ETEC 500: Research Methodologies in Education

Armed with the experiences of ETEC 520, I set sail once again. My next destination was the Ivory Tower of ETEC 500. Here, learned monks spent their lives pouring over manuscripts and tomes. If I was to learn the secret of EduTech, surely they could teach me!

Looking back, ETEC 500 was probably the most academically rigorous course on my EduTech journey. I wrote more pages, read more text, and sited more sources than in any other course. And while I cannot say it was my favorite class, ETEC 500 did prepare me very well for success in all classes to follow.

Having a minor in History, I was no stranger to research. However, this course helped me wipe off the rust from not using those skills for some time, and also helped orient me in the EduTech academic world. I learned of valuable online resources and all that the UBC digital library had to offer. And, I got a chance to test some of my own ideas against studies and literature.


Quests

The first part of this course involved examining educational studies. My goal was to examine how the researchers framed and conducted their research, and to use what I had learned to decide what flaws and merrits their research contained. Ultimately, I had to judge whether their conclusions were valid. Here is an example of one of my critiques.


For my final project, my task was to conduct a literature on an EduTech topic that interested me. Not surprisingly, I chose to see what the literature said about the value of making video games in education. Not playing games mind you; that is a whole different idea. Rather, I wanted to know the value of actually making computer games. I found the topic so interesting that the resulting literature review was one of the best pieces of writing that I produced on my EduTech journey.


What I Gained From ETEC 500

This course really set me up for doing my own research and evaluating the research of others in the field of Educational Technology. The lessons I learned here were applicable to every course I took afterward.


Items Acquired:


The Scholar's Boots: The wearer of these boots will be able to safely traverse the vast and confusing realm of EduTech literature. He will be able to tiptoe across the thin ice of poorly researched claims and stride confidently when backed with the power of firm sources.


The Digital Codex: This tome grants its reader access to a huge range of sources across the internet. This of course is a double edged sword, for there is no guarantee that the sources are valid or well-researched. But, combined with the Scholar's Boots, finding the invaluable well-researched literature that the EduTech field is founded upon is much easier.