Research Methodology in Education
Being a graduate student involves the exploration of scholarly ideas and research towards the advancement of new knowledge. ETEC 500 served as an excellent guide through the complex processes of educational research. The class provided a deep foray into the facets, possibilities, and issues inherent in different types of research:
- Mixed methods (including R&D research)
A key takeaway was the illumination of paradigms that exist between research communities. These paradigms bring differing values and concerns to the process of conducting research. A well-rounded researcher is cognizant of this. S/he remains informed on discipline-based practices, to remain objective when interpreting research.
Linking EdTech + Design Through Research & Constraints
The differing values and concerns of academic cultures are (Cross, 2006, p.2):
- In the sciences: objectivity, rationality, neutrality, and a concern for truth.
- In the humanities: subjectivity, imagination, commitment, and concern for justice.
- In design: practicality, ingenuity, empathy, and a concern for appropriateness.
An awareness of the paradigm(s) in which one operates aids the development of a well-rounded research or design practice (Gay et al., 2012). These disciplines arguably have different aims; for example, where a research proposal focuses on defining the constraints and procedures within which a problem will be studied, a design research proposal focuses on defining constraints and procedures within which a solution will be synthesized. In both types of planning, the identification of constraints is critical.
The (draft) artifact in the next tab is a R&D-oriented research proposal. Writing a research proposal is no easy task; however, selecting appropriate methods is, once a broader understanding is reached as to how each method is best applied. This understanding:
- Enhances one’s ability to interpret a wider breadth and depth of research.
- Informs one’s approach.
- Lends validity to future proposals and findings (Gay, Mills & Airasian, 2009).
I proposed a mixed-methods study (both quantitative and qualitative methods) to yield insights based on research goals. The literature review helped ensure that proposed research meets a critical need and does not merely replicate existing research. Ultimately, learning how to properly plan and articulate research goals is an important professional skill. Future proposals and funding may depend upon it. In this case, the review yielded an array of seldom-researched, but potentially important considerations towards the design of new education technologies.
DRAFT – View full-size in a new window.
Cross, N. (2006). Designerly ways of knowing (pp. 1-13). Springer London.
Gay, L. R., Mills, G. E., & Airasian, P. W. (2009). Educational research: Competencies for analysis and applications (ed.). Columbus, OH: Pearson.