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PhD! September 20, 2010

Posted by Malene Charlotte Larsen in Aalborg University, Academic, PhD.

I am happy to announce that I now have a PhD 😀 Friday was the day of my PhD defence and it was a really good experience. Especially, I want to thank the assessment committee, Mikael Vetner, Elza Dunkels and Leena Kuure, for creating a nice atmosphere  with relevant questions and a good academic discussion.

Thanks to everyone who helped celebrate me (colleagues, students, friends and family) – I had an amazing day.

The entire defence was videotaped and will be available at Aalborg University’s web page at some point. I will add a link when it’s online!

For the time being, I will focus on my next big project – the birth of my future daughter (I am 38 weeks pregnant). This also means that I am now officially on maternity leave and will probably not be bogging that much.

Thanks to all the readers of My PhD Blog who have followed my academic efforts the past 3,5 years.

PhD defence September 9, 2010

Posted by Malene Charlotte Larsen in Aalborg University, Academic, PhD.

It’s official! My PhD dissertation has been accepted for defence. The defence will take place next Friday, September 17, at Aalborg University from 9-12.

During the defence I will be giving a 45 minute presentation of my work where after each member of the assessment committee will have 30 minutes to ask me questions.

The assessment committee consists of:

  • Associate professor Mikael Vetner, Department of Communication, Aalborg University (head of committee)
  • Associate professor Elza Dunkels, Umeå University, Sweden
  • Dr Leena Kuure, University of Oulu, Finland

After the defence the Department of Communication will host a reception. Read more about the defence here (in Danish) and sign up for the event on Facebook.

Download the full dissertation here (in Danish).

Nancy Baym at Aalborg University June 17, 2009

Posted by Malene Charlotte Larsen in Aalborg University, Academic, Lectures.
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Next week Nancy Baym, University of Kansas, will be visiting Aalborg University to give a summer lecture on ”Qualitative Internet Research: New Media and Methodology”. Nancy is coming to Denmark in connection with the PhD course on Social Media I have been involved in planning, and luckily she agreed to come by Aalborg first to talk about her research and how she deals with methodological issues in social media studies.

The abstract of Nancy’s talk is:

Nancy Baym will be discussing the methodological issues she’s encountered in her recent qualitative and quantitative research online. Her research on friendship in the music-based social networking site, Last.fm, for example, combines quantitative and qualitative survey questions and raised several challenges in recruiting appropriate participants as well as integrating the two kinds of responses. Her work on independent Scandinavian music and its online fans involved multiple forms of online interviewing including email, chat and skype (audio and video), and she will discuss the variation in interviews that resulted.

The guest lecture takes place Monday 22nd at 10. Read more about it here and feel free to attend or pass on the invitation.

After the lecture Nancy will join the local researchers for a lunch seminar and an informal discussion on “The new shape of online communities“.

New office March 17, 2008

Posted by Malene Charlotte Larsen in Aalborg University.

Today I moved into a new office a the University. The office is a one-man office, which will be quite a change as I am used to sitting in a five-man open office space. However, I am excited to have my own office and I think that the peace and quite will be an advantage when I start writing my dissertation (which I plan to start doing after this semester).

Also, I now have a much nicer view facing the main building of Department of Communication:
[The view from my new office.]

For the locals; I now live in room 3.008, 2nd floor on Kroghstræde 1. Feel free to come visit 😀

Exam rush is over January 24, 2008

Posted by Malene Charlotte Larsen in Aalborg University, Academic, Examination.
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As some of you might know, the students at Aalborg University are studying under what is called “The Aalborg Model”, which means that they do problem oriented project work in groups. Therefore, they hand in a rather huge (usually 100-120 pages) project report each semester dealing with an open-ended problem of their own choosing.

Formerly, each group would defend their project during a group exam lasting approxemately two or three hours. This semester, however, we were not allowed to conduct the group exams due to a resolution carried out by the government saying that group exams are not allowed at the Danish universities; the students have to sit for an examination individually. Therefore, our students studying under “The Aalborg Model” are forced to defend their joint projects during an individual exam.

Because of that, my January has been more than usually busy. I just counted that I have held 32 individual oral exams this past weeks (in stead of eight group exams as it would have been in the good old days).

Even though all the exams went really well and the students had produced some interesting projects, I cannot help but feel that it is a real pity that they cannot defend them together. Not only is it more time consuming for me as the examiner to prepare 32 different individual 30 minute-exams rather than eight group exams, but it is also a shame that the great discussions and the high level of abstraction, that usually are part of a group exam, now disappear.

Well, I just wanted to let you know why I have been so absent on the blog lately – and tell you that now the exam rush is over I will be blogging about the many interesting upcoming activities I am attending – e.g. a PhD course next week, a trip to Berlin and Safer Internet Day 2008 on February 12.

More about that in blog posts to come 😀

New phone number January 17, 2008

Posted by Malene Charlotte Larsen in Aalborg University, Contact.

Please notice that I have a new office phone number. See contact info.

Yet another PhD defence December 10, 2007

Posted by Malene Charlotte Larsen in Aalborg University, Academic, PhD.
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Another colleague of mine, Marianne Georgsen from e-Learning Lab, is defending her PhD thesis this week. This will take place Wednesday at the Department of Education, Learning and Philosophy.

Here is a short description of the thesis (in Danish):

Afhandlingen handler om kommunikationens rolle i samarbejdsprocessen, med særlig vægt
på kommunikationens betingelser, når samarbejdet medieres af IKT. Der sættes fokus på
betingelserne for den videomedierede interaktion og på identifikation af de ressourcer,
brugerne tager i anvendelse for at kunne samarbejde i virtuelle omgivelser.

Read the whole summery or see the invitation.

Good luck to Marianne 🙂

New PhD colleague :-) November 26, 2007

Posted by Malene Charlotte Larsen in Aalborg University, Academic, PhD.
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My good friend and colleague Anne-Mette Albrechtslund just got a PhD scholarship from the Danish Research Council. Anne-Mette is interested in user-creativity in computer games and she will start her project in February. Congrats to Anne-Mette (who will then continue to be part of our research centre at e-Learning Lab).

A good day November 20, 2007

Posted by Malene Charlotte Larsen in Aalborg University, Academic, PhD.

Thomas’ PhD defence on Friday was a nice experience and I think it went really well. It started out with a short introduction by supervisor Lone Dirckinck-Holmfeld whereupon Thomas gave his 45 minute presentation explaining the patchworking metaphor as a way of understanding learning. After that the members of the assessment committee each had some time to ask critical questions such as “What is learning?”, “What is the difference between ‘learning’ and ‘doing’?”, “How close is patchworking to technology?”, “Is patchworking general to all group work processes?” and “Can individual learning also be viewed as patchworking?”.

I know that some people in the audience thought that the questions were rather hard and critical, but Thomas managed to keep a cool head during the whole defence and he answered all the questions in a reflective and intelligent manner.

Therefore – not surprisingly – the assessment committee gave him a really nice evaluation afterwards urging him to develop his concepts into a theory and a book. All in all, it was a really good day which ended with a nice dinner and a party at out home for supervisors, assessment committee, family and friends.

PhD defence November 14, 2007

Posted by Malene Charlotte Larsen in Aalborg University, Academic, PhD.

My “colleague”, both at work and at home, Thomas Ryberg from e-Learning Lab is defending his PhD thesis this Friday. This will take place at 1.00 pm in room 1.104 (the auditorium) at Kroghstraede 3, Department of Communication, Aalborg University.

Supervisors are Professor Lone Dirckinck-Holmfeld and independent researcher Etienne Wenger. The assessment committee consists of:

Here is the abstract for the thesis:

“Something old, something new
Something borrowed, something blue”

The old saying and wedding tradition cited above captures well the essence of metaphorically understanding learning as a process of patchworking. The metaphor of patchworking highlights how learning processes can be seen as processes of stitching and weaving together different ‘patches and pieces’ into something new. The patches and pieces may not all be new, but can be old borrowed and of a widely different fabric; yet in their combination they form a new patchwork.

During 8-10th of August 2005 six teams of young ‘power users’ worked intensively on addressing different open-ended learning challenges. This took place within a larger event and symposium arranged as part of the ‘Power Users of Technology Project’ – a research project formed around the hypothesis that young power users of technology might be learning, working and solving problems in new and innovative ways due to their intensified use of technology; and that we can gain valuable insights about the future design of education by studying young people and their use of technology in relation to learning and problem solving processes.

On basis of a close empirical examination of the Danish team of Power Users and their work on a self-chosen learning challenge this thesis argues how we can theoretically understand, analyse and methodologically approach learning processes through the metaphorical lens of ‘patchworking’. Furthermore, the thesis critically discusses the relations between youth, learning and technology and what valuable insight, for the future design of education, we might gain from studying young ‘power users of technology’.

See more here.