Reading for Methodology

To guide content analysis of my thesis data, I’ve been reading research articles with increased attention to methodology that the authors used.

The article by Barab, Hay & Yamagata-Lynch (2001) on Action-Relevant Episodes (AREs), is a reference I followed up on from a manuscript accepted for publication that a postdoctoral scholar emailed me (thanks Jianwei). As I read the article, it dawned on me that I had read a study using this methodology last spring (Barab, Hay, Barnett & Squire, 2001). In that article, the methodology wasn’t the focus, so I didn’t realize then how it could be helpful for my own data analysis. Good thing I revisited this approach, because AREs seem to provide a systematic way to identify relevant data from a complex learning environment and to organize it into a web of action to explain the historical development of an issue of interest. I’m still synthesizing concepts from these articles, and trying to make sense of them in relation to my own data sources.

Just to complicate matters, and because I like to read, I’m also reading an article by Roth & Bowen (1995), which is a follow-up from the Barab, Hay, Yamagata-Lynch 2001 article. Roth & Bowen analyze knowing and interacting in an open-inquiry learning environment guided by a cognitive apprenticeship metaphor (graduate student advisor metaphor:). I like it, because I can also read about how these researchers went about the practice of research in Roth’s (2005) book that I blogged about before. I notice that there are some concept map references in the ’95 article that I could follow up on to help me with one of my CSSE papers…and so on, and so on, I could read forever!

Well, how to balance all this reading and doing my own thinking and writing? I better go back to figuring out AREs and if they could work with my online discussion transcripts now. Read again later.

Barab, S.A., Hay, K.E., Barnett, M. & Squire, K. (2001). Constructing virtual worlds: Tracing the historical development of learner practices. Cognition and Instruction, 19(1), 47-94.

Barab, S.A., Hay, K.E., Yamagata-Lynch, L.C. (2001). Constructing networks of action-relevant episodes: An in-situ research methodology. The Journal of the Learning Sciences, 10(1&2), 63-112.

Roth, W.-M., & Bowen, G.M. (1995). Knowing and interacting: A study of culture, practices, and resources in a grade 8 open-inquiry classroom guided by a cognitive apprenticeship metaphor. Cognition and Instruction, 13(1), 73-128.


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