Educational researchers on Mendeley are a diverse bunch. While there’s definitely a technology flavor to the readership, each subdiscipline has its distinct literature without as much overlap as we’ve seen in other fields. That said, there were some common favorites. A paper on digital natives (and why the concept isn’t that useful) was one of the top papers across nearly all categories. If you want to hear more about this, Jess Mezei from Teachers College at Columbia, will be leading a free session on Mendeley for Educational research on July 19th at 2 PM EDT. Sign up here. Here’s the 5 most common papers:
Before we talk about the papers, I just wanted to show a snapshot of the readership diversity. This graph shows the distribution of titles (x-axis) across the different subdisciplines within education. If the same papers were being read across disciplines, the vertical bars would line up down the charts. It’s apparent that educators on Mendeley read a diverse selection of papers, but there were a few that kept coming up.
The “digital natives” debate: A critical review of the evidence
One of the most widely read across the disciplines, this work dives into the assumptions about the conception of ‘digital natives’ and the impact of such inferences on how to engage them in education. It provides an analysis of the literature and suggests digital generalizations about a whole generation of young people is not fully grounded and actually merely highlights technically adept students. Based on their analysis, they claim that there may be as much variation within the digital native generation as between the generations. It presents cautionary evidence that the calls for a dramatic shift toward multimedia educational resources, must not be driven solely on the premise of ‘digital natives’.
Situated Learning: Legitimate Peripheral Participation
This fundamental text by Lave and Wenger, contributes a reformulation of the conception of learning. They coined the term ‘community of practice’ and the idea that learning involves a focus on social interactions through the process of participation in a community has gained significant ground in recent years. Communities of practice have also become an important focus within organizational development and have considerable value when thinking about working with groups.
The paradoxical future of digital learning
This text provides insight into the paradoxes that emerge when we examine widely accepted beliefs about the future of digital learning, related to what people learn, how they learn, and where they learn in the digital era. As a review of the literature it adds to the debate about future 21st century skills and educational instantiations of such skills.
Design Experiments in Educational Research
A recent trend the stats reflect is the growing interest in design-based research. Based on the authors collective knowledge and experience in conducting design experiments they put forth recommendations of the essential characteristics of design experiments. They describe the process from contextual application details, to preparation, conducting one as well as follow up and post experiment analysis and iteration. As Design Based Research methodologies become more transparent it potentially could inspire more researchers to use such techniques.
Developing the theory of formative assessment
While the idea of formative assessment has been around forever, it remains a fundamental concept, explaining the high readership of papers on this topic. The purpose of this paper is to develop the theory of formative assessment beyond current conceptions and specifically apply it to pedagogy. They offer a summary of their recent work, then suggest a general model of teacher-learner interactions and how teachers might interpret the responses of learners. Assessment is an essential aspect in education and one area that needs to be dynamic as roles of students, teachers and knowledge acquisition evolve.
Want to hear more about Mendeley in Educational Research? Jess Mezei from Teachers College at Columbia, will be leading a free session on Mendeley for Educational research on July 19th at 2 PM EDT. Sign up here.