Self Study Guide

This is an online self-learn course on researching at the methodological boundaries of digital arts and social science. It aims to:

  • Support researchers’ understanding of methodological innovation in contemporary digital contexts;
  • Provide insight into methodological approaches for researching complex digital environments, such as the ‘digital body’ or body-digital relationships, that are central to both work in social science and the arts;
  • Engage researchers in critical reflection about the emerging opportunities and challenges for innovative methodological development.

The guide draws on research methods, challenges, thematic outcomes and events from across the MIDAS project, with pointers for further reading in specific areas. It aims to provide researchers with a starting point for thinking about what methodological boundaries exist, how to explore these boundaries, and the implications for methodology and/or methodological innovation.

Self-study guide learning objectives

The overall learning objectives of the self-study guide are to support you to:

  • Engage critically with the notion of methodological innovation in digital research;
  • Develop an understanding of methodological approaches for researching methodological innovation across boundary disciplines;
  • Engage with the context of research occurring at the methodological boundaries, in this case the ‘digital body’;
  • Recognize the similarities and differences in theoretical and methodological positions across digital arts and social science;
  • Reflect on the synergies and tensions that arise, and the methodological implications;
  • Examine and reflect on emerging themes around the ‘digital body’ and their implications for digital research.

The study guide is designed to help you to:

  • Familiarise yourself and critically engage with the key ideas from MIDAS research;
  • Make connections between the topics and ideas in MIDAS and across the field of methodological innovation;
  • Apply the ideas to your own research

The self-study guide is arranged in five parts.

Part 1: Introduction to methodological innovation – provides you with information about the project motivation, aims and objectives; key debates around methodological innovation; the digital context of the research; and key related terms, to help you think about this area of work, and why it is of interest.

Part 2: Methods for exploring methodological innovation – introduces the methodological approach used in MIDAS. It aims to provide you with a starting point for exploring and understanding ethnographic and multimodal approaches to research, and engages with some practical research challenges.

Part 3: Setting the context: Body, digital, methods – provides the foundation for parts 4 and 5 of this study guide. It provides you with abridged versions of the case studies undertaken in MIDAS that identify the key constructs of the ‘body’, ‘digital’ and ‘methods’ in six different research sites (three from digital arts and three from digital research in the social sciences).

Part 4: Methodological crossings – looks at various activities undertaken by MIDAS to explore and understand themes that emerged from the MIDAS project both methodologically and in relation to the digital body. The aim in doing this was to explore the synergies and differences across the Digital Arts and Social Science that help us to think about methodological innovation

Part 5: The Digital body – engages you with three emergent cross cutting themes from MIDAS that relate to the synergies and tensions around the digital body when crossing the disciplinary boundaries of the Digital Arts and Social Sciences. This part of the study guide introduces each of these themes, and encourages reflection about the implications of this for guiding research around digital embodiment.