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Seeing Ethnographically: Teaching ethnography as part of CSCW


While ethnography is an established part of CSCW research, teaching and learning ethnography presents unique and distinct challenges. This paper discusses a study of fieldwork and analysis amongst a group of students learning ethnography as part of a CSCW & design course. Studying the students’ practices we explore fieldwork as a learning experience, both learning about fieldsites as well as learning the practices of ethnography. During their fieldwork and analysis the students used a wiki to collaborate, sharing their field and analytic notes. From this we draw lessons for how ethnography can be taught as a collaborative analytic process and discuss extensions to the wiki to better support its use for collaborating around fieldnotes. In closing we reflect upon the role of learning ethnography as a practical hands on – rather than theoretical – pursuit.


Brown, Barry; Lundin, Johan; Rost, Mattias; Lymer, Gustav; Holmquist, Lars Erik (2007): Seeing Ethnographically: Teaching ethnography as part of CSCW. ECSCW 2007: Proceedings of the 10th European Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work. DOI: 10.1007/978-1-84800-031-5_22. Springer, London. ISBN: 978-1-84800-031-5. pp. 431-447. Full Papers. Limerick, Ireland. 24-28 September 2007