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Acting with Technology October 5, 2007

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

This week I have been participating in an interesting PhD course at Aalborg University entitled “Acting with Technology – Research Methods on Context and Change“. The course is mainly focusing on methodology and providing methods, tools and techniques for research on people acting with technology in various settings.

The course is divided into two parts. The first part consisted of sessions with local researchers Lone Dirckinck-Holmfeld, Ellen Christiansen and Pirkko Raudaskoski focusing on e.g. problem based learning, user-driven innovation, action research, activity theory, ethnomethodology, Nexus Analysis and other related fields. I really enjoyed this first part of the course which both inspired me and assured me that I am on the right track in using Nexus Analysis as an overall methodology or research framework in my PhD project.

The second part of the course will take place in November and will be lead by professor and anthropologist Bonnie Nardi. I am sure that this part of the PhD course will be interesting too and I am looking forward to have Nardi commenting on my methodology and research design – especially the part where I plan to apply a multi-sited ethnographical approach.

By the way, here are five nice questions to consider in any PhD or research project:

  • What is the problem (practical, societal, political, personal motivation, and scientific)?
  • Who has the problem (different actors)?
  • When did the problem come into existence (historical facts and historical development)?
  • Why did the problem come into existence (causes and trends)?
  • How can the problem be solved (methodology/design based research)?

From Lone Dirckinck-Holmfeld‘s slides.