Distributed cognition and cognitive ethnography

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    I have been writing my dissertation proposal and been rejected several times because I selected cognitive ethnography as the methodology. Ethnography is recommended in most articles and books I have read related to distributed cognition as the best methodology to explore relationships between subjects and artifacts to enhance knowledge.

    My initial question was “Will the use of distributed cognition on an iPhone using dynamic prompting improve the ability to travel autonomously by young adults with cognitive disabilities? ” and the purpose of this cognitive ethnographic study will be to explore how the use of distributed cognition on an iPhone using dynamic prompting will improve the ability to travel autonomously by young adults with cognitive disabilities. I have been told that introducing a variable such improvement requires a quantitative methodology and therefore my RQ and methodology were not aligned. However, because this is a study in the field of instructional design, words as “perception” are considered opinions and therefore not relevant to the field.

    I switched my question to: “What is the impact of distributed cognition on the ability to travel autonomously by young adults with cognitive disabilities?” Since I am developing the application for the iPhones for traveling (because there is no one ) now I have been asked if I am “designing and developing a tool or exploring the use of DCog. I have to do both since there is very little research devoted to emergent technologies and students with cognitive disabilities. The development of the application is part of the instructional design research and the rest is its implementation with the population.

    My second question is related to number of participants. I was asked to use a minimum of 20. In this particular population each students with cognitive disabilities has different needs and cognitive levels. Is there a minimum number of participants required for this type of research?

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