Rendering an Account: An open-state archive in postgraduate supervision

Morgan, Wendy R. & Ryan, Michael (2003) Rendering an Account: An open-state archive in postgraduate supervision. Higher Education Research and Development (HERD), 22(1), pp. 77-90.

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The paper begins with a brief account of the transformation of research degree studies under the pressures of global capitalism and neo-liberal governmentality. A parallel transformation is occurring in the conduct of research through the use of information and communication technologies. Yet the potential of ICTs to shape practices of surveillance or to produce new student-supervisor relations and enhance the processes of developing the dissertation has received almost no critical attention. As doctoral supervisor and student, we then describe the features and uses of a web-based open state archive of the student's work-in-progress, developed by the student and accessible to his supervisor. Our intention was to encourage more open conversations between data and theorising, student and supervisor, and ultimately between the student and professional community. However, we recognise that relations of accountability, as these have developed within a contemporary "audit revolution" (Power, 1994, 1997) in universities, create particular "lines of visibility" (Munro, 1996). Thus while the open-state archive may help to redefine in less managerial terms notions of quality, transparency, flexibility and accountability, it might also make possible greater supervisory surveillance. How should we think about the panoptical potential of this archive? We argue that the diverse kinds of interactional patterns and pedagogical intervention it encourages help to create shifting subjectivities. Moreover, the archive itself is multiple, in bringing together an array of diverse materials that can be read in various ways, by following multiple paths. It therefore constitutes a collage, which we identify as a mode of cognition and of accounting distinct from but related to argument and narrative. As a more "open" text (Iser, 1978) it has an indeterminacy which may render it less open to abuse for the technologies of managerial accountability.

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ID Code: 14693
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: HERN
DOI: 10.1080/0729436032000056535
ISSN: 1469-8366
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > EDUCATION SYSTEMS (130100) > Higher Education (130103)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > SPECIALIST STUDIES IN EDUCATION (130300) > Education Assessment and Evaluation (130303)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > SPECIALIST STUDIES IN EDUCATION (130300) > Educational Technology and Computing (130306)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2003 Taylor & Francis
Copyright Statement: This is an electronic version of an article published in [Higher Education Research & Development 22(1):pp. 77-90.]. [Higher Education Research & Development] is available online at informaworldTM with
Deposited On: 03 Sep 2008 00:00
Last Modified: 27 Oct 2014 04:57

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