I am a 3rd year research student in the Institute of Educational Technology at The Open University. I am currently working on my doctoral thesis which has the provisional title of ‘Students’ writing and 'the transition' from school to university’, under the supervision of Dr Mary Lea and Dr Theresa Lillis.
My PhD is framed as an ethnographically styled exploration into the learning journeys of a group of students who are being followed from the last year of A levels to the middle of their second year of university study. I am using Academic Literacies as the theoretical and methodological framework as this will facilitate the critical exploration of issues around meaning making, identity and power inherent in students' writing practices and assessment regimes at both levels of the transition. I am trying to blend practice-based and text-based approaches to researching students' writing.
The data collected so far includes approximately 100 hours of interview data, 50+ student texts (marked, some with draft versions and plans/ notes), course documentation, style guides, students' literacy logs, pictures of study space and Facebook data. In order to enter the data in a reasonably systematic manner, I am using Ivanic's (2004) framework of discourses of writing and learning to write to provide a focused lens whilst also exploring the data more generally to allow themes to emerge.
An exciting aspect of the project has been the use of Facebook as research tool, context and data and the ethical issues associated with using such a dynamic technology alongside the complexities of researching young people.
BA hons (Open degree, focus on English Language and Spanish) - 2007: The Open University
PGCE in post-compulsory education - 2007: Oxford Brookes University
MA (Applied Linguistics) - 2008: Cardiff University
MRes (Educational Technology) - 2009 : The Open University
My research interests include:
The use of social network sites to facilitate longitudinal research
last updated 05-Jan-2012