It’s been a lengthy hiatus since I last posted but I’m happy to report I still work within HE careers and I’m very pleased to be doing so! So what have I been up to?
During the last year I’ve been involved in a HECSU-funded research project exploring the utility of online discussion forums for distance learners. The report is finished (not yet published but I’ll post further when it is). Whilst waiting I wanted to share details of a workshop I delivered at the recent AGCAS annual conference 2019 (look out for the hashtag #AGACASAC19 on Twitter).
I came up with the snazzilly titled “Bumping online discussion forums (ODFs) in a social media age – How ODFs can extend the reach and impact of careers support” which you can view and download from the AGCAS website (Workshop Session A2). There is of course lots of other brilliant material to peruse whilst you’re there.
I’ve been involved with forums in one description or another for well over 20 years. In the report I make the point that:
“the wider educational and social benefits of student participation in ODFs are well established however the literature review revealed there is a paucity of research in connecting student participation in ODFs for specific career learning and career development purposes”.
In the workshop I focused on three ways (so not exhaustive as the report will show) we can theorise how ODFs could be useful for our career. Here goes.
Identity construction: Identity can emerge through discoursal construction in social contexts through the act of writing and reading. (LaPointe, 2010; Lengelle & Meijers, 2014).
Career learning: Our learning in particular moves us all from tacit knowledge, action and experiences through a process of career construction recognising our language serves as the tool of our story creation and meaning making (Savickas, 2005)
Community Support: Some of the most influential factors in career choice relate to events which occur in the context of our ‘community interaction’ between the individual and the social groups of which we are members. (Law, 2009)
Once the report is published and available for free download I’ll post more thoughts about my research. Do let me know your thoughts!
LaPointe, K. (2010). Narrating career, positioning identity: Career identity as a narrative practice. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 77, 19.
Law, B. (2009) Community-interaction and its importance for contemporary careers-work. [Online]. Available at http://www.hihohiho.com/memory/cafcit.pdf
Lengelle, R. and Meijers, F. (2014) ‘Narrative identity: writing the self in career learning’, British Journal of Guidance & Counselling, vol. 42, no. 1, pp. 52–72 [Online]. DOI: 10.1080/03069885.2013.816837.
Savickas, M. L. (2005). The theory and practice of career construction. In S. D. Brown & R. W. Lent (Eds.), Career development and counselling: Putting theory and research to work (pp. 42–70). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.