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Project Snapshot: "Medical Education in a Digital Age: An Institutional Ethnography" by Mind Map: Project Snapshot: "Medical Education in
a Digital Age: An Institutional
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Project Snapshot: "Medical Education in a Digital Age: An Institutional Ethnography"

Grant Basics (protocol, timeline, REB submission etc)

Title: "Higher Education in a Digital Economy: An Institutional Ethnography"


Anna Macleod Principal Investigator,

Fiona Bergin,

Alexia Brown,

Shelley Doucet,

Tara Fenwick,

Cathy Fournier,

Blye Frank,

Philip Girvan,

Olga Kits,

Karen Mann,

Marie Matte,

Grace Paterson,

Gregory Power,

Joan Sargeant,

Preston Smith,

Jonathan Tummons,

Emma Whelan,

Keith Wilson,

Timeframe: September 1 2012 - August 31 2015

Draft snapshot timeline

Protocol (SSHRC)

Ethics application (reviewed & approved by Dal REB)

Goals & Objectives & Deliverables

Research Questions

1. How is technology-focused curriculum renewal experienced by students, faculty and staff?

2. What are the social relations governing these experiences?

3. How do human and non-human actors (people and technologies) influence those experiences?


1. Explore the complexities of adopting and integrating new technologies in higher education

2. Describe the textually-mediated experiences of the multiple actors involved

3. Document the social and technological relations/processes influencing experiences

4. Mobilize insights to benefit others engaged in, or considering, integrating new technologies

Deliverables (how do we know we are successful?)


Technical reports, Teaching tools?

Conference presentations

local university presentations

MedEdDigital Open Access to Grant Data Policy & Scholarship/Authorship guidelines

ICMJE principles of authorship aka Vancouver guidelines - Updated

The grant supports excellence in research and research practice, including following the authorship principles outlined in the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals (, also known as the Vancouver Guidelines. All grant participants whose manuscript contributions meet the ICMJE criteria for authorship will be included as authors. ICJME recommends the following criteria for authorship:,

Authorship credit should be based on:
 1) substantial contributions to conception and design; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; AND 2) drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content; AND
 3) final approval of the version to be published; AND 4. Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved. Authors should meet conditions 1, 2, 3 and 4.

5. All persons designated as authors should qualify for authorship, and all those who qualify should be listed.

6. All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in an acknowledgments section. 
Excerpted from:

Open Access to Grant Data Policy (Updated June 2013)

Open Medicine policy on guest & ghost authorship

Open Medicine article:

Author pooling

Thoughts about Data collection

Data Collection

Textual Analysis, Texts to Review, 1. Web-sites (Dalhousie, Faculty of Medicine, Undergraduate Education, Medical IT, Dean’s Office);, 2. Policy Documents (Promotion and Assessment guidelines, Case-based learning guidelines, Assessment guidelines/regulations, Curriculum Committee documents);, 3. Educational Outcomes Reports, 4.Accreditation Standards, Process, 1. Environmental scan to identify most current versions of texts;, 2. Develop appraisal form (Smith, 2006) focusing on textually mediated experiences of technology;, 3. Review texts using appraisal form;, 4. Preliminary analysis focusing on key themes, Team, Alexia Brown, Tara Fenwick, Cathy Fournier, Blye Frank, Philip Girvan, Olga Kits, Anna Macleod, Karen Mann, Grace Paterson, Joan Sargeant, Preston Smith, Jonathan Tummons

Observation, What & Where, 1. Case-based Learning Tutorials (NB & NS), 2. Lectures (NB & NS), 3. Laboratories (NB & NS), 4. Formative Assessment Opportunity (NB & NS), 5. Summative Assessment Opportunity (NB & NS), 6. Committee Meetings (NB & NS), 7. Student Social Experience (NB & NS), Timeline, Year 1: Begin observations at key points throughout the year, Year 2: ongoing observations of select activities, Year 3 final observation and preliminary analysis, Process, 1. Researcher education (ANT & IE) focused on observation skills, 2. Data collection in NS & NB, 3. Continue collection until thick, rich, yet manageable, amount of data attained, 4. Conduct preliminary analysis, Team, Fiona Bergin, Shelley Doucet, Cathy Fournier, Olga Kits, Anna Macleod, Karen Mann, Marie Matte, Gregory Power, Preston Smith, Keith Wilson, Alexia Brown, Where, Tutorial settings, Lectures (distributed), Lab (simulation), Assessment Opportunity (formative & summative), Committee Meetings, Social experiences

Interviews, Who to interview, 15 Purposively Selected Faculty, Admin, unit heads, etc, 15 Purposively Selected Staff, Med IT, Fac Dev, UGME, 15 Purposively selected Students, Timeline, Year 1: initial interviews (toward the end of the year) & transcription, Year 2: ongoing interviews & transcription, Year 3: final interviews, transcription and analysis, Process, 1. Development of interview guide based on preliminary analysis, 2. Researcher education focused on interviewing techniques specific to this project, 3. Data collection to continue until a suitable depth of analysis is reached;, 4. Transcription of recordings;, 5. Preliminary Analysis, Team, Alexia Brown, Shelley Doucet, Cathy Fournier, Olga Kits, Anna Macleod, Karen Mann, Joan Sargeant, Emma Whelan, Keith Wilson

Visual, photos



Data Analysis


Coding, descriptive, analytic, theoretical, codebook

Data management

Naming of Text files (textual analysis), For Faculty of Medicine Dalhousie specific documents we name them like this: FOMDAL_Title_year.pdf So for Distributed Medical Education Strategic Plan it would look like this: FOMDAL_Distributed_Medical_education_Strategic_Plan_2012-2015_2012.pdf For Dalhousie level documents, replace FOMDAL with DAL And with non FOMDAL nor DAL replace with EXTERNAL, No spaces in between anywhere, the data accessed and url must be imprinted on the document itself and removed from title, Each document should have year in it, Title should not have date or url of when it was accessed; rather each document should have that on the front page.

Project Presentations & Posters

Anna Macleod, Olga Kits, Jonathan Tummons, Joan Sargeant, Karen Mann. "Distributed Medical Education at Dalhousie University: Sociomaterial Considerations". Canadian Conference on Medical Education (CCME), Ottawa, April 2014. [accepted - oral presentation]

Anna MacLeod, Cathy Fournier, Olga Kits Passive learning

Cathy Fournier, Anna MacLeod, Olga Kits Technologies and Boundaries

Anna Macleod & Olga Kits. "Button-mediated medical education: Distributed learning in a digital age". ProPel Conference, University of Sterling, Scotland, 2014. [accepted poster]

Anna Macleod, Olga Kits, Cathy Fournier | AMEE Poster 2013

Olga Kits, Anna Macleod, Cathy Fournier | Research Protocol poster | QHR & Local medical education conference, 2013

Olga Kits, Camille Angus, Anna Macleod, Jonathan Tummons | "Open Access to SSHRC Grant Data" Presentation, 2013 QHR. Oral presentation.

Jonathan Tummons, Anna Macleod, Olga Kits | Oxford U. Conference & Draft Paper. "ICTs and the internet as field and framework: a reflexive commentary on a live Canadian/UK institutional ethnography." Oral Presentation.

Follow this link to go to our map of meetings, recordings & resources

New Potential Paper Collaborations

Pedagogical Partners

PDF Proposal

Papers Published to Date

MacLeod, Anna, Olga Kits, Emma Whelan, Cathy Fournier, Keith Wilson, Gregory Power, Karen Mann, Jonathan Tummons, and Peggy Alexiadis Brown. "Sociomateriality: A Theoretical Framework for Studying Distributed Medical Education." ACADEMIC MEDICINE (2015).

Tummons, Jonathan, Anna Macleod, and Olga Kits. "Ethnographies Across Virtual and Physical Spaces: A Reflexive Commentary on a Live Canadian/UK Ethnography of Distributed Medical Education." Ethnography and Education 10, no. 1 (2014): doi:10.1080/17457823.2014.956229.