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Research methodology and issues in e-learning. Chin-Chung Tsai National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Taipei, Taiwan. Outline. Introduction Research purposes Methods Results and Discussion Implication and Conclusions Limitation of the Research. Introduction.

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Research methodology and issues in e learning
Research methodology and issues in e-learning

Chin-Chung TsaiNational Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Taipei, Taiwan


Outline
Outline

  • Introduction

  • Research purposes

  • Methods

  • Results and Discussion

  • Implication and Conclusions

  • Limitation of the Research


Introduction
Introduction

  • Content analysis and citation analysis of published articles in academic journals has been conducted in a variety of professional fields. We felt that it was necessary to conduct a content analysis for the reference of future studies which are interested in related issues.

  • Articles with more citation frequencies are usually those that are better recognized by others in related fields. They probably present more fundamental ideas about the issues for future research.


Introduction1
Introduction

  • An analysis of technology-enhanced or e-learning studies from a cognitive perspective is quite essential to acquire a better understanding of how advanced technology may help learning processes.

  • Wentling et al. (2000) suggest that “e-learning is the acquisition and use of knowledge distributed and facilitated primarily by electronic means” .


Research purposes
Research purposes

  • The purpose of the paper was to investigate the research trends in the field of cognition in e-learning.

  • The research questions addressed by this study were :

    • What percentage of the articles published in these journals were related to cognition in e-learning?


Research purposes1
Research purposes

  • What research topics related to cognition in e-learning were published in the journals in these five years?

  • What were the relatively popular research topics related to cognition in e-learning published in the journals?

  • What were the highly cited research articles in the SSCI related to cognition in e-learning in these journals?

  • What was the trend of the published cognition in e-learning articles in these five journals in recent years?


Methods
Methods

  • This study analyzed papers published by five major educational journals that are categorized as being educational-technology-related in the SSCI from 2001-2005:

    • British Journal of Educational Technology (BJET)

    • Innovations in Education and Teaching  International (IETI)

    • Computers and Education (CE)

    • Educational Technology Research & Development (ETR&D)

    • Journal of Computer Assisted Learning (JCAL).


Methods1
Methods

  • This study only analyzed papers that were identified as “articles” in the SSCI. Other types of papers such as “book reviews”, “reviews”, and “editorial materials” were all excluded from this study.

  • Excluding these other types of papers, there were a total of 1,027 articles published by these five journals from 2001 to 2005.

  • Based on these articles, a content analysis was carried out, using article abstracts and publication information indexed in the SSCI.

  • This procedure identified 444 articles that were judged to be relevant to the topic of cognition in e-learning.


Methods2
Methods

  • Based on the methodology of content analysis, the research topics were categorized related to cognition in e-learning into seven tentative categories:

    A. Motivation

    B. Information Processing

    C. Instructional approaches

    D. Learning environment

    E. Prior Knowledge

    F. Metacognition

    G. Cognitive psychology characteristics

  • For each category, some sub-categories were classified.


Methods3
Methods

  • In order to identify articles of higher quality or impact, the 444 related articles were further analyzed by their citation counts in the SSCI (as at October, 17, 2006).

  • Three articles with the highest citation counts in each research topic category were selected for this analysis. Because several of the articles discussed topics from several categories, a total of 16 articles were finally chosen.

  • Their participants, research settings, research design type, and research methods (data collection and data analysis) were further analyzed in detail.


Outline1
Outline

  • Introduction

  • Research purpose

  • Methods

  • Results and Discussion

    • Percentage of articles related to cognition in e-learning

    • Research topic analysis

    • An analysis of highly cited articles

  • Implication and Conclusion

  • Limitation of the Research


Percentage of articles related to cognition in e learning 2001 2005
Percentage of articles related to cognition in e-learning(2001-2005)

  • Almost half (43.2%, 444 of 1,027 articles) of the articles were related.

  • IETI had 58.4%, BJET had 46.8%, JCAL had 42.5%, CE had 37.1%, and ETR&D had 28%

  • 2003 had the highest percentage (49.8%), while 2002 had the least (37.4%).



Percentage of articles related to cognition in e learning 2001 20052
Percentage of articles related to cognition in e-learning(2001-2005)

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

Total

BJET

24/47

(51.1%)

18/54

(33.3%)

25/52

(48.1%)

30/56

(53.6%)

41/86

(47.7%)

138/295

(46.8%)

IETI

16/37

(43.2%)

20/32

(62.5%)

25/34

(73.5%)

20/30

(66.7%)

13/28

(46.4%)

94/161

(58.4%)

CE

16/42

(38.1%)

19/50

(38.0%)

20/46

(43.5%)

16/47

(34.0%)

15/47

(31.9%)

86/232

(37.1%)

ETR&D

7/22

(31.8%)

6/30

(20.0%)

8/26

(30.8%)

7/21

(33.3%)

7/26

(26.9%)

35/125

(28%)

JCAL

23/43

(53.5%)

16/45

(35.6%)

24/47

(51.1%)

14/41

(34.2%)

14/38

(36.8%)

91/214

(42.5%)

Total

86/191

(45%)

79/211

(37.4%)

102/205

(49.8%)

87/195

(44.6%)

90/225

(40%)

444/1027

(43.2%)


Research topic analysis 2001 2005
Research Topic analysis (2001-2005)

  • The three most published research topics are:

    • learning environment-interactive learning environment (110)

    • instructional approaches-collaborative learning (92)

    • metacognition-perception and awareness (75).

  • As the concepts of active learning and lifelong learning have become more and more popular and important nowadays, the research topic of metacognition requires more attention.


Category

Sub-category

Frequency

Count

Category

Sub-category

Frequency

Count

A. Motivation

Beliefs

31

D. Learning

Environment

Interactive

Learning Environment

110

Attitudes

65

Learning community

42

Behavioral change

28

E. Prior

Knowledge

Technology knowledge

15

B. Information

Processing

Individual difference

25

Technology experience

32

Information seeking

19

F. Meta-

cognition

Planning

14

Information management

20

Visualization

13

Critical thinking

19

Perception & awareness

75

Decision making

4

Self-evaluation

26

Problem solving

11

G. Cognitive

Psychology

Characteristics

Schemata

10

C. Instructional

Approaches

Cooperative learning

21

Concept map

18

Collaborative learning

92

Mental Model

7

Contextual learning

26

Cognitive load

14

Situated learning

16

Cognitive style

23

Problem-based learning

36

Frequencies of cognition category and sub-category


Research topic analysis 2001 20051
Research Topic analysis (2001-2005)

A: Motivation

B: Information Processing

C: Instructional Approaches

D: Learning Environment

E: Prior Knowledge

F: Metacognition

G: Cognitive

Psychology

Characteristics

Category

Journal

A

B

C

D

E

F

G

BJET

8.47%

5.42%

11.53%

13.22%

4.35%

13.22%

8.81%

IETI

8.7 %

4.97%

26.09%

19.88%

4.97%

18.63%

4.97%

CE

10.78%

12.07%

16.81%

14.22%

3.44%

9.91%

3.88%

ETR&D

8.00%

7.2%

10.40%

9.6%

2.40%

8.8%

8.00%

JCAL

11.68%

12.15%

14.95%

13.08%

3.27%

8.88%

7.94%


Outline2
Outline

  • Introduction

  • Research purposes

  • Methods

  • Results and Discussion

    • Percentage of articles related to cognition in e-learning

    • Research topic analysis

    • An analysis of highly cited articles

  • Implication and Conclusions

  • Limitation of the Research






An analysis of highly cited articles topics
An analysis of highly cited articles papers(continued):Topics

  • The most highly cited articles fall into the research categories of:

    • “Information processing/instructional approaches” (Oliver & Omari, 2001; citation counts = 18)

    • “Information processing/cognitive psychology characteristics” (Ford & Chen, 2001; citation counts = 18)

    • “Motivation” (Tsai, Lin & Tsai, 2001; citation counts = 17)

  • “Instructional Approaches”, “Information Processing” and “Motivation” may be perceived as the research foundation for e-learning studies.


An analysis of highly cited articles participants and research setting
An analysis of highly cited articles papers(continued):Participants and Research Setting

  • College students (38%) and students in elementary and secondary schools (38%) were the most popular participants among the 16 articles.

  • It is reasonable to suggest that future studies should pay more attention to adult learners outside of formal school environments.


An analysis of highly cited articles research design
An analysis of highly cited articles papers(continued):Research Design

  • These papers were classified into three major types:

    • Experimental research

    • Descriptive research(10)

    • Developmental research

  • Descriptive research can better describe the complicated relationships between the different variables involved in a certain situation.


An analysis of highly cited articles data collection
An analysis of highly cited articles papers(continued):Data Collection

  • More than half of the studies (ten articles) used the questionnaire as their primary data collection technique or as one of their data collection methods.

  • However, there is also a clear trend that many studies in this field used learners’ log files or online messages as the data sources for analysis.


An analysis of highly cited articles data analysis
An analysis of highly cited articles papers(continued):Data Analysis

  • Among the 16 studies:

    • Seven used both descriptive and statistical analysis to analyze data

    • Five utilized descriptive analysis

  • Online technology or databases used in e-learning can keep records about the learners’ learning processes (e.g. discourse, online interactions).


An analysis of highly cited articles data analysis1
An analysis of highly cited articles papers(continued):Data Analysis

  • Therefore, it is more convenient for researchers to carry out discourse or interpretative research in online environments.


Outline3
Outline papers(continued)

  • Introduction

  • Research purposes

  • Methods

  • Results and Discussion

  • Implication and Conclusion

  • Limitation of the Research


Implication and conclusions
Implication and Conclusions papers(continued)

  • It is suggested that future studies focus more on adult learners outside of formal school settings.

  • Some of the highly-cited articles reviewed in this paper have used mixed method research (e.g. Lazonder, Wilhelm & Ootes, 2003; Zurita & Nussbaum, 2004). It may become a major trend in this research field.


Implication and conclusions1
Implication and Conclusions papers(continued)

  • Because online technology or databases in e-learning keep records of learners’ learning processes, it allows researchers to make interpretations based on log files, discourse, or interaction records. It seems that the new study field of e-learning has brought researchers new methods of data collection.

  • How to maintain and enhance students’ learning motivation and teachers’ teaching motivation in this constantly changing educational environment will be an essential issue for future studies.


Limitation of the research
Limitation of the Research papers(continued)

  • It is suggested that a combination of citation analysis and other analysis techniques can be applied in future studies in this domain.

  • This study focused primarily on English-based SSCI journals and articles.


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