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Building capacity for collaborative research : exploring a collaborative concept mapping exercise within the context of a research team

posted on 2017-12-06, 00:00 authored by Linda De George-WalkerLinda De George-Walker, MA Tyler
Creating collaborative research communities in a higher education context is considered to be a desirable goal. The means through which this goal could be obtained are possibly slippery and incorporeal, almost elusive, yet the goal stands as evocative and tantalising when consideration is made of the achievements gained through the fostering of ‘we’ partnerships in research as opposed to the ‘me’ approach. Previously, the authors have researched collaboration within a research team located in a Faculty of Education in an Australian regional university using the tool of collaborative concept mapping (CCM), a hierarchical representation of, in this case, propositions around teamwork and collaboration. Over the course of two focused face-to-face engagements, the team produced a concept map that illustrated the meaning behind how the team wanted to “team”. In this research we invited the team members to review the concept map two years later, and to reflect on the process and the concepts and propositions that were put forward about teamwork and collaboration. This chapter reports on the findings from this review process. These findings included the participants’ claims that CCM enabled the building of team notions about team identity and practices, and that it was a useful dialogical tool for creating, sharing and recording meaning. Some challenges that surfaced in the review included the issue of how to maintain heteroglossia, and the propensity to leave shared knowledge propositions only partially developed. One overall implication of this evaluation was that the CCM process was considered useful for building team capacities for collaborative research.



Danaher PA; De George-Walker L; Henderson R; Matthews KJ; Midgley W; Noble K; Arden CH

Parent Title

Constructing capacities : building capabilities through learning and engagement.

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Cambridge Scholars Publishing

Place of Publication

Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

Open Access

  • No

External Author Affiliations

Faculty of Sciences, Engineering and Health; Griffith University; Learning and Teaching Education Research Centre (LTERC);

Era Eligible

  • Yes

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