Research #ukfechatRQ on twitter

  1. Does anyone take twitter seriously?

    Surely it’s just a fun way to chat about the news and rant about politics. There are a few serious professional tweeters. But they usually chat about drinking wine and politics on twitter with the occasional link to their more serious published writing or a blog (the throw away stuff in draft). Whatever the status of digitally mediated communication,  #ukfechat has inspired or at least generated the idea for a research project; an idea that has taken hold. That is, a few days later  (twitter days are longer than normal days – so a few days is ages) – there are still people say … me too!

    A quick look through the biographies of all those who have expressed an interest suggests a completely mixed group with varied backgrounds including established, star rated academics, recently qualified FE teachers and techy experts.

    Whatever the limitations of academic research – this is surely a possible basis for collaborative interdisciplinary work?  The trouble is – who amongst us has expertise in this situation.

    I certainly don’t but this is how it seems to me.

    Having established the interest, a new hash-tag has been suggested:


    we can at least talk without out our 140 characters taken up with naming people

    A few questions have been floated:

    This assumes we all want to work on a similar question, a project,  rather than seeing #ukfechatRQ as a space to discuss our own and others’ research. May actual live research is a bot ambitous. We are all – after all – busy people.

    The fact that this is an online group means we are likely to lean towards the use of online data; there’s no point in doing anything unless it leads to credible, original and meaningful work.  None-the-less as a digital community, when methodology is referred to, it is with the sense that it will most likely be  virtually enabled. As FE professionals we are all aware of the advantages and pitfalls of this type of communication.

    We’ve  had a few comments and questions about methods, live data and coding.
    Story so far, listed below.
  2. @drmattoleary @azumahcarol @MrsSarahSimons @EdTech_Stories think scope for data collection on Twitter needs problematising by us first 2/2


  1. I think a Twitter research project is great …wondering what people’s thoughts are on a few things.

    Are we going to have a group question which we generate data on to be written up from our own perspectives? Which could be a good way of looking at a question such lesson plan validity by giving us all access to interesting data.

    Might we do the same as above but rather than a range of papers being produced instead one paper is produced containing a series of vignettes/case studies encapsulating our individual experiences. I think this could be a particularly good way of looking at CPD. We could take an participant research approach which exists individually in our settings and collectively/dynamically in our use of #ukfechat. We could create an interesting picture of the CPD landscape in FE and catalogue our Personal Learning Network triumphs and set backs.

    Any thoughts appreciated.

    • These are workable approaches it seems to me. That is working together through twitter, blogging or any other platform to generate data through detailed discussion of a central issue over an agreed time.

      It’s hard to imagine how one paper could be produced with such a dispersed community.

      Having said that, an online space through which FE practitioners talk about their involvement with research is the loosest and most workable option.

      I think the idea of exploring lesson planning in interesting. I attended a workshop some time ago led by FE guru Petty, who suggested that the most accomplished (experienced and successful) teachers did not plan lessons in intricate detail as used to required by policy. Rather, they tended to have a broad mental sketch of the session which was then adapted to suit a particular situation. I don’t have a reference for this, but it was connected I think ti Hattie’s meta analysis. I doesn’t seem unreasonable. If indeed lesson plans are fabricated to meet institutional demands, they will almost inevitably be a fiction. At the very least they fictionalise good teaching.

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