“Interessant ist dabei, dass Bürokratie vorrangig als politikveranlasste Überregulierung von außen erlebt wird. Die hausgemachte Bürokratie wird nicht thematisiert. Aber was ist mit der internen Engstirnigkeit, was ist mit der managementgetriebenen Regelungswut? Was ist mit den explodierenden Standard Operating Procedures? Was ist mit den unendlich vielen Online-Formularen und Fragebögen, all den Vorschriften und Instrumenten, die wenig mehr erzeugen als Kundenablenkungsenergie? Was ist mit den Unmengen an Sitzungen, Tools, Plänen und Kontrollsystemen? All den Transaktionskosten-Schleudern, den Budgetrunden, Controlling-Routinen, Dokumentationspflichten, Performance-Messungen, all den zeitraubenden Aufgaben, die uns von dem abhalten, was uns bei der Arbeit Freude macht? All das ist Absicherungsaktionismus, es dient der Angst vor dem Risiko, vor Macht- und Kontrollverlust. Ohne große Mühe kann man in den Unternehmen ganze Misstrauens-Abteilungen identifizieren, die ihre Zeit damit verbringen, Leute zu überwachen. Zu überprüfen, ob sie auch tun, was sie tun sollen. Und sie mit Formularen und Regularien unter neurotischen Dauerstress setzen.”

Reinhard K. Sprenger (2014). Das anständige Unternehmen.

Sebastian H.D. Fiedler Issue 1 of EDeR – Educational Design Research is finally taking shape. We have 5 contributions in the pipeline that have successful passed phase 1 (text mentoring) and phase 2 (blind peer review) of our workflow model and have been revised according to reviewers’ feedback. These will definitely make it into Issue 1.

We are still working with two additional, somewhat controversial, contributions. However, these might have to be pushed over to Issue 2. Our Editorial Board will make final decisions on these texts by next week.

Sebastian H.D. FiedlerThis week we have kicked off our reformed Master of Higher Education (MoHE) programme.

The last day of the introduction week features a “project conference” in which a variety of research projects on aspects of teaching and learning in higher education are presented.

project conference of the Master of Higher Education programme at HUL

Over time, the project conference is meant to bring different cohorts of programme participants together. Those who are about to finish off their own research projects will present their work to the new incoming participants.

I am particularly happy that for this first project conference we were able to integrate a presentation of Emanuele Bardone from the Educational Science department of the University of Tartu, Estonia. I hope this will help to set the stage for a more international outlook within our MoHE programme and invite our participants to look beyond the confines and particularities of our system of higher education.

Sebastian H.D. Fiedler Step by step the first issue of the EDeR Journal is taking shape. Four contributions have successfully passed the second phase (blind peer review) of our workflow and review model. One is basically ready for publication, while the others are currently reworked by their authors.
For two additional contributions we are still in the process of completing the blind peer review phase.
An additional submission requires major changes. Not sure if this will still make it into the first issue. We are looking into this right now.

We are also already eliciting contributions for the second issue. If your work falls broadly in the framework of “design based research” in education, feel free to get in touch.

Sebastian H.D. Fiedler On Thursday and Friday (08.09 and 09.09.2016) we held our first in-house conference at the Hamburg Center for University Teaching and Learning (HUL) in collaboration with researchers from the Competence Center for Educational Development And Research in Higher Education (CEDAR) at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland.

The event was titled “Perspektiven und Zukunft der Forschung zum Lehren und Lernen an Hochschulen” (Perspectives and future of research on teaching and learning in institutions of higher education) and catered to German speaking researchers who work in the area of research and development of teaching and learning in higher education.

The final programme (in German) offered 4 parallel tracks of “symposia” that grouped a number of related contributions from a variety of German and Swiss institutions.

HUL in-house conference 2016

An interesting element of the overall event was labeled “conference phenography” which Gabi Reinmann had initiated as part of the conference design. Teams of two observed and participated one particular conference track, took notes, and finally recorded a conversational commentary on video that is finally going to be shared with the other participants. I had the privilege to go through this exercise with Frank Vohle (Ghostthinker company) and my HUL coworker Eileen Lübcke. It’s going to be interesting what others make out of our short video snippets.

I will try to write up my overall impressions in the coming days.

In the meantime, I can already point to a commentary (in German) that my colleague Tobias Schmohl has published on the matter and a small selection of photos that I took during the event.

Sebastian H.D. Fiedler Our proposal for a symposium on Educational Design Research has just been accepted for the EdMedia 2016 conference in Vancouver, Canada. The two hour long session is titled “Educational Design Research: methodological blind spots, challenges, and alternative sources for inspiration”. This is the abstract of what we are going to address:

Among contemporary educational technology research and development approaches, educational design research (also called “design-based research”) has gained considerable attention in recent years. While its proponents promote design interventions in various types of practice settings, they often maintain the idea of the primacy of “theory” without making explicit what type of theory and knowledge claims they are hoping to produce. It often appears as if educational design researchers want to maintain an ideal of “scientific” rationale and of universal knowledge claims that does not seem to fit with their own focus on intervention in contextualised practice.
In our symposium we will explore various methodological blind spots and challenges of contemporary educational design research and its application in the field of educational technology. In addition, we will review some potential sources for inspiration that could fuel the further development and fundamental emancipation of educational design research as a system of inquiry.

Beyond the contributions of Tobias Schmohl and myself from the HUL at University of Hamburg, Germany, the symposium will feature work of Robert Fitzgerald and Simon Leonard from the University of Canberra, Australia, Mark W. Johnson from the University of Liverpool, UK, and Beaumie Kim from the University of Calgary, Canada.

“Change that is triggered by human intention is at the heart of design. It is a hallmark of design that human intention is essential and central to the instigation of change in the real world. Human intention is, therefore, a singularly important and consequential cause of change. The idea of cause is complex but key to understanding designed change. Cause is natural (as defined by science, through the conceptualization of chance and necessity). Design, therefore, must accommodate change brought about by natural causes; but the most challenging forms of cause are those that are rooted in human agency. These intentional forms of cause are diverse. The type of intentional cause that is of particular interest here is design cause. Design cause is the consequence of human volition and the capacity for humans to be proactive and purposeful in their interaction with the real world. Design cause is essential both for initiating change that brings new things into existence and for modifying those things that are already in existence… (p. 38).”

Reference: Nelson, H. G. & Stolterman, E. (2012). The Design Way: Intentional Change in an Unpredictable World. London: MIT Press