Research methodology resources
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This page is a resource page on social science research methodology with a special focus on approaches and methods used in various research types in educational technology.
See also: Methodology tutorial (a crash course with several modules).
2 Research methodology in educational technology
Educational technology uses the whole palette of social science methodology. Very few approaches originated in our field. One recent example is design-based research (DBR). But even DBR uses methods and techniques developed in other contexts. Of course edutech research does contribute to the evolution of various tools, e.g contributes to the methodology of log file analysis, dialogue and discourse analysis, observation of human-computer interaction, development of survey scales, etc.
See also: Educational technology research approaches for a discussion on what is considered to be good research.
- What We Know about Research in Instructional Technology: Interviews with Research Leaders by Marshall G. Jones et al. presentation at the annual conference of the Association for Educational Communications and Technology. St. Louis, MO. February, 1998.
So far, we don't have a very complete inventory. In particular, good tutorials for qualitative methods are missing...
3.1 Literature and Bibliography
3.2 General introduction to research methodology
- Bill Trochim's nice Knowledge Base. This web-based text-book is a good place to start for quantitative research (including statistics)
- Research Methods, by Christopher L. Heffner. This ten chapter research methods text is written for both undergraduate and graduate students in education, psychology, and the social sciences. It focuses on the basics of research design and the critical analysis of professional research in the social sciences from developing a theory, selecting subjects, and testing subjects to performing statistical analysis and writing the research report.
- Shields, Patricia and Hassan Tajalli. 2006. Intermediate Theory: The Missing Link to successful Student Scholarship. Journal of Public Affairs Education. Vol. 12, No. 3: 313-334. PDF reprint
- Randolph, Justus J. (2007). Multidisciplinary Methods in Educational Technology Research and Development, HAMK Press, HTML / PDF. This is the only book that specifically focuses on educational technology, and it's free!
- Methodology tutorial (our own crash course with several modules)
- Research Methods Poster (Gregor Polancic, 2007, made for IT research, but also suitable for social science research).
See also the books section. There exist good introductory books !
There are loads of tutorials on the web. If you are not happy with this little choice, look this for example.
- StatSoft Electronic Statistics Textbook. Very good and fairly suitable for beginners, from StatSoft the makers of Statistica ! (old version, pw protected]
- Statistics Glossary, also from StatSoft.
- HyperStat Online Textbook by David M. Lane at Rice University. Centered on Anova and testing. Look at its humor links to take a break.
- Rice Virtual Lab in Statistics (related to HyperStat)
- PA 765 Statnotes: An Online Textbook by G. David Garson, NC State University. No longer available / updated, replaced by this. Very good Hypertext with many detailed "chapters", not always suitable for total beginners. Also makes references to SPSS procedures .
- Statistical Associates by David Garson et al. Revised version of the above. Either commercial e-books (unfortunately in proprietary Kindle format) or free PDFs upon registration (2 day delay).
- Statistics Hell. Dr. Andy Field's slides and handouts (with some dripping blood). Some of his stuff is really recommended, in particular the introductory texts on factor and cluster analysis.
- Wikipedia Statistics. The Wikipedia has become a very good resource for some issues and models (2006). But not always for the faint hearted.
- Tutorials - ITS / UTexas. Tutorials provide a general introduction to various software package including information on how to use statistics. (Amos, SAS, SPSS, etc.)
- Statistics Glossary, Valerie J. Easton & John McColl, Centre for Applied Statistics, Lancaster University. Good tutorial-like site, incl. Index.
- Internet For Social Statistics. This is a free online course that shows you how to find statistics (and related informations) on the Internet and how to deal with it..
- Structural Equation Modelling in Market Research by the people who made the AMOS SEM package. Good. (SEM is not for beginners)
- Georgetown AMOS Tutorial (version 4, Intro to the program and simple multiple regression, suitable for beginners)
- Research Methods Knowledge Base website,
- Statistical Consulting & Tutoring Service (A. Richmond)
See also the SPSS entry.
3.4 Qualitative Research
- Choosing Qualitative Data Analysis Software: Atlas/ti and Nudist Compared by Christine Barry, Sociological Research Online, vol. 3, no. 3. Note: this on-line journal has other "quali" articles.
- Hypermedia and Ethnography: Reflections on the Construction of a Research Approach, by Bella Dicks and Bruce Mason, Sociological Research Online, vol. 3, no. 3
- Lombard, Matthew, Jennifer Snyder-Duch and Cheryl Campanella Bracken (2005). Practical Resources for Assessing and Reporting Intercoder Reliability in Content Analysis Research Projects, Webpage, retrieved May 2008
- Eisenhardt, Kathleen M. (1989), Building Theories from Case Study Research, The Academy of Management Review, Vol. 14, No. 4 (Oct., 1989), pp. 532-550
- The Delphi Method: Techniques and Applications. online book, Harold A. Linstone and Murray Turoff, Editors.
- Blandford, Ann (2013). Semi-structured qualitative studies. In: Soegaard, Mads and Dam, Rikke Friis (eds.). "The Encyclopedia of Human-Computer Interaction, 2nd Ed.". Aarhus, Denmark: The Interaction Design Foundation. Available online at http://www.interaction-design.org/encyclopedia/semi-structured_qualitative_studies.html
3.5 Network Analysis
- Link Analysis: An Information Science Approach" by Mike Thelwall. This site contains extra information related to the book. (webometrics). See also the SocSciBot3 software that can be used togetehr with the Pajek program
- Pajek is a Program for Large Network Analysis (Wiki site)
3.6 Design methodology
- Design Methodology. Slides by Maria Hakansson, IT-University.
- Prototyping in practise (also from Sweden)
Some day, I may add more things. In my group, we use mostly Atlas for qualitative and SPSS for quantitative analysis. Some QUAL software is described in Computer assisted qualitative research analysis software and content analysis. Also, follow-up resources in the links section.
- The Impoverished Social Scientist's Guide to Free Statistical Software and Resources by Micah Altman. This is probably the best list of free quantitative software on the Internet
- ResearchWare has a reduced free versions of HyperResearch (Quali tool)
- Other stuff
- NetDraw Network Visualization. Free program for visualizing 1-mode and 2-mode social network data (made by Steve Borgatti and Roberta Chase, Analytic Technologies)
- Ethno, is an on-line Java program that helps you analyze sequential events.
- Microsoft Excel: Avoid whenver you can !: However if you really must (e.g. if you don't have cash for SPSS or you if you are too illiterate to download a free stats program), then search for "Using Excel for survey analysis". You then may find resources like:
- Online tools
- WEXTOR is a Web-based tool that lets you quickly design and visualize laboratory experiments and Web experiments in a guided step-by-step process.
5 Books and articles
These books and articles should be suitable for beginners, e.g. MA and PhD Students. Before buying any book, you should read customer reviews in online bookstores or other sources. And of course, you shouldn't need more than two of these. Leedy and Ormrod is probably one of the best books to start with.
- Bell, Judith (2005). Doing Your Research Project: A Guide for First-Time Researchers in Education and Social Science, 4th edition, Buckingham: Open University Press, ISBN 0335215041
- Cohen, Louis , Lawrence Manion , Keith Morrison (2007). Research Methods in Education, 6th ed. Routledge, ISBN 0415368782.
- Creswell, John W. (2002). Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches (2nd Edition), Sage Publications, ISBN 0761924426
- Creswell, John W. (2004). Educational Research: Planning, Conducting, and Evaluating Quantitative and Qualitative Research, Prentice Hall; 3rd edition. ISBN 0136135501 - Companion web site
- Leedy, P. D., & Ormrod, J. E. (2005). Practical research: Planning and design (8th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education. ISBN 0131108956
- Newman, Lawrence (2005). Social Research Methods: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches, 6th edition. Allyn & Bacon, ISBN 0205457932
- Newman, Lawrence (2003). Basics of Social Research: Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches. Allyn & Bacon, ISBN 0205355781
5.2 About dissertations
- Bolker, Joan (1998). Writing Your Dissertation in Fifteen Minutes a Day: A Guide to Starting, Revising, and Finishing, Holt Paperbacks, ISBN 080504891X
- Peters (1997) Getting What You Came For: A Smart Student's Guide to Earning a Masters or Ph.D.
See also literature review
(This list could be much longer of course)
- Quasi-experimental research
- Cook, Thomas, K. and Campbell, Donald T. (1979). Quasi-Experimentation: Design and Analysis Issues for Field Settings, Houghton Mifflin Company, ISBN-10 0395307902
- Campbell, Donald T. and Stanley, Julian (1963). Experimental And Quasi-experimental Designs For Research, Boston: Houghton Mifflin. ISBN 0395307872. (Very old, but still relevant)
- Experimental research
- Box, George E. P.; William G. Hunter; J. Stuart Hunter and William Gordon Hunter (2005). Statistics for Experimenters: Design, Innovation, and Discovery, 2nd edition. John Wiley & Sons, ISBN 0471718130. (Rather difficult reading).
- Survey research
- Fowler, Floyd, J. (2001) Survey Research Methods, Sage Publications, ISBN 0761921915
- DeVellis, R. F. (2003). Scale development: theory and applications. Applied social research methods series Volume 26. Thousand oaks, London, Delhi: Sage Publications.
- Field, A. P. (2005). Discovering statistics using SPSS (second edition). London: Sage publications. ISBN 0-7619-4452-4. (Good introduction to statistics book for beginners, and help with SPSS too).
- Hinton, D. P. R. (2004). Statistics Explained: A Guide for Social Science Students (2nd ed.). Routledge. ISBN 0415332850
- Qualitative research
- Denzin, Norman K. and Yvonna S. Lincoln (eds) (). The SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Research, Sage Publications. ISBN 0761927573
- Miles, Matthew B. and Michael Huberman. (1994) Qualitative Data Analysis: An Expanded Sourcebook, Sage Publications. ISBN 0803955405
- Dey, I. (1993). Qualitative Data Analysis. Routledge, London.
- Marshall, C. & Rossman, G. B. (1995) , Designing Qualitative Research, second edition, Sage, London
- Hoepfl, Marie C. (1997). Choosing Qualitative Research: A Primer for Technology Education Researchers, Journal of technoloy education, Volume 9, Number 1. HTML.
- Case study research
- Merriam, Sharan B. (1997) Qualitative Research and Case Study Applications in Education, Jossey-Bass, ISBN 0787910090
- Stake, Robert Earl (1995). The Art Of Case Study Research, Sage Publications, ISBN 080395767X
- Yin, R.K. (2002) Case Study Research - Design And Methods. Third edition. Sage Publications, ISBN 0761925538 (first edition was in 1984).
- Mixed Methods
- Johnson R.B., Onwuegbuzie A.J., Turner L.A. (2007). Journal of Mixed Methods Research, April 2007 vol. 1 no. 2 112-133. Abstract/PDF
- Johnson R.B. Comments on Howe: Toward a more inclusive "scientific research in education", (2009) Educational Researcher, 38 (6), pp. 449-457. Abstract.
- Applied computer science
- Pertti Järvinen: On Research Methods. Tampere: Opinpajan Kirja, ISBN 952-99233-1-7 . (This seems to be the only useful general methdology book related to design-oriented technology research. Very dense reading, but worth to buy, directly from the this bookstore or from Granum (tested by me).
5.4 To sort out
- Fraenkel, J., & Wallen, N. (2006). How to Design and Evaluate Research in Education with PowerWeb (6th ed.) New York: McGraw-Hill.
- Steiner, E. (1988). Methodology of Theory Building. Sydney: Educology Research Associates.
6 Methodology Links
(dig around and you will find it)
- SEE also larger indexes, such as: the Research Resources for the Social Sciences, the WWW-VL Social Sciences, the Psychology Virtual Library, etc.
6.1 More General
- Social Science Information Gateway (SOSIG). This is a large portal with a lot of links, e.g. Research Methods. Probably on of the best place to start browsing.
- Research Methods Resources On The Www, Mary Sue Stephenson's good index at the University of British Columbia. Another good site for browsing, strong also on qualitative methodology.
- Social Research Methods. Bill Trochim's Center. Very nice Knowledge Base (Web-based text-book, click on "contents") and also Selecting Statistics expert system Program. Also features pointers to tutorials (made by graduate students)
- Research Methodology and Statistics at the sociosite, an other good index
- Resources for Methods in Evaluation and Social Research (ocus is on "how-to" do evaluation research)
- Research Methods Good short list by Mikko Mattila
- PA 765 Research Methodology Links by G. David Garson, NC State University
- Selected Links to Resources on Writing a Literature Review
- List of Wikipedia articles on scientific method
- The Baloney Detection Kit: Carl Sagan’s Rules for Bullshit-Busting and Critical Thinking by Maria Popova, blog post, Jan. 2014.
6.2 Qualitative Research
(both formal/structured and unformal)
- The Qual/Quant Research Marathon Content. Description of differences.
- The Qualitative Report (both a journal and an index)
- QualPage by Judy Norris. Very good site.
- Grounded Theory Methodology Karl "Chuck B." Freiherr von Manteuffel ...
- Action Research Sources (by Bob Dick, Southern Cross University)
6.3 Network Analysis
- Social Network References (Good Academic Bibliography, no links) and Dynamic Visualization of Social Networks (part of J.N. cummunings on-line analysis site). Very good links to other software tools.
- Social Network Analysis, Tom Snijders links and methods page
- INSNA International Network for Social Network Analysis, has links to researcher's home pages and tutorials
- Social Network Analysis Links by I.M. Benta (who also wrote the freeware Agna Network Analysis package)
6.4 Quantitative Research
- Statlib, datasets, scripts for various packages, routines for programmers who want to hack it their own way, etc.
- Methods in Behavioral Research by Paul C. Cozby. Good structured links for experimental research (according to chapters of his book)
- The Quant Corner INDEX by Bobbi Kerlin
- A few links related to Statistics Education by Juha Puranen. Large list of some useful links related to Statistics Education - Online Statistical teaching material, courses , handouts, exercises, articles, datasets. This is the best index I am aware of.
- Questionnaire (Wikiversity)
6.5 Experimental research
- The web experiment list, University of Deusto. Intended to be the world's most comprehensive archive of current and past psychological Web experiments. So these are good examples.
6.6 Associations, Journals, Forums on-line
- Forum: Qualitative Social Research (FQS) Good quarterly (peer-reviewed multilingual online journal for qualitative research). In addition FQS Reviews, Debates and Conferences. Worth a Visit !
- The Society for Political Methodology and the Political Methodology Section of the APSA. In particular, check out the on line journals like the Political Methodologist
- ITFORUM A listserv for the Instructional Tehcnology community. Quite a lot of discussion on research problems. Also includes discussions on special topics
6.7 Data and Question Archives
- learning surveys and Usability and user experience surveys (small inventories of survey instruments)
- The Impoverished Social Scientist's Guide to Data Resources by Micah Altman. A good starting point for major data resources as well as many international and US databases.
- Data Archives List at Keele/UK
- The Question Bank, Social surveys online, sponsored by UK Economic and Social Research Council
- SIDOS Swiss information and data archive service for the social sciences
- Swiss electoral studies (related to SIDOS)
- Pew Research Center’s Global Attitudes Project conducts public opinion surveys around the world on a broad array of subjects ranging from people’s assessments of their own lives to their views about the current state of the world and important issues of the day. After 2-3 years, datasets are made public.
Other sorts of data:
- Data Store. All sorts of data (published by the Guardian newpaper). Some available through a Google spreadsheet.
- Simon Rogers's Delicious Bookmarks. A few hundred bookmarks on data that are of interest to journalists and others ...
7 Finding information on the Internet
It is increasingly easy to find academic materials on the Internet. However, for many resources you (or your institution) has to pay.
- Google Scholar is the best overal search engine for academic materials.
- Social Reference managers, Citation indexes, social bookmarking sites, etc. also can be useful
See also: literature review
7.1 Open access
- Directory of Open Access Journals October 2004: 1333 journals in the directory, 328 journals are searchable on article level, 60818 articles are included in the DOAJ service
- Vascoda (excellent German search engine)
- Beat's BiblioNetz (the future ?)
7.2 Commercial offerings
There are many, here are just a few:
- ISI Web of Knowledge. Central sales site of ISI's commercial offerings (no access, just propaganda). E.g. current contents, ISI Web of Knowledge
- French articles @ Inist (free index and commercial retrieval service)
- Ingenta/Uncover Web (same for English articles
- Consortium des bibliothèques universitaires Suisses - Bases de donnéees (RESTRICTED access to selected universities for selected services)