Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Qualitative Research: Using Technology in Class

bandwagon on web2.0 colors by davemc500hats
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In this article, Engaging Students with Engaging Tools Ed Webb has created a wonderful example of what I like to see, a reprise of a qualitative study into the uses of technology in the regular progression of improving students' use of technology while teaching class at the college level. Any teacher could use Ed Webb's protocol and replicate this research in their class.

A teacher could even expand on this research by giving a formal pre-post test of technology skills and an interest inventory. Using Google Forms, a teacher could easily present the tests and survey (inventory).
clipped from www.educause.edu

Engaging Students with Engaging Tools

Engaging Students with Engaging Tools

  • A new course teaching media, mass communication, and political identities in the Middle East and North Africa explored the use of social media in pursuit of effective learning.

  • Using a variety of social media and other tools encouraged student engagement in and out of the classroom.

  • Student responses varied from discomfort with the technology to enthusiastic adoption and continued use after the course ended.
  • The 21 students in the class ranged from first years to seniors and came from several disciplines in the humanities and social sciences. Some were majoring in Middle East Studies or International Studies with a Middle East concentration, while others had little or no background in the region. At the start of the class almost all had Facebook accounts. Only one had a blog. None used Twitter. I inferred from their comments that comfort levels with digital technology ranged widely,
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    Ed Webb said...

    Thanks for noticing the piece. I absolutely encourage others to try similar experiments in a more systematic way. I did not set out to test the effects of these technologies, I just tried to offer the most engaging class I could. That is why my reflections on the results are only anecdotal and tentative. Pre- and post-testing for technological proficiency and comfort levels would be a logical next step.

    The more we try out these approaches, the more we will understand about what really works in engaging students (provided we share our results).

    samccoy said...

    Ed, Thanks so much for noticing my blog post. I wanted to encourage my Professional Learning Network to use your ideas as a protocol. It seems to me that this would reinforce the accuracy of your hypothesis.

    I agree that sharing results is a key to improving education.

    Hattie said...

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