Researching Online and Online Learning Research
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Researching Online and Online Learning Research

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Presentation during the Workshop on "Researching Distance and Online Leanring" on 23rd Feb. 2008.

Presentation during the Workshop on "Researching Distance and Online Leanring" on 23rd Feb. 2008.

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Researching Online and Online Learning Research Researching Online and Online Learning Research Presentation Transcript

    • Researching Online and Online Learning Research
    Sanjaya Mishra, PhD
  • Objectives of the Sessions
    • Explain the meaning of online research;
    • Identify different types of ways to do online research;
    • Discuss issues related to online research;
    • Design online research;
    • Conduct research and/or construct online research instruments; and
    • Use online research resources.
    At the end of the combined two session, you are expected to be able to:
  • Researching Online
    • Doing research using online technologies, essentially to collect data
    • Needs understanding of the technologies used
    • Research methods and design remain the same, it is only the use of technology that makes the process of research different
    • But, without a strong background on research methodology, use of technology alone would not be useful
  • Online Learning Research
    • Research on online learning as a theme/topic
    • This could be done both online and offline
    • Mostly use online research, but not necessarily so
  • What you have learned so far?
    • Identified research areas/topics
    • Developed research designs
    • Clarified about methodologies
    • Developed instruments
    • Used statistical packages
    • YOU can do all these using online technologies.
  • Why Online Research?
    • Saves time
    • Saves money
    • Ease of data processing
    • Dynamic error checking
    • Option of putting questions in random
    • Multimedia capabilities of the web
    • Sensitive topics can be handled in confidence
    • Can handle large number of individual subjects
    • Increase respondent’s motivation to participate
  • Types of Online Research
    • Non-Probability Approaches
    • Entertainment survey (e.g. single question surveys on websites, polls, etc.)
    • Self-selected web surveys (use of open invitation on portals, websites, mailing list based, etc.)
    • Volunteer panel of Internet users (e.g. Zoomerang)
    • Probability Approaches
    • Intercept surveys (e.g. pop-up window polls given to every 7 th visitor of a site)
    • List-based samples of respondents (e.g., email collected with consent to participate)
    • Pre-recruited panel with web access (e.g. expert groups)
    • Mixed-mode designs with choice of completion method
    • Probability sample of full population (pre-recruited panel given technology access)
    Source: Couper, M.P (2000) Web surveys: A review of issues and approaches, Public Opinion Quarterly , 64, pp.464-494.
  • Types of Online Research Technologies
    • Email
    • Email attachment
    • Web Forms (widely used)
    • One-to-one Text interview (chat)
    • One-to-one A/V interview (chat)
    • Focus group discussion via chat
    • Focus group though collaboration software
  • Issues in Online Research
    • Sampling issues
    • Response rates
    • Ethical issues
    • Design issues
    • Technical issues
  • Sampling Issues
    • Sample selection bias due to:
    • Access to Internet
    • Comfort with Internet survey format (preference for print over online response)
    • Effect of self-selection (as opposed to random selection)
    • Validity of respondents (their eligibility to respond to a survey)
    • Multiple responses from the same respondent
  • Response Rate
    • What is a response rate in online research?
    • Poor response rate like mail survey
    • Improves considerably due to constant online reminders
    • Fast response (average response time within 10 days)
    • Low effect of social desirability
    • Non-response or incomplete response problem (progress indicator suggested)
  • Types of Respondents
    • Unit non-responders
    • Complete responders
    • Answering drop-outs
    • Lurkers
    • Lurking drop-outs
    • Item non-responders
    • Item non-responding drop-outs
    Source: Bosnjak, M.M. and Tuten, T.L. (2001) Classifying response behaviours in web-based surveys, Journal of Computer Mediated Communication , 6 (3), Available at http://jcmc.indiana.edu/vol6/issue3/boznjak.html
  • Ethical Issues
    • Informed prior consent
    • Privacy: confidentiality and security
    • Incentives to respondents
    • Use of online student data, and their work
    • Time spent to make observations in chat rooms and discussion forums
  • Design Issues
    • Use welcome screen to introduce and motivate the respondents
    • Design the forms appropriately
    • Avoid using drop down menus
    • Use conventional format as a printed form
    • Break long surveys into parts to avoid scrolling
    • Use open ended questions sparingly
    • Use incentives to get people to respond
    • Use progress bar
    • Avoid force questions
    • Give an estimated time to complete the survey
    • Allow an alternate mode of response
  • Technical Issues
    • Knowledge of HTML and form design
    • Knowledge of server side administration for data capturing
    • Knowledge of databases
    • Knowledge of statistical software
    • All the above or just knowledge of Internet access to use online survey software
  • A Framework for Online Research Survey Or Interview Sampling Technology Administration Design Analyses
  • Online Learning Research Trends
    • Student experience and satisfaction of online learning environments
    • Comparative experimental studies on online learning, traditional distance learning and classroom learning
    • Content analysis of computer mediated communication
    • Interactions in discussion forum and online communities
  • Research Framework for Online Learning Supporting discourse Setting climate Online Experience Teaching-learning Process Adapted from: Garrison, D.R. and Anderson, T. (2003) E-Learning in the 21 st Century: A Framework for Research and Practice, RoutledgeFalmer: London SOCIAL PRESENCE TEACHING PRESENCE COGNITIVE PRESENCE
  • Online Research Resources
    • Sample only
    • Use online databases (Pro Quest , EBSCO, IEL Online, J-Gate, ACM Digital Library)
    • Search COLFinder, GoogleScholar
    • Starting points for Internet research (http://owl.english.purdue.edu/internet/tools/research.html)
    • Web survey software (Surveymonkey, QuestionPro, HostedSurvey, WebSurveyor)
    • THANK YOU
    • Your comments and questions are welcome, before we break for practical work.
    • After practical work, please re-assemble in the plenary and show your work to the group.
  • ACTIVITY (45 min)
    • Design a 10 item questionnaire on a topic of your choice using an online survey software and distribute it to a group of sample respondents.
    • OR
    • Conduct interview of two persons on issues related to accreditation of degrees in distance education using a messaging tool.