My PhD candidature report card 2014

1416804548-kris-greaves211114It was a good year for my PhD candidature. I have learned a lot, and met dozens of interesting people online and through national and international conferences.

Here is my report card for 2014, with reference to my thesis, journal articles, conference presentations, awards, social media (status are cumulative) and other activities…

PhD Thesis

I am approaching the end-stage with my PhD Thesis, ‘Australian PLT Practitioners’ Engagements with Scholarship of Teaching and Learning’. The document is at near-final draft with 100,000 words written across twelve chapters and includes 40 figures. Proofing and editing continues, and subject to the comments of my supervisory panel, I anticipate I will notify my intention to submit the thesis for examination sometime before 30 March 2015.

Journal Articles

Greaves, K 2014, ‘Is Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Practical Legal Training a Professional Responsibility?’, The Law Teacher, forthcoming.

Greaves, K 2014, ‘Re-Imagining Practical Legal Training Practitioners – Soldiers for ‘Vocationalism’, or Double Agents?’, Journal of the Australasian Law Teachers Association, vol. 7, no. 1/2, p. forthcoming.

Conference Presentations

Greaves, K 2014, ‘Conceptualising PLT Practice as a Community of Learning through Practice Research’, paper presented to Australasian Professional Legal Education Council Annual Conference, Auckland, New Zealand, November 2014.

Greaves, K 2014, ‘The Forks of Law: Structure and Agency in Australian Post-Graduate Pre- Admission Practical Legal Training’, paper presented to British Sociological Association Annual Conference – Changing Society, University of Leeds, UK, April 2014.

Greaves, K 2014, ‘‘O Where Are You Going? O Do You Imagine?’ Reproduction and Response – A Reflexive Sociology of Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Practical Legal Training’, paper presented to Association of Law Teachers Annual Conference – Responding to Change, Leeds, UK, April 2014.

Greaves, K 2014, ‘Professional Turns: The Juridical Field, Australian Practical Legal Training Practitioners, and Scholarship of Teaching and Learning’, paper presented to ISSOTL14, Quebec City, Canada, October 2014.

Awards etc

Stan Marsh Bursary – Association of Law Teachers – Leeds, England, April 2014.

ISSOTL Award for Best Student Conference Verbal Presentation – International Society for Scholarship of Teaching and Learning – Quebec, Canada, October 2014.

Print Media

Whiteley, Claire, ‘Innovative Train of Thought’, Geelong Advertiser (Geelong, Australia), 21 November 2014.

Social Media (to date)

Academia.edu – Anon 2014, Kristoffer Greaves | Deakin University – Academia.edu, Academia.edu, retrieved 31 December 2014, KristofferGreaves> – 39 items, 463 views.

figshare – Anon 2014, figshare.com/authors/Kristoffer_Greaves/606543, figshare Digital Science, retrieved 31 December 2014, <http://figshare.com/authors/Kristoffer_Greaves/606543> – 42 items, 445 views.

PleagleTrainer Blog – Greaves, K 2014, PleagleTrainer Blog, Kristoffer Greaves, retrieved 31 December 2014, – 19,962 unique page views.

ResearchGate – Anon 2014, researchgate.net/profile/Kristoffer_Greaves/contributions, ResearchGate GmbH, retrieved 31 December 2014, – 23 items, 653 views.

SlideShare – Greaves, K 2014, My Presentations, Kristoffer Greaves, retrieved 31 December 2014, – 17 items, 17,823 views.

Social Science Research Network – Anon 2014, Greaves, Kristoffer Scholarly Papers, retrieved 31 December 2014, <http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/cf_dev/AbsByAuth.cfm?per_id=1850376> – 7 items, 3,501 views.

Twitter (PleagleTrainer) – Greaves, K 2014, PleagleTrainer, retrieved 31 December 2014, <https://twitter.com/PleagleTrainer> – 987 followers, 100,987 impressions since 4 December 2013.

YouTube – Greaves, K 2014, kglawyer Channel, retrieved 31 December 2014, < https://www.youtube.com/user/kglawyer> – 38 items, 4,723 views.

Other Activities

Presenter – ‘Working with NVivo’ – Methodology on Fridays – Deakin University, Waurn Ponds – 7 March 2014.

Presenter – ‘Advanced Techniques with NVivo’ – Deakin University Warrnambool Collective – Warrnambool, 21 June 2014.

Presenter – HDR Workshop on NVivo – Deakin University Burwood Campus – 19 August 2014.

Presenter – HDR Workshop on NVivo – Deakin University City Prime – 20 August 2014.

Independent Consultant: Invited to independently consult to the Australasian Professional Legal Education Council (APLEC) to rejuvenate their website and institute a digital research repository for scholarship of teaching and learning – November 2014 (details to be confirmed).

Consulting Editor: Joined editorial committee of the Legal Education Review as consulting editor – December 2014.

Peer reviewer: the Alternative Law Journal (AltJ), Journal of the Australasian Law Teachers Association (JALTA), Legal Education Review, and the Tasmanian Law Review – 2013 to 2014.

Participant: the Warrnambool Collective, Deakin University, Warrnambool – 2013 to 2015.

Curator: Social Media in Legal Education Blog – since July 2014.

Curator: LinkedIn Group – Practical Legal Training Educators Australasia – since 2012.

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Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in PLT gets a Bit ‘o Press…

1416804548-kris-greaves211114The excellent people at Deakin University were pleased when I received an award from the International Society for Scholarship of Teaching and Learning at their recent annual conference held in Quebec City, Canada (ISSOTL14). The award was for best oral presentation by a post-graduate student, and I appreciate receiving it, given I was presenting my research to a new audience of interdisciplinary scholars. It is always an unknown quantity when one travels to another country and presents in front of an international audience who are unlikely to be familiar with your work or the peculiarities of your discipline. I am heartened by the warmth and friendliness of people at overseas conferences, particularly the Association of Law Teachers annual conference in Leeds, England, earlier this year, and ISSOTL14. Thanks to Dr Michael McShane, who alerted me to ISSOTL14 and prompted me to submit an abstract for the conference.

Geelong Advertiser 211114Thanks also to my supervisor, Dr Julianne Lynch, who is supportive in that rare constructively confronting way essential to great academic supervision – Juli prompted the Deakin Research group to spread news of the award – their research writer Claire Whiteley interviewed me and wrote a nice item, published in the Geelong Advertiser (the local news) and reproduced on Deakin’s Research Showcase website. Scholarship of teaching and learning in practical legal training is a bit of a niche topic – so it is good to see it get a public outing.

 

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#APLEC2014 – “Conceptualising PLT Practice as a Community of Learning through Practice Research”

I am attending the annual conference for the Australasian Professional Legal Education Council hosted by the Institute of Professional Legal Studies in Auckland this year (13-15 November 2014). I will post some impressions from the sessions I’ve attended after I return to Australia today, but overall the standard of the presentations is very high and there seems to be  momentum building for research in PLT practice. Thanks to APLEC for their support for my attendance at the conference.

I presented yesterday on “Conceptualising PLT Practice as a Community of Learning through Practice Research” – I am arguing  PLT practice research encompasses professional practice research, scholarship of teaching and learning in professional legal education and the social, cultural, regulation, and policy around PLT.

Here’s a copy of my Prezi (more on this later):

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#issotl14 Quebec City – “Professional Turns: the Juridical Field, PLT practitioners, and SoTL

I’ve been kept busy with travel from Melbourne to Quebec City and attending the International Society for Scholarship of Teaching and Learning annual conference. Quebec City is lovely and people here are very friendly – if you haven’t visited I encourage you to do so.

Here’s a copy of my presentation for the conference. I am on tomorrow morning (Saturday 25 October) at 9.00 a.m., so wish me luck! I will post a bit more information about the presentation in the next few days.

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Concept Mapping Lave & Wenger’s ‘Legitimate Peripheral Participation’

I recently revisited Jean Lave and Etienne Wenger’s canonical work, Situated Learning: Legitimate Peripheral Participation (1991, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). I am glad I did, because I had forgotten how Lave and Wenger’s theory of “legitimate peripheral participation” might intersect with the sociological dimensions of my research regarding PLT practitioners’ engagement with scholarship of teaching and learning.

For now, I might let the “exhibit speak for itself”. Click on the image for an enlarged view of the concept map. Click here, for a dynamic Prezi version.

Lave and Wenger Legitimate Peripheral Participation

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Research in Australian PLT – Has Much Changed?

Here’s John Nelson,* writing in 1988:
nelson 1988Has much changed since those comments?

It is not always easy to know what current research is undertaken in PLT, because little is published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, and few practitioners in the field share their work by other means, e.g. social media. There was briefly a dedicated journal for Australian PLT and clinical education, The Journal of Professional Legal Education, which ceased publication in 1998.

There are few articles focused on PLT, particularly scholarship of teaching and learning in PLT, in Australian legal education journals such as the Legal Education Review, and the Journal of the Australasian Law Teachers Association. Of those that are published, few are cited elsewhere, save where the research is the result of collaborations with non-law disciplines, e.g. behavioural sciences.

I’ve nearly completed a bibliometric analysis of 10 journal articles published in scholarly journals since 2006, regarding PLT and relating to scholarship of teaching and learning concepts. My preliminary observations:

The ten articles do not have citation counts on Web of Science, or Scopus, so I was unable to able to do automated citation analysis there. Two articles have citation counts on Google Scholar.

The group of ten articles cited 186 sources:
Articles – 133
Books – 29
Conf Papers – 13
Research Papers – 6
Reports – 5

Google Scholar listed 166 of the sources, with citation counts ranging from nil to 8982 (median = 15) (June 2014). Sources with high citation counts were usually in behavioural sciences.

SCimago SJR ranked journals for 43 citations (June 2014). Of these four were published in The Law Teacher, the only SJR ranked journal cited in the articles that specifically focused on legal education. Five were cross-disciplinary law journals (e.g. involving sciences, psychiatry, behavioural sciences, and politics), and six were law journals. The remaining journals focused on education (15, including cross-disciplinary journals involving technology), psychology (7), and other disciplines including psychiatry, medicine, and management.

JCR ranked journals for 32 citations (June 2014). Of these three were published in the Journal of Legal Education, the only JCR ranked journal cited specifically focused on legal education. Five were cross-disciplinary law journals, and four were law journals. The most numerous disciplines were education (7), and psychology (7). The remainder were comprised of other disciplines including psychiatry, medicine, and management.

Personally, I do not accord any particular magic to citation counts.  I am interested in how we can use bibliometric analysis to empower individual PLT practitioners to operate strategically inside and outside conventional metrics, to make cases, to garner institutional support and allocation of resources to SoTL work. I am also interested in the “Kardashian index” phenomenon, where a social media profile can acquire certain cultural and symbolic capitals, which might help practitioners to garner support and resources for research.

As I have said elsewhere, I think SoTL in PLT is important for many reasons. We need to work on building institutional support and resources for SoTL work. We can also empower PLT practitioners to undertake such work.

* John W Nelson, New directions for practical legal training in the nineties : an evaluation of the curriculum of the College of Law’s P.L.T. Course and its relevance to students’ work experiences in practice / a research project conducted on behalf of the College of Law by John W. Nelson, assisted by Pamela E. Stewart (1988).

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I’m going to #issotl14 |Quebec City | October 22-25

issotl 2014 acceptanceI am excited to learn that my abstract is accepted for the International Society of Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Annual Conference in Quebec City, Canada, later this year.

For me, this is an excellent opportunity to constructively confront my research with leading international scholars in the scholarship of teaching and learning (“SoTL”) field. I personally believe that we can raise the status of SoTL in legal education, and particularly practical legal training, by undertaking interdisciplinary work, so that we can learn from, and test our ideas with, scholars in other fields.

I’m very fortunate to have already presented at the British Sociological Association annual conference and the Association of Law Teachers annual conference (both in Leeds, England) earlier this year. That means I’ve already used up my institutional higher degree by research international conference allowance. If you have any tips about alternative sources, such as bursaries or scholarships, please let me know!

 

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Using Scrivener with NVivo

Scrivener is a very lovely app for drafting lengthy or complex documents. I’ll be honest – I love it. Regular followers of this blog will know that I also work with NVivo, computer-aided qualitative data analysis software.

I’ve made a short presentation about using Scrivener and NVivo together:

Let me know what you think.

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Retreat! Writing and Reflection by the Surf Coast

Warrnambool This week I am spending four days in retreat at Deakin University’s Warrnambool City Centre with 20 other PhD candidates and academics, led by Professor Trevor Gale. The group, known as “The Warrnambool Collective”, meets at least annually to focus on writing and research around “practice”. Most, not all, who attend are affiliated with Arts and Education. Each day begins at 9.00 a.m. with a “shut up and write” session that runs until we break for lunch at 1.00 p.m. After lunch there are streamed and plenary sessions, presentations, and discussions until 5.00 p.m. I am very fortunate to be included in this event (prompted by my thesis supervisor, Dr Julianne Lynch), and this year is my second visit to the retreat.

As a full-time PhD candidate, I’ve spent much of the last two years researching and writing alone. Indeed, over the last 15 years I’ve engaged in study of some sort, and I’ve become accustomed to the solitary nature of the work, with brief intense interactions at conferences or seminars. One of the things striking for me about the retreat is how the solidarity of quiet collective writing, the awareness of minds and bodies around you engaged in constructing and reflecting on texts, comforts, succours and encourages me. I am reminded that I am not alone, that I’m part of a larger quest. By itself, this activity is a powerful product of the retreat.

The afternoon sessions include presentations by PhD candidates about their work (at different stages of candidature), provide multi-perspectival insights about how individuals grapple with, and resolve, theoretical and methodological issues. The senior academics are supportive and constructively critical, with a focus on problem-solving and knowledge-sharing. Chaired discussions on topics as simple as “how do you keep up with the literature?”, “how do we conceptualise “practice””, lift the lid on privately-held innovative practices and ideas that are sometimes startling in their simplicity, but substantially effective. The chance mention of a theorist, an article, a concept can catalyse fresh insights, fresh directions.

It is, as Trevor remarked on Day 1, an enormous privilege to have time, funding and personnel allocated to the retreat. And it pays off, with a review of the previous year’s event noting manifold conference papers, journal articles or book chapters commenced, advanced or completed during the retreat. As far as I am aware few, if any, retreats like this exists for those engaged in practical legal training or professional legal education in Australia.* I think this is a great pity. We need reflective and creative spaces within the field, not just “professional development” activities.

Sincere thanks to Deakin University and all involved for making this event possible.


* If you’re involved with such an event, invite me!

 

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