Introduction to the Special Issue on Ethnographic Experiences in Learning Design

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... The year of 2022 has been by far the most prolific for educational technology researchers publishing autoethnographies. Many of these autoethnography publications were part of a TechTrends special issue on "Ethnographic Experiences in Learning Design" edited by Stefaniak and McDonald (2022). The autoethnographies in the special issue ) discussed a variety of topics such as the collaboration of faculty in a teaching-intensive university with an educational developer (Bowers et al., 2022), the instructional design and delivery practices within a cross-cultural distance learning environment (Ren, 2022), reflections on the experiences of faculty teaching advanced instructional design courses , and the influence of intersectional feminism on an Afro-Latinx instructional design faculty member and its impact on her teaching and research (Romero-Hall, 2022). ...
The aim of this paper was to explore the use of autoethnography methodology, a non-traditional and reflective approach, in educational technology research. Autoethnography involves a critical analysis of personal experiences and stories being positioned within the larger cultural, political, and social context. Following an overview of the origin and development of autoethnography as empirical research, the authors discuss autoethnography in the context of educational technology research by considering its epistemological and methodological issues. In this paper, the authors also consider autoethnography and its relationship to other qualitative research approaches. Essential components and summarized evaluation criteria for novice autoethnographers are shared. Lastly, the paper reflects on the potential benefits as well as the challenges that those writing an autoethnography will inevitably face. There is a need for autoethnography research in our field to reveal voices hidden in mainstream educational technology research.
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