Instructional Science

, Volume 39, Issue 3, pp 367–385 | Cite as

An ecological model of developing researcher competence: the case of software technology in doctoral research

Article

Abstract

This paper presents an ecological model of developing researcher competence, with a particular focus on doctoral students’ use of research software. The model extends on theoretical work done by Young et al. (Instructional Science 30(1): 47–63, 2002), modelling the intentional dynamics of technological learning contexts. The development of the ecological model is linked to existing ways of understanding the doctoral experience. This includes the recent emphasis on pedagogy and learning, as well as different conceptualisations of context. The experiences of three doctoral student informants are used to exemplify aspects of the ecological model. A description of an e-learning resource, designed to support Education doctoral students’ use of research software, illustrates a concrete pedagogical contribution of the model. The paper concludes with a more general discussion of contributions of the model to the field of ecological psychology and the literature on doctoral education.

Keywords

Developing researcher competence Ecological psychology Intentionality Software Affordances Research education 

References

  1. Atlas ti (2002–2007). Atlas ti the knowledge workbench: V5.0 User’s Guide and Reference. http://www.atlasti.com/downloads/atlman.pdf. Retrieved: 17 Mar 2009.
  2. Beauchamp, C., Jazvac-Martek, M., & McAlpine, L. (2009). Studying doctoral education: Using activity theory to shape methodological tools. Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 46(3), 265–277.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Blackboard (1997–2009). Website: http://www.blackboard.com. Accessed November 11, 2009.
  4. Borg, S. (2001). The research journal: A tool for promoting and understanding researcher development. Language Teaching Research, 5(2), 156–177.Google Scholar
  5. Boud, D., & Lee, A. (2005). ‘Peer learning’ as a pedagogical discourse for research education. Studies in Higher Education, 30(5), 501–516.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. de Beer, M., & Mason, R. B. (2009). Using a blended approach to facilitate postgraduate supervision. Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 46(2), 213–226.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Engeström, Y. (2001). Expansive learning at work: Toward an activity theoretical reconceptualisation. Journal of Education and Work, 14(1), 133–156.Google Scholar
  8. Fay, R. (2008). The complexities and affordances of narrative in research texts: Developing narrative awareness with experienced teachers on postgraduate programmes. Paper presented at the narrative matters: ‘Storying our world’ conference, Toronto, Canada (May 2008).Google Scholar
  9. Gass, S., & Mackey, A. (2000). Stimulated recall methodology in second language research. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  10. Gibson, J. J. (1977). The theory of affordances. In R. Shaw & J. Bransford (Eds.), Perceiving, acting and knowing: Towards an ecological psychology (pp. 67–82). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  11. Gibson, J. J. (1979). The ecological approach to visual perception. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin.Google Scholar
  12. Huddersfield (2006). Online QDA [website]. http://onlineqda.hud.ac.uk/. Accessed March 17, 2009.
  13. Kerlin, B. (2000). Qualitative research in the United States [27 paragraphs]. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung/Forum: Qualitative Social Research 1(1). http://www.qualitative-research.net/index.php/fqs/index. Retrieved Feb 21, 2007.
  14. Kulikowich, J. M., & Young, M. F. (2001). Locating an ecological psychology methodology for situated action. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 10(1–2), 165–202.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Lee, R. M., & Esterhuizen, L. (2000). Computer software and qualitative analysis: Trends, issues and resources. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 3(3), 231–243.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Lemke, J. L. (2000). Across the scales of time: Artifacts, activities, and meanings in ecosocial systems. Mind, Culture, and Activity, 7(4), 273–290.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. MaxQDA (2007). MaxQDA [website]. http://www.maxqda.com/. Accessed March 17, 2009.
  18. McAlpine, L., & Norton, J. (2006). Reframing our approach to doctoral programs: An integrative framework for action and research. Higher Education Research and Development, 25(1), 3–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. McGrenere, J. & Ho, W. (2000). Affordances: Clarifying and evolving a concept. In Proceedings of the Graphcis Interface 2000 (pp. 179–186). Toronto: Canadian Human-Computer Communications Society.Google Scholar
  20. Norman, D. (1988). The design of everyday things. New York, NY: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  21. Norman, D. (1999). Affordances, conventions and design. Interactions, 6(3), 38–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Onat-Stelma, Z. (2005). Moving from Teaching Older Learners to Young Learners: Cases of English Language Teachers in Turkey. Unpublished PhD Thesis, University of Leeds, United Kingdom.Google Scholar
  23. QRS International (2007). Nvivo [website]. http://www.qsrinternational.com/products_nvivo.aspx. Accessed March 17, 2009.
  24. Shacham, M., & Od-Cohen, Y. (2009). Rethinking PhD learning incorporating communities of practice. Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 46(3), 279–292.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Shaw, R. E., & Turvey, M. T. (1999). Ecological foundations of cognition: II. Degrees of freedom and conserved quantities in animal-environment systems. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 6(11–12), 111–123.Google Scholar
  26. Turvey, M. T., & Shaw, R. E. (1995). Toward an ecological physics and a physical psychology. In R. L. Solso & D. W. Massaro (Eds.), The science of the mind: 2001 and beyond (pp. 144–169). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  27. Turvey, M. T., Shaw, R. E., & Mace, W. (1978). Issues in the theory of action: Degrees of freedom, coordinate structures and coalitions. In J. Requin (Ed.), Attention and performance VII (pp. 557–595). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  28. Wenger, E. (1998). Communities of practice: Learning, meaning, and identity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  29. Wisker, G., & McAlpine, L. (2009). Editorial to special issue ‘Embracing contraries in research on doctoral education: The richness of conceptual diversity. Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 46(3), 249–251.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Young, M. F., DePalma, A., & Garrett, S. (2002). Situations, interaction, process and affordances: An ecological psychology perspective. Instructional Science, 30(1), 47–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Young, M. F., Kulikowich, J. M., & Barab, S. A. (1997). The unit of analysis for situated assessment. Instructional Science, 25, 133–150.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Education, Ellen Wilkinson BuildingUniversity of ManchesterManchesterUK

Personalised recommendations