While I had kind of finished reading Chapter two of Rowena Murray’s Writing for Academic Journals (still no explanation for the coconut on the front cover), I hadn’t actually done any of the activities suggested, so here goes.
What’s my title going to be? This was a great activity to do – it really forced me to start thinking seriously what the focus of my article will be. I came up with the following options:
Fall back to F2F? A social justice perspective on blended CPD – this goes furthest beyond my dissertation topic; moving completely away from the question of digital literacy development, and instead focusing on the wider (esp. educational and ethical) implications of moving institutional CPD online. It would not draw heavily on the original study but would refer to it to illustrate and explain changes in personal and institutional goals over the period discussed.
Four years of blended CPD: Is it working yet? – this would draw significantly on the original study but also rely on new data that reveals wider issues around the topic. The focus of the original study would be gently ‘exploded’ in order to identify new questions about the efficacy of blended CPD. This option would easily accommodate (and make a feature of) the developmental changes made to the programme over the last three years.
Teacher CPD: Do we still need to push digital literacy? – this would be more of a direct comparison between then and now, asking similar questions of the most recent PG Cert cohorts to do the blog and video activities. The primary question would still be around digital literacy development and I would expect this option to have the closest resemblance to my original dissertation. Having already had many discussions to this effect with my current students, I anticipate the answer will be ‘yes’, but with a caveat (an aside on the wider implications of moving CPD online).
I think I might leave the first option for now (it may become my thesis!), and hedge my bets with regard to the other two. I have a good relationship with the most recent cohort and would expect a high degree of participation in a follow-up survey. I also think I could get away with asking a couple of extra questions that would facilitate an expansion of the original focus. I know from recent classroom discussions that they are interested in the kinds of questions I am asking here – both in an abstract sense and with specific regard to the PG Cert course.
My next task has been to look through the last few issues of IJAD for articles about online and blended learning (esp. teacher CPD and digital literacy of teachers) in order to get a handle on what assumptions the IJAD audience have about this subject – what do they assume is still open to question? What aspects do they take as a given? This will provide me with pointers for producing something of interest – i.e. something that challenges the audience’s assumptions (Davis 1971). This has also been an enlightening task – watch this space 🙂
Secondary reference: Davis, M.S. (1971) That’s interesting!: towards a phenomenology of sociology and a sociology of phenomenology, Philosophy of Social Science 1, pp309-44.