LTEC 6510 – Week 10 Blog Reflection – Flexible, qualitative research designs Part 2

How do you feel about qualitative research methods and design? Does it speak to you and make intuitive sense? Is there something that concerns you about the outcomes? What do you like about them, if anything?

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x

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References

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LTEC 6510 – Week 9 Blog Reflection – Flexible/Qualitative Research designs and methods Part 1

What most interests you about qualitative/flexible research designs? Is this a form of research you believe leads to “truth” and is something you are drawn to? What concerns do you have about the use of qualitative research methods from what you read or know of them?

OR

What did you learn about the process of creating surveys and the social validation component for creating individual items on the instrument? What surprised you? What takes the longest in developing surveys as you have experienced it in class and as you develop your own for next week.

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References

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LTEC 6510 – Week 8 Blog Reflection – Fixed designs and quantitative methods part 3 **or** LTEC 6510 – Week 9 Blog Reflection – Flexible/Qualitative Research designs and methods Part 1

At one time week 8 said:

After working on the first Analysis Practice, how are you feeling about the research approach? What makes sense and what does not? What challenges did you face? Is this something you are comfortable with immediately? Something you think you will get comfortable with?

but now it says the same questions as week 7.

 

At one time week 9 said:

What did you learn about the process of creating surveys and the social validation component for creating individual items on the instrument? What surprised you? What takes the longest in developing surveys as you have experienced it in class and as you develop your own for next week.

but now there is no due date for that reflection.

 

I may add more content when the mystery is resolved.

 

LTEC 6510 – Week 7 Blog Reflection – Fixed designs and quantitative methods part 3

How do you feel about quantitative analysis? Does it speak to you and make intuitive sense? Is there something that concerns you about the outcomes? What do you like about them, if anything? Are you a “math person?”

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I thought I liked data. I thought I was more comfortable with quantitative analysis. But now I’m not so sure. To give myself another review of quantitative analysis I pulled a random article called ‘A quantitative analysis of student learning styles and teacher teaching s strategies in a Mexican higher education institution’ and tried to read it. There were so many numbers in the article that it quickly became confusing for me to understand. I’m starting to think I will benefit from starting over.

quan·ti·ta·tive a·nal·y·sis

noun

analysis of a situation or event, especially a financial market, by means of complex mathematical and statistical modeling.

Okay, that isn’t really helping me much. I know quantitative tells how much and qualitative tells what it is. But I’m having difficulty jumping to the ‘what do I do with this’ part. Is it possible that I’m thinking too far ahead. Well, yes, it is.

I go back and read my entries from a few weeks ago and I find these statements:

  • quantitative research lacks of similarity between its measures and reality
  • quantitative research fails to produce truths useful to educational practice

If I am to answer specifically how I feel about quantitative analysis I might have to say I don’t appreciate the plethora of details. I don’t yet know if quantitative analysis makes intuitive sense to me because I’ve not found any with data I can decipher. I’ve found data, lots of it, but when I begin to read I get confused and then I get easily distracted. Is there something that concerns me about the outcomes? Again, I don’t know. What outcomes? Here’s a concern – that I’ll not grasp quantitative analysis at all. I do consider myself a “math person” but maybe my level of math isn’t what is necessary for quantitative analysis.

Here’s hoping something clicks soon. Still trying.

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References

Franzoni-Velazquez, A.L., Cervantes-Perez, F., & Assar, S. (2012). A quantitative analysis of student learning styles and teacher teaching s strategies in a Mexican higher education institution Journal of Applied Research and Technology, 10, 289-308

Krenz, C. & Sax, G. (1986). What Quantitative Research Is and Why It Doesn’t Work American Behavioral Scientist, 30(1), 58-69

LTEC 6510 – Week 5 Blog Reflection – Fixed designs and quantitative methods part 1

What most interests you about quantitative/fixed research designs? Is this a form of research you believe leads to “truth” and is something you are drawn to? What concerns do you have about the use of quantitative research methods?

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In a few short weeks my interest in research mobile learning has grown (or narrowed down) to ‘Using math apps at night to reduce math-practice gap in elementary schools.’ I fully expect this will change a few more times before all is said and done.  I still believe I prefer quantitative research methods, I am still more interested in applied research, and I still want to focus on theoretical research.  In the course of one recent assignment, the practice IRB forms, I have come to the realization that I need more articles.  If I don’t want to enter elementary school classrooms and arm students with individual tablets for math practice apps then I need to find data that already exists.  The only challenge I foresee is the time it will take to locate the appropriate articles.  But reading/reviewing a sufficient number of articles to gather the data feels less quantitative.  

I’m still drawn to quantitative research.  I don’t believe this form of research leads to ‘truth’ but it does ‘paint an interesting picture.’ In an online article highlighting a book on qualitative research design, the author points out ten distinctive qualities of qualitative research, the first of which is the “absence” of truth.  Instead qualitative researchers talk about the “plausibility” of their research findings. The context of the findings is important. “…the outcomes in qualitative research hinge greatly on the contexts from which we obtain this data (Roller & Lavrakas, 2015).  But wouldn’t the same be true for quantitative research?   

In an article from 30 years ago quantitative research is criticized for the lack of similarity between its measures and reality, and its failure to produce truths useful to educational practice” (Krenz and Sax, 1986).  The phrase ‘numbers don’t lie’ comes to mind and I feel it is comically a lie in itself.  Numbers can be manipulated.  Statistics can be flawed.  But the information gained by quantitative research can point to a new direction for research to investigate or showcase a particular anomaly that wasn’t expected.  I still want to look at the metrics because perhaps I’ll identify a trend. 

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References 

Roller, M. R. & Lavrakas, P. J., (2015). Applied Qualitative Research Design: A Total Quality Framework Approach (New York: Guilford Press) 

Krenz, C. & Sax, G. (1986). What Quantitative Research Is and Why It Doesn’t Work
American Behavioral Scientist, 30(1), 58-69  

 

LTEC 6510 – Week 4 Blog Reflection – Ethical Issues

What most concerns you ethically about learning technologies research? What concerns do you have about the approval process?

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In the article, Ethical Issues Experienced by Learning Technology Practitioners in Design and Training Situations the authors Lin and Kolb identify the top three concerns reported were copyright, learner privacy, and accessibility (Lin, Kolb, 2006). I agree with these concerns, but the first issue I thought of when reading the question was copyright.

While I was working on my master’s degree, several courses taught about ethics and/or copyright issues. I understand why this is an important topic. The idea that stuck with me the most is Creative Commons. This global community helps people share their knowledge to promote collaboration and education. I marked several of my assignments that I placed online with the Creative Commons logo to help me protect my material. However, I never felt that my material was safe from plagiarism. Even if I paid for true copyrights, if my material is on the web, I feel anyone interested in it who has loose ethics will take and use it without giving me credit. For educational material I have created, I am not as concerned, yet. For my more artistic creations (photos, paintings, other visual media.), I am still hesitant to place them on the internet.

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References

Lin, H., & Kolb, J. A. (2006). Ethical issues experienced by learning technology practitioners in design and training situations. Retrieved from https://libproxy.library.unt.edu/login?url=https://search.proquest.com/docview/62099488?accountid=7113

LTEC 6510 – Week 3 Blog Reflection – Common research paradigms, designs and social research perspectives

Are you more focused on practical or theoretical research questions at this stage of your career? Explain what draws you more to one or another.

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Practical Research: The practical approach consists of the empirical study of the topic under research and chiefly consists of hands on approach. This involves first hand research in the form of questionnaires, surveys, interviews, observations and discussion groups. (Latimer, 2014)

Theoretical Research: A non-empirical approach to research, this usually involves perusal of mostly published works like researching through archives of public libraries, court rooms and published academic journals. (Latimer, 2014)

Practical research asks, “How do I tie my shoes?” Theoretical research asks, “What is the meaning of life?”

Of the two, I want to focus more on theoretical research questions. I currently have greater access to read material from other researchers than to conduct research of my own. After I am more prepared to conduct practical research, however, I feel I will still prefer exploring theoretical questions because I am not interested in questionnaires, surveys, interviews, observations or discussion groups.

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References

Chelsea Latimer. (May 2, 2014). The Purpose of Research. Udemy blog. Retrieved from https://blog.udemy.com/purpose-of-research/

LTEC 6510 – Week 2 Blog Reflection – Purposes of research in education and learning technologies

What research purposes generally attract you most? What kinds of questions are you most interested in exploring with your future learning technologies research?

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First, a quick recap of the types of research. I found a simple description online at explorable.com that has the following. “The purpose of research can be a complicated issue and varies across different scientific fields and disciplines. At the most basic level, science can be split, loosely, into two types, ‘pure research’ and ‘applied research’. Both of these types follow the same structures and protocols for propagating and testing hypotheses and predictions, but vary slightly in their ultimate purpose. … Pure scientific research is about finding an explanation to an observed situation or occurrence. … Applied scientific research is about finding an answer to a specific problem.” (Shuttleworth, 2008)

I believe I am more interested in conducting applied research. The question I hope to answer with my future learning technologies research is close to “Can math proficiency in elementary students improve if the students work with a mobile math app before going to sleep for the night?” I may modify this question slightly as I get further into my research or as I learn more about what other researchers have done on this topic.

Most people agree that practice improves performance and I understand that the last thing humans think about at night before falling asleep is processed by their brain over and over again while sleeping. I want to research a combination of these two ideas to find math learning in elementary students improves when the students engage in practice before falling asleep. I would like my research to encourage elementary school math teachers to assign mobile math app homework to students as the last task of the day, and subsequently educate parents about the importance of this last learning task before falling asleep.

Thus far, I pulled five articles in the topic of math apps. It appears it will be easy to gather much information on the subject. I know many math apps exist already and teachers who already use them probably have their favorites. Ultimately, I’d like to work with a math app that gives ten random questions in one of 8 categories and returns to the student and to the teacher the final score of that set of questions. The categories would be

Addition problems with single-digit numbers (3 + 2 = ?)

Subtraction problems with single-digit numbers (4 – 2 = ?)

Multiplication problems with single-digit numbers (4 x 3 = ?)

Division problems with single-digit numbers (4 / 2 = ?)

Addition problems with double-digit numbers (34 + 12 = ?)

Subtraction problems with double-digit numbers (14 – 32 = ?)

Multiplication problems with double-digit numbers (24 x 13 = ?)

Division problems with double-digit numbers (24 / 12 = ?)

The teacher would assign the student to take the test at least once right before going to sleep and specify which test the student should attempt based on the topic being taught in class. This last task assignment would be in addition to any physical homework assignments the teacher assigns. The student would be welcome to test as often as they would like, or repeat the test several times. Each time the test is finished the teacher would receive the students name, the final score, and the date/time the test was taken. I would hope that monitoring this data would indicate that the students that perform the last task assignment show an improvement in math proficiency.

While thinking about conducting applied research and searching online about the challenges I might face, I found that applied research can have direct implication for what should be done in practice. McCall and Groark state in a chapter of X “Classic intervention demonstration project is a good example in which an intervention is tried out under relatively controlled conditions to determine if it produces a specific desirable outcome.” (McCall and Groark, 2010) Based on this description, it sounds like applied research aligns very well with what I’m trying to accomplish with my future learning technologies research project.

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References

Martyn Shuttleworth. (Aug 2, 2008). Purpose of Research. Explorable. Retrieved from https://explorable.com/purpose-of-reasearch

McCall, R.B, and Groark, C. J. (2010). Challenges and Issues in Designing Applied Research. University of Pittsburgh Office of Child Development Retrieved from https://www.ocd.pitt.edu/Files/Publications/Challenges%20and%20Issues%20in%20Designing%20Applied%20Research.pdf

Same Blog, New Program

My blog entries up to now were assignments in courses I was taking while obtaining my Master’s Degree in Learning Technologies at the University of North Texas.

I graduated with my masters in May of 2016. In August of 2017 I was accepted into the Learning Technologies PhD program at the University of North Texas.

The next several years of blog posts will be for assignments in courses I am taking while obtaining my PhD.

Currently, the excitement and anxiety are both real and equally weighted.  Wish me luck.