In the inaugural article in a new series on educational technology, EDC vice president Glenn Kleiman explores methods of educational research by focusing on the case study of a technology program in Missouri schools.
“Does Technology Enhance Inquiry-Based Learning?” discusses research into the effectiveness of the Enhancing Missouri’s Instructional Networked Teaching Strategies (eMINTS) program. The brief summarizes the research results on four key questions:
- Does the eMINTS program increase student learning?
- Does the impact of the eMINTS program on student learning differ for different groups of students?
- Are the increases in student learning in the eMINTS program tied to specific changes in classroom practices?
- Does the approach of the school principal influence the impact of the eMINTS program?
The brief also considers the debate about what research methods can provide valid data for drawing conclusions about these questions. “If we expect all research studies on education innovations to provide a simple ‘thumbs-up or thumbs-down’, we are likely to avoid research methods that can yield important insights into the complexities of implementing major innovations in our schools,” writes Kleiman, who directs EDC’s Center for Online Professional Education.
“Does Technology Enhance Inquiry-Based Learning?” is the first brief in a new series, What Does the Research Say? The series is a free, quarterly publication jointly published by EDC and the Consortium of School Networking (CoSN). The series, focusing on research-based findings, is intended to address the needs and interests of educational leaders and policymakers responsible for decisions about the educational uses of technology.
Each article in the series will begin with a broad question about technology in education and will then describe one or more research studies that address that question, looking at the technology and educational innovations studied and at the research methods employed. A summary of what has been learned from the research and, equally important, what has not yet been learned will be provided.
Originally published on June 30, 2004