MOOC: week 2 watching – Kara

  • Research ethics committees are more interested in the use of secondary as well as primary data.
  • Ethical reading is important: means that you can cite ethically and acknowledge people’s work accurately and appropriately.
  • There are a significant number of papers which are now being retracted from journals because data has been falsified in the analytic process or manipulated incorrectly.
  • It’s ethical not to bore people!
  • The ethics of dissemination is important too: you need to present to your participants as well as to other audiences.


MOOC: week 2 reading – Cohen

Cohen’s research focused on the student experience of participating in an distance learning drawing class. She used two primary methods: grounded theory interviews (qualitative) and a content analysis of the critiques. As she notes in her paper, content analysis can be considered to be qualitative or quantitative. She and her dissertation board agreed that her content analysis, following as it did, France Henri’s model, constituted a quantitative approach. Continue reading “MOOC: week 2 reading – Cohen”

MOOC: week 2 reading – Trochim

Trochim’s stance on the qualitative-quantitative debate is that it’s ‘much ado about nothing’ (Trochim, 2006). He believes in the value of a ‘mixed methods’ approach and goes so far as to claim that, ‘At the level of the data…there is little difference between the qualitative and the quantitative.’ He claims that, ‘All qualitative data can be coded quantitatively,’ stating that ‘Anything that is qualitative can be assigned meaningful numerical values.’ Continue reading “MOOC: week 2 reading – Trochim”

‘Smart’ spaces

A few weeks ago, at the start of this course, I was (widely) circling around a research proposal which would be focused on an area of study connected to digital gaming and/or narratives. However, I was flummoxed with regard to taking the next steps towards, as Cresswell  terms it, bringing my ideas ‘down to earth’ to a ‘researchable’ proposition; to developing what Jensen and Laurie term an ‘answerable’ research questionContinue reading “‘Smart’ spaces”


On Wednesday, just as I was about to get on the train from Euston, to continue my long journey home to Cumbria from Kent, all departures from the station ceased.

What followed was a 10 hour-long, chaotic journey on packed east-coast trains. However, what promised to be a tedious and stress-filled slog to the North became an utter joy because of the company of a group of Year 12 girls from Leeds College who were travelling home from Kings Cross. There were about 20 of them and they were garrulous, generous and full of chat and laughter. They had spent the day at the Houses of Parliament and chatted to me enthusiastically about what they had experienced there. It was the day that Jo Cox’s killer was sentenced, and they had witnessed some of the response to that, and they’d spent time in a Q & A with Hilary Benn. They were, between them, studying Law, Philosophy, Economics and Politics.

They loaned me a phone charger.

They passed sweets around.

They gave up their seats for others.

They had an obviously brilliant relationship with their tutor and debated with him enthusiastically about taxes, the monarchy and class.

And yet, they were, repeatedly, self-deprecating about themselves and their college because of their grades and the college’s ranking. “I’m an E-U-U,’ said one girl, ‘I don’t even know why I’m doing A-Levels!”; “Leeds is crap isn’t it? They only take students like us,” said another.

It was happenstance that I was reading Kohn at the time. Perhaps I wouldn’t have been so attuned to their (de)valuations of themselves and their own worth if I hadn’t been.


Pink notes

The candle problem: functional fixedness.

The power of incentives: rewards for solving the candle problem. $5/$20. How much faster did the incentivised group solve the problem? They took 3.5 mins longer. Contingent motivators – block/dull creativity. Don’t work/do harm.

If/then rewards work well for simple tasks. Rewards/incentives narrow the focus. Restricts possibility.

For so many tasks, if/then rewards don’t work. THIS IS A TRUE FACT.

Dan Ariely – economist – MIT students – games – creativity, concentration skills, motivation. A larger reward led to poorer performance: higher incentives led to worse performance.


Management – if you want engagement, self-direction works better.

Atlassian – do anything you want…FEDEX days…20% time…About half of new products are produced during that 20%.

ROWE: results only work environment. Productivity goes up, worker satisfaction goes up &etc.

Wikipedia vs Encarta
Intrinsic motivators, autonomy, mastery and purpose wins over extrinsic motivators, carrots and sticks.

If/Then rewards destroy creativity.

Dan Pink: The puzzle of motivation – transcript

Others’ Google Earth Games



  • Met all aspects of the brief
  • Good use of Google Earth as a tool for student orientation activity
  • Elements of a webquest included: we had to do research about the various locations too
  • Excellent use of Google docs as a way for collaborative responses to be collated and logged

Potential extension: 

  • Meld game with reality: real ‘treasure/clues’ to be collected from the locations during Freshers’ Week?



  • A great way of encouraging gamers to roam the planet

Minor issues: 

  • Couldn’t find all of the monuments and therefore couldn’t ‘solve’ all elements of the quest. Am guessing that all of the monuments are linked to Edinburgh in some way.
  • The hangman element can be completed (and therefore you can ‘win’) without undertaking the ‘meat’ of the task.