Scoping an issue

These notes are intended to give you an idea of how you might go about scoping an issue, i.e. getting a broad sense of the issue, what the literature is focussing on etc. There is no one correct way to do this. What follows is intended to help you think about how you go about your scoping and scanning of an issue.

I've chosen an issue in which I have an interest but one I know not a lot about about. I also don't know whether or not there is much associated literature. I'm also conscious that the way I am describing the issue may not be the way the issue is written about in the research literature.

Scoping how teachers negotiate student use of other knowledge sources.

The notes that follow would go into my 1st (log of my explorations) and 2nd (data/material I collect) notebooks.

Why I'm interested
The days of the teacher as the sole source of knowledge authority have gone. Students have access to a huge range of material about most of the content that is traditionally taught in schools. The days of schools being able to ban or limit what students have access to are also gone. The computer resources in the home are now many times what students at school have access to. Where does this leave the the teacher?

The quick scope tracks some of my attempts to get my head around how others have thought about the issue. I begin informally, i.e. looking not at journal literature but using Google search.

After you've had a wander in the notes from the quick scoping, it is clear that my topic was or potentially could have been huge with lots of aspects I could have pursued.

I opted to search on Google before going to the journals to help me get a broader sense of how my terms/issues are being written about. I uncovered quite a bit.

At this point it looks as if there are a couple of strands in the published literature that I can look at more carefully.

I have not drawn the phrases, terms and finds back to this page. You will need to go wander to see what I did. I'm now of the view that there is a useful literature that is both not totally obsessed with the rise of the Internet that can offer a good basis for my paper. There should be no trouble locating enough papers for the annotated bibliography.

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