Using Action Research to Investigate Social Networking Technologies

Lisa Worrall, ,, Katy Harris, Jun 23, 2013
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I do feel an obligation to read and as appropriate link to journal papers, because this wouldn't be much of a newsletter if I didn't. But sometimes I feel it's a stretch. This is a case in point. The article describes an action reserach project around provision of discussion support in a professional development website. The article seems divided on whether iot wants to explain and justiofy action research, or whether it wants to focus on the actual research. The authors are not helped by the fact that the discussion support area went generally unmonitored and unused. So we have eight pages of journalese to tell us that "learners want websites that are frequently monitored, that they feel that they ‘own’, with private chat room options, to encourage them to ‘donate’ some of their finite time on the website, with greater confidence that other users will be on the website at the same time for synchronous chat opportunities." I think a couple of tweets would have accomplished the same result, which is what is so wrong with academic publishing generally. Here's more from the same issue of the journal.

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