Wilson, G & Stacey, E 2004, 'Positioning the case to tell the story: developing the narrative or presentational account', paper presented at the Australian Association for Research in Education Annual Conference, University of Melbourne, 28 November – 3 December 2004.
Copyright © Gail Wilson & Elizabeth Stacey, 2004.
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This paper is drawn from a doctoral study (in its final stages) about the use and adoption of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to enhance the face-to-face teaching by six academic staff, who represent different disciplines and different campus locations, in a large, regional university in Australia. A collective case study was adopted as the framework for the study, and field data comprised semi-structured interviews, curriculum guides, teaching and learning resources, websites, and included results of a Teaching Practices Inventory completed by each of the research participants. Case study is a popular choice of qualitative researchers. There are numerous examples in the literature of case study as the vehicle for examining issues concerning teachers' use of new technologies in teaching and learning. This paper situates the research study in the qualitative, interpretative research paradigm, and matches the choice of case as the research strategy to accepted characteristics of good case studies. The focus of the paper then moves to the practical, yet difficult problem faced by the researcher of ways of presenting the case, seeking a balance between the demands of prescribed, social scientific writing for an academic audience, and the need to create texts that are interesting, vital and that “make a difference”(Richardson, 2003). Using a sample case from the study, the paper examines approaches to constructing meaning from the field data to create the narrative or presentational account and, ultimately, the research text.