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Date:Title
6/21/2018New roles and qualitative research approaches to study complex educational systems
Qualitative research methods have often been used to examine individual cases and classroom experiences with teachers and learners to explore how and why learning took place. These inquiry approaches have been useful for examining systemic affordances and barriers to instruction, as well as student interactions and experiences with instructional technologies ranging from learning games to social media. As educational systems continue to add technology to support organizational and learning aspects, it becomes more difficult to untangle the reasons why large-scale implementations succeed or fail with only quantitative measures. With a higher education example, we discuss how qualitative approaches can provide stakeholders and managers with a better view of how a complex educational scheme is constructed, using a "system of systems" view to examine aspects such as financing, management, learning, advising, technology, and human resources components that impact success. At each contact points between subsystems, transitions exist where delivering the products and services of an educational organization may fail. This state of affairs requires understanding the quality of stakeholder experience and problem identification can be done to determine needs for product or process improvements, additional training, better overall strategy, or wholesale organizational changes. With examples from soft systems methodology and failure modes and effects analysis methods, this webinar explores changing the role of qualitative approaches as we shift the research lens from local participant experience to whole organization as a means of better depicting the performance of complex educational systems.
  Presenter(s): Scott Warren, University of North Texas
Bio(s): Scott Warren is a Professor in the Department of Learning Technologies at the University of North Texas. He conducts research on digital experiences ranging from alternate reality games to ethical and moral concerns related to the use of games and simulations for educational purposes. He seeks to improve student literacy in all subject areas, but especially reading and writing.
Category: Research & Theory Division
Keywords: qualitative research | education complexity | organizations


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