ERIC Number: EJ1080649
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Reference Count: 9
A Deconstructed Example of a Type 4 Study: Research to Monitor and Report on Common Uses and Shape Desired Directions
Roblyer, M. D.
Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education (CITE Journal), v7 n1 p590-598 2007
The introductory article to this series (Roblyer, 2005) outlined four kinds of studies that could move the educational technology field forward and that are lacking in the current published research base: (1) Research to Establish Relative Advantage; (2) Research to Improve Implementation Strategies; (3) Research to Monitor Impact on Important Societal Goals; and (4) Studies That Monitor and Report on Common Uses and Shape Desired Directions. The current article explores an exemplar of a Type 4 study, though it also has aspects that provide Type 2 study results. As the introductory article in this series described, many technologies are already in such common use that what is needed now is clear evidence about what sociological impact they are having on school life and whether they are meeting their own ostensible goals. This is the raison d'etre of Type 4 studies. Certainly, no technology is more pervasive and has more potential for widespread impact than distance education (DE). Though its use is growing rapidly and it is projected to have direct impact on the educational programs of most, if not all, instructors and students in coming years, there is relatively little known about its impact on society and how its implementation might be shaped to prevent the negative society-wide outcomes that many fear are the inevitable outcome of such rapid, unplanned growth. The published study reviewed in this article offers many insights on these questions and offers some guidelines, albeit tentative, to shape implementation strategies. The article reported here contributes in important ways to the research foundation that is key to making the case for funding and use of educational technology. It offers benefits of several kinds. First, it models sound practice for research reviews, especially those that use meta-analysis, using a clear and well-articulated theoretical and research foundation and defensible, replicable methods. Second, it models the kind of clear, detailed reporting of methods and results that shows that its findings are as valid and reliable as possible. Finally, it offers sound, if still somewhat tentative, guidelines for practice in an important, expanding area of technology: distance education. These guidelines are especially noteworthy since they address longstanding criticism by Clark and others in a way that allows useful comparisons of technology-based (i.e., DE) and non-technology based (i.e., classroom or non-DE) applications.
Descriptors: Educational Research, Educational Technology, Outcomes of Education, Technology Uses in Education, Distance Education, Meta Analysis, Research Methodology, Literature Reviews
Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education. P.O. Box 1545, Chesapeake, VA 23327. Tel: 757-366-5606; Fax: 703-997-8760; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.aace.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
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