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dc.contributor.authorKoole, Marguerite
dc.descriptionAt the Networked Learning conference in Maastrict, NL in April 2012, I presented my current work in my doctoral research. My PhD research in networked learning on the topic of identity repositioning thresholds; that is, critical stories leading to threshold experiences that challenge doctoral students’ conceptions of their current sense of identity, agency, and relationships within professional, personal, and educational contexts. The research questions I set out to answer were threefold: 1) to explore the kinds of critical stories or troublesome experiences that lead to identity repositioning, 2) to discern the variations in identity repositioning thresholds that doctoral students experience, and 3) to examine whether or not these variations are related to the learners’ field of study. The study takes a social constructionist perspective in which learners’ identities are shaped discursively and relationally in a continuous cycle of discernment, construction and re-construction. Theoretically, the study draws upon theories of threshold concepts and crossings (Kiley & Wisker, 2010; Land, Cousin, Meyer, and Davies, 2005), the Vygotsky cycle, and social positioning theory another (Harré, 2010). An important goal of this research is to provide rich descriptions reflecting multiple perspectives of conceptions rather than reductionist, quantified data and generalizations. Phenomenography was selected in order to explore and describe the range of learners’ perceptions of experiences as they may approximate or differ from those of other learners. Discourse analysis was a secondary methodology chosen to complement phenomenographic methodology by highlighting underlying, subliminal meanings. During the presentation, I described my use of the methodology and the issues that I have been encountering along the way.en
dc.description.abstractThe aims of this research are to explore how doctoral students on networked learning courses experience challenges to their identities, norms, values, and relationships. Within a relational, social constructionist perspective towards identity and positioning amongst individuals, an individual's identity is shaped through a continual interaction of dialogue with others; they shape each other in a mutual and cyclical process. This process is at work equally in Networked Learning as in face-to-face interaction with the difference that the medium through which communication occurs is different but influences the construction of identity. The author briefly describes the Vygotsky Cycle (Harré, 2010), threshold concepts (Meyer & Land, 2005), and with particular relevance to doctoral learners, conceptual threshold crossings (Kiley & Wisker, 2010). These three elements underlie the idea of 'identity positioning thresholds'--that is, the process in which a learner is confronted by conflicting opinions, behaviours, and/or perspectives that, if sufficiently critical, may cause them to examine these conflicting experiences or re-evaluate their own opinions, behaviours, and perspectives within their own social, academic, and/or professional contexts. The main interest of this research is to explore the kinds of critical stories or troublesome experiences that might lead to identity repositioning and the variations in which this can be experienced. To this end, the primary methodology being used is phenomenography. The main method of data collection is the semi-structured interview. One participant was interviewed for a brief pilot study. Then, 18 participants were interviewed for the main phase of data collection. Although the study is currently underway at the time of writing, the author describes the next steps in the study. Supplementary methods will be used to help the researcher develop an in-depth and sensitive understanding of the interview transcripts. These secondary methods include both discourse analysis and two-person interviews. After describing the data collection procedures, the author identifies and discusses a variety of issues both arisen and arising. These issues are related to the abstract nature of the topic itself, the co-constructed nature of phenomenographic interviews, the de-contextualizing and re-contextualizing of transcripts, and issues to be aware of when the times comes for analysis and the development of the outcome space. Finally, the author then briefly discusses some approaches to trustworthiness in the phenomenographic research process.en
dc.subjectDoctoral Studentsen
dc.subjectNetworked Learningen
dc.titleA Social Constructionist Approach to Phenomenographic Analysis of Identity Positioning in Networked Learningen

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