Diving deep into digital literacy: emerging methods for research

Ibrar Bhatt, Roberto de Roock, Jonathon Adams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Literacy studies approaches have tended to adopt a position which enables ethnographic explorations of a wide range of 'literacies'. An important issue arising is the new challenge required for researchers to capture, manage, and analyse data that highlight the unique character of practices around texts in digital environments. Such inquiries, we argue, require multiple elements of data to be captured and analysed as part of effective literacy ethnographies. These include such things as the unfolding of digital texts, the activities around them, and features of the surrounding social and material environment. This paper addresses these methodological issues drawing from three educationally focused studies, and reporting their experiences and insights within uniquely different contexts. We deal with the issue of adopting new digital methods for literacy research through the notion of a ?deep dive? to explore educational tasks in classrooms. Through a discussion of how we approached the capture and analysis of our data, we present methods to better understand digital literacies in education. We then outline challenges posed by our methods, how they can be used more broadly for researching interaction in digital environments, and how they augment transdisciplinary debates and trends in research methods.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)477-492
Number of pages16
JournalLanguage and Education
Issue number6
Early online date11 May 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Language and Education on 11/05/2015, available online:http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/09500782.2015.1041972


  • digital literacies
  • literacy studies
  • research methods
  • education


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