Appendix H

This appendix contains a transcript of a discussion between the two assignment authors, Megan Dick and Alastair Reynolds. The purpose of the discussion was to establish collaboratively what form the next stage of the assignment should take, having read each others' literature reviews. This included decisions on the methods by which data should be collected, verified, and analysed.

NOTE: The discussion was carried out on ExcitePal, an Internet-based real-time communications program.

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- Discussion participants : Megan Dick and Al Reynolds -----------------
Al	Hi Megan,
Megan	Good evening. (Should we be formal and academic?)
Al	I think we can be our usual selves pretty much.
Megan	What is the address for those 2 pages? Do you put assignment
	instead of MA3 or after it?
Al	It's
Al	I have the pages on-screen so I can refer to them
Megan	Anyway, I thought your page was great!
Al	I was quite impressed with yours. But we shouldn't spend the
	whole time flattering each other. We ought to decide exactly
	what we need to decide via this discussion.
Megan	BTW, did you understand when I said add web to page at the
	beginning? If you aren't used to reading webpages, the person
	won't know what we mean.
Al	I did - and have added it.
Megan	And why do you have to underline the In part?
Al	I'm not sure - best to follow the rules though.
Megan	Right-ee-o. Let's get started...
Megan	I felt that we had come up with very similar conclusions, even
	though our research highlighted completely different areas of
	staff development.
Megan	For example, I found none of the stuff you did on research
	methods, but seemed to have more on ways of evaluating staff
	development models.
Al	I was quite surprised when I first read your page that they
	complemented each other so closely.
Megan	You think?
Al	Yes, apart from the first part we didn't overlap much at all
Megan	But even in the first part, we had completely different sources,
	so our information just strengthened the others.
Megan	BTW Why not put Allistair Reynolds...not just 'Written by Al'?
Al	I will.  BTW my name is spelt Alastair Reynolds
Megan	OK. We seem to have covered a lot of ground between us. The three
	points you list in your conclusion are very similar to my
	conclusions, I thought.
Al	Are we going to decide what the purpose of this discussion is?
Megan	OK.  Any ideas?
Al	I propose : to decide what method we will use (or have used) to
	collect data (so we can write it in the next bit)
Megan	Well, a method to collect data ... we are more reflecting than
	researching, so I'm not sure how to work that in.
Al	But are we just working from our own experience (and memory) or
	will we bring other things in as well?
Al	I thought I would use the minutes from the various meetings where
	IT was discussed to cross-check with my own account of what
	happened, since it was a while ago.
Megan	I will do some interviews with the members of my department, as
	it is their use of and training in IT that I am studying.
Megan	And I will interview the deputy head in charge of curriculum, as
	he makes many of the decisions about what kind of training
	will take place.
Al	Sounds ideal.
Megan	I don't understand the last sentence of your conclusion BTW. Does
	it refer to what *we* will be doing in the next few pages?
Al	Just checking my conclusion now ...
Al	I only mentioned it because we have decided to take a case study
	approach to the research. In the next page we will say how we
	are going to / have collected the data and how we are going to
	analyse it, based on the outcome of this discussion.
Megan	So, in your case, which model of staff development are you
	closest to?  Are we using two different ones, as our cases are
	different? According to my page, of the five models for staff
	development, I am using the first one (individually guided)
	and I would guess that you are using the third one maybe?
Al	Which model for the staff development - I think mine falls under
	category three, because the initial impetus came from a
	school-wide management decision that IT should be used in
	teaching. Does that seem to fit to you?
Megan	Right, so you were involved in a development process that grew
	into staff development.
Al	Yes, basically I was selected because of my previous experience
	to run some Maths IT development.
Megan	Hmmm, my page is the old one ... with the extra bits in. Will
	have to fix that. And the sentence you put in for the link is
	not very clear.  Maybe it should go at the top of the page
	rather? And be clearer about who wrote what?  Or can stay in
	the same place, but needs to be clearer.
Al	Your page may be wrong because you may have put it in the wrong
	place or uploaded it with capitals maybe?
Al	I will check.
Al	Actually, it must be right because I have just browsed it.
Megan	Me too, checking.
Megan	What do you think of the link line? I have got my page - I don't
	know why it didn't upload right last time...but will put in
	the link and then upload.
Al	I was wrong before ... it is the wrong version on-line.
Al	Which link line?
Megan	The line that you have at the end of your intro that has the link
	to my page.
Al	I guess just do it similar to mine. It will be clear from the
	earlier contents page what the page is.
Megan	No prob ... I'll upload again when I put the link line in.
Megan	So, will it work if we use different research methods ... or
	rather different ways of gathering data?
Al	I don't see a problem with that.
Al	We're both using a 'diary' type description of events, and
	we're both cross-referencing with other sources (just
	different sources).
Al	I'm also going to use the 'critical events' idea as it is quite a
	long-term case. Do you think that might be any use for yours?
Megan	Right. I am definitely cross-referencing, as I am using my
	observations, observations of others in the department and
	someone in management. This is the triangulation method you
	mentioned, right?
Megan	Not sure about critical events. Though, obviously, the
	introduction of the network in January was a pretty critical
	event. And catapulted the whole staff into a 'must learn now'
	situation. So maybe my situation is perfect for that then!
Al	True - nothing says you have to have lots of them. It might be an
	idea to consider the ways in which the introduction of the
	network has affected the school at different levels - like
	management, policy, department, individual.
Megan	Ok, uploading the page with the link in now ...
Megan	And the right version is on-line. I was just looking at the
	cached version, I think.
Al	You are right again - I didn't have the proxy turned on!
Megan	Thanks. *bow*
Megan	Uploaded, btw.
Megan	Ok, next question....What method do we use to analyse how
	successful (or not) staff development has been at our schools?
Al	I thought since we came up with the same three key factors in
	staff development it would be good to consider our cases in
	the light of those - being appropriateness, motivation and
Megan	Right then. I think that those three factors would be an
	excellent start.
Al	I particularly liked that 'evaluation form' from McRel. Maybe we
	could consider each of those questions, or get one of the
	participants to fill it out?
Megan	Maybe.  The subheadings of each section on the form are good.
Al	We could also choose from the models Kirkman (1998) presents
	depending on the situation. For example, if there is resistance
	to innovation then use Eicholz and Rogers, or if there has been
	a significant development then to place it within Passey and
	Ridgeway's seven stage model
Megan	That sounds good. He gives a lot of differnent models to choose
	from. It would be a good idea to choose which to use depending
	on the situation.
Megan	Hang on, though. If we are looking at the three factors, then
	most of Kirkman's stuff should be used by us. For example, for
	the motivation part, he has his classifications of kinds of
	resisitance and people.
Al	But I think it would swamp it if we used all of them.
Megan	Yep! But if we stick to the three factors pretty closely, we can
	just use the others to have a closer look at them and where
	the research done so far fits with them.
Al	That sounds good. So we focus primarily on the three factors,
	using other models as and when useful.
Megan	Right ... should we see where our conclusions fit with the
	research ... or whether the research fits in with our
Al	Probably to just compare theory with practice rather than attempt
	to 'fit' them together. One of the things I've picked up is
	that the theory is often being refined by new research.
Megan	Darn, I didn't link the NGFL stuff. in the references..will go
	back and do that.
Megan	I hope all my links work! Will test them on schools computers
	and ISDN link.
Megan	Ok, so according to our plan, we needed to agree on how we
	collected data and then how we will analyse it....have we done
	that? I think so.
Al	Yep I reckon. Shall I summarise?
Megan	Okey dokey.
Al	Main data source : 'Diary' account of experience.
Al	Other data sources include : Interviews / Documents / and
	(possibly) Questionnaire stuff
Al	Linking data sources : Triangulation
Al	Main Analysis - in context of three identified factors affecting
	effectiveness of staff development in IT
Al	Secondary analysis where appropriate in terms of some of Kirkmans
Al	Analysis of critical incident(s) which affected SD outcome.
Al	That's it ...........
Megan	Your Hitchcock and Hughes quote mentions "The major characteristic
	of a case study is the concentration on a particular incident
	... Case studies evolve around the in-depth study of a single
	event" Should that be something we include too?
Al	That's what we're doing basically.
Megan	I see ...
Megan	So basically, we say what the situation is like at our schools
	... using the info we have gathered by different methods and
	then analyse the situation using our three factors that lead
	to success?
Megan	In simplified terms?
Al	Yes.  What about reflection - it is worth writing about how we
	might change our practice in the future and what new things
	we have learnt.
Megan	Well, I think that will feature in the analysis by default. We
	have figured out what factors might need to be there for
	successful training to occur. If they aren't there, we pretty
	much know what needs to be done.....and maybe we will find
	other things that need to be there...or a situation where one
	of the factors wasn't, but people still learned well?
Al	I guess our research will confirm or not whether these are the
	important factors - and we may find that another factor was
	equally important.
Megan	Oh look! Another friend of mine has logged on! We could try a
	conference!  But have we finished?
Al	I think we're there.  I will save this up and archive it. I'll
	summarise our decision in the next page.
- End of transcript ----------------------------------------------------

Assignment Quick Links
Title Page | Introduction | Contents | Off-line Literature Review | On-line Literature Review
Introduction to Cases | Case Study X | Case Study Y | Conclusions | References | Appendices