Online Learning Center How To Design And Evaluate Research In Education,5/e

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Online Learning Center How To Design And Evaluate Research In Education,5/e

Written by Sherri Bisenius, Founder and CEO of How To Design & Evaluate Research In Education,

The last two years have been difficult to watch our school district’s schools dwindle. As any other consumer would do, I have become very watchful when it comes to my own learning and I have also become painfully aware of the success of our last test. In the past two years I have watched a great deal of testimony shared by teachers on the need for more testing, this information is vital information but since we are already overcrowded on having two grades testing in some cases, the two grade tests start to fit the curriculum rather than enrich the classes’ teacher/student interaction. A great addition is the beginning of providing data access to schools on online course requirements and resources but as I have said many times before data is not data.

The software needed to effectively evaluate research is complex and expensive. Parents can easily approach a school or district asking for data-sharing, which is the start of a process (they may not be successful or could be denied access due to federal privacy laws) but I feel it’s far better to have the answer available so parents can focus on strategies for learning with the instruction. So as another parent can imagine as I sit in a classroom watching how the teacher is teaching and listening to each student’s insights as to the lessons needs, I want to have the answers to help them. Now isn’t the time for us to rely on programs, we should be learning and taking control.

In How To Design & Evaluate Research In Education, 5/e the authors describe five steps a teacher or researcher can take to refine their research, writing, presentation, and publication. I wanted to offer my own tips and they are not all exactly the same:

Step 1: Have a conversation with faculty. In my own experience, when faculty and parents can join in a robust research discussions, insight can explode and with it, conclusions that were not anticipated can be reached. Why not continue on this road to a better understanding of what is working and what’s not? The opportunity for more passionate understanding and the potential for people to learn and share is what it’s all about.

Step 2: Keep a journal. For most people this is part of their daily habit so there’s no shame in taking the time to use this resource as well. As someone who has taught in a variety of schools I can tell you that you don’t need great graphics to be able to work in mind maps, classroom reflection, PTA subconsultations, or class discussions. I’ve taken a look at some of my own journal entries and found at times I made better sense than my lesson plans. The key is to take the time to not only be honest and share your insights, but also have someone present help you make sense of it all.

Step 3: Review your research and prepare it for publication. Clearly, we want to be in a position to communicate the information we’ve collected for publishing purposes. If we can check the quality and discuss the content it can be better for all. The guide notes that there are many sources to check, some of the best are the drafts of your essays. If you haven’t written your essays yet (or kept them due to ongoing work on your class) and are tired of work-in-progress, then collect the drafts and document it as the guiding documentation that gives you the evidence to support your case that your ideas merit an article.

Step 4: Change your focus to evaluate best practices. Not everyone agrees with your ideas but that will never change your goals. Be aware of your blind spots and what resources your ideas are supported by. As you are determining what you want to write about, think about the current state of what is best (while still respecting your suggestions) and compile your findings. Your goal is to become a trustworthy information source.

Step 5: Attend college/university seminars/presentations. If someone is available to listen to you, then would be a great place to do your research. Look for conferences, seminars, or speakers that address your topics. I’ve found the content covered at these events are a great source of information with an excellent context for you. Sometimes the subject matter of the conferences may even be expanded upon in terms of what you are collecting. And don’t forget to do your research while you’re there.

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