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University of Texas at Arlington

This is likely not news to most readers as it has been posted in various blogs, forums, and announced at the MOOC Research conference in December, but I have applied, and received approval, for a leave of absence from Athabasca University to establish and set up a digital learning research lab at University of Texas at Arlington. I will be based in Arlington, but will continue to work with my AU doctoral students.

My research to date has focused on the social and technological learning, sensemaking and wayfinding activities of individuals in digital information environments and how these actions inform the design of learning, curriculum and ultimately institutions. At the core of this research is how people interact with information. When information is limited, it can be assessed and understood individually or through social interactions with peers. When information is abundant, technology extends human cognition and capacity for sensemaking. How people use technology and social methods to make the world sensible, and the types of knowledge institutions required to assist that process, is what we hope to address through the Learning Innovation & Networked Knowledge (LINK) Research Lab.

A key second goal at UTA will be the development of a digital learning research network. Just like local-only classrooms no longer make sense, research institutions that work only within a small local domain don’t make sense. I’m particularly interested in understanding how we can connect excellent research with practical implementation. More is known about quality learning in literature than is reflected in classrooms and online courses. The digital learning research network is expected to bring those two domains together.

One Comment

  1. Greg McVerry wrote:

    Congratulations on a wonderful opportunity. I absolutely agree with you in terms of digital scholarship. Relevance to the field must be the first marker of rigor.

    I also think we need to rethink our doctoral preparation programs. The single siloed off researcher model is no longer adequate to prepare digital scholars.

    We need a distributed and collaborative model. A project might include an instructional designer, content expert, programmer, ethnographer, and statistician for example.

    The problems we want to investigate are too big and too complex for one person.

    Tuesday, March 18, 2014 at 1:30 pm | Permalink