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LRDG: Methodological challenges in analysing an online debate: the case of a planning application for a Gothic cathedral

Date: 9 October 2012 Time: 1 - 2 pm

Venue: C89, County South

Julia Gillen (Lancaster University) will be speaking on:

Methodological challenges in analysing an online debate: the case of a planning application for a Gothic cathedralJulia Gillen (Lancaster University), Rebecca Ferguson (Open University), Anna Peachey (Eygus Ltd.) & Peter Twining (Open University)

Over a 13 month period we were interacting with teenagers from the UK and the USA in an innovative educational project centred on a virtual world, Schome Park.Schome Park was a virtual island, set in the middle of a sunlit sea beyond which none of its inhabitants could wander. Like all islands, it had a limited set of resources and so the inhabitants had worked out a system of local governance for allocating these. One day a newcomer, who had recently landed from the USA onto this island, dominated by Brits, approached the planning permission committee. Carefully observant of legal and procedural niceties, he set out his request, in writing, as required. He wanted to build a Gothic cathedral. In many old-timers' views, this was a bad idea, something that threatened the community's history and ethos, perhaps to the core. A lively debate ensued, at times characterised by strong conflict, at others by impressive skills at argumentation.In this presentation we discuss the development of our methodologies in analysing this debate, working in a team virtual literacy ethnography.


Who can attend: Anyone


Further information

Associated staff: Julia Gillen (Linguistics and English Language)

Organising departments and research centres: Educational Research, Lancaster Literacy Research Centre, Linguistics and English Language

Keywords: Ethnography, Literacies, Virtual worlds


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