This years conference: University of Leeds and Johns Hopkins
I attended many sessions yesterday and today. Here are some random thoughts:
As a first time attendee, I enjoyed the conference very much. The quality of talks were very good for the most part. Some folks were still talking Qual-Quan, while others, correctly so in my opinion, were emphasizing that what guides the research are the underlying philosophical and epistemological assumptions and not the methods by themselves.
Some new technologies and softwares (or maybe old to some already) were mentioned, such as:
Click tale (heat map of where people click on a website)
Eye tracking computer screens (to follow people’s eyes’ movements and follow how they make decisions about the things they are reading)
I appreciated Nicolson’s presentation as he took a critical and different approach to looking at what he called ” the professional identity of MMR”. While I did like his arguments as to why MM is not a 3rd paradigm, I was hoping for a more critical discussion about what he was suggesting as the new professional identity of MM, Time limit was of course an issue but still, I left the presentation thinking that I did not fully understand what he meant exactly by this new identity and its rigidness. But I liked the presentation as it was different and unorthodox.
The concept of Xenophilous Researcher by Tony Onwuegbuzie created some good energy in the room. His collaborative work with Kathleen Collins and Burke Johnson on developing validity standards in MM was impressive. But what I wanted to know is if their framework, and others like it, resonates with say a community researcher in United Arab Emirates? Are these validity criteria relevant to First Nation Persons who have their own research principles? I ask this because as a community researcher I constantly have to remind myself that what makes sense to me or is “valid” is irrelevant or unimportant to another person who literally and figuratively comes from a different place. So I like to see them explicitly mention the cross cultural element. No model is ever going to be relevant to all, but I think it is important to question our assumptions and be upfront about them.
Susan Berkowitz presentation on assessing quality was thought provoking and interesting. Jeniffer Wisdom’s talk (which I unfortunately missed but was able to catch up with her afterwords) is a great resource for folks who want to publish in journals that are friendly to MMR .
we usually discuss our research in terms of inductive and deductive, so I appreciated the reminder that there is a third type of reasoning known as abductive,
Janet Hirst’s round table was very interesting as teachers and students came together to discuss how MM could be integrated into university training and what are some of the challenges for students and professors right now. Hopefully they will disseminate the discussion in some form (paper, blog, etc) in the near future.
More reflections to come,