M4-Week 4-Home

Educational Research Design Module (Week 4)

The following is a reflection on the week immediately after the class that took place on 9th May 2017 using Gibbs Reflective Cycle.


THIS WEEK:  Methodology (Home)

Saturday 13/05/17

Signed up for a myendnoteweb.com account
Installed Cite While You Write EndNote plug-in for Microsoft Word for Mac 2011
Installed EndNote Capture Reference tool in the bookmarks of (a) Safari (b) Firefox (both for Mac)
Installed EndNote Capture Reference app for Chrome

Sunday 14/05/17


(1) Email from Claire McAvinia on 11/05/17
The prompt questions were:

·         What is the broad area/theme of your research topic? (e.g. curriculum design, student experience)
Answer:  Adaptive/Personalised Learning
·         What are you trying to find out/what is your research question?
Answer:  How can a domain model for adaptive learning in mathematics be evaluated?
·         How do you plan to find the answer? So what methodologies might help you do this?
Answer:  Literature review, design and evaluation of a domain model for adaptive learning in secondary school mathematics.
·         What methodology/methodologies do you feel you can rule out?
Answer:  (1) Experimental and quasi-experimental research (testing hypotheses, control and experimental groups, etc.)
(2) Phenomenological research
(3) Heuristic inquiry
(4) Grounded theory (methodology or method)
What’s left?
(1) Analytical Surveys (A deductive approach, the identification of the research population, the drawing of a representative sample from the population, control of variables,
the generation of both qualitative and quantitative data, generalizability of results)
(2) Action Research (Involves both researchers and practitioners (or practitioners as researchers within their own organisation), can be highly structured and involve the use of
experimental and control groups used to test a hypothesis, can also be quite unstructured and used inductively (and qualitatively)

·         Plan to write about a page over the week on the methodology you are most interested in. Note any questions for the session next week once you have drafted your page.

(2) Email from Claire McAvinia on 12/05/17
Between now and Tuesday morning, can we ask you to add a note to our Padlet wall here:
Simply double-click on the screen to get started.

This very short exercises is leading out of the work and the reflective activity you had last week and leading us into our next topic.

On Tuesday, we will be starting to think about Methods and looking briefly at quantitative methods before getting into questionnaire design. The session will be very participative and we look forward to hearing more of your ideas.


Research Question and Methodology – Gerard Kilkenny

Research Question – How can a domain model for adaptive learning in Junior Certificate Mathematics (Strand 5 – Functions) be evaluated?

Methodology – I am assessing the suitability of a Case Study where experienced Mathematics teachers/textbook authors will evaluate a domain model (digital artefact) designed by the researcher (me).

Literature Support for Case Study –
O’Donnell et al (2015, p.26) assert that “the case study methodology is possibly the most appropriate approach to apply to the complex research question of the evaluation of personalised e-learning.”

Šimko (2012, p.2) states that “particularly challenging is development of a proper methodology for domain model evaluation.  A direct “quantitative” evaluation is difficult as it is hard to define exact measures that are suitable to assess quality of a domain model for adaptive web-based learning.”

O’Donnell, E., Lawless, S., Sharp, M., & Wade, V. (2015). A review of personalised e-learning: Towards supporting learner diversity. International Journal of Distance Education Technologies, 13(1), 22-47.

Šimko, M. (2012). Automated acquisition of domain model for adaptive collaborative web-based learning. Information Sciences and Technologies Bulletin of the ACM Slovakia, 4(2), 1-9.