You cannot build a house if you do not have a blueprint, especially if you want it to stand (Grand & Osanloo, 2014). Given that I would like my research (i.e., my house) to be strong, I need a sound theoretical framework on which to build.
As I reviewed the theoretical frameworks, I thought that Technology Acceptance Model was the one that best fits my research question: In what ways might educational technology contribute to training volunteers at non-profit organizations?
As I read more about it, I realized that I am looking at whether or not technology could play a role, not what role it can (or should play) so Technology Acceptance Model is not the right blueprint for this work. I think it may be a good theoretical framework for any work I do on this subject after this research.
I believe that activity theory is a good fit for my blueprint. My topic will include looking at what activities are present in training volunteers and how technology may have an effect the learning they experience. According to Jonassen & Rohrer-Murphy (1999) “activity cannot be understood or analyzed outside the context in which it occurs” (p. 62). In order to learn what effects may be present, I will need to understand their context and the Activity theory framework will allow me to focus my research on the goal of the training and what needs to happen to accomplish the goal and if technology can be helpful.
I am looking forward to seeing your comments and suggestions for other theoretical frameworks.
Grant, C. & Osanloo, A. (2014). Understanding, selecting, and integrating a theoretical framework in dissertation research: Creating the blueprint for you ‘house’ . Administrative Issues Journal: Connecting Education, Practice, and Research. DOI: 10.5929/2014.4.2.9.
Jonassen, D. & Rohrer-Murphy, L. (1999). Activity theory as a framework for designing constructivist learning environments. Educational Technology Research and Development, 47(1), 61-79.