Who am I?

As in: (1) Who is this stranger posting to Researchofile?; and (2) “What am I a scholar of?” (Luker, p. 64)

I’m very, VERY behind on posting, and it’s all because of Luker! Let me explain:

You see, I’m a bit of a slow reader, especially if what I’m reading is something that is essentially a loosely structured novel. Luker’s writing, for example, with all the anecdotes and salsa dancing metaphors, is very difficult for me. Structure, that’s what I like. I like rules and regulations, headings and sub-headings, bullet points, figures, tables, and pictures. In other words, I like Knight. (I also like Creswell, but more on that later.) But I hit a bit of a roadblock with Assignment 2 (something about my framework, not sure what, wasn’t making sense to me) and decided to go back to Luker and give her a more careful read. I had some questions, and perhaps Luker had the answers for me.

Page 64 is where I found what I needed. Luker said, “decide what you are; (…) what are you a scholar of.” You need to know this to develop a proper frame for your research question, she added, and “how you frame your question is something of a key importance” (p. 67). This resonated with me, so much so in fact that I decided to take a step back and regroup.

A few sources proved particularly helpful. Marcia Bates’ article titled “An Operational Definition of the Information Disciplines” (available online via Marcia Bates’ website at http://pages.gseis.ucla.edu/faculty/bates/) gave me a listing of all of the i-disciplines and some background on how this list was developed. Things are complicated in our field so I also read Brian Cantwell Smith’s critique of Bates’ “The Invisible Substrate of Information Science” (http://www.ischool.utoronto.ca/system/files/pages/docs/itable/BatesAnnotated.pdf) next, just to get some additional context. The Encyclopedia of Library and Information Sciences was terrific, of course. And finally, I must also mention Creswell’s “Research Design: qualitative, quantitative and mixed approaches” (2003), where he talks at length about the thinking involved in the process of designing research. How do you select a proper methodology for your research? What theoretical perspective is behind this methodology? What epistemology informs all of this? This was a good complement to Knight’s Ch. 1.

And so here I am now, very, VERY behind on my blog work. I must admit though, Luker really did make me think about what it is that I like about LIS and where I , so perhaps this was a good investment of my time after all. (And now, no additional side projects for me for the remaining of the semester!)

I still have a bit of writing to do, so off I go now – but talk SOON! J


Critical Making & eHealth

The Matt Ratto reading was an exciting field trip from the Luker and Knight texts this week.

I am registered to take INF1006 with Matt in the second half of this semester and was a little nervous about the expectations and learning outcomes. Upon further perusal of the Critical Making Lab website as well as after reading Ratto’s article, I am excited by his hope to “make concepts more apprehendable, to bring them in ways to the body, not only the brain, and to leverage student and researchers personal experiences to make new connections between the lived space of the body and the conceptual space of scholarly knowledge.” (2011, 254)

I am specifically engaged by the notion of building upon constructivist pedagogy and applying constructionism to the area of humanities and social sciences. I am also eager to apply Matt’s notion of “body knowledge” to an area of research that I am quite interested in – mobile consumer health. The Centre for eHealth Innovation (http://ehealthinnovation.org/) is a research institution devoted to eHealth, where a mobile app has been designed to aid in the self-management of adolescent Type 1 Diabetes (http://www.jmir.org/2012/3/e70/) as well as another app called Breathe which is an Asthma self-management application for consumers (http://ehealthinnovation.org/what-we-do/projects/breathe-a-mobile-asthma-self-management-application-for-consumers/).

I would be interested in research and design surrounding the use of consumer health mobile applications to assist people with mental health disorders such as Anxiety and PTSD …

Another area that this week’s reading sparked interest for me in was robotics. If you have some time and/or simply need a little break, this TedTalk is quite interesting and an amazing instance of (at least what I believe is) Critical Making.


Thanks for reading!

–          Vanessa Kitchin