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A VISIT TO KMDI BY BRENDA DERVIN Theme: Making sense of sense‐making as a theoretical framework in practice. A CONVERSATIONAL WORKSHOP April 22, 2010 2:00 – 4:00, BL 205 Bissell Building, 140 St. George St. Sense‐making in Collaborative Practice: Can Media Design Support Sense‐making in Professional Practice Collaboration and Decision Making? This conversational workshop is designed as a "dialogue" between a panel of 5 question‐askers and Dr. Brenda Dervin. The framing for the conversation has been developed by the panelists. Through a series of questions and answers, Dr Dervin will attempt to build a bridge between her approach to Sense‐Making Methodology and the different approaches to sense‐making/sensemaking that ground the panelists' questions. We envision a two‐hour workshop‐conversation inviting researchers and practitioners working in problems information seeking, inter‐professional practice development, and other joint decision making challenges. Suggested Readings Dervin, B. (2003) Sense‐Making's Journey from Metatheory to Methodology to Method: An Example Using Information Seeking and Use as Research Focus. In Dervin, B. & Fioeman‐Wernet, L. (eds.) Sense‐Making Methodology Reader: Selected Writings of Brenda Dervin. Creskill, NJ: Hampton Press, pp.133‐164. Dervin, B. (2008). Interviewing as Dialectical Practice: Sense‐Making Methodology as Exemplar. Paper presented at International Association of Media and Communication, Stockholm, Sweden, July 20‐25. Dervin, B. and Naumer, C. (2010). Sense‐Making,. Encyclopedia of Library and Information Sciences, Third Edition. 1:1, 4696‐ 4707 Dervin, B, and Reinhard, C.D. (2010). Communication and Communication Studies. Encyclopedia of Library and Information Sciences, Third Edition. 1:1, 1169‐1181. Dervin, B. and Naumer, C, (2009). Sense‐Making. In Littlejohn, S.W. & Foss, K>A., Enyclopedia of Communication Theory, Volume 2. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc. pp. 876‐880. PLEASE RSVP for this free event: http://workshopdervinapril22.eventbrite.com More info: http://kmdi.utoronto.ca, firstname.lastname@example.org, or 416 978‐3778 Dr. Dervin is also giving a lecture from 11am – 12:30pm, more info: http://kmdi.utoronto.ca/dervinlecture.pdf This event is being sponsored by KMDI, The Faculty of Information, and U of T Libraries. Please find more info about the Workshop and Panel below. The Panelists' Background Statement Why has sense‐making/sensemaking recently emerged as a lens through which we describe human experience with information, decision making, and complexity? Haven’t people always tried to “make sense?” If so, what have we learned from our attempts to describe the phenomenon of sensemaking in research and practice? Multiple disciplines have recognized a need to describe the human experience of coping, struggling with, working around, and making decisions in situations where complexity reigns. The lessons learned from such experiences are not simple or easy to describe. But, the degree to which they achieve satisfactory resolutions in real experiences is often described as making sense of the situation. This phenomenon of sensemaking occurs in the lived experience of people. Yet research into this experience and into procedures and technologies that support it often seeks to abstract and generalize that process. The intent of the workshop is to briefly explore how the framing of professional work (like that of healthcare professionals) as sensemaking might enable better design of innovative media to inform a multi‐perspectival orientation to that work and practice. We invite participants in this workshop to share studies, observations, and experience related to these ideas as well as to engage in a formative dialogue with Dr. Dervin on the applications of Dervin Sense‐Making to problems of collaborative practice and design of what we might call sense‐making media. We envision a two‐hour workshop‐conversation inviting researchers and practitioners working in problems information seeking, inter‐professional practice development, and other joint decision making challenges. Panel Organizer: Peter Pennefather, Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy 416‐978‐6607, email: email@example.com Suggested Panel Questions 1. How does sensemaking, both as research approach and as theory of human cognition and action, help researchers study, understand and explain problems of complex collective action? 2. Can consideration of the information seeking and communicative tasks expressed as sensemaking better inform how media technology can be adapted to better serve collaborative professional service delivery? 3. A significant stream of research finds sensemaking adopted to explain observations in collaborative work situations, where individuals seek information and resources to help resolve shared concerns and uncertainties with regards to disease treatment or health research issues. What do these attempts have in common? Suggested Panel Questions cont’d 4. In healthcare research two major, divergent perspectives both aimed at improving practice outcomes compete for practitioner adoption: evidence‐based medicine and patient‐centered practice. The former seeks to establish the certainty with which a claim about the outcome of a practice can be trusted, yet the evaluation of whether that claim is applicable within the context of a particular intervention with a particular person can be best described as sensemaking process. The patient‐centered school embraces dialogic and hermeneutic modes of evidence about human responses to service individual concerns, yet sensemaking studies are rarely employed in that domain of inquiry. In information technology, these perspectives appear as systems vs. user‐ centered design, and overall these are framed as positivist and interpretive. Can the concept of sensemaking serve as a bridge between these two horizons of knowledge? 5. We find more sensemaking research in information seeking and online media practices, where the methods are perhaps best understood. But the problems of collaborative healthcare practice are only partially described by their relationship to information and media. How can current models of sensemaking support a robust model of making sense in collaborative problem/concern resolution or identification. 6. While some new media services self‐describe as sensemaking resources, their relationship to actual theories of sensemaking are tenuous at best. How can knowledge media designers and researchers into practices and technologies in that field use sensemaking as a theoretical framework for guiding their work? 7. One of the most significant directions in sensemaking research has been the full adoption and integration of the naturalistic view of expert decision making into cognitive theories of skilled practice. Sensemaking has changed decision theory, but has sensemaking theory been changed in turn by integrating new formulations that enhance understandings in decision sciences? as a manifestation of pattern recognition that can only be viewed as “making sense of a situation.” 8. Sensemaking has also recently influenced design thinking and theories of design oriented problem solving. Recent publications have associated sensemaking with abductive reasoning in design thinking, and have characterized the process of unpacking complex situations for the purposes of making effective design decisions as explicitly a sensemaking method. Designers speak of “visual sensemaking” as a new method for clarifying issues identified in so‐called wicked problems. These design practices are contributing new media forms that may be repurposed to help facilitate the social engagement necessary to make sense of those problems. A Volunteer Contribution by Participants Dr. Dervin will bring with her one of the dialogic tools she has drawn from her Sense‐Making Methodology ‐‐ what she calls the SMM Self‐Journaling Sheet. Because time‐limits always leave things unexpressed, the purpose of Dervin's SMM Journaling Sheets is for participants to write down their agreements, disagreements, confusions/muddles, conclusions/insights as the workshop/conversation progresses. The design of the sheet is informed by SMM's metatheoretical premises. Participants may volunteer to use the sheets (anonymously if they choose to) and results will be scanned and made available to those who volunteered. Thought Questions for Participants • What do you mean by "sense‐making/sensemaking"? • How has the turn to "sense‐making/sensemaking" helped you ‐‐ what has it done for you that you couldn't have done without it? • Whose "sense‐making/sense‐making" has been most helpful to you, and why? • Why not the others? • what do you see as the big differences between the various approaches to "sense‐ making/sensemaking"? • is "sense‐making/sensemaking" real? For additional information contact: Peter Pennefather, Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto 416‐978‐6607, email: firstname.lastname@example.org Peter Jones, S trategic Foresight and Innovation, Ontario College of Art and Design 416‐799‐8799, email: email@example.com PLEASE RSVP for this free event: http://workshopdervinapril22.eventbrite.com More info: http://kmdi.utoronto.ca, firstname.lastname@example.org, or 416 978‐3778 Dr. Dervin is also giving a lecture from 11am – 12:30pm, more info: http://kmdi.utoronto.ca/dervinlecture.pdf This event is being sponsored by KMDI, The Faculty of Information, and U of T Libraries.
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