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Research, Research, Research




What is Research?

Research can have multiple different meanings depending on what is being talked about in a conversation. When I think about research, the way I define it is, finding and looking for information that we may not know or need more information about. When I was younger, I used to think it just referred to working in a lab. However, now that I work in the education field, I see that research can be done in many ways. For instance, in education, I do research when learning about new teaching techniques that can help my classroom. Sometimes this means looking up information about a new program to even analyzing statistics. Another example of research would be in my new career path in instructional design. In instructional design someone may be working for a company that have clients in all different fields that need professional development made for them. In this instance, Instructional Designers must research the topic they are making the training for so that the information is correct. This allows for them to not have to make so many corrections on the information once the client reviews it.

Benefits of Research (The Editors, 2023)

Currently I work as a teacher in the public education system. Research is very useful in the field of education for several reasons. Educators first and foremost use research to provide quality learning opportunities for their students. On top of that, educators research new methods and techniques to better their teaching of different topics or ideas in more detail. Education is always evolving and advancing from year to year. Looking at student outcomes and other information allows educators to know if the curriculum being taught is effective or needs to be changed. When I taught older grades, it was helpful to research topics more closely so that I could understand different perspectives on the topic. This allowed the students to get the most out of the lesson. More recently as we have experienced a “COVID gap” doing research can help teachers answer questions that might not have been answered yet. And that once we research and answer those questions it won’t only help the educator that has done the research but also other educators who may be needing the same information.

Once I complete my master’s program, I plan to transition to Instructional Design. In the world of technology, information is always changing and that means research needs to be done to keep up with the changing environment. Instructional Designers do have to research topics that relate to what they are working on, such as, developing an online course or training. They also must research accessibility to make sure all aspects are covered. If new programs are made, it is important to research the outcomes of it to see if what was created helped better the learning design that was created.

Qualitative and Quantitative Approach to Research

According to the Mr. Sinn video on Qualitative Research is “focusing on things that are up for discussion and for debate” (Mr. Sinn, 2019). Most people will conduct interviews or send out surveys to get information to use for Qualitive Research. The research also considers things like gender, ethnicity, location of survey taker. Most of the time when you see this type of research being conducted it will be more like an open-ended question. For example, “How do you and your family like to travel most often?”

Quantitative on the other hand, tries to “definitively prove something” (Mr. Sinn, 2019). These researchers are trying to prove something via data found. The data used for quantitative research must be concrete facts so that the data has no reason to be debated. This is because the researchers are trying either disprove or prove a hypothesis. In this type of research, you will see more numbers involved like percentages. One will find the final report for quantitative research to be not up for debate, more so just giving the information that was asked of them and show whether it proved or disproved the original hypothesis.

Prior Experience with Quantitative and Qualitative Research

As a teacher, I have had a little bit of experience with both quantitative and qualitative research. With that being said, it is not some much like the research you would see a formal researcher doing. It is more so just for me to find out data for my classroom.

Quantitative research is something I do often when analyzing grades and/or documentation in my classroom. Last year when I taught first grade, I would use data and percentages to help decide if certain topics needed to be retaught. While this is not exactly research like you would see in instructional design, it is a small type of research that I used on a day-to-day basis to gather information on where my class was on certain topics we had been discussing.

Qualitative research is something I use more often and not just in my classroom. I have a question of the day set up for my students to answer a question and then as a class we will talk about what the students “voted” on. Personally, I love input from my student’s parents. To get this I often put polls or questions out on our class communication app. For instance, last semester, I sent them a poll to ask for suggestions on a field trip. That way we could see what each family was interested in going to for our fall field trip. I also run my own photography business. I often post polls and questions on my social medias asking my followers questions to get feedback so that I can research photography that they might be interested in so I can offer similar services.



Resoruces

Jaramillow Cherrez, N. V. (2021). Instructional Designers Leading Through Research. Retrieved from A Practitioner's Guide to Instructional Design in Higher Education: https://edtechbooks.org/id_highered/instructional_designV

Mr. Sinn. (2019, October 23). Quantitative and Qualitative Research. Retrieved from Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=69qP8kFJp_k

The Editors. (2023, March 3). 40+ Reasons Why Research Is Important in Education. Retrieved from UpJourney: https://upjourney.com/reasons-why-research-is-important-in-education#:~:text=Research%20provides%20educators%20with%20valuable,and%20ideas%20in%20more%20detail.



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