Research Methods: Their Design, Applicability and Reliability
A review of research and evaluation studies into IT in education shows us strengths and weaknesses. Both quantitative and qualitative studies conducted in the past have often been based on inadequate design, limited discussion of settings or measurement development and analysis. The limited consideration of different educational settings and the small sample sizes in many studies result in difficulties in generalizing the results. Few studies have been linked to specific learning activities using specific IT tools, further compromising generalisability of factors impacting innovation and implementation activities have seldom been addressed, making studies less than useful to a wider audience. Failure to acknowledge that some research questions, those based on Logo use, for example, are best answered by employing qualitative methods, has limited our understanding of IT’s impact on pupils’ learning. Similarly, the basic differences in epistemological theory and the consequent difference in research design and analysis have seldom been addressed by the research community.Suggestions are offered for improving the quality and applicability of future IT research studies.
KeywordsResearch reliability research methods theories research goals standards
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