- In the light of the podcast and this week’s work, consider how you might revise the way in which you are making notes on studies. Do the questions from Activity 1.4 need elaborating?
Questions: What research questions are being addressed?
- articulating this is important. perhaps also what methodology and what views about knowledge and learning inform those questions. also maybe why these are questions worth asking – why has no-one asked them before?
Setting: What is the sector and setting? (e.g. school, higher education, training, informal learning)
- and does that affect the design of the research in any way?
Concepts: What theories, concepts and key terms are being used?
- and how do they fit in with the current issues and debates in the field?
Methods: What methods of data collection and analysis are used? (e.g. the number of participants; the type of technologies; the use of interviews, surveys, observation, etc.)
- maybe it would be useful to note here how appropriate the choice of methods is, and whether are not they impose any limitations on the findings.
Findings: What did this research find out?
Limitations: What are the limitations of the methods used?
Ethics: Are there any ethical issues associated with the research?
Implications: What are the implications (if any) for practice, policy or further research?
- difficult to evaluate this at this stage (for me at any rate)
- Look back at Reading 1 and consider the questions that were asked in that research. Do you think they represent a dominant ‘paradigm’ for research in any particular period? Are the research questions and methods still relevant today?
Here are the two questions: Are outcomes of courses delivered using CMC “at least as good” as traditional face-to-face delivery? What variables are associated with “especially good and especially poor outcomes” in the Virtual Classroom?
In my language teaching context, it’s only government-funded business training initiatives that have ever insisted upon measurable outcomes (and the procedure turned out to be the worst kind of absurd box-ticking). In university, private tutoring or language school contexts, the assumption is still that if students fail it’s because they didn’t do the work or didn’t have the right level to begin with. The course design or delivery is not under scrutiny.
I have tutored some appalling cost-cutting online language courses. I refuse to do it any more. I design my own and use them with my private students. I have tried to persuade various university and language school employers to allow me to do something with technology within their institutions, but the only projects I have been offered have been where I must design seemingly unlimited tutor moderated activities when I know the teacher will not get paid for their hours, or basically digitising workbook exercises, which makes me want to kill myself. My point is that I have never got the impression that any of my employers are the least bit interested in the quality of the courses they sell, sadly, and online is only attractive to them because it dangles the prospects of fewer overheads. Despite the fact that my context hasn’t even got around to this basic aspect of TEL yet, I suppose the question requires me to say that interests have widened from examining how “good” TEL is to examining what can potentially be done with it, and what effects that might have on the people involved, as well as broadening the definition of what TEL might mean, and looking more at practices of what people find themselves actually doing with educational technology.