Monday, 10 December 2012

Gathering a #research tribe has benefits

The more I think about it, the more I am convinced that this era demands collaborative approaches to stay on top of any expertise. In order to enable collaboration, mutual trust and respect is needed. This in part will result in the necessary openness and willingness to grow collectively, research collectively.

In the past (and present) I had the good fortune of collaborating on some research papers with fellow researchers that were not linked to my own educational institution. It was a great, open, informal research experience. The starting point of this collaboration was given by a common course called MobiMOOC, in which everyone was involved in some way or another. And now, I want to expand on this.

I truly believe that there is a benefit in getting together - trans-continental / academic & corporate - and joining forces with people that have a common interest, yet an expertise that results from different disciplines. Like petals of a flower all gathered around the common theme, attracting attention or simply growing. Or an atom model, attracted yet busy in our own orbit.

Knowledge benefit:

  • When joining forces with people that have a common language - but different viewing angles - everyone learns as there is some kind of zone of proximal development there, or it can be created based on mutual conversation and dialogue. 
  • As discussions happen, reflection increases, arguments are weighed and knowledge deepened.

Research benefits: 

  • Everyone in this research tribe writes their own papers as first author, BUT asks the other tribes people to join in if they feel the subject of the paper is something they can relate to. These others all become second authors of that paper. 
  • Methodologies are shared, strengthened by experiences of others, and/or complimented by the knowledge of others. 
  • Future research can immediately be linked to what is worked on. The theoretical flows into the pragmatic, to result into theory and practice again... in an ongoing research iteration. 
  • Multiple publications for all, upgrading all of our academic interests. 

Personal benefit: networking happens natural, we connect, we learn, we support and encourage... or not (time/changes in life...), but the connection at least is made at some point in time, ready to be taken up at any given moment. In 2013 I want to expand my research tribe and I am already looking forward to it.

Tribe gathered: Optimizing ubiquitous MOOCs for reaching education for all (first draft made),
Tribe collaboration I would like to start (and my topic entree would be):

  • creating durable communities: the difference between passive and active dynamics
  • critical psychology to screen educational objects and their mediated meaning 
  • mapping pedagogies from cultures under stress (finding ancient approaches before they perish) - this is more a long-term thing... still getting my mind around this idea that has been with me for a few years.