Profesional Development Workshop

Day 2: Wednesday, 14 September


Inclusive datawalking for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL)

Session convener: Lucy Beattie, University of West Scotland

This session will explain how datawalking is used to collect qualitative data. That is, the collection of observed data, interview data, or reflexive data whilst walking. Datawalking has been shown to support researcher cognition, metacognition, and self-confidence. It is a way to equalise power relationships between researchers and research participants. On a practical level datawalking is shown to be an effective method to gather place-based data in the fields of anthropology, ethnography, geography, environmental science and architecture. It must be considered that datawalking as a physical activity could exclude researchers with disabilities or chronic illnesses and this is identified as an area for research that could engage with movement in many forms. There are ways to make datawalking more inclusive from the language used to promote this activity, to offering examples of alternatives that could provide a similar experience of embodied engagement with qualitative research. Our session considers how datawalking can be made inclusive. For example, researchers may be excluded from walking activity due to disability, ill-health or caring commitments. As such we will look at how virtual reality may support alternative approaches to datawalking. Even though datawalking is not a physical activity promoted or used as exercise per-se, we can learn from sports and exercise research around the promotion of and engagement with physical activity. Alternative activities to accommodate embodied engagement are an interesting area to consider for further research, especially regarding inclusive research environments. The session will explore how any kind of somatic activity may bring the researcher into a felt (sensory and emotional) space and how this may be achieved through virtual reality walking simulation software.