So, What is Your Argument?

A thesis […] is something that you wish to argue, a position that you wish to maintain (the word ‘thesis’ derives from the Greek for ‘place’) […] It must argue a position. At the minimum this means that the study must have a ‘storyline’, a coherent thrust that pushes along an argument, an explanation, a systematic set of inferences derived from new data or new ways of viewing current data. (Pugh & Phillips, 2005)

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Connectivism, semantic web and sentiment data for smarter learning

Some key quotes and papers on why thinking about a Connectivist inspired pedagogy for smart learning leads to thinking about the knowledge web. How we may need to transform the way we manage and organise this vast resource from a technological perspective as well as more conventional educational perspectives. The need to think in more inventive ways about knowledge in the networks, how to manage and ‘record’ the digital histories of each knowledge node and how to advance learning analytics and data tracking to be more pedagogical in nature, not merely glorified web analytics¹. Continue reading

Thoughts on developing a methodology

It’s been a challenging few weeks recently, as I’ve reached the business end of the MPhil progression time. I need to firm up the methodology and actually know what I’m going to do with data, not just what might need to be achieved, with a rough estimation of how to go about it. I need to know.

The battle has come between two things: deductive versus inductive methods (and methodologies), and how to select methodologies suitable for the type of data and for the purpose of analysis. There now seems like a solution on the horizon, even though I don’t think I’ve reached it yet. I can mix and match, it is allowed. Continue reading

Data, learning and the architecture of understanding

Possibly the most interesting and potentially the ‘newest knowledge’ aspect of the PhD project is how data and learning are ‘intertwingled‘. I’ve been led into this area by instinct, having realised that in dealing with smart (city) learning, we need to think as much about data as we do about knowledge and community. Continue reading

Data Relationship Conceptualisation

A PhD is about making data mean things, represent meaning in ideas, develop ‘real world’ evidence to thinking. When I was offered the evaluation of Smart City Learning project as a possible PhD, it appeared to be a straightforward exercise in evaluating a lot of user experiences involved in content and technology. The trick was to have an original concept for how to wrap the data into theory. That was harder. Continue reading

First look at network visualisation

In scoping technical aspects of the project, I knew it would be a good idea to ‘look’ at data. It would trigger good thought processes as well as get me started on the track of understanding how to make solid visualisations of networks and communities, to show relationships and illustrate points made in relevant discussion. Continue reading