ERG SES D 06, Parallel Session D 06
The aim of my current PhD research project is to examine how school communities envision the potential of Information and Communication Technology’s (ICTs) in education and the ways in which policies around ICT in education impact on their current and planned use of ICT for learning. International efforts by organisations such as the OECD to encourage ICT use in education have be influential in the development of international policy direction and the OECD proposes that after the provision of the required computer technology “the very process of learning has to change” and in order for the then required levels of innovation and change to occur a “far reaching review of teaching policies and methods” is needed (OECD, 2001).
In this presentation, I will not focus on the substance of my findings about ICT policies and use but on methodological issues. In particular, I will focus on the use of concept mapping as a data collection method (I will also be triangulating data from concept mapping with interviews and focus groups). My use of concept mapping as a method was inspired by the Project REPRESENTATION study conducted by six countries across Europe, and the subsequent ImpaCT2 study conducted in the UK (Pearson & Somekh, 2003). Project REPRESENTATION aimed to gain insight into the way school students represented their use of ICT by using mixed methods, but in particular, a concept mapping method for data collection. Similarly, ImpaCT2 – a study into the impact of ICT on learning in the UK used concept mapping as a data collection tool alongside a range of other methods.
Concept mapping as a visual data collection method has been used in a variety of ways in educational research. (Mavers, Somekh & Restorick, 2002; Prosse & Loxley, 2008; Bagnoli, 2009; Kinchen, Cabot & Hay, 2008.) In the context of my PhD thesis, this data collection method has been used to allow the visual exploration of the similarities and differences between the perceptions of the different sets of participants in their thoughts about ICT use in schools. This provides a way of investigating how policy decisions made at government level connect and relate to what is occurring at the classroom level.
In this discussion session, I will present examples of concept maps as data in order to engage with other researchers who are using (or considering using) concept mapping and other visual methods for data collection in educational research and to explore methodological perspectives, problems and issues confronting researchers using these methods.
Bagnoli, A. (2009). Beyond the standard Interview: the use of graphic elicitation and arts based methods. Qualitative Research, 9(5), 547-570. Keller, T., & Tergan, S.-O. (2005). Visualizing Knowledge and Information: An Introduction. Knowledge and Information Visualization (pp. 1-23). Kinchin, Cabot & Hay, (2008). Using concept mapping to locate the tacit dimension of clinical expertise: towards a theoretical framework to support critical reflection on teaching. Learning in Health and Social Care, 7(2), 93-104. Malone, J., & Dekkers, J. (1984). The concept map as an aid to instruction in science and mathematics. School Science and Mathematics, 84, 221–231. Mavers, D., Somekh, B., & Restorick, J. (2002). Interpreting the externalised images of pupils' conceptions of ICT: methods for the analysis of concept maps. Computers & Education, 38(1-3), 187-207. OECD (2001). Learning to Change: ICT in Schools, Paris. Pearson, Matthew, & Somekh, Bridget. (2003). Concept-mapping as a research tool: A study of primary children’s representations of information and communication technologies (ICT). Education and Information Technologies, 8(1), 5-22. Prosser, J. & Loxley, A. (2008). Introducing Visual Methods. NCRM Methodological Review www.ncrm.ac.uk/research/outputs/publications/
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