Data-Based Decision-Making

The Context

EDTEC 690 introduced me to the formal research process, beginning with a literature review, to data collection, and ending by making appropriate recommendations based on findings. My research investigation focused on two categories of learners’ perception of content management systems (CMS) as an e-learning environment:

  1. The use of content management complex technical features
  2. Self-regulatory learning in CMS environment

Analyses from this investigation may help EDTEC faculty better identify how their students’ learning and academic performance may be influenced by the features and functions that content management systems or interactive course websites offer.

Meeting the Standard

The research project had a sound methodological basis to collect data:

  1. Study design
    Survey research was chosen to collect data, this process allowed the collection of both qualitative and quantitative data on the current population. Participants’ responses were summarized with percentages, frequency counts, and statistical indexed. Findings were made based on these particular responses.
  2. Develop the survey instrument
    The instrument chosen to collect data was SurveyMonkey, an online survey software program. Question types included Likert scales, radio buttons, and text boxes. The content was organized into three parts:

    1. A welcome page
    2. A section on participants experience with CMS
    3. A section on participant attitude towards CMS
  3. Subjects
    The subjects selected to participate included students enrolled in a fully online graduate program who rely on CMS and stand-alone websites as their only classroom environment.

The Unexpected

This study was constrained in three ways, ultimately affecting how data was collected, analyzed, and reported:

  1. This cross-sectional investigation was completed in approximately nine weeks. A more rigorous literature review, larger sample selection, and a more in-depth analysis were compromised due to time constrains.
  2. Using a larger sample size would not necessarily provide a higher quality sample, but would produce sample data to more broadly match graduate students across the graduate program.
  3. Specific features and function were chosen as independent variables by the investigator. Several other features and functions not represented in this study may contribute to more findings on student learning, the dependent variable.

Personal Outcomes

My successful completion conducting this brief research study demonstrates my capabilities to:

  • Identify a valid research issue to investigate.
  • Determine an appropriate research design.
  • Outline appropriate sampling techniques.
  • Develop data collection methods.
  • Distinguish how best to collect data in ways that are ethically sound.
  • Determine appropriate methods and procedures to analyze the data.

e-Portfolio Presentation

A video depiction of my live e-portfolio presentation to the EDTEC faculty on April 15, 2010 (12:20)

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Professional Portfolio

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