Sense-Making Methodology Interviewing Tutorial:
Approaches for Research, Practice, Pedagogy, and Design

Saturday, October 23, 2010, Full Day 9:00am - 5:00pm, Lunch Included (seminar fee)

The purpose of this one-day tutorial is to provide an intensive one-day introduction to interviewing approaches informed by Dervin's Sense-Making Methodology (SMM) and how these have been used in research, as well as in applications to pedagogy, practice, and system design. The methodology -- in development since 1972, has been used to study users and potential users (by whatever names they may be called: users, patrons, patients, clients, customers, employees, citizens, audience members, participants, and so on) in myriad contexts, including both at different levels of analysis (e.g. intra-personal, interpersonal, small group, and societal communication) and for a large list of different substantive foci. Among the latter are included studies of how people make sense of: e.g., everyday information seeking and use in virtually every context; everyday understanding of social theory, policy and political communication; media reception and use studies in both virtual and non-virtual "worlds"; communication campaign design studies; health communication; sense-making of the arts; and how people make sense of spirituality, and life's uncertainties. SMM has been designed as a generalizable approach for studying and designing communication communicatively in any setting. 

This tutorial will provide an intensive introduction to the Methodology emphasizing, in particular, it's use in interviewing and how these interviewing approaches are used in research, pedagogy, the design of dialogue, and the communicative construction of systems. The core questions to be addressed include: What is methodological about Sense-Making? What are its core premises? How do these inform the theory of interviewing that SMM provides? What are the different interviewing methods? When and how does one use the different types? How is SMM interviewing used in different contexts: self-administered, survey, phone, in-person, instant messaging, group? How does the researcher systematically incorporate qualitative depth and breadth with quantitative anchors? How does the researcher use the narratives obtained systematically for descriptive, explanatory, and/or predictive analytics? In addition, the tutorial will focus on how the Sense-Making approach moves from research question design to data collection to analysis; and how many are applying SMM to pedagogical practice, system design, and both online and offline communicating procedures. The tuto;lrial will also place the SMM approach to the study of sense-making (sometimes labeled sensemaking) within the context of the other dominant approaches now in the literature. 

Brenda Dervin
is Full Professor of Communication and Joan N. Huber Fellow in Social and Behavioral Sciences, Ohio State University. She holds BS, MS, and PhDs in communication from Michigan State University; and an honorary doctoral in social sciences from the University of Helsinki. Dervin has held faculty positions at what was formerly the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University; and in communication at the University of Washington. She has lectured at universities in some 25 states and 30 countries; and has served as a frequent consultant focusing on research and communication design. Her work currently leads to some 38,000 Google hits; 1800 Google Scholar hits; and 2400 hits in the ISI data base.

Contact Info
Dr. Brenda Dervin
614-286-2514 cell phone

Members $225, non-members $285, before Sept. 10, 2010
Members $285, non-members $300, after Sept. 10, 2010