Research contributions

+ Last updated in December, 2023 +

Travis’ scholarship has made a contribution to closing gaps regarding these topics:

1 Disparities between qualitative data analysis software (QDAS) functionalities that shape live Twitter data analysis (2021-23);

2 Defining how cyber harassment from Higher Education employees can constitute online academic bullying (2021+);

3. Social semiotic multimodal arguments in data visualisation (2017-22);

4. Critical reflections in educational action research (2018+);

5. South African student online content creators (2009-2018).

Travis' research has also flagged problems with the (6) World Health Organisation's infodemic research agenda (2021-22).

1. Comparing QDAS functionalities for live Twitter data imports and their implications for analysis (2021-23)

Qualitative data analysis software (QDAS) packages are a recent innovation. Little has been written concerning the research implications of differences in such QDAS packages’ functionalities, and how such disparities might contribute to contrasting analytical opportunities.  In response to both methodological gaps, Travis and his co-authors presented a software comparison across the four QDAS tools that support live Twitter data imports, namely, ATLAS.ti™, NVivo™, MAXQDA™ and QDA Miner™. Travis, Dr Pat Harpur and Dr Corrie Uy's QDAS features checklist for these tools spotlighted many differences in their functionalities. These disparities were tested through data imports and thematic coding that was derived from the same queries and codebook. The authors’ resultant QDAS experiences were compared during the first activity of a broad qualitative analysis process, ‘organising data’.

2. Flagging cyber-harassment from academic cyberbullies and related research gaps (2021+)

The negative phenomenon of online academic bullying has been clearly defined (2021). OAB’s lengthy nature, distinctive forms and potential to have potentially grievous consequences for recipients was flagged for the first time in the literature. OAB’s potential role in serving as a novel form of scientific suppression and threat to academic free speech was also spotlighted.

Important gaps have been identified with Dr Pat Harpur and Professor Tim Noakes concerning what is not being said in the academic cyberbullying literature. In particular, issues of politics and power seemed to have constrained research concerning dissenters and whistleblowers in the academic workplace. There is a missing practical contribution concerning how whistleblowers and dissidents might be better protected from hegemonic forces and intellectual cyber harassment in Higher Education. For example, through university policies against cyber aggression by academic peers.

3. Data visualisation design as multimodal academic argument (2017-22)

Students can struggle to access disciplines and Higher Education in general due to opaque discursive conventions. Travis and Professor Arlene Archer’s multimodal research has helped build our understanding of journalism students’ negotiations of such challenges in their development of academic arguments via data visualization poster designs (2020). Both authors’ multimodal framework for analysing and producing argument in data visualisation has proved helpful for changing a blended-learning course into one that better supported students’ development as critical designers and engaged citizens (2022).

4. Critical reflections for educational action research (2018+)

Travis is working on a methodological reflection on his PhD was unusual in foregrounding the necessity of EAR researchers being more critical in their planning process and considering different forms of failure upfront. Researchers are also alerted to a novel danger; multi-site EAR research with OCC that increases the participatory divide.

5. Original case studies for South African students as situated OCC (2009-18)

To link young visual arts students’ e-portfolio curations to inequalities in their schooling and home contexts in Cape Town, Travis proposed the ‘Capital meets Capabilities’ framework. It supported the development of twelve case studies for a wide range of students. His research publications have foregrounded four students from marginalised contexts which have largely been neglected in research into OCC’s productions.

6. ‘Post-truth’ moments beyond the infodemic research agenda (2021-22)

Dr David Bell, Professor Tim Noakes and Travis wrote an opinion piece that raised several constructive criticisms of the World Health Organisation (WHO) infodemic research agenda. In particular, a major criticism is that the agenda lacks earnest discussion on how health authorities’ own guidelines contribute  to mis-/mal-/disinformation. The article flags that if health authorities’ choices are not up for review and debate in the infodemic research agenda, there is a danger that a hidden goal of the WHO infodemic (or related disinfodemic funders’ research) could be to direct attention away from the multiple failures of authorities in fighting pandemics with inappropriate measures. Further, rushed guidance based on weak evidence from international health organisations can perpetuate negative health and other societal outcomes, not ameliorate them.

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