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Teaching Research Methods: the role of online training resources Jane Wellens Educational Developer Tristram Hooley Postgraduate Training Coordinator.

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Presentation on theme: "Teaching Research Methods: the role of online training resources Jane Wellens Educational Developer Tristram Hooley Postgraduate Training Coordinator."— Presentation transcript:

1 Teaching Research Methods: the role of online training resources Jane Wellens Educational Developer Tristram Hooley Postgraduate Training Coordinator

2 Structure of Talk Exploring Online Methods Starting Your PhD Models of online training TRIORM

3 Exploring Online Research Methods Website Launched April 2006 and includes: a high-quality portal providing training in online research methods; a self-supporting online resource to enhance understanding of theoretical and practical aspects of online research methods including online questionnaires and virtual synchronous and asynchronous interviews; a wide range of good practice case studies; discussion of the ethical issues of online research; important links; and comprehensive technical guidance.

4 Target Audiences Established academic researchers Junior researchers/ PhDs Public/private sector researchers Research assistants Technical support Students UG PG Distance Campus based etc Possibly mediated through teaching

5 Site link

6 Pedagogical Approaches Constructivism/Experiential learning Online resource-based learning –Learning by doing –Learners have freedom to choose how they use the resources: Pace Location Prior experience/entry level –Support and feedback provided –Learning outcomes help learners identify what they are trying to achieve

7 Types of learning activities Structured/guided reading Hands on examples Demonstrations Self-review tests Case studies

8 How the site can be used - Teachers Reference source Supplementary resource Integration into teaching –Modular structure addressing different aspects of ORM –Clear learning outcomes/learning objects –Adaptable for different delivery modes (e.g. face to face or distance)

9 How the site can be used - Learners Structured self-directed learning Dip in – identifying specific learning requirements Blended learning –Campus based course –Part of distance learning provision –Modular structure

10 Feedback 1 This will be an invaluable resource. It is clear, its comprehensive, and it makes sensible evaluations of prevailing opinion and practice - Christine Hine, University of Surrey The site offers a kind of one-stop shop for the relative newcomer to online research and the pitch of the modules seems appropriate - Martyn Denscombe, De Montfort University This is self-study online training of the very best kind: practical and hands-on; theoretically sound; technically exacting; supportive and inspirational. I wish this facility had been available when I started my own online research career - Chris Mann, Oxford Internet Institute Lots of nice aspects, well laid out and easy to navigate. I would recommend it to students and colleagues as an initial portal into learning more about online research methods, and as a resource for access to further more specialist, detailed sources - Claire Hewson, University of Bolton The layout and design of the website, the level of detail in its content, the use of examples and references, and the all-round navigation of the modules makes this a valuable resource that will, I am sure, be of use to many social scientists - Chris Taylor, Cardiff University

11 Feedback 2 This is an excellent web resource. Overall, the site is well thought out and covers most of the key issues which one would expect to see with regard to any method. Thus, it provides a comprehensive learning tool for researchers and will I am sure be widely used in the future - Parvati Raghuram, Open University My general impressions of the site are very good. The layout is straight forward, navigation around the site was simple, and I found the whole thing easy to use. The content is very thorough indeed - Colin Hyde, East Midlands Oral History Archive I think the Technical Guide is absolutely excellent. It is clear, well written and easy to navigate. The content is comprehensive, clear and well researched. I have already found it very useful myself and would have no hesitation in recommending it to anyone who is thinking of developing an online survey. - Christine Gratton, University of Nottingham Yael Levanon, who attended last years Summer Doctoral Programme of the Oxford Internet Institute with me in Beijing, passed on an interesting virtual training environment hosted by the University of Leicester called Exploring Online Research Methods. It features several modules, e.g. online questionnaires, ethics, and offers a well sorted area of helpful resources on the web dealing with the question of how to run online surveys. Thanks Yael, thanks folks at Uni of Leicester! – Marcus German PhD students Blog

12 Starting Your PhD Online programme to help new PhD students: Investigate the range of support services available to them; Discuss the different ways in which PhDs are seen Formulate a training plan Articulate their research to a non-specialist audience; and Experience working in a VLE for groupwork and professional development activities

13 Starting Your PhD

14 Approach based on Salmon (2000) Online lectures and films supported by group discussion boards 1 Access & motivation Trial posting 2 Online socialization Where do you work? Who are you and what do you do? 3 Information exchange Who can help? What is a PhD? 4 Knowledge construction What skills do you need for a PhD? 5 Development Training Needs Analysis

15 Starting Your PhD - Engagement 29 students enrolled 20 accessed the course 3608 total hits on site (tutor 31%) Mean 130 hits Range from 14 to 453 19 contributed to the discussions 286 postings to discussion board (23% tutor) Mean 11 postings Range from 1 to 46 An sw ers Percent Answered Very useful25% Useful75% OK0% Not useful0% Unanswere d 0% How useful did you find the Starting Your PhD course overall?How useful did you find the Starting Your PhD course overall? An sw ers Percent Answered Very useful25% Useful75% OK0% Not useful0% Unanswere d 0%

16 Feedback Quite enjoyed it. I have never used an e-learning environment before and this was a good introduction to it. It was a little more time consuming than initially advertised and it was very frustrating that so many people dropped out midway through. The fact that it directed me to a huge variety of resources and we also obtained feedback about each of the section. We were encouraged to participate in discussions, it was only a shame that so many people registered interest then dropped out. I think there needs to be more of an incentive to get people interested and also it was difficult trying to do group work when so few people were about to work with. I am not sure how this could be remedied though as it was promoted as a flexible course! The only way I can think is to have specific times when people are online and there is a mediator online as well to facilitate the process as group working via email is not something I personally have much experience of. Maybe the course could be run longer ? I felt the assignments were to close together and when I was off with virus for a week I think I missed two.

17 Exploring ORM/Starting Your PhD Common Issues Participation voluntary Dip-in, dip-out usage Completion of activities Tutor involvement Flexibility

18 Exploring Online Methods Starting Your PhD Models of online training TRIORM Future Developments

19 Future Developments - TRIORM Teaching Researchers in Online Research Methods Online Training Module in Online Research Methods –A ten week, 15 credit, M-level online programme –Delivered using the Blackboard Virtual Learning Environment. Target Audience –Social science, medical and educational researchers wanting to further develop their skills in online research methods including: –Established researchers –Junior researchers –Research assistants –Postgraduate students –University administrators

20 Learning Outcomes By the end of the module participants will be able to: –Critically evaluate the use of online research methods to address their own and their peers research questions; –Design and pilot an online questionnaire or online interview to address their own research questions using appropriate software/hardware; –Evaluate their online research design in the light of feedback from the pilot; –Identify the key issues in successful implementation of online research methods from the perspective of researcher and respondent; and –Reflect on their experience as an online researcher and identify further opportunities for development.

21 Reflections: Teaching using online training resources Nature of the subject matter High quality resources required Tutor input high Resources may not be used as expected Expectations of engagement Reward for participation Community of practice

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