Learning Research & Change Methods

Learning Change Project: 8 Blogs, +7500 Readings

Creative Research Methods in the Social Sciences: A Practical Guide

With foreword by Kenneth J. Gergen and Mary M. Gergen. Creative research methods can help to answer complex contemporary questions, which are hard to answer using traditional methods alone. Creative methods can also be more ethical, helping researchers to address social injustice. This accessible book is the first to identify and examine the four areas of creative research methods: arts-based research, research using technology, mixed-method research and transformative research frameworks. Written in a practical and jargon-free style, with over 100 boxed examples, it offers numerous examples of creative methods in practice, from the social sciences, arts, and humanities around the world. Spanning the gulf between academia and practice, this useful book will inform and inspire researchers by showing readers why, when, and how to use creative methods in their research.

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Written by Giorgio Bertini

February 9, 2016 at 2:54 pm

Mapping Your Thesis: The Comprehensive Manual of Theory and Techniques for Masters and Doctoral Research

If this book provided a set of rules to be learned and applied, writing a thesis might seem pleasingly easy. But, because writing a thesis is seldom easy, the book instead offers a more complex mapping of the process. The purpose is to raise awareness of the critical choices involved in research and thesis writing for both masters and doctorates. Running as a leitmotif throughout is the notion that no conceptual construct can be complete unto itself. Concepts can only be defined in terms of their dynamic relations with other constructs. It is in this context that the three broad methodological categories informing discussion in the book – exegetic, empirical, and qualitative – were adopted for didactic purposes only: at no time are they considered autonomies. Therefore, not only can they be compared in multiple ways, their shared continuities are often as significant as their differences. Nonetheless, as in the case of different disciplines, differing methodological positions have different textual outcomes. Writing a masters’ or doctoral thesis is not only an inherently idiosyncratic exercise, it is also epistemic and, in the current intellectual climate, rhetorical. The malleability of the disciplinary and methodological vocabularies used in academic rhetorics reflects the manner in which not only words but also styles of writing evolve to suit particular purposes. For this reason, the style of writing and the words used in a thesis will need to be interrogated with the same informed intensity applied to all other aspects of the research undertaking. Only then, with the drawing of a more complex cognitive map, will a definition incrementally develop of what – in terms of a researcher’s own needs – constitutes sound academic discourse.

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Written by Giorgio Bertini

February 9, 2016 at 1:19 pm

Interesting Ways to Communicate Your Research

To maximise the value of your research, you need to communicate it to others. There are many ways to do so: examples include applications and bids, conference presentations, gray literature, journal papers, media (old and new), public talks, and teaching. This book provides fresh, creative, ways of making the most of these and other opportunities. It provides 53 practical suggestions, each based on ideas tried and tested by the contributors. Key terms:communication; impact; presenting; publication; public engagement; research; social media; writing.

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Read also: Review

Written by Giorgio Bertini

February 9, 2016 at 12:48 pm

Posted in Communication, Research

Tagged with ,

Moments of Impact: How to Design Strategic Conversations that Accelerate Change

In our fast-changing world, leaders are increasingly confronted by messy, multifaceted challenges that require collaboration to resolve. But the standard methods for tackling these challenges—meetings packed with data-drenched presentations or brainstorming sessions that circle back to nowhere—just don’t deliver.

Great strategic conversations generate breakthrough insights by combining the best ideas of people with different backgrounds and perspectives. In this book, two experts “crack the code” on what it takes to design creative, collaborative problem-solving sessions that soar rather than sink.

Drawing on decades of experience as innovation strategists—and supported by cutting-edge social science research, dozens of real-life examples, and interviews with well over 100 thought leaders, executives, and fellow practitioners— they unveil a simple, creative process that leaders and their teams can use to unlock solutions to their most vexing issues. The book also includes a “Starter Kit” full of tools and tips for putting the book’s core principles into practice.

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Written by Giorgio Bertini

January 14, 2016 at 7:57 pm

Visual Meetings: How Graphics, Sticky Notes and Idea Mapping Can Transform Group Productivity

Use eye-popping visual tools to energize your people! Just as social networking has reclaimed the Internet for human interactivity and co-creation, the visual meetings movement is reclaiming creativity, productivity, and playful exchange for serious work in groups. Visual Meetings explains how anyone can implement powerful visual tools, and how these tools are being used to facilitate both face-to-face and virtual group work. This dynamic and richly illustrated resource gives meeting leaders, presenters, and consultants a slew of exciting tricks and tools, including

Graphic recording, visual planning, story boarding, graphic templates, idea mapping, etc.
Creative ways to energize team building, sales presentations, staff meetings, strategy sessions, brainstorming, and more
Getting beyond paper and whiteboards to engage new media platforms
Understanding emerging visual language for leading groups

Unlocking formerly untapped creative resources, Visual Meetings will help you and your team communicate ideas more effectively and engagingly.

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Written by Giorgio Bertini

January 14, 2016 at 7:12 pm

Move over Science, Humanities’ Tech-savvy Research is making waves

From digital archives to 3D modelling, humanities research has undergone a technological revolution.

When you think of research on the cutting edge of technological change or bringing in investment from business you are more likely to think of engineering than history.

But while research in arts and humanities disciplines has not been as visible, over the last decade or so, the methods, outputs and impact of this research have actually undergone dramatic changes.

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Written by Giorgio Bertini

January 12, 2016 at 1:19 pm

Ethics and Education Research

Part of the popular BERA/SAGE Research Methods in Education series, this is the first book to specifically focus on the ethics of Education research. Drawn from the authors’ experiences in the UK, Australia and mainland Europe and with contributions from across the globe, this clear and accessible book includes a wide range of examples. The authors show how to:

identify ethical issues which may arise with any research project
gain informed consent
provide information in the right way to participants
present and disseminate findings in line with ethical guidelines

All researchers, irrespective of whether they are postgraduate students, practising teachers or seasoned academics, will find this book extremely valuable for its rigorous and critical discussion of theory and its strong practical focus.

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Written by Giorgio Bertini

December 9, 2015 at 12:05 pm

The Research Bazaar

The Research Bazaar (ResBaz) is your one-stop shop for digital research tools, skills, and a community of support!

In late 2013, David F. Flanders recognised a problem: with over 500 research tools and apps available to researchers across a plethora of faculties and disciplines, a traditional information technology helpdesk wouldn’t suffice. In reality, the modern complexities of research far surpassed the basic needs of bibliography management and a proficiency in Microsoft Word. Data had become Big. There was talk of a ‘Cloud’. Inter-disciplinary was the new “it” word.

The smell of a shifting research game was pungent in the air. David’s solution was to create a community of support around research tools. Rather than sit down and teach research tools (R-stat, Python, CAD, MATLAB, CartoDb – the list goes on and on) to each individual researcher, build a supportive, dynamic, diverse community that has the ability to reproduce knowledge without the constant requirement of top-down support. A community could help people to research better, faster, smarter. And so the Research Bazaar – ResBaz – was born.

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Read also: ResBaz

Written by Giorgio Bertini

December 7, 2015 at 8:10 pm

The Practice of Co-operative Inquiry – Systemic Practice and Action Research

This issue of Systemic Practice and Action Research focuses on the practice of co-operative inquiry, and in particular on the choices and actions of those who initiate and facilitate co-operative inquiry groups. I have been struck how much the people who I talk to about co-operative inquiry want to hear stories: not just the theory and methodology, but the human stories about how it all works. They want to know how to initiate an inquiry group, how many people to include, how long the inquiry should go on for, how to locate an inquiry within an organization. In particular, they want to know about the personal qualities this kind of inquiry will demand, the attitudes and skills they will be required to manifest. Maybe the most frequent question people ask is about power and influence: If the inquiry is to be truly co-operative, does this mean that as initiator I cannot be influential?  The six papers in this issue address these concerns by providing accounts of how the authors—all of whom recently initiated and participated in co-operative inquiry projects—established and worked with inquiry groups.

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Written by Giorgio Bertini

November 23, 2015 at 2:00 pm

The Process of Social Research

The Process of Social Research successfully meets two major challenges of teaching social science methods: to make the material interesting and accessible to students, and to provide them with the tools necessary to understand, evaluate, and conduct research. Authors employ a conversational writing style that is engaging and student-friendly. Using everyday examples to introduce chapters and clarify complex concepts, they provide current research examples on such cutting-edge topics as immigration, family composition, prosecutorial misconduct, organized racism, homelessness, social inequality and education, and alcohol consumption and grades. Placing a unique emphasis on the research process, the book helps students understand the logic and mechanics of social research, giving them the tools and the power to evaluate the research of others and to conduct their own research. Beginning with the introduction, every chapter contains flowcharts of research processes. As each diagram is presented, the authors relate the specific method to the overall research process. Then, over the course of the chapter or section, they flesh out each step. This way, they convey information about the “nuts and bolts” of research while ensuring that students do not lose sight of the logic of inquiry. Comprehensive and up-to-date without attempting to be encyclopedic in its coverage, The Process of Social Research provides a balance between qualitative and quantitative research, taking a more integrated approach to describing the relationship between theory and research.

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Written by Giorgio Bertini

October 23, 2015 at 7:51 pm

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