research methods discussion + reflection

Initially, I had thought of my potential PhD research project as a single large project – looking at fully capturing the environment, participants, and performance within a space – and then using that as “digital field notes” to be analyzed later from any number of frameworks and perspectives. I still think there’s something there, and will likely include at least part of this in my research, but after the discussions we had today I’m thinking much more about how to carve off smaller projects or experiments to deeply explore a given topic or question, and then weave those together to tell a broader story. Something roughly like…

So, I need a broad question or set of questions to drive the whole series of experiments through a common narrative, and a set of smaller questions to dive deeply in to individual aspects that build together to describe the whole through a diverse set of contexts.

If the broader theme involves something like “how to make sense of complex interactions between participants and their environment so that others can use the technique to facilitate meaningful reflection of their practices of teaching and learning” – smaller experiments might be spun out to explore components of that, including things like…

  • HCI
  • communication
  • performance
  • learning
  • reflection
  • machine learning
  • virtual/mixed/augmented reality

The individual experiments/projects would then serve as case studies, each having components that tie into the broader theme(s), and then being woven into a single larger work that forms the dissertation.

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