Research update #18: Wow, it’s been a while

While I haven’t been ‘here’ writing up things about readings, there’s still been a little bit of research action going on under the surface. I had a great meeting in person with Peter and Lina a month or so ago where I asked more questions than normal and it felt like more of a two-way conversation. (In our phone/skype chats, I’ve often felt like I needed to prove that I’ve been working, so I’ve largely just rattled off things that I’ve come across and new ideas for directions for the research, rather than drawing on the wisdom at the other end of the line. I mean, I still got some of that in the comments but seeking it out more pro-actively definitely seems more productive)

I’ve also been working on a paper submission with my TELedvisor network colleagues for ASCILITE 2017. What was meant to be a 5 page concise paper, kind of describing a work in progress rapidly blew out to 17+ pages (without appendices). I think this might have been partially because we have a lot to say on this topic – why the names for TEL edvisor roles are so ill-defined and what it means as workers in the third space – and perhaps a little bit because there’s a little bit of a sense of having something to prove. We aim to shape this into a journal paper, so will need to trim it pretty substantially.

The work has helped me to think more about how Social Practice Theory might be practically applied – I haven’t found much if anything about this in the literature yet but I’m assuming that’s more because I haven’t looked enough rather than that my ideas are breath-takingly innovative. I think that it will be useful to go deeper into the practices of TEL edvisors and the practices of teachers (and maybe or maybe not management) to see what the barriers to good TEL practices actually are – rather than the plausible excuses that people use to make them sound better.

I also seem to have gotten caught up with a lot of research adjacent work – putting together an application to be a HERDSA Fellow for example – which seems useful long term and professionally (I hope) but not directly relevant. I think I’m looking to bolster my pedagogical and research credibility – which, as a professional staff member, I’m almost never given credit for.

I was seriously pondering printing out all of my education qualifications this morning and creating a poster that I would stick to my office door – maybe with a sign saying “You can talk to me about teaching too, you know”. Might come across as a little defensive – or, you know, unhinged. So I probably won’t do that.

Anyhoo, back to the reading. I only have two chapters to go in this social practice theory book – now I just need to find it in my newly set up study. (I did move house, so I feel that has contributed to my study gap in some ways)