Aleta May

Reflection for Week 6: Writings for October 9 – October 12.

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I posted my “Method and Research Design for a Blended Reading Environment” and “Data Collection Musings & Their Inherent Challenges” for this week’s assignments. Scott responded that he thought my plan looks well organized, and reminded me that a variety of sources is important to any research study. It was really helpful to receive this input, because blended learning is such a broad topic, even though I am narrowing it to Read 180 and its impact on student engagement and student-centered learning. It was also helpful to receive feedback from him regarding my plan to wait before interviewing students, adding that by then the novelty of the program will have worn out.

Sunshine inspired me to look into computer-based simulated learning environments. I found an article that related to my research in that it discusses the issue of cognitive overload. By briefly researching into her topic, I believe I found information that could help her write a rubric for her student’s presentation. Scientific discovery learning based on inquiry learning is the pedagogy behind using many science simulation environments: “Scientific discovery learning is in line with aspects of inquiry learning, including processes such as predicting (stating a possible simulation outcome), conducting (carrying out the simulated experiment and collecting data), and reasoning (drawing conclusions about the simulation outcome. . .” (Eckhardt, et al., p. 106).

I noticed that Tammy is using a mixed methods research approach like I am. She added to my thinking about open ended questions and how I could add these to an interview I wish to give to students regarding how the feel about reading in traditional and blended learning environments. I looked up mixed-methods research and found an insightful, but simple definition: “the joint use of qualitative and quantitative methods in a single study” (Maxwell, 2013, p. 102). One purpose for using more than one data collection method is for triangulation, meaning one method sheds light on the data collected by another method, leading in turn to a deeper understanding. What if observations and interviews reveal information that seems to be divergent? Then the researcher is forced “to reexamine your understanding of what is going on” (Maxwell, p. 104). Also, there is less inference when one source of data seems unclear.

This week I completed my literature review. Working on this simultaneously with thinking about my research design and theoretical framework (recently), has helped pull several parts together to give me focus. It feels good to be at this point. The next logical step is to begin collecting data.

References 

Eckhardt, M., Urhahne, D., Conrad, O., Harms, U. (2013). How effective is

instructional support for learning with computer simulations? Instructional Science,

41, 105-124.

Maxwell, J.A., (2013). Qualitative research design: An interactive approach, (3rd

ed.)  Thousand, Oaks, CA: Sage.

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