Posts Tagged ‘qualitative research’

Research announcement

February 3rd, 2010

We would like to share some important news with all our shiftingthinking readers and community members. Please read this announcement carefully as it may be relevant to you.

We (Rachel Bolstad & Jennifer Garvey Berger, supported by other NZCER team members) have successfully submitted a proposal to present a paper at the 2010 American Educational Research Association (AERA) conference, to be held from April 30- 4 May. The paper is called “Shifting thinking about qualitative research methods: Conversations and co-construction from the bottom of the changing world”. The short abstract for our paper appears at the bottom of this posting.

The objective of our AERA paper is to explore and discuss the development of this website – – as a tool, methodology or way of “doing” (and thinking and talking) about qualitative research. We are very excited to have this opportunity to do some thinking and writing that will help us to take stock of our journey so far with, and to consider the directions that we might go with this site in 2010 and beyond.

To write this AERA paper, we intend to collect and analyse various kinds of data. This will include at least two kinds, which we will call “private data” and “public domain data”.  Private data is any data that is not publicly visible (e.g. data that is not on the shiftingthinking website). This may include:

  • Field notes from in-person meetings we had at NZCER about, where we discuss methodological and practical issues, as well as our own our learning.
  • Emails between NZCER researchers, or between researchers and research participants and/or members of the changing on-line community.
  • Research journals kept by the investigators as they explore the variety of methodological and other concerns and delights over the course of the project.

“Public domain” data is anything that is openly visible to a visitor to, e.g.

  • Web-based blogs and comments already posted, or which will be posted, on this website.

Ethical issues

Below, we explain how we plan to deal with ethical issues that might arise from this process.

In the case of private data generated by people outside NZCER, (such as emails people have spontaneously sent us, comments people have made to us in person, etc.), we will consider each piece of data on a case-by-case basis. Any such data we use would not be linked by name or personal description to the individuals who sent it to us. (For example, we may quote an email from a tertiary student asking how to properly reference the shiftingthinking website in a university paper, or paraphrase comments people have made to the researchers in passing about the site). If we use any private data that is more personal or identifiable than the two examples above, we will contact the person directly to check that they are happy for us to use their data.

In the case of “public domain” data – i.e any blogpostings, pages, and comments published on the shiftingthinking site–we will not contact individuals to seek their permission to quote from postings or comments they have made on this website, as this data is already publicly available. We may attribute any or all comments or posting we cite to their authors using the username that the author used on the website when they made that entry or posting.  However, in the spirit of ethical research practice, we are posting this research announcement to inform registered members of, and visitors to, the shiftingthinking website about our project, and to invite your comment on it.

So, if after reading this announcement, you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please contact us. We will treat all messages confidentially and conscientiously. Please contact us directly. Our email addresses are:

You may also leave comments on this blogposting, if you would like your comment to be publicly viewable.

Keep track of our research paper as it develops

We plan to write blogpostings about our research process over the next few months in the “shifting research” blog category. We invite all readers to contribute to our shaping of this AERA paper by posting their comments, thoughts, ideas, and other responses to these postings.

Once the paper is completed and has been presented at AERA, we will provide electronic copies to any registered shiftingthinking community members who requests this.


Shifting Thinking about Qualitative Research Methods: Conversations & Co-construction from the Bottom of the Changing World


This paper discusses the methodological implications of an innovative, 21st Century approach to data collection, analysis, and reporting. Breaking away from a 20th century paradigm of “filter then publish”, we put a variety of research projects undertaken by our organization inside a single web-based “ecology” where the boundaries between data collection, analysis, and reporting were intentionally blurred, and invited a range of people to engage in thinking about their implications together with us. This paper is another step in the development of a novel methodology designed to reshape our research and research knowing and helps us reconsider the way research can act on the world when we step away from our familiar 20th century processes and cycles for investigating and disseminating findings.

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