Friday, January 11, 2019

Pamela Moss and School of Information colleague Carl Lagoze awarded Lyle Spencer Research Award for developing Living Research Synthesis Infrastructure


Dr. Pamela Moss and Dr. Carl Lagoze (U-M School of Information) received a Lyle Spencer Research Award for the project “Prototyping and Evaluating a Living Research Synthesis Infrastructure (LRSI).” Funded by the Spencer Foundation, the Lyle Spencer Research Awards program supports intellectually ambitious research oriented to improving the practice of education, independent of any particular reform agendas or methodological strictures.

Through a process of participatory research and design, Moss and Lagoze are working with colleagues to prototype and formatively evaluate an infrastructure for synthesizing and using existing research to develop actionable knowledge and identify needs for future research on practice in complex educational systems.

Infrastructure in its broadest sense is the often taken-for-granted set of technologies, norms, policies, and practices that support everyday pursuits. In the context of research, knowledge infrastructure is the foundation for the basic pursuits through which we develop knowledge about the world. Before and at the onset of the digital age, the typical object of this infrastructure was the scholarly book or article, an artifact fixed in ink or bits (encoded as PDF). Yet, the digital context enables a transformation into a new type of scholarly object, one that is dynamic, collaborative and evolving. 

Moving beyond conventional printed research syntheses, Moss and Lagoze envision an LRSI as a dynamic socio-technical environment—focused on a particular research initiative or problem space—where researchers and other education professionals collaborate over time to organize relevant research that spans methodological, theoretical, disciplinary, professional and contextual boundaries; support continual updating as new research becomes available; minimize redundant efforts; engage in productive interaction about problems of practice; and generate ideas for new research. The project will develop a prototype LRSI focused, reflexively, on using research to improve practice; examine the use of that prototype in stakeholder communities; promote participatory design processes to evolve the prototype in support of community needs; and study the extent to which the prototype LRSI met the intended goals.

Pamela Moss is Professor

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