Technology in Education: Mixed-Methods Design

Introduction

Numerous research methods are used to gather information related to the subject of the research carried out. Some of these methods use numerical, and others use empirical methods to gather the necessary information, which results in qualitative and quantitative research. Qualitative research has a complete aim to obtain a detailed description (Dougherty, 1996). Quantitative research aims at clarifying features and known values in numerical form, and later constructs a statistical model that attempts to explain what was observed during the research. Qualitative research methods use different approaches from those used in quantitative. Both qualitative and quantitative research methods can be used to conduct an analysis and draw conclusions of the research project. Research carried out to determine the effect of information technology in classrooms used a combination of these methods, which is called mixed-method design. It will be used to provide an in-depth understanding of our research problem.

The research question was whether information technology has an impact on class performance. Samples from different levels of learning institutions were taken. Some surveyed students were learning using information technology, while others were studying using the traditional method. Information technology was considered as the independent variable, while convectional learning was considered as the dependent variable (Van, 1988). It was used because the information that needed to be gathered was to illustrate the impact of learning using information technology and ascertain whether a change in technology affects class performance. The use of information technology was an independent variable since students’ performance was related to the application of this technology, determining performance efficiency.

The null hypothesis indicated that the use of information technology in educating students does not improve academic performance more than the use of traditional methods does (Pentland, 1999). The study showed that there was no difference in the performance of the students that used information technology as compared to those who used conventional learning. The alternative hypothesis viewed it differently because it stated that the use of information technology in educating students improves academic performance more than the use of traditional methods.

Study Design

In the study, an experimental research design was employed to establish the effects of information technology on the academic performance of students in different study levels. The researcher was to select samples of schools from nursery to university level. The researcher was to select teachers randomly and train them on using information technology for a month before the beginning of the term or semester. It was designed that the groups will be taught separately using information technology and traditional learning methods, respectively. At the end of the learning sessions, the groups should be given exams to determine the effectiveness of studies.

Study Sample

The sample was to include between 600-1000 participants. The inclusion criteria to select the sample were to involve schools that have not adopted information technology in their teaching as well as those that use it without considering the grades. The researcher ought not to be biased by choice of school in regard to public or private.

Data Analysis

The researcher will use the results of the test administered at the end of the study to determine the effects of information technology on the academic performance of the two groups. The researchers will find the average of the performances of individual participants in the previous term. The performance should be evaluated before and after learning to determine whether there is an impact of information technology (Gay & Airasian, 2000).

Conclusion

Since the research involved people from different academic levels, the result was likely to be different. The sample selected was a true representation of the population, and therefore the result obtained was reliable. The use of different hypothesis was likely to give differing opinions. The combination of qualitative and quantitative research methods resulted in a concrete analysis of the impact of information technology in class performance.

References

Dougherty, D. (1996). Organizing for Innovation. In S. Clegg, C. Hardy, and W. Nord, eds. Handbook of Organization Studies. (pp. 424-439). London: SAGE Publications.

Gay, L. R., & Airasian, P. W. (2000). Student guide to accompany educational research: Competencies for analysis and application. Upper Saddle River: Merill.

Pentland, B. (1999). Building process theory with narrative. From description to explanation. Academy of Management Review, 24( 4), pp. 711-724.

Van Maanen, J. (1988). Tales of the Field: On Writing Ethnography. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.