< GURT 2011 - Contact

Conducting Research on New Media In and Out of Classrooms

Ilana Gershon, Indiana University

Thursday, March 10, 2011; 3:15pm-5:15pm

In this workshop, we will explore the often blurry line between research and pedagogy for current scholars of new media and language. When teaching texts about new media, students will often respond with accounts of their new media practices that surprise and illuminate, in short, potential research projects. We will discuss how to transform classroom discussions into viable research projects. Turning to students as research subjects encourages us to address how accurate the concept of “digital native” is in describing generational divides. We will also address how to take into account the ethical conundrums of moving from a teacher/student relationship to a researcher/research subject relationship. Finally, we will examine the interplay between classroom discussions and research as one continues to interview and write up research while teaching. Using undergraduate breakup narratives involving new media as a primary example, we will also discuss the different methodological insights one gets from interviewing students about their wide range of media use or from analyzing their actual practices. Our goal will be to share insights based on our teaching and research experiences that explores some of the assumptions underlying “digital native”; and address the ethical and methodological complexities when our pedagogical and analytical labor overlap.