Identifying Research Problems in DE


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Presentation for a workshop on Research methods in distance education

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Identifying Research Problems in DE

  1. 1. Identifying Research Problems in Distance Education by Sanjaya Mishra
  2. 2. If there is no problem, there is no research...
  3. 3. Think of a Research problem in Distance Education, and write it on your notebook (5 mts)
  4. 4. <ul><li>Sources of Research problems: </li></ul><ul><li>Practical problems </li></ul><ul><li>Previous Research </li></ul><ul><li>Theories </li></ul>
  5. 5. Questioning is important:  If you ask a meaningful question, your will find the meaningful answer 
  6. 6. Meaningful Question: Is there a relationship between gender and drop-out? Non-meaningful Question: Is there life after death?
  7. 7. Questioning is related to Purpose of Research <ul><li>To describe how things are; that is define the nature of the study object and explore its status </li></ul><ul><li>To explain why things are the way they are; it may be because one thing has caused another to change – what are the relationship between variables </li></ul><ul><li>To predict phenomenon; such as human behaviour in the workplace </li></ul><ul><li>To evaluate some event, action, outcomes </li></ul>
  8. 8. Questioning decided Research Methods <ul><li>Case Studies: Ideal for describing a unique operation or program and for the study of a bounded system </li></ul><ul><li>Correlation Studies: Ideal for determining how variables operate such as levels of motivation and achievement </li></ul><ul><li>Experimental studies: Ideal for establishing cause of effect, such as the strength of the influence of nature of feedback on motivation </li></ul><ul><li>Phenomenological Studies: Ideal for exploring and explaining such things as the nature of unique experiences </li></ul><ul><li>Research Synthesis: Ideal for ascertaining overall estimate of effects such as that of local tutoring on persistence </li></ul>
  9. 9. Factors affecting Choice of Research Topic <ul><li>Interest and motivation </li></ul><ul><li>Subject background and familiarity of the researcher with the field of study </li></ul><ul><li>Size of the topic </li></ul><ul><li>Time available for the study </li></ul><ul><li>Cost of research </li></ul><ul><li>Resources available </li></ul><ul><li>Feasibility in terms of methods and tools </li></ul>
  10. 10. Defining the Research Problem <ul><li>What is the research about? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the purpose? </li></ul><ul><li>What it is trying to achieve? </li></ul><ul><li>How will the research answer its questions? </li></ul><ul><li>Why is this research worth doing? </li></ul>
  11. 11. ACTIVITY: Revisit the research problem identified by you, and based on the discussions so far, write the research topic, a short background emphasizing the significance, and questions you would like to address in the study. Present it for discussion and peer comments.
  12. 12. Some Possible Topics for Research in Distance Education <ul><li>Predicting 'at risk' learners in distance education </li></ul><ul><li>Who succeeds and why? -- A study of student retention in distance learning </li></ul><ul><li>Student satisfaction survey </li></ul><ul><li>Learners access to electronic media and their use </li></ul><ul><li>Learners' perception of academic counselling in distance education </li></ul><ul><li>Tutor-comments and interactions in distance education </li></ul>
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