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001 2-1-2 Research Notes

Page history last edited by Wilma Clark 12 years, 5 months ago


[Study Home]  [Study Phase One]  [Study Phase Two]  [Study Phase Three]

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2.1 Influences Relationships - EoR Model - Researcher Notes


Developing an EoR model to highlight influences relationships. In Phase Two, I generated an EoR model of the Planetarium trip. Working my way through the arrow-indicated relations of mutual influence was quite interesting.


  1. The outer ring – I felt that the use of double-headed arrows was fine for all connections here as the relations between all the resource category elements are important for the learner’s context and all were mutually influential in their capacity.
  2. The inner ring – I started to have some difficulties here in ascertaining levels of mutual influence between ALL filter elements. I could see how the learner’s learning goal could influence the selection of people and vice versa and I could see how Planetarium ‘rules’ (although I’m not sure this is the best word in this instance... it’s more organisation) could impact on a learner’s learning goal in terms of what kind of information is made available and how and when it is made available – whilst I left a double-headed arrow between learning goal and planetarium ‘rules’ – I wasn’t entirely convinced this relationship merited a double-headed arrow. I found myself struggling to understand how the learner’s learning goal influences the Planetarium rules, although if we think in terms of relationships of constraint, then there we might have a double-headed arrow.
  3. When I started to construct the between element relations... I felt the arrow should be one-way between knowledge and learning goal but I had a two-way between learning goal and learner as the learner (in this instance) had the power to choose/select/adapt her learning goal. Between learner and people/tools I also had a two-way arrow as the relations here seemed mutually influential. Between learner and Planetarium rules, however, I had a one-way arrow (as opposed to that in Homework relating to ‘household rules’ which was two-way) as I felt that the learner couldn’t reasonably influence the rules of the Planetarium (at least not without engaging in aberrant behaviour). Similarly, between Planetarium rules and People/tools I added a one-way arrow on the basis that people/tools are influenced by the Planetarium rules but are unlikely to have any opportunity to reasonably influence those rules. In the case of relations between Planetarium and the application of Planetarium rules, I added a two-way arrow as these two elements of the EoR model are clearly closely related and mutually influential. Finally, in terms of the relations between people/tools as resources and ways in which these are filtered in relation to the learner, as with Homework, I maintained two-way arrows on the basis that the relations and interactions between resource and filter were mutually influential, despite the fact that in some instances this might be restricted to a one-way arrow (e.g. non museum staff and planetarium rules) – the overall framing of these resources suggests a two-way potential to influence interactions and relations in the EoR.


One of the interesting things in developing this EoR model is the unusual circumstances of learner agency. For example, where in a typical classroom situation, the leaner has little control over the knowledge/curriculum resource area and more control over the environment/organisation area – in this example, it’s the other way round. The learner has more control over ‘curriculum’ type choices, but has less control over the environment/organisation of semi-formal public space.


The notion of aberrant behaviours in public spaces is an interesting element when it comes to considering influences between resource elements and the learner’s interactions with these. To make sensible use of the model, you need to assume that the learner will not willingly break the rules, norms of interaction. At the same time, however, having to consider the mutuality of influences does contribute to the design framework by generating questions about the use of an environment, the rules of that environment and whether those rules are preventing learning from happening. This activity also enables public spaces that are ‘participatory’ in a traditional, authoritarian way to be examined from a different, user-oriented rather than institutionally-oriented way and thus offers a potential route to reconfiguring/improving/reviewing modes of interaction in public spaces.


Some examples relating to behaviour/environment and influence: the use of a camera to capture a memory, e.g. of a fascinating fact – like a meteor... Planetarium rules (orally expressed by a member of staff – but there was no actual signage prohibiting photography) might be instigated for reasons of health and safety if an area generates a bottleneck, but otherwise photography might be permitted. Using a voice recorder to capture the narration of an event might, however, be prohibited for reasons of copyright and protection of Intellectual property. Using flash photography might be prohibited as it could disturb/diminish the enjoyment of other visitors; in some instances repeated use of flash might impact on quality of exhibits.


In other situations, however, where an artefact isn’t valuable in and of itself (in a material or intellectual property sense) or where digital technologies can be used without disturbance (no need for flash, etc.) use of the EoR model and consideration of the relations/influences/impact of learner’s interactions with resources and context can identify opportunities to enhance learning whether through learner’s own technologies or in situ designed technologies. Furthermore, this form of activity can also identify areas where in situ interactions/exhibits are not working to their best effect (e.g. lack of space, time, replay, relevance) and hence support improved design methods which are more relevant to user needs.

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