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Researching Mobile Learning

Frameworks, Tools and Research Designs

Edited By Giasemi Vavoula, Norbert Pachler and Agnes Kukulska-Hulme

Learning with mobile technologies is an emerging field with a developing research agenda and many questions surrounding the suitability of traditional research methods to investigate and evaluate the new learning experiences associated with mobility and support for increasingly informal learning. This book sets out the issues and requirements for mobile learning research, and presents recent efforts to specify appropriate theoretical frameworks, research methods and tools. Through their accounts of particular mobile learning projects, leading researchers in the field present their experiences and approaches to key aspects of mobile learning research such as data capture and analysis, and offer structured guidance and suggestions on adopting and extending these approaches.

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Part II Frameworks

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4. In the Workplace: Learning as Articulation Work, and Doing Articulation Work to Understand Learning Phillip Kent Overview This chapter offers an account of a methodological approach to understand- ing and developing learning that has been successfully used in a research project on mathematical skills in workplaces. The approach makes use of the concept of articulation work, which is concerned with the processes of coordination and integration by which different social worlds intersect and negotiations take place between them, and the role of “symbolic boundary objects” as mediators for negotiation. Suggestions on the relevance of articu- lation work for research on informal and mobile learning are made. 1. Introduction: Articulation work This chapter describes using the concept of articulation work in the devel- opment of a methodological framework that was part of a project which investigated mathematical skills in workplaces, and developed novel forms of learning interventions to support employees in developing new skills. The concept of articulation work was developed by the sociologist Anselm Strauss (1993), to account for the under-valued and often “invis- ible” forms of work (particularly, for him, the work of women at home and at work) which are nevertheless critical to the completion of tasks in everyday life, or in workplaces (see also Livingstone, this volume). Suchman 62 Phillip Kent (1996) presents the striking example of a legal office in which the attorneys (almost all male) regarded the work of their (almost all female) “document coding” support staff (that is, doing the preparation of the...

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