Activity Theory workshop: 18 May (1pm to 5pm)

Our Visiting Professor, Brian Detlor of McMaster University, Canada, is leading a workshop on Activity Theory (AT) on 18 May (1pm to 5pm) in room E17 of Merchiston Campus.

PhD students across Napier (and beyond!) may well find it useful to learn about AT from an international expert as part of their repertoire of research methods skills/knowledge/expertise assembled over the course of their research degree registration (especially if there is any chance that their examiners might be interested in why they did NOT adopt AT in their doctoral research!).

ECRs and other researchers may well be keen to learn about AT too, particularly for the development of research proposals.

Here’s the program for the workshop:

13:00 to 13:25lunch and rapport-building 
13:25 to 13:30opening/scene-settingDr Bruce Ryan, Associate Professor Peter Cruickshank and/or Professor Diane Rasmussen Pennington
13:30 to 14:00extending AT theory and practiceDr Pritam Chita
An overview/primer on AT and how he has extended AT in his PhD research
14:00 to 15:00use of AT in social informatics researchProfessor Detlor and other attendees each talk briefly about how they have and/or would use AT in their research; brief general discussion about how AT can be further used in their research
15:00 to 15:20refreshments 
15:20 to 16:30building a framework~30 minutes of breakout-group work on individual tasks~30 minutes of reporting back to whole workshop, and discussion by all attendees Workshop exercise (small groups work on individual tasks, then report to the whole workshop), facilitated by Professor Detlor, to build AT-based frameworks that identify the motivations, rules, tools, communities, division of labour, subjects, objects, outcomes, as well as congruent and contradictory forces, onpractitioner-led and academic-lead library/LIS research activity; and research knowledge exchange activity by and between LIS practitioners and academics. 
16:30 to 17:00wrap-up / reflection / next steps

To register for the free workshop, please go to Eventbrite.

Please prepare for the workshop by reading the document from Prof Detlor linked here:

Also, please read the following articles if possible:

Allen, D. (2011). Working with activity theory: Context, technology, and information behavior. Journal of the American Society for Information Science, 62(4), 776-788.

Chita, P., Cruickshank, P., Smith, C., & Richards, K. (2020). Agile Implementation and Expansive Learning: Identifying Contradictions and Their Resolution Using an Activity Theory Perspective. In Agile Processes in Software Engineering and Extreme Programming. , (3-19).

Detlor, B., Hupfer, M. E., & Smith, D. H. (2018). Digital storytelling: An opportunity for libraries to engage and lead their communities. Canadian Journal of Information & Library Science, 42(1-2), 43-68.

Karanasios, S. (2018). Toward a unified view of technology and activity: The contribution of activity theory to information systems research. Information Technology & People, 31(1), 134-155.

Spasser, M. A. (1999). Informing information science: The case for activity theory. Journal of the American Society for Information Science, 50(12), 1136-1138.

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