Etec500: Research Methodology in Education

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Identification

For the past two decades or so, educational technology has become a hot area of research. However, this growth has also become a famously poor field of academia, filled with sloppy ‘investigations’ and stand-alone case studies (Selwyn, 2012). Uncovering intentional or unintentional research processes that influence outcomes and guarding against preconceived biases are challenging undertakings without training (Suter, 2012), particularly, if you have a “technical fix” mindset like myself and are all stirred up with the inherent benefits of digital technology. Etec500 provided me:

some learning outcomes from etec500
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Conceptual Design

Suter (2012) suggests that the tasks of of research evaluation and critique can be considerably more accessible by the completion of a research analysis first, using a guiding framework, including the purpose, context, constructs, type of research, variables being investigated, research design, instrumentation, methods of analyses, significant findings, and, finally, conclusions. After that, reviewers will need weave these pieces again to develop the evaluative comments about the methodological issues, the study’s weaknesses and strengths, and their overall recommendations.
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Implementation

Research Critique : Goals [1 & 3] Hover here Goal [1] To gain a deeper understanding about the philosophy, theory and research that presently informs educational technology practice and apply them in the technology integration of my workplace.

Goal [3] To further develop a critical perspective in order to evaluate and draw conclusions about technology developments.

Using Suter(2012) framework, I analyzed and critiqued the research paper “The effects of the gamified flipped classroom environment (GFCE) on students’ motivation, learning achievements and perception in a physics course” for Aşıksoy (2018). The paper selection was influenced by a personal interest in exploring the impact of gamified environments on learning. At this time, we integrated a gamified environment for training purposes in my work context. Another critical reason for my selection was that I was highly drawn to the mixed paradigm Aşıksoy (2018) used in her research work, combining qualitative and quantitative approaches. 

The artifact demonstrates my ability to utilize what I have learned throughout Etec500 to critically think, evaluate, and draw my own conclusions about the credibility of an academic study in the area of  educational technology. Furthermore, this work served as the foundation for my subsequent research and practical explorations of the gamification topic in my other MET studies, most notably in my ETEC510 design project.

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Evaluation

Research methodologies courses are seldom provided in undergraduate-level computing degrees. This is a great flaw for most computer science and engineering fields. As a result, many of us may lack the critical thinking abilities necessary for evaluating research papers particularly these of interdisciplinary work. Moreover, for the most, the academic researchers in our field present us computational models which are precise and unambiguous. However, throughout the Etec500, I realized that it would be seriously flawed to think that educational scholars can prove their hypothesis in a similar manner to the confined world of computing.

prove is a word that is best dropped from your vocabulary, at least during a study of educational research (Suter, 2012, p.26)
My big learning moments in Etec500

In addition to these gains, I realized that most of the research conducted in computer science education (CSE) employs the quantitative research approach (Hazzan, Dubinsky, Eidelman, Sakhnini & Teif, 2007); this was partially the reason that made me analyze and critique a study from a variant context. While acknowledging that the researchers’ decisions about the paradigm depends on the objective of the research questions in general and on how the research results are intended to be used in particular (Suter, 2012), however, there is a need for our academic researchers in CSE context to adopt qualitative and mixed approaches for a better understanding of the problem (Suter, 2012).

As I went further in the MET journey and examined numerous research papers tackling the potential of various educational technology tools and trends in application, I observed that most studies never moved beyond the prototype stage, at which much of what has been learnt is lost or discontinued (e.g. Aşıksoy (2018)). This is hardly surprising as educational technology research is hampered by a funding system that encourages siloed work. And thus, I believe there is a need for centers of independent interdisciplinary research in education technology era, funded long term and focused on delivering real-world capabilities. This would allow us to cross the chasm of basic to applied research and provide the long-term studies enabling researchers to ask new kinds of questions about educational uses of technology and hence offering more comprehensive explanations of technology-education relationships (An & Oliver, 2021).

Summary of Research Critique

Purpose

The effects of gamification in a flipped classroom environment (GDCE).

Approach

Mixed approach primarily a true experimented, randomized pre-test post-test control. After then, she conducted individual face-to-face interviews with six volunteering participants. 

Findings

Significant improvements in students’ achievements and motivation due to the instructional intervention. The qualitative results align well with the statistical results.

Key Strengths

  • Novel approach merging gamification and flipped classroom.
  • The sample size is sufficient.
  • The instructor and content were the same.

Key Weaknesses

  •   Possibly the positive results reflected novelty effect.
  •  Sources of bias had eliminated the validity of the findings .

Recommendation

A longitudinal study is required for the evaluation of the long-term effects of the model.  A larger sample size from a more diverse population would add to the overall inference validity of the research findings.