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some jotted notes, LM 2009-03-20

In resopnse to the question about the differences between:

  • eResearch in education

  • eResearch for education

  • Education for eResearch

  • (Educational) research for education and e-research

eResearch in education

School students should be modern knowledge-builders and school curriculum should be based on knowledge, ways inquiry and tools of investigation that are relevant for present day and future society/science/economy. Students and teachers should have access to the same data, methods and tools for conducting scientific investigations as modern research communities do. Current school curriculum is essentially based on the knowledge and ways of inquiry that can’t produce knowledge relevant for contemporary society. The gap between school science and “real” science is as never big; and students do not find motivating and challenging to learn knowledge that is not relevant for present day world. Present eResearch infrastructures have been created almost exclusively for “big real” science and are not accessible neither for teachers nor for students. In order to make learning relevant and engaging for school students we need to make knowledge generated by eResearch as well as eResearch methods and tools available for schools. In other words we need to integrate eReseach in education.

eResearch for education

Learning and teaching practices should be informed by knowledge about how students learn and how effective pedagogies look like, and how one can support students learning and teachers teaching. Some aspects of education increasingly can’t be explored without eResearch methods and tools anymore. For example, to improve online learning we need research methods that can help to make sense of online learning traces and logs; to improve classroom practices we need methods and tools that can help to analyse (video-recorded) classroom interactions at a great level of precision and detail; to support students’ progress we need methods that can help to analyse longitudinal administrative data and provide information about students profiles and trajectories. In other words we need to create and use new educational eResearch methods and tools for improving education.

Education for eResearch

Modern scientific communities produce knowledge using new methods and tools and working together in novel ways. R&D in many domains has been replaced by D&R, i.e. knowledge generated in user-doer-researcher communities (in essence these are eResearch communities) and, so called, design-based research, become one of the main sources of knowledge and innovations in some domains. Graduate students, including graduate teachers and research students, should have opportunities to learn these eResearch methods and tools, as well as they should have opportunities to participate in modern knowledge communities. Present university programs, including sciences, humanities, social sciences, arts, etc. provide minimal opportunities to get some understanding and experience with eResearch. E.g., even most advanced research method programs in education hardly mention educational data mining or take educational data visualisation and modelling seriously. Students rarely design and do research collaboratively or use collaboration tools for building and sharing their knowledge. That’s why we need (graduate student) education for eResearch.

(Educational) research for education and eResearch

eResearch involves working with multidisciplinary knowledge and working in multidisciplinary teams. What enables (some) people to understand and integrate different domain knowledge and technological propositions? What does it mean to be an effective member of a multidisciplinary eResearch team? How do people learn these skills? If we don’t understand how eResearchers think, collaborate and create new knowledge, then it perhaps to early to talk about how one could be teach and learn to do eResearch better. In short, we are really serious about how students could learn and how teachers could teach eResearch effectively, we need to research how experts do and students learn eResearch. I.e., we need (educational) research for improving education and eResearch.


Education for e-research vs. e-research for education? http://blogs.usyd.edu.au/eresearch/2007/06/education_for_eresearch_vs_ere.html

Eresearch in education vs Eresearch for education: http://blogs.usyd.edu.au/eresearch/2008/10/the_nsf_cyberlearning_agenda_t.html#more

Serious sources:

NSF, Fostering Learning in the Networked World: The Cyberlearning Opportunity and Challenge, NSF 2008 http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2008/nsf08204/nsf08204.pdf

Examples of some projects http://www.nsf.gov/crssprgm/ci-team/#ceoat

JISC, eScience in Education Review, 2005
Main report: http://www.jisc.ac.uk/media/documents/programmes/eresearch/escienceinedreport.pdf
Related projects (examples) http://www.jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/programmes/eresearch/escienceineducation.aspx