Reflections and Mapping Outputs from Navigating the Phenomenological and Phenomenographic Terrain as a Doctoral Student in a Networked Learning Context;

Healey-Benson, Felicity (2020) Reflections and Mapping Outputs from Navigating the Phenomenological and Phenomenographic Terrain as a Doctoral Student in a Networked Learning Context;. In: Twelfth International Conference on Networked Learning, 18th-20th May 2020, Originally Denmark, pivot online.

Slideshow (Round Table Discussion Slides)
Felicity Healey-Benson publish NLC 2020 RT.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (16MB) | Preview
Official URL:


Whilst recognising ”there is no such thing as one phenomenology, and if there could be such a thing it would never become anything like a philosophical technique’ (Heidegger, 1982, p328), the proliferation of various strains of phenomenological and phenomenographic research has resulted in misunderstandings and poor practises, with some authors contradicting each other (Groenewald, 2004). De-mystification of the choices and their implication across the various approaches and techniques is needed. An improved clarity would potentially motivate a more confident and robust application of phenomenology, to the advantage of the networked learning research community and its’ research benefactors. This round-table will provide an opportunity for researchers to advance the understanding of the potential variants of design, results and value between different phenomenological and phenomenographic approaches adopted in a networked learning context. Background Engaging in phenomenological research is challenging (Caelli, 2001). Despite common roots in the philosophical works of Husserl (1931), Heidegger (1927/1962), and Merleau-Ponty (1945/1962), methodologically, phenomenology has evolved in many ways. Many novice researchers, even once over the hurdle of a comfortable alignment to a philosophical movement must then further negotiate many permutations of research design to garner insight on the practicalities and rewards of a phenomenological research study. Despite techniques and approaches published by heavy-weight practitioners such as van Manen (1990) and Moustakas (1994), it remains a tall order to clearly distinguish between different phenomenological research study designs or identify whether a phenomenological study has been run badly or not. Problems are exacerbated when attempting to align a phenomenological attitude to networked learning. In contrast, as a second-order research perspective, with a focus on the experience of learning as opposed to learning itself (Marton et al., 1993), phenomenography is more prevalent than phenomenology in a networked learning context (Dohn, 2006, Oberg & Bell 2012). Analysis of papers submitted to the Networked Learning Conference from 1998-2018 (11 conferences) reveals only made use of phenomenological methodology, twelve phenomenographic. Discussion of why selected methods were employed was limited or not documented. Part of the weaker interest in the use of phenomenology in a networked learning context may lie in the aforementioned issues. Possibly this pattern is set to change, with the more recent post-intentional phenomenology offering by Vagle (2016). Underpinned by deleuzoguattarian thinking (Deleuze & Guattari, 2004), the latest phenomenological evolution concentrates on the ‘variant’ features of a phenomenon, offering the potential to ‘join the conversation about multiplicity, difference and particularity’ (Vagle, 2014) The goal of the discussion is to surface, in an open and pragmatic way, whether phenomenology is deemed less valuable than phenomenography, or just more difficult or confusing to administer, and if so, what can be done to encourage its more active employ in networked learning research. Examples of Questions 1. For what purposes can phenomenological and phenomenographic research design be employed in a networked learning context? 2. What are the issues and challenges presented by the adoption of phenomenological research design in a networked learning context? 3. Compare and contrast various methods and data instruments within a phenomenology and phenomenography study 4. What are the key differences between the results from phenomenographic and the phenomenological analysis? 5. Can or should phenomenology and phenomenography be used together for triangulation purposes? 6. Is there a networked learning research context where a specific phenomenological or phenomenographic approach provides more use or utility than another? 7. How could the networked learning community promote more phenomenological study?

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Other)
Additional Information: Healey-Benson, F. (2020). Navigating the phenomenological and phenomenographic terrain as a doctoral student in a networked learning context. Networked Learning Conference 2020, 18-20 May 2020, orig. Denmark, migrated online. Round Table 3, 19th May 2020. Published in Proceedings for the Twelfth International Conference on Networked Learning 2020, Edited by: Hansen, S.B.; Hansen, J.J.; Dohn, N.B.; de Laat, M. & Ryberg, T. p. 352-371
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
T Technology > T Technology (General)
Divisions: Research Innovation and Enterprise Services
Depositing User: Dr Felicity Healey-Benson
Date Deposited: 27 Jun 2023 10:19
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2023 11:24

Administrator Actions (login required)

Edit Item - Repository Staff Only Edit Item - Repository Staff Only