#becomingeducational W16: A little bit more on METHOD: Topic Mediated Dialogue and WRITING

Topic Mediated Dialogue is where conversation between two or more people is facilitated or mediated by a specific topic or set of topics. The speakers are given the topics and then asked to speak about those subjects in as free and un-censored a way as possible and for a set period of time.
Following on from the discussion the participants can be asked to write or draw or produce a set of notes… practically anything – that has been suggested to them through the course of the conversation that they have had.
The prompted but un-scripted nature of the conversation is thought to facilitate those ‘authentic’ and non-performative responses that researchers are always looking for.

This is what we considered in our session: Topic Mediated Dialogue
*Talk: In twos or threes, talk about the topics below in as free and wide ranging a way as possible for fifteen minutes.
*Reflect: After 15-mins: Individually or in pairs – WRITE ABOUT EDUCATION – in poetry or prose…
*Write: Write for 10-mins…

How does the notion of ‘cheating’ help you to think about and understand education – the what, why and how of it?
(Thank you for the idea – Dave Cormier – and the #rhizo14 MOOC.)

Cheating – friend, foe or scapegoat?
• What does it say to you about learning?
• About teaching?
• About the relationship between students, teachers and the university?
• About the wider social and cultural context we’re working in?
• About the purpose of higher education?
Discuss for 15-minutes

Then write for 10-minutes:
• Individually – or in pairs – write a response to your discussion
• In poetry
• Or prose.
(NEXT WEEK – bring in that poetry or prose for ANALYSIS!)

DISCUSSION: NOW – do you like that as a METHOD for research?
Why?
Why not?
Compare this Method to the zig-zag that we covered a couple of weeks ago – and to the notion of the ‘overheard’ conversations that we covered last week.
What are the strengths and weaknesses of these various Methods for collecting WRITTEN DATA to analyse?
Finally: Why are we pushing you to consider these ways of gathering written data rather than, say, a Questionnaire?

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