Seale, Jane and Abbott, Chris
Methodological issues in researching online representations: production, classification and personal web space
International Journal of Research and Method in Education, 30, (2), .
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This paper argues that if education practitioners, policy makers and researchers are to gain insights from new forms of online self-representations, there is a need to take stock of research involving home pages in order to identify important methodological issues and lessons that need to be addressed in future research. Home page authorship research is characterised as being associated either with production or classification, very much as other areas of research in literacy such as New Literacy Studies and Multimodality have identified process and product. In this paper, key aspects of research into home page authorship are reviewed and tensions and contradictions identified. From this review four key implications for methodology are discussed: the varying degree to which content or context are defined in research; the interaction between researcher and researched, within learning disability contexts and more widely; a consideration of the sometimes blurred distinction between public and private online spaces and a wider discussion of the ethical issues facing researchers.
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