WORKED EXAMPLE ABOUT WORKED EXAMPLES

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By: sasha, tyler

This is an overview about the what, the why, the when, and the how of a worked example. Please share your thoughts and help evolve the usefullness of this offering.

Overview


This is an overview about the what, the why, the when, and the how of a worked example.  In our view, a worked example is a form of invitational scholarship that leverages purposively-selected instances and multiple modes of discourse (e.g., videos, pictures, expositions, games, quotes, walkthroughs, etc.) to establish an invitation, in response to which readers can engage theoretical claims along with contextual particulars that reflexively illuminate the theory.

 

We believe that scholarly publication must transcend the custom of printed texts published at particular intervals by central authorities, and instead we regard scholarship as an interactive exhibition of various data and theoretical claims and examples, carefully assembled to illuminate particular ideas, and treated as an ongoing manifestation that evolves in relation to critical dialogue with peers. 

 

Our interest  in the use of worked examples as a form of invitational scholarship entails several related points:

  • To advance plausible conjectures about contemporary society and culture, we must not simply present the context of justification but relate the context of discovery;
  • To present these contexts in an effective and compelling way, we must employ various media in the sharing of our work;
  • To invite the audience of scientific publication to participate in the context of discovery, we must employ not only expository modes of composition but also chronological exhibitions like narrative and process analysis;
  • To engage a shared dialogue that advances scientific knowledge, we must select instances that may elicit or illuminate a class of phenomena; 
  • To critically engage and evolve core issues, we must not only advance the verification of our claims but invite the critical involvement and dialogue of others.

In leveraging the worked example as the means for advancing scholarly understanding, we position our work in contrast to traditional modes of scholarly dissemination.

 

Indeed, “the familiar essay,” wrote Young, Becker, and Pike (1970), “has come to seem less relevant as a means of communication than, for instance, popular songs, group discussion, or articles written as tentative contributions to a continuing discussion within a large community of scholars” (p. 8). Thus, we advance the use of the worked example as an alternative mode of discourse, one reflecting a participatory and interpretivist stance.

 

Rather than being judged by standards of verifiability, worked examples can be though of as making plausibility arguments and offering illuminative proof-of-concept instantiations; the focus is less on presenting patterns and offering predictive claims and more on revealing mechanism and process to afford insight, promote dialogue, and inspire change. 

 

Participants in the conversation around a worked example access content tailored to their degree of involvement, expertise, or interest; in this way, the worked example, including the appended comments and reflections, are differentially accessible. As such, we view the worked example as invitational and as inclusive. It is inclusive in that it allows for the publication of both tentative hypotheses and substantiated assertions, and does so in a manner that is invitational in that it allows people to converse across disciplines. Note that this work is directly pulled and only slightly modified from the paper ( See Paper  ) written by Sasha Barab, Tyler Dodge, and James Gee and presented at AERA.


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  • @ 12/20/10 16:26 EST on Page: Why - Reply - Flag(0)
    Is it assumed that by changing scholarships modes will be enough to offset the assumed hirachariacal nature of scholarship, thus opening up participatory formation and reflection from academia and nonacademic settings, or will additional work need to be done?
    Is it also assumed that by creating a worked example will simultaneously create a group interested in co-forming scholarship, or will extra marketing or networking be required? 
  • @ 12/30/10 03:38 EST on Page: Why - Reply - Flag(0)
    These are good questions. I think that doing scholarly work always involves some training and experience that often means hierarchies so it might not erode these, but hopefully the less "academic" jargon and more open bar for participation will increase those whose voices are at the table. 

    I do think in the beginning some level of networking face-to-face will likely be necessary into more cultural norms of participation are formed.
    @ppettyjo:
    Is it assumed that by changing scholarships modes will be enough to offset the assumed hirachariacal nature of scholarship, thus opening up participatory formation and reflection from academia and nonacademic settings, or will additional work need to be done?

    Is it also assumed that by creating a worked example will simultaneously create a group interested in co-forming scholarship, or will extra marketing or networking be required? 

  • @ 01/31/11 15:56 EST on Page: How - Reply - Flag(0)
    Below are some questions based on the design tensions listed above.

    Show vs Tell


    -How does this worked example connect theory to particular?


    -Do the authors give a detailed account of the theory they
    are seeking to promote/further?


    -Do the authors link the particular instantiation to the
    theory?


    Invite vs. Present:


    -How are the authors promoting an invitation to discover and
    think about one’s own work?


    -How has this example changed the reader’s view of the
    importance of this phenomenon for his or her own work?


    -How clear is the connection between the theory and instantiation?


    Plausibility vs.
    Verifiability
    :


    -How do the authors explain the function of the project, how
    it works? How it was made? Explain key design decisions?


    -How do the authors invite readers to reflect about the
    practical implications of this example?


    Play Examples vs.
    Exemplars
    :


    -How are the authors fostering the reader launch into the
    future work based from this example?