but not yet widely available – you can register for early access. The dub is generated synthetically, there is little information about how the translation is done – if it’s Google Translate it could be interesting.


Ed tech must reads: column #25

First published in Campus Morning Mail 8th March 2022

Student evaluations place unfair and harmful expectations on women university teachers… from Australian Journal of Political Science (via Twitter)

Few will be surprised to hear that student evaluations of teaching leave something to be desired when it comes to the important work of gathering actionable student feedback. This Twitter thread discusses a new article about the ways that student expectations of their teachers can vary greatly based on gender, with women commonly expected to perform much more emotional labour than their male colleagues.

Tech Ethics & Policy – 60 seconds at a time from Dr Casey Fiesler

One of my favourite TikTok creators is Dr Casey Fiesler, an information scientist at Colorado University who has essentially put her entire Tech ethics and policy unit on the platform in 60 second bites. She has compiled this handy week by week list of all the topics with bonus readings and discussion questions for topics including moral machines, privacy, intellectual property and more.

New rules on lecture transcripts give academics an impossible choice from Times Higher Education

The explosion in video content in recent years has added urgency to something that we should have been doing better for a long time. Providing accurate captions and transcripts in a timely fashion is vital in ensuring equity in educational media. This article in THE from Emily Nordmann and colleagues discusses legal mandates for this in the UK but the issues raised are global. Auto-captioning still isn’t quite good enough, meaning that time-consuming manual corrections are needed. The article offers suggestions for generating better captions and covers some of the operational challenges faced.

Pedagogical sins that make us cringe from @LindseyMasland (Twitter)

Learning from our mistakes is valuable, learning from the mistakes of many magnifies the experience. This twitter thread captures an array of dumb things higher educators did in their early days of teaching and the lessons they learned. It should be mandatory reading in an HE teaching course.

Call for Special Issue Submissions – Australasian Journal of Educational Technology

ASCILITE’s AJET is one of the leading journals in the ed tech field. The editors of this special issue on “Achieving lasting education in the new digital learning world” are currently looking for submissions of note about the ways that education can and is being changed sustainably for the online world. Submissions are due by 31st March.


Ed tech must reads: Column #24

First published in Campus Morning Mail 1st March 2022

A strategic reset: micro-credentials for higher education leaders from Smart Learning Environments

Not to brag but I was advocating for micro-credentials/digital badges more than a decade ago. Maybe brag isn’t the best word, given our lack of success at the time. It’s nice to see the dawning realisation in the sector of late that alternate modes of accreditation are actually worth considering. This paper from McGreal and Olcott offers an overview of the current state of play and some strategic guidance for using micro-credentials to broaden the scope of educational programs.

In support of faculty (academic) developers doing tech support: a thread from Brenna Clarke Gray

The work of “Third Space” staff in education supporting learning and teaching often goes unnoticed but among the various roles involved there is often a hierarchical division between the pedagogical and technological sides. This twitter thread (and resulting discussion) from @brennacgray explores why this is and how it can be counterproductive in the long run.

Intrinsic and Extrinsic motivation: Time for Expansion and Clarification from Motivation Science

When considering how to engage learners – and particularly with gamification – the core ideas of motivation are rarely far away. Extrinsic motivation in the form of points, badges, leader boards and prizes is often dismissed as being like a short-term sugar hit, initially exciting but not sustainable. Finding ways to draw on inner drivers is routinely seen as the gold standard. This fascinating paper from Locke and Schattke questions these ideas and suggests an additional category – achievement motivation.

MySpace and the Coding Legacy it Left Behind from Codeacademy

One of the greatest tensions in the Internet as a communication hub is between control and freedom. This is neatly summed up in this story of the rise and fall of MySpace, which the authors posit is largely about the happy accident that allowed users to customise their pages with HTML and CSS.

Semantle – a semantic word puzzle

Sure, guessing a random five letter word is great but have you tried guessing a random word based on its semantic relationship with 1000 other words? Semantle unashamedly jumps on the Wordle fad but applies an entirely different set of rules. You guess any word and it tells you how semantically close it is to the solution. Guess a word within the set of 1000 words deemed closest and it tells you how close you are. Recently “scholar” was 999/1000 to the solution of historian. This one-a-day game takes you on a bizarre but addictive word association journey.


Ed tech must reads: column #23

First published in Campus Morning Mail 22nd Feb 2022

Academic Writing Analytics (AWA) Project from UTS Connected Intelligence Centre

As student cohorts and lecturer workloads get larger, automating feedback on student writing has become increasingly desirable in education technology. Tools to support the basics of writing in terms of grammar and structure are relatively commonplace now but identifying and commenting on critical/analytical thinking and reflection is understandably more complex. The UTS AcaWriter application, developed by their Connected Intelligence Centre in conjunction with the Institute for Interactive Media & Learning and the Higher Education Language Presentation Support unit seems promising in this space. While this is only available to UTS staff and students, there is an open demo site and this open-source software is also on GitHub.

99 Tips for Faculty Development in End Times from Karen Costa (Medium)

Academic Development units (or Faculty Development as they prefer in the US) are generally centrally based teams that provide pedagogical advice and workshops. Karen Costa is a Fac dev from the US with many interesting ideas about this area of work, particularly in a time of great change fatigue. She shares 3 key ideas for shaking up the way these units operate that are well worth the time.

The rise and fall of Ed Tech Startups from @EduCelebrity (Twitter)

This highly tongue in cheek and somewhat jaded take on the education technology life cycle from Twitterer @EduCelebrity nonetheless makes some insightful observations about technology, edupreneurs and well-meaning investors moving into the education space.

VideoSticker – video note taking system from International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces 2022

The richness of video as a medium for sharing concepts and information is unquestionable but it does present challenges for learners when it comes to transferring these to their own class notes. This paper from Cao et al, due to be presented at the upcoming Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces conference in Helsinki proposes a tool that allows students to easily create and manipulate “stickers” – essentially screenshots of components and text in the video – and incorporate them into their notes. There is also a handy video explainer on YouTube.

Heygo – virtual tourism

Sticking with video, while international borders are opening, it will still be a while before we return to any kind of ‘normalcy’ with travel. Heygo lets you join enthusiastic locals around the world as they live-stream guided tours in their regions. It’s a fascinating way to find very niche spots that you might never have otherwise stumbled upon.


Ed tech must reads: column #22

First published in Campus Morning Mail 15th Feb 2022

Second Life vs the Metaverse from Drew Harry

The hype continues to grow around the Metaverse, the coming virtual work/play space that Gartner claims 25% of people will spend at least an hour a week in (by 2026). Many of us however are having déjà vu of similar claims from the time of Second Life. This Twitter thread from Drew Hill firstly steps us through how little has changed but then, interestingly, explores some ways that we could learn from subsequent technologies to make more meaningful use of the virtual world this time around.

Pearson buys Credly from Reuters

Credly is one of the most notable digital badge/micro-credentialling platforms still in existence and with this purchase, Pearson continues, in their unique way, to look for opportunities to carve out a niche in the online learning space. Their focus here seems to be primarily tied to the corporate learning and development side rather than VET or Higher Ed, which kind of makes sense given the size of the too-hard basket that this approach to education has mostly sat in for more than a decade.

AI replicates your voice after listening to a 5 second clip from Ramos AI (Tiktok)

Some people still raise their eyebrows when I tell them that TikTok isn’t just full of dancing teenagers and cooked conspiracy theorists. I found this brief video demonstrating recent work from Google where a speaker provided a five second voice clip that AI was then able to use to generate many unrelated sentences in the same voice. If you are interested in the more scholarly side of this research, it was also presented at the 32nd Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems.

Sound and vision: introducing leadership from the International Consortium of Academic Language and Learning Developers

This blog post addresses a question commonly heard from people in my world – As a learning developer, how do you influence University policy and practice? Authors Carina Buckley and Kate Coulson share their experiences working in UK universities, modelling good practice and getting a seat at the table.

Wikitrivia from Tom J Watson

This simple online game asks players to drag random tiles generated from Wikipedia entries to the correct relative spot on a timeline. Put three in the wrong spot and your turn is over. This game offers a nicely balanced mixed of educated guessing and learning more about entirely random subjects. (My highest streak is 18 if you are up to the challenge)


Ed Tech must reads: Column #21

First published in Campus Morning Mail 8th Feb 2022

Course Hero, Ed-Tech Company, Hires Ed-Tech Critic from Inside Higher Ed

Ed Tech Twitter has been, well, all atwitter in the last week over the news that Sean Michael Morris, a notable in the digital pedagogy field, has taken a job at Course Hero. Course Hero describes itself as “an online learning platform for course-specific study resources”. Other people are less charitable in their descriptions, raising concerns about academic integrity, abuse of IP and monetisation of student data. (See the next post). Much of the discussion has centred around whether a well-intentioned academic can affect meaningful ethical change in a $3.6B ed tech megalith. Personally, I have my doubts but would be delighted to be proven wrong.

We don’t need another hero from Medium

Karen Costa is another well-regarded expert in faculty (academic) development with some strong opinions about education technology ethics, Course Hero and their business model. This detailed piece explores how people use this platform, learner agency and power relationships.

Implementing H5P Online Interactive Activities at Scale from Chen et al. (ASCILITE 2021)

Interactive HTML5 resources have exploded in education in recent years, particularly since the drawn-out demise of Flash. Among tools supporting the creation of these, H5P reigns supreme. It is user-friendly and offers a rich set of activity options. This paper from last year’s ASCILITE conference describes the holistic process Victoria University went through to roll this tool out at an institutional level. Most ed tech research focuses on local interventions, so this offers invaluable insights into the big picture thinking required to ensure that a technology can be used successfully and sustainably at scale.

Get rid of the green buttons. It’s pure manipulation from

I’ve shared stories here before about Dark Patterns in website design, the use of psychological tricks to influence user behaviour. This includes things like making one button green and the other (less desired) button look greyed out. The EU has long been a champion of Internet user rights, creating the General Data Protection Regulation in 2016 which dramatically shifted online privacy rights. With the recent passing of the Digital Service Act, they have effectively banned these kinds of questionable design approaches. This article is well worth a read.

Creating a how-to guide with the Tango plugin in Chrome from me

At some point, everyone working in or with education technology needs to create a detailed set of instructions for some computer-based activity. In the last week or so I’ve been playing with a Google Chrome plugin called Tango which essentially lets you record a process, taking screenshots and creating basic descriptive text for each step along the way. After some judicious editing, this can then output to PDF or a webpage like the one I’ve shared about how to use Tango. (How very meta). I think it has some promise.

academic development assessment game based learning game design mooc

Ed Tech must reads – column #20

First published in Campus Morning Mail 1st Feb 2022

How not to write about HyFlex or online learning from Bryan Alexander

While most academic discourse follows intellectually rigorous conventions, there is one area that seems resistant to them. Commentary about technology enhanced and online learning, particularly from those who are new to it, often reveals a lack of understanding of the field and dwells instead on anecdata and laments for the good old days. Bryan Alexander steps through some of the most common flaws in these kinds of pieces in this entertaining post that calls for better conversations about this space. 

Reverse engineering the multiple-choice question from The Effortful Educator

Multiple-choice questions (MCQs) are invaluable for making assessment at scale manageable and providing learners with quick feedback about their understanding of material. As learning tools though, they can be superficial and rarely reflect authentic uses of knowledge. The alternate approach to MCQs laid out in this post asks students to craft questions that use provided answers instead – the Jeopardy! approach to quizzing perhaps. While it may be more labour intensive to assess, this adds a richness to these kinds of questions.

Framework for Ethical Learning Technology from ALT

As the education technology market has grown and usage has become the norm, valid questions have been raised about factors beyond learning and teaching benefits. What are the drivers for businesses and university leadership in using them? How do we ensure that the focus stays on what learners need? The UK’s Association for Learning Technology (ALT) is developing a framework in four quadrants – Awareness, Professionalism, Care and Community and Values – to help guide thinking in this brave new world.

Contemporary Approaches to University Teaching MOOC 2022 from CAULLT

Many universities offer some form of educational development to their teachers, but if yours doesn’t or you would like to supplement it, this MOOC developed by 10 Australian universities under the auspices of the Council of Australasian University Learnings in Learning and Teaching is a particular rich free course to consider. Enrolments for the 2022 offering (28/2 to 29/7) are now open. It covers everything from Teaching your first class to Collaborative learning and The politics of Australian Higher Education.  

Best puzzle games // 10 indie puzzle games you need to try from Cutie Indie Recs I’ve long believed that education can learn a lot from game design in terms of creating engaging and enriching learning experiences. This nine minute video from Cutie Indie Recs showcases some of the incredible variety and creativity that can be found in PC and mobile games now. I’m not entirely sure how to convert these to teaching but maybe inspiration will strike.

Kemmis practice practice theory Schatzki

Thoughts on: Praxis, Practice and Practice Architectures (Kemmis, 2014)

It’s been a while since I’ve dived into the literature but now that I’ve analysed my pilot survey data and have made some sense of it, it feels as though theory might make a little more sense. A big part of my research is looking at what edvisors do and how this shapes them and their world. The practice theory that I’ve looked at so far – mostly Shove (Social Practice theory) and Schatzki (more general practice theory) – broadly states that there are three parts to practice. These are the material things you need to perform the practice, the knowledge you need and the surrounding cultural context in which the practice occurs.

Given that I’m also very interested in how edvisors work together and with others, the fact that Kemmis thinks that something he calls “relatings” is a key part of practice makes his work worth further exploration.

I have to start by saying that I’m not fond of Kemmis’ writing style. The ideas are there but it is a slog to get to them.

From here I’m largely going to transcribe the notes I took as I read this chapter, adding pertinent quotes along the way. To be honest, it may not make a lot of sense, given that I’m also working out how it connects to the analysis that I’ve done, which I haven’t discussed. Mostly this is for my own notes.

Praxis – practice transforms the practitioner, as well as the practicee. It (may) also transform the world. This is praxis.

Aristotlean praxis – an action that is morally committed and oriented and informed by tradition in a field
Marxist praxis – action with moral, social and political consequences for those involved in and affected by it.

Schatzki (2010) calls an activity a temporalspatial event – because it occurs at a point in time and space.
Practices have material, semantic, social elements (2010 ,p.51)

Social practice – an open, organised array of doings and sayings.

A practice has 4 parts:
1) Action understandings – knowing how to perform the action, how to recognise it and how to respond to it.
2) Rules – instructions/directives to do or not do certain actions
3) A teleoaffective structure – acceptable or prescribed aims and ways to achieve these aims, as well as acceptable emotions/moods relating to it
4) general understandings about matters germane to practice

Kemmis – P.30
“Making ‘relatings’ explicit brings the social-political dimensions of practice into the light, draws attention to the medium of power and solidarity which attends practice and invites us to consider what social-political arrangements in a site help to hold a practice in place”

Practices are enabled/constrained by three kinds of arrangements that occur at sites – cultural-discursive, material-economic and social-political.

My thoughts – If teleoaffective relates to the common ends of practices – or clusters of practices – maybe this could be applied to the different kinds of pedagogical activities split between LDs and ADs

Internal goods and teleology can be considered as the project of a practice/s – what it is trying to achieve

Kemmis sees a practice defined by the relationship between practitioners in a practice. Where they use language tied to the practice (sayings), do things in a suitable place/time (doings) and engage with others tied to the practice (relatings). This forms a practice architecture.

Kemmis’ working definition of a practice (p.31)

A practice is a form of socially established cooperative human activity in which
characteristic arrangements of actions and activities (doings) are comprehensible
in terms of arrangements of relevant ideas in characteristic discourses (sayings),
and when the people and objects involved are distributed in characteristic arrangements of relationships (relatings), and when this complex of sayings, doings and
relatings ‘hangs together’ in a distinctive project.

“Characteristic arrangements of relationships” – relatings
I’m not sure these are so well defined for edvisor practices. This chapter leans very heavily into the idea of projects driving practices – I don’t know if this aligns very well with a lot of business as usual edvisor support work. Can something be a project if it doesn’t have an end date?

Practice traditions further shape practice architecture. I think I prefer Shove’s take on all of this.

My thoughts – Cultural-discursive arrangements – these are the knowledge areas I am tying to the activities. It kind of fits but not quite – less about how to actually do the thing.
I think Kemmis is missing the skills aspect in this discussion about practices.
If Kemmis is right about practices being part of projects, what do perceptions about project management tell us. (My survey data indicates that LDs and ADs don’t think ETs do much project management, ETs disagree)

Kemmis says Schatzki says practices are always contextual, shaped by the where and when in which they occur – “activity timespace”

Kemmis says the sayings, doings and relatings are already in the site and practice picks them up and orchestrates them? So it doesn’t bring them to the site?

Practice architecture:
Sayings – Cultural-Discursive – the why (and when/where??) (Meaning)
Doings – Material-Economic – the how and what
Relatings – Social-Political – the who
Not sure if this as my understanding of it all quite tracks with the theory yet.

My thoughts – I don’t like the assertion that a practice has a tidy beginning, middle and end. I guess a performance does though.
Also still struggling with this idea that the practice is the “site” (p.36) – bringing together the semantic space, the physical location and the social space.
In these ways, the practice engages with and becomes enmeshed with the practice architectures in a site, becoming part of the living fabric of the place. Within the place, the practice is itself a social site organising what happens: the practice is a site that meshes together a semantic space, a place existing in physical space-time”

Sayings – Cognitive knowledge
Doings – skills and capabilities
Relatings – norms and values

I think sayings and doings can be seen in the knowledge areas. Relatings need to be teased out further in next phases of data collection. Overall though, this definition seems to explain things better than the last 20 or so pages have.

Dispositions link to Habitus

Relatings means that a practice is about all the people involved, not just the practitioners.

Ecologies of practice – Knowledge and activities are distributed among participants. Participants and participation are distributed in particular kinds of relationships to each other.

Ultimately I think this chapter gives me the language to link my ideas and findings to theory, so that’s something.