Methods Masterclass Series

DERC regularly hosts or co-hosts masterclasses focusing on innovative methodologies and techniques for studying the complexities of contemporary phenomena. These masterclasses take a transdisciplinary approach, and therefore are suitable for researchers in any discipline and practitioners outside academia.

This series offers unique training, from creative play to arts-based participation, from video as a collaborative tool to ethnography of hardware, from creative data collection tips to ethical data protection. Learn from a diverse set of experts. Anyone is welcome to register. Seats are limited

In 2023, DERC is co-sponsoring this series with RMIT’s Enabling Impact Platforms: The Social Change EIP and the Design and Creative Practice EIP.

February 20-24, 2023:
Digital Ethnography Fieldwork and Analysis: Studying hybrid contexts of human+ non-human+ more-than-human entanglements.
This immersive Summer School builds participants’ skills in methods for close level observation and documentation during fieldwork involving multiple entities and situations, dealing with emergent ethical challenges, and creatively testing different methods for data/discourse/material analysis. Led by Professor Annette Markham and Distinguished Professor Larissa Hjorth

April 18, 2023:
Proprioception as a core tool of sensemaking: An interdisciplinary field trip plus workshop
This masterclass focuses on how basic practices common in the arts can help build strong skills of sensemaking across all disciplines. The masterclass features a lecture by Professor Simon Penny, who is an artist, roboticist, and professor at UC Irvine, and a hands-on workshop by Dr. Mikala Dwyer, a widely lauded artist and professor of art at RMIT University.

August 22, 2023:
Digital Ethnography Methods Showcase 1

Ethnography is a research approach that values conducting immersive and exploratory qualitative inquiry in naturalistic situations. As a featured masterclass during RMIT’s 2023 Urban Futures Symposium, DERC researchers discuss their approaches and present examples, showcasing a range of techniques and mindsets. Featuring:

  • Prof. Ingrid Richardson: Techniques for studying mediated embodiment
  • Dr. Kelsie Nabben: Digital ethnography of hardware
  • Prof. Dan Harris: Video as digital ethnographic method
  • Prof. Annette Markham: Multi-agent mapping as digital ethnographic method

September 5, 2023:
Fabrication as Ethical Data Protection: A Methods Masterclass
This masterclass presents the concepts and techniques of ‘Ethical Fabrication’, where raw data is reconstructed into composite forms that present or evoke the researchers’ interpretations but do not use original materials gathered from participants. Includes discussion, interactive workshop, and discussion on ethical fabrication in the era of generative AI. Facilitated by Annette Markham as part of Social Science Week 2023.

October, 2023 (date to be confirmed):
Embodied Ways of Knowing – Remembering our Human Body when Doing Research
Embodied ways of knowing value and centre the materiality and experientiality of the human body in the practice of inquiry. The researcher (and their bodied knowing) is often neglected or deliberately omitted in scientific traditions that focus on cognitive or computational modes of analysis. What is potentially lost? What can we gain by reminding ourselves, as researchers, how we know through our bodies? Facilitated by Dr. Lisa Dethridge, a transformative designer/author/producer working toward a human-centred approach to Ethical and Responsible Artificial Intelligence and faculty member at RMIT’s School of Media and Communication, and Dr. Tamara Borovica, a creative artist, researcher at RMIT’s Global Urban and Social Studies, and co-convener of the HASH Arts and Creative Practice for Wellbeing group.

Late November 2023 (date to be confirmed):
World Building through Speculative Play Design
In this workshop, case studies from the Future Play Lab will be presented as ‘experiments’ working with these methods in knowledge translation, critique, provocation, and engagement with ideas, working with the city as a living laboratory. These include 64 Ways of Being, a contextual approach to augmented reality as public art; Kummargii Yulendj, an Indigenous-led approach to game design; and the Playful Parklet, a travelling pop-up urban play festival engaging with creative placemaking connecting thirty creatives with four different local government authorities.Following this introduction, the workshop puts putting these methods into practice on research problems and projects proposed by the participants. Masterclass led by Dr. Troy Innocent, artist gamemaker, urban play scholar, and senior lecturer at RMIT.

November 20, 2023 (exact date TBC):
Digital Ethnography Methods Showcase II:
As a featured masterclass during RMIT’s 2023 Social Change Symposium, DERC researchers discuss their approaches and present examples, showcasing a range of techniques and mindsets.

For more information on the series, please contact the DERC executive committee at