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Sabbatical (University of Auckland) - Making a Difference with Educational Research: A New Methodological Paradigm
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Sabbatical (University of Auckland) - Making a Difference with Educational Research: A New Methodological Paradigm

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Barbour, M. K. (2011, March). Making a difference with educational research: A new methodological paradigm. An invited presentation to the College of Education at the University of Auckland, Auckland, ...

Barbour, M. K. (2011, March). Making a difference with educational research: A new methodological paradigm. An invited presentation to the College of Education at the University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.

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  • A or B students half are academically advanced or AP students

Sabbatical (University of Auckland) - Making a Difference with Educational Research: A New Methodological Paradigm Sabbatical (University of Auckland) - Making a Difference with Educational Research: A New Methodological Paradigm Presentation Transcript

  • Making a Difference withEducational Research - A New Methodological Paradigm Michael K. Barbour Assistant Professor Wayne State University
  • It all began last spring when I read two queries from doctoral students on theQualitative Research for the Human Sciences listserv. Both students came fromlarge public institutions of higher education, one in the USA and the other inCanada. The first student wrote that she intended to focus her dissertationresearch on the quality of "discourse" that takes place in cafes and coffee shopslocated inside bookstores. She complained that she had found no "literature" onthis topic and asked the listserv participants for some guidance. The secondstudent announced that he was preparing a dissertation prospectus centered on thequestion of how people learned about opportunities to take SCUBA divinglessons and what motivated them to register for such courses. He also soughtdirections to relevant literature and advice from the listserv membership.After pondering these queries, I posted a message asking whether facultymembers at taxpayer-supported universities have a moral responsibility to guidetheir students toward "socially responsible" research questions. In my posting, Isuggested that in the face of problems such as adult illiteracy, attacks on publiceducation, "at-risk" students, homelessness, AIDS, and the like, faculty membersshould attempt to inspire in students a dedication to research that would "make adifference."Thomas Reeves, University of GeorgiaPeter Dean Lecture at the 1995 Association for Educational Communications
  • Problems with Educational Technology Research1.Misunderstanding about basic and applied research.2.Poor quality of educational technology research.3.Disappointing research synthesis.
  • Problems with Educational Technology Research1.Misunderstanding about basic and applied research.2.Poor quality of educational technology research.3.Disappointing research synthesis.
  • Misunderstanding About Basic and Applied Research.
  • Problems with Educational Technology Research1.Misunderstanding about basic and applied research.2.Poor quality of educational technology research.3.Disappointing research synthesis.
  • Poor Quality of Educational Technology Research“The best current evidence is thatmedia are mere vehicles thatdeliver instruction but do notinfluence student achievementany more than the truck thatdelivers our groceries causeschanges in our nutrition.” Richard Clark Review of Educational Research 1983
  • What Does the Secondary E-LearningResearch Say About Student Performance?
  • Student Performance• performance of virtual and classroom students in Alberta were similar in English and Social Studies courses, but that classroom students performed better overall in all other subject areas (Ballas & Belyk, 2000)
  • Student Performance• over half of the students who completed FLVS courses scored an A in their course and only 7% received a failing grade (Bigbie & McCarroll, 2000)• students in the six virtual schools in three different provinces performed no worse than the students from the three conventional schools (Barker & Wendel, 2001)
  • Student Performance• FLVS students performed better on a non-mandatory assessment tool than students from the traditional classroom (Cavanaugh et al., 2005)• FLVS students performed better on an assessment of algebraic understanding than their classroom counterparts (McLeod et al., 2005)
  • Let’s look a little closer...
  • Students and Student PerformanceBallas & performance of virtual and participation rate in theBelyk, 2000 classroom students similar assessment among virtual in English & Social Studies students ranged from 65% to courses, but classroom 75% compared to 90% to students performed better 96% for the classroom-based in all other subject areas studentsBigbie & over half of the students between 25% and 50% ofMcCarroll, who completed FLVS students had dropped out2000 courses scored an A in of their FLVS courses over their course and only 7% the previous two-year received a failing grade period
  • Students and Student PerformanceCavanaugh et FLVS students performed speculated that the virtualal., 2005 better on a non- school students who did mandatory assessment take the assessment may tool than students from have been more the traditional classroom academically motivated and naturally higher achieving studentsMcLeod et FLVS students performed results of the studental., 2005 better on an assessment performance were due to of algebraic understanding the high dropout rate in than their classroom virtual school courses counterparts
  • Student Performance and StudentsBut are we reallycomparing apples toapples?
  • The Students• the vast majority of VHS Global Consortium students in their courses were planning to attend a four-year college (Kozma, Zucker & Espinoza, 1998)• “VHS courses are predominantly designated as ‘honors,’ and students enrolled are mostly college bound” (Espinoza et al., 1999)
  • The StudentsThe preferred characteristicsinclude the highly motivated,self-directed, self-disciplined,independent learner whocould read and write well,and who also had a stronginterest in or ability withtechnology (Haughey &Muirhead, 1999)
  • The Students• “only students with a high need to control and structure their own learning may choose distance formats freely” (Roblyer & Elbaum, 2000)• IVHS students were “highly motivated, high achieving, self-directed and/or who liked to work independently” (Clark et al., 2002)
  • The Students• the typical online student was an A or B student (Mills, 2003)• 45% of the students who participated in e-learning opportunities in Michigan were “either advanced placement or academically advanced” students (Watkins, 2005)
  • Problems with Educational Technology Research1.Misunderstanding about basic and applied research.2.Poor quality of educational technology research.3.Disappointing research synthesis.
  • Disappointing Research SynthesisKannapel and DeYoung (1999) found that rural schoolscontained a strong sense of community and wereregularly the focus of the cultural and social aspects ofthe community. They also found that “extracurricularand non-academic activities are often valued as much ormore than academics, and a higher proportion ofstudents participate in extracurricular activities than inurban schools” (p. 170).
  • Disappointing Research SynthesisIn their review of key literature over the past 25 years,Kannapel and DeYoung (1999) found that rural schoolscontained a strong sense of community and wereregularly the focus of the cultural and social aspects ofthe community. They also found that “extracurricularand non-academic activities are often valued as much ormore than academics, and a higher proportion ofstudents participate in extracurricular activities than inurban schools” (p. 170).
  • Disappointing Research SynthesisIn their review of key literature over the past 25 years,Kannapel and DeYoung (1999) found that rural schoolscontained a strong sense of community and wereregularly the focus of the cultural and social aspects ofthe community. They also found that “extracurricularand non-academic activities are often valued as much ormore than academics, and a higher proportion ofstudents participate in extracurricular activities than inurban schools” (p. 170). It should be noted that three ofthe eleven “key” pieces of literature were written byDeYoung, one of the two authors of this review.
  • Examining Effect Sizes Teacher Effects Zone of Desired EffectsDevelopmentalEffectsReverseEffects
  • Primary & Secondary E-Learning Meta-Analysis• Cavanaugh (2001) - 16 studies – +0.147 in favor of K-12 distance education• Cavanaugh et al. (2004) - 14 studies – -0.028 for K-12 distance education• Means et al. (2009) - 46 studies (5 on K-12) – +0.24 favoring online over face-to-face* – +0.35 favoring blended over face-to-face*
  • Results of Interest• Second and third chance programs (d=0.50)• Matching style of learning (d=0.40)• Computer assisted instruction (d=0.37)• Decreasing disruptive behavior (d=0.34)• Programmed instruction (d=0.24)• Individualized instruction (d=0.23)• Class size (d=0.21)• Charter schools (d=0.20)• Web-based learning (d=0.18)• Home-school programs (d=0.16)• Teacher training (d=0.11)• Teacher subject matter knowledge (d=0.09)• Distance education (d=0.09)• Student control over learning (d=0.04) 28 28
  • Results to Consider• Providing formative evaluation (d=0.90)• Micro teaching (d=0.88)• Teacher clarity (d=0.75)• Providing feedback (d=0.73)• Teacher-student relationships (d=0.72)• Teaching strategies (d=0.60)• Cooperative vs. individualistic learning (d=0.59)• Study skills (d=0.59)• Direct instruction (d=0.59)• Mastery learning (d=0.58)• Worked examples (d=0.57)• Concept mapping (d=0.57)• Goals (d=0.56)• Peer tutoring (d=0.55)• Cooperative vs. competitive learning (d=0.54)
  • Maybe The Problem Is How We Conduct Research?
  • Randomized Controlled Trials1. Is there a control group?2. Are the control and experimental groups assigned randomly?3. If it is a matched study, are the groups extremely similar?4. Is the sample size large enough?5. Are the results statistically significant?
  • http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/
  • What Works ClearinghouseIronically, the WWC personnel have been able to identifyvery few educational programs and practices that have theevidence that is sufficiently rigorous according to theirown criteria to warrant their inclusion in the What Worksdatabase. For example, a review of over 1,300 studies thatexamined the effect of teacher professional developmenton student achievement found that only nine met WWCstandards for rigorous evidence (Yoon, Duncan, Lee, Scarloss, & Shapley, 2007).Can Educational Research Be Both Rigorous and Relevant?Thomas Reeves,2011http://www.educationaldesigner.org/ed/volume1/issue4/article13/index.htm
  • More Problematic ResearchOnline 7 principles of Interviews with teachers and courseCourse effective online developers at a single virtual school,Design course content with no verification of whether the for adolescent interviewees’ perceptions were actuallyBarbour learners effective (or any student input for that(2005; 2007) matter)Online 37 best Interviews with teachers at a singleTeaching practices in virtual school selected by the virtual asynchronous school itself. Their teachers’ beliefsDiPietro et online teaching were not validated through observational. (2008) of the teaching or student performance.
  • There Must Be A Better Way!
  • Design-Based Research Reeves (2006)
  • Virtual High School Global Consortium • annual evaluations – e.g., Espinoza, Dove, Zucker & Kozma, 1999; Kozma, Zucker & Espinoza, 1998; Kozma, Zucker, Espinoza, McGhee, Yarnall & Zalles, 2000 • content-specific investigations – e.g., Elbaum, McIntyre & Smith, 2002; Yamashiro & Zucker, 1999 • final evaluation – e.g., Zucker & Kozma, 2003
  • • Total Student Enrollment - 15,237• Number of Course Sections - 412• Number of Member Schools - 770• Number of International Schools - 51• Number of Participating States - 34• Number of Countries - 33
  • YourQuestions andComments
  • Assistant Professor Wayne State University, USA mkbarbour@gmail.com http://www.michaelbarbour.comhttp://virtualschooling.wordpress.com