Congratulations to Katherine Stephen for an excellent Masters dissertation on metaskills

Katherine Stephen

Katherine Stephen

Congratulations to our PhD student Katherine Stephen, who last week learnt that she was awarded 80% for the Masters dissertation component of her 1+3 PhD. Katherine’s studentship is a collaborative award funded by the ESRC and Skills Development Scotland, and comprises a Masters year at the University of Edinburgh (2018/19) prior to three years of doctoral study at Edinburgh Napier University (2019/22).

Katherine’s Masters dissertation took the form of an extended PhD proposal, and thus has the same title as her doctoral study: Metaskills maturity for future workplaces. The work that she completed for the dissertation last year included a small pilot study entitled Metacognitive experiences of artificial intelligence in the workplace.

In her dissertation Katherine explains that career landscapes are changing, and the future of individual workers is predicted to be predicated on adaptability and protean values. If this is the case, she argues, more important than technical skill in one area is the ability to form and implement cognitive strategies for managing situations as they arise. The processes required to create these strategic abilities are situated within ‘metacognition’ – thinking about thinking. Furthermore, a mature level of metacognition can assist in acquiring ‘metaskills’ – a variety of general competencies that complement the generation and application of technical abilities across domains. Although seen by some as by-products of specialist education, research has shown that metacognition and metaskills are able to be consciously developed alongside discipline-specific knowledge, and that experiential learning is a good way to encourage this.

In consolidating these concepts, and conducting research across apprenticeship cohorts in order to determine appropriate universal measurement and growth interventions, for her PhD Katherine will investigate ways in which workers can extend their metaskill development while continuing to learn new technical skills. This should contribute to the metaskills maturity of workplaces as cohesive units, and better prepare individual workers for job disruptions by allowing them the self-confidence to continue their careers with minimal cognitive disfluency.

Introducing new research students Rachel Salzano and Katherine Stephen

Rachel Salzano and Katherine Stephen at the Merchiston Tower

Rachel Salzano and Katherine Stephen at Edinburgh Napier’s Merchiston campus

Welcome to Rachel Salzano and Katherine Stephen, who join us this week as new research students within the Centre for Social Informatics at Edinburgh Napier University. Continue reading

Reputation management in a digital world – Dr Frances Ryan’s doctoral thesis now available as a full text pdf

Dr Frances Ryan

Dr Frances Ryan

Dr Frances Ryan graduated with her PhD in July 2019. Frances’ doctoral thesis Reputation management in a digital world: The role of online information in the building, management, and evaluation of personal reputations is now available to download as a full text pdf file from the Edinburgh Napier University repository. The abstract below summarises the thesis content.

Abstract

This work is concerned with the role of online information in the building, management, and evaluation of personal reputations. The main contributions of the research relate to: (1) the means by which people evaluate the personal reputations of others from the online evidence available to them, and (2) strategies for the building and management of personal reputations through the use of online information. Continue reading

Social cognitive theory literature review article now in print

‘Applications and applicability of Social Cognitive Theory in information science research’ is now available in issue 51(4) (December 2019) of the Journal of Librarianship and Information Science (JoLIS). The article covers the origins and key concepts of Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) and its value to Information Science research. Particular reference is made to the applicability of SCT – and its applications – in studies of information-seeking behaviour and use, and knowledge sharing. Continue reading

Congratulations Dr Frances Ryan!

Dr Frances Ryan

Dr Frances Ryan (photo credit Harry Elwin)

Congratulations to Dr Frances Ryan, who was awarded her PhD at the Edinburgh Napier University graduation ceremony at the Usher Hall in Edinburgh today. I was Frances’ Director of Studies, her second supervisor was Alistair Lawson, and third supervisor Peter Cruickshank.

Frances’ thesis is entitled Reputation management in a digital world: The role of online information in the building, management, and evaluation of personal reputations. In her research Frances investigated two broad themes: (1) the means by which people evaluate or assess the personal reputations of others from the online evidence available to them and (2) how people manage their own personal reputations through their use of online information, and the extent to which those behaviours are intentional. These themes are addressed with reference to the broader information science literature on information behaviour and use, including aspects of bibliometric research that focuses on citation practice and citation analysis. For further information on Frances’ doctoral research and related publications/presentations, please see her blog at francesryanphd.com. Continue reading

Who wants to do a PhD? You do! Apply by Friday 5th July for a funded doctoral study at Edinburgh Napier University

Centre for Social Informatics bannerThe School of Computing at Edinburgh Napier University is currently advertising three funded PhD places. Applications are due by Friday 5th July 2019, with the successful applicants embarking on their doctoral studies in academic year 2019/20. The funding includes fees (UK/EU rates) and a stipend (living allowance) at the standard UK rate (currently £15,009 per annum). Continue reading

Newly published: ‘The social impact of digital youth work: what are we looking for?’

Media and Communication journalAmongst the articles just published in the latest issue of Media and Communication is a paper that that I co-authored with my Centre for Social Informatics colleagues Alicja Pawluczuk, Dr Gemma Webster, and Dr Colin Smith. The article is one of the outputs of Alicja’s doctoral study.

In ‘The social impact of digital youth work: what are we looking for?‘ we explore the ways in which digital youth workers perceive and evaluate the social impact of their work. The analysis draws on data collected in twenty semi-structured interviews with digital youth workers in Scotland in 2017. Continue reading