Experiencing information use for early career academics’ learning: A knowledge ecosystem model
Miller, Faye Q. (2015) Experiencing information use for early career academics’ learning: A knowledge ecosystem model. Journal of Documentation, 71(6).
This study explores the informed learning experiences of early career academics while building their networks for professional and personal development. The notion that information and learning are inextricably linked via the concept of ‘informed learning’ is used as a conceptual framework to gain a clearer picture of what informs early career academics while they learn and how they experience using that which informs their learning within this complex practice: to build, maintain and utilise their developmental networks.
This research employs a qualitative framework using a constructivist grounded theory approach (Charmaz, 2006). Through semi-structured interviews with a sample of fourteen early career academics from across two Australian universities, data were generated to investigate the research questions. The study used the methods of constant comparison to create codes and categories towards theme development. Further examination considered the relationship between thematic categories to construct an original theoretical model.
The model presented is a ‘knowledge ecosystem’, which represents the core informed learning experience. The model consists of informal learning interactions such as relating to information to create knowledge and engaging in mutually supportive relationships with a variety of knowledge resources found in people who assist in early career development.
Findings from this study present an alternative interpretation of informed learning that is focused on processes manifesting as human interactions with informing entities revolving around the contexts of reciprocal human relationships.
Impact and interest:
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