Virtual On line
June 22, 2020
June 22, 2020
June 26, 2021
Educational Research and Methods
This work-in-progress paper reports on the early phases of an exploratory research project involving use of innovative approaches to collecting, analyzing, and archiving empirical data related to engineering practice. More specifically, our project takes an ethnographic approach to studying technical teams at multiple field sites representing multiple industry sectors using novel methods such as agile ethnography, trace ethnography, and network ethnography. In contrast to traditional ethnographic studies that may involve long periods of participant observation, these new approaches often involve less intensive fieldwork, and are instead designed around more targeted research questions and other sources of evidence (e.g., social network data, documentary traces in digital systems). These methods are new and evolving, and therefore have scarcely been used to study engineering practice. Thus, one major goal of the paper is to introduce the proposed methods to the engineering education research community. In doing so, we explore the potential for these methods to generate research findings more rapidly and with a greater focus on specific problems and questions of interest to both industry and researchers. Such methods have gained traction in workplace settings precisely due to such advantages, especially in software engineering and related fields where work is already very digital and distributed in character. A second major goal of this paper is to give a brief progress report on the early stages of our study, including the initial groundwork carried out to gain access to, and begin collecting data at, multiple field sites. We expect this paper will appeal to scholars who study engineering practice, and those who are interested in contemporary innovations in ethnographic and other qualitative research methods.
Jesiek, B. K., & Johri, A., & Brozina, C., & Korte, R. (2020, June), Work in Progress: Novel Ethnographic Approaches for Investigating Engineering Practice Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35672
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