All posts by Ricki Everett

When students want to stand out: Discourse moves in online classroom discussion that reflect students’ need for distinctiveness

Are we saving the best for last?????

I really enjoyed this week’s reading. I think the topic was interesting, I liked the use of discourse analysis as the choice of methodology, and I was genuinely looking to forward to seeing what time of results the researchers were going to end up with.

The research is aiming to find out if students’ uniqueness-seeking needs are related to their discourse moves, which is how they interact within online class discussions. They conducted their research using a graduate level group where they monitored and then analyzed and coded their contributions to the online discussion and also distributed a survey that depicted the students’ desire for “uniqueness”, which they also did at the end. For the coding they created categories for all possible contributions from the students. As for results, they were able to compare the students from the beginning of the semester and the end, while also comparing them to each other.

I thought the research was done well. I think doing a deep dive of the participants is better than having more participants but less specific information. Seeing discourse analysis in this study makes me want to incorporate the methodology in my own proposal. This reading clarified the method for me dramatically. Even the coding was super clear. With my research question, essentially I would get information from younger children, so I guess I am struggling with what type of response I`d pose to them. Also, I really appreciated how the researchers organized the coding. I think that was the best way to ensure the least possible amount of bias.

Discourse Analysis: Making Complex Methodology Simple

As far as readability, this reading was a little confusing as far as the jargon. However, I did feel like the the structure and sections of the reading made a lot of sense and made the content easier to understand.

Discourse is considered a form spoken dialogue and in contrast to written texts. The document discusses how discourse analysis can be used in the IS reattach field. The author emphasizes the idea that the field of IS is changing and moving evolving from a positivistic view to one of that is defined more by the relationship between variables . The reading includes steps of how to analyze these type of texts.

I found discourse analysis to be really interesting. I like the idea of our words have meaning based on the experiences we’ve had. That also makes me question how accurate our interpretation of ANYTHING is. In the reading it says, “The main issue of hermeneutics is that the true interpretation has simply not yet been found, but rather that there is no such final interpretation”. First, I did have to look up what “hermeneutics” is and after reading the definition I am now questioning not only discourse analysis, but also philosophy and anything else that requires one to rely on ones interpretation.

Game Writing Pedagogy

A Research- Based Approach to Game Writing Pedagogy

The reading this week was another digestible piece. This was a break through reading, personally. I was finally able to see writing our research proposal as a manageable task. I wouldn’t want to research the topic used, but it was interesting and I found my self actually wondering what was going to be discovered through the research. I had no difficulties understanding the information and it was nice to see an example of what’s to come for us.

Okay now getting into the reading. Basically the researcher wanted to know or “debunk” the idea that “there is nothing like game writing”. His goal was to figure out what it means to write for games, but was also humbly approaching the topic, open to learning any new information about the process and teachings of game writing. The methodology he used for his study was phenomenological interviews.

I appreciated how the interviews were conducted. They were semi- structured, meaning the interviews had pre-planned structured questions but the researcher also allowed for the interviewee the freedom to almost guide the conversation naturally. Having this approach is the best way to conduct interviews in my opinion. This just seems like the best way to get the most genuine answers. I kept putting myself in the shoes of the interviewee and I would not give thorough responds if I felt like the interviewer was sticking to a strict script. All participants were also kept anonymous, which aids to the comfort of being able to be honest with responses.

One thing I questioned from the study was the sample size that was interviewed? I would assume that having more people would make trends more accurate… Is that always the case? Does having a smaller group jeopardize the validity of the study ? The researcher here had only 7 different individuals. If thats okay I think I would be interested in doing something similar. Using phenomenology I guess I could see why it might be okay. You’re looking more at what the person saying about their experience not so much what they do.

I think… lol

Grounded Theory and Qualitative Content Analysis

Reducing Confusion about Grounded Theory and Qualitative Content Analysis: Similarities and Differences

Reducing confusion? I didn’t know I was confused about grounded theory and qualitative content analysis until around page 4 of this reading. The actual information was not difficult to follow but the way the piece is structured is not appealing to me. The switching back and forth between the two made me feel like I was turning in circles while trying to understand and gather the information. I would have appreciated the grounded theory information in one section and the qualitative content analysis section in the other. Although I did not like the layout of most of the information I did really like the strengths and weaknesses section. I thought that made a lot of sense and gave more clarity on when to use each method. 

From what I gathered, grounded theory (GT) is the procedure(s) that proceeds the forming of categories. It is appropriate to use when no theory exists or if it does but it’s too abstract to be tested. Some characteristics include constant comparative 

Qualitative Content Analysis (QCA) is a method of classifying materials and organizing them into a category system. The goal here is to systematically describe the meaning of materials in a certain way, specific to the question being researched. 

While reading I was wondering how there could be a sense of consistency when it comes to coding. Not everyone is going to code the same so there would be various outcomes. It made so much sense to me when the reading explained that there is a specific way to code and there’s even a category system that was created for QCA.

Lastly, I appreciated the study examples throughout the text. Again, I wish it was structured differently because I felt a little all over the place bouncing back and forth between studies and being given information. However, it did make more sense seeing certain aspects they talked about explained in real life terms. I found the study about the nursing homes to be the most interesting. QCA is definitely something I think I would gravitate to more. The idea of GT leading me to another theory scares me.

All in all, this weeks reading was structured weird (according to my brain of course) BUT I do think it is helpful and made GT and QCA seem less intimidating.

Literacy Networks???

“Literacy Networks: Following the Circulation of Texts, Bodies, and Objects in the Schooling and Online Gaming of the One Youth”

I like to think of myself as someone who can pretty much get through anything. I typically might find readings interesting but that’s just because I am picking and your girl likes to be INVESTED. I have quickly learned that I do not need to be super interested in a work to finish reading it, understand the information, take what I need and move on. This week’s reading has made that process nearly impossible. Not only did I have no clue what I was reading but it was also super long. There is a lot of jargon that is just completely over my head so I was constantly stopping to make sure I understood what I was reading… I didn’t. I kept telling myself if I just kept going it would get better and eventually the reading would just click for me… it didn’t. I`m not even sure if I fully understand what some of the terms used in the reading actually mean, even after looking up definitions.  Unfortunately, I have to admit that this reading definitely won this week. It single handedly beat me up. If you want to scare someone away from getting in MA in Writing Studies this is what you show them.

Overall, what I gathered from the reading, if correct, is very limited. Basically they follow Brian a student and analyze his relationship with school, 2 different classes, and when he is gaming at home. They continue to mention “space-time”. I am not clear on what that exactly means but to ease my mind I honestly kept thinking of “time and place”, which is a phrase we hear on a daily basis. They notice that Brian`s reactions to his History class and English class differ and the different routines and environment affect his learning. One thing I did take away from the reading is that point. I absolutely think everything in the classroom and even the way information is taught affects a student’s learning. In text it says “From a relational perspective, the literacy networks in Brian’s school experiences have limited possibilities for engagement, identity, and agency because they primarily contain homogeneous representations of space–time.” This was interesting to me because I never thought about how doing and learning the same way over and over with the same circumstances is not always beneficial in a learning environment. This makes a lot of sense for younger me in environments where I felt like I excelled academically and ones where I did not. 

All in all, this reading through me for a loop. I tried my best to absorb and take away what I could.


This text shows the case study process for a student. My initial reaction was a concern for the translation of the case study. I can only imagine how tough that can be. The idea of writing a case study is overwhelming in its, at least I think so, so adding on the struggle of a language barrier would make it even more stressful.

The part that stuck out to me the most was the “Results” section of the text. I was curious to see what the student actually found.  I found it interesting and absolutely relatable that the student felt as though they were pushed towards one type of research method. In the text it says, “As a result , the professor’ favored research methods had a great influence on the students’ selection of methodological design: Most of his classmates conducted quantitative research of their theses research” (120). I thought this was interesting on both a teacher and student level. I know when I am teaching there are definitely ways or options I give the students that I would prefer for them to choose, but I show them multiple ways because I do not want to cater to any certain learning style or way of thinking. I hope that in my teaching, I am not being biased towards what I prefer and in turn neglecting my students. I do not want them to walk away feeling like they do not know or understand other ways of doing things just because it is not what I prefer. That would stifle their creativity and ability to learn. As a student I can definitely see how frustrating that is.  It is obvious when an educator favors a topic or way of doing something and it makes s student feel weird or wrong to go against that. 

Another point I found interesting was the results from the interviews. I did not realize how much can affect an interview and throw off or prolong results. The author mentions how one of the student interviewees did not take him seriously because he was a peer. I never thought about how your relationship to the interviewee could determine what type of results you get, how they get the information, and even how long it takes. 


An Autoethnography on Learning about Autoethnography 

I like how this reading gave examples of Autoethnography. I am still not the biggest fan, because I just don’t trust others’ judgement, I can see how it could be helpful. I think I see it as more of background research, but I cannot imagine an autoethnography being the sole method. It would have to be paired with something else. However, I do agree with the idea that postmodernism is significant. We live in a diverse world and being well vexed in the culture of your research subject is important, especially if you have not previously been exposed to it. I also agree that research should “connect with real people, their lives, and their issues”. Science does need to evolve in the sense that we should be looking at research from all angles, not just the most traditional ways.  I don’t know if I would go as far as to say that we should get rid of the traditional scientific method all together, but I do see the need for a balance. There has to be some consideration of humankind.

Whose Story Is It? AN Autoethnography Concerning Narrative Identity 

I want to start off by saying that I am very grateful this reading was digestible.Once I got into Alec`s story I felt like I was reading a book, to the point where I had questions and wanted to know even more about his life. Maybe I’m just nosey but  the personal aspect of the reading made it a lot more enjoyable. 

Before getting into Alec’s life there was an introductory section of the reading that talks about autoethnography in more of a general sense. I have to admit that I did not think this was a useful method of research. While reading I was thinking about how everyone perceives things differently and there’s no way to use that information as research because it is so biased. This was not sitting right with me. I had to stop reading and get up and express my disdain to my mom and  how there’s no way autoethnography was “legit”. Of course I had to explain to her what it was to begin with. I used the example of a monumental moment in my house. My sister and I had the biggest argument 3 years ago, so big that now it is used as a point of reference when someone is trying to measure how angry they are. I of course felt like I was wronged from my perspective and Jada 100% believes she was wronged. Then there were the outsiders of the conversation that had completely different views. In my mind there was no way you could get heads or tails of that situation and what really happened based on our stories. We both think we’re right and see things from our own perspective. 

After reading, I can say, with rolling eyes, that autoethnography is “legit”. I am only complying because of one specific line that altered my thinking. In the reading it says, “What we include in narratives that are presented to us, privileged meaning, is as important as what we leave out, subjugated meaning. So what is absent but implicit in texts is as important as what is visible and present”. My thought process changed. It’s not necessarily what my sister and I say about the situation that means the most, but also the things we don’t say when recounting the incident. We may not agree on the terms of who was right and who was wrong but were bound to give information that speaks more to the situational aspect and our family dynamic, rather than the specifics of the argument. That’s if my argument with my 20 year old sister was going to be used in research of course.

Liminal Spaces and Research Identity

This reading begins discussing how students are learning to research wrong, which I thought was shocking immediately because I associate academic researching with databases and databases only. That ended up being the exact point the authors wanted to make. According to Purdy and Walker having that step by step, linear, way to learning to research, taught in 1st year writing composition courses, is not as beneficial as it seems, its boxing students in. Having this strategic way of teaching students to research prevents the students from discovering their research identity. I actually agree with this idea, but to an extend. I am definitely the type of person that can follow clear steps, guidelines, rubrics, outlines etc. Those are my jam and really help me through academic assignments. I struggle most with assignments that has little direction. HOWEVER, I probably struggle with those assignments because I have a lack of identity when it comes to academic writing and research. I have been under the impression for so long that research has to be done a certain way for it to be correct, so of course I need the blueprint in order to research. Purdy and Walker go on to say that students come to these first year writing courses with research skills, they are just not the skills that have been taught over the years. I took this as, researching methods needing to be modernized as the world changes.

As a teacher, of course I had to think about how I could teach students how to research without a certain process. That stresses me out just thinking about it. I can even imagine trying to grade an assignment where my students research and there isn’t a stable process for them to follow. How would that assignment be evaluated?

In “The Damaging Effects of Disrupted Identities in Research Practices” section I found it interesting that the authors were discussing a students relationship between the “academy” and the “world”. naturally I know I separate the real world and my academic life and I was questioning if that may be the reason that finding thesis topic can be so tough. For a thesis you obviously want to choose something to research that is relevant to the world we live in today, but how could students be use to that when the separated the two for most of their lives?

Overall, the reading had some interesting points. It was tough to get through but there were moments that made me stop and think, which is the goal.