Expert Opinion

I find very rewarding any time that I have the opportunity to ask an expert about the work he or she does. Regardless of the field of work, to learn about the do’s and don’ts, the sharing of recommendations, and taking the time to answer someone’s questions, to me, it is priceless. Also, listening to the point of view of someone that has already “done the job” is enlightening, enriching, and in many cases encouraging; and even if it is not, for better or worse, it becomes a contribution to our learning experience. As we reach the end of LRNT 522, as a cohort, we had the great chance to ask a few questions to Dr. George Veletsianos who is a foremost expert in digital education, professor at Royal Roads University, Canada’s Research Chair in Innovative Learning and Technology, and the Commonwealth of Learning Chair in Flexible Learning.

After listening to his answers, there were a couple of things that stood out to me. The first one was his response about his prediction on the next major trend or innovation in the educational technology field; he didn’t quite provide a concrete answer, however, he pointed out that some predictions about the future often lack accountability, and because of it, these predictions end up not holding any truth. One of the points he makes answering the same question is that he tries to avoid making predictions of the future and focuses on current situations that may need to be changed now in order to make a positive impact in the future. I am with him on this since I see the present as the most important time for us to change our future. – “be the change you want to see in the world” – Mahatma Gandhi

The second point that got my attention is his passion to expanding access to education. While (to some degree) I do not necessarily agree with the belief that the cost of education in Canada is what prevents people from receiving higher education, I do agree that there are many other reasons that prevent people from being able to access it, and as challenges they need to be acknowledged, addressed, analyzed, and hopefully overcome. I think that challenges give us the opportunity to grow, to learn and to become wiser and stronger.

I look forward to continue learning with and from my MALAT peers, I am pretty sure that the road ahead of us will continue to be a challenging and overwhelming ride, but I am also confident that it will also continue to be as interesting, engaging, and exciting as it has been to date.

Reference

Veletsianos, G. (2021, August 11). Personal interview [Personal interview].

Theoretical Frameworks

by Amber Donahue, Gail Yee, Myrna Pokiak and Luis Rodríguez

This presentation focuses on three theoretical frameworks: diffusion of innovation theory, socio-cultural theory, and universal design in learning theory, and identifies how researchers have applied these frameworks to research within the field of learning and technology. Diffusion of innovation (DoI) theory explores how ideas and innovations are adopted and diffused throughout communities. Socio-cultural theory examines the importance of social interaction in the development of cognition. Universal design in learning (UDL) theory outlines principles for designing learning that is accessible for all learners.

Research guided by these three theoretical frameworks demonstrates that technology offers opportunities for accessibility, interaction, and diversity at various levels of learning and thus is a powerful tool to provide experiences that meet the various needs of learners. For example, the DoI theory may be used to examine how learners adopt an innovation by determining if it aligns with their beliefs and values. Socio-cultural theory may be used to explore how technology, by taking on the role of the More Knowledgeable Other (MKO), can move learners into the zone of proximal development. Universal design in learning (UDL) theory may be used to illustrate the potential of technology to adapt to the needs of learners by providing multiple means of representation, engagement, and expression. These three theoretical frameworks will continue to be relevant and useful for researchers studying the growing field of learning and technology.

What makes a good research question?

As we move forward in this course, we have been tasked to answer a question that while simple in nature it is complex in essence. What makes a good research question? …Through the readings provided in this course I have come to conclude that a good research question is:

Clear and focused. The research question should have an appropriate scope that is neither too broad nor too narrow to investigate.  

Researchable. Whether the researcher chooses a Qualitative, Quantitative or a Mixed Method approach, a good research question should allow the researcher to have access to a fair amount of good quality research materials.

Arguable. It shouldn’t be answered with a Yes or No, and it should allow the opportunity to discuss the findings of different sources in an argumentative way in order to provide an answer.

Formulating a good research question is a key element and a fundamental first step of the complex Research Process.


References

Creswell, J. 2009. Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches. Retrieved from https://www.sagepub.com/sites/default/files/upm-binaries/22782_Chapter_7.pdf

Johnson, R.B., Christensen, L. 2014. Introduction to educational research. In Educational research: quantitative, qualitative, and mixed approaches (pp.2-28). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Retrieved from http://uk.sagepub.com/sites/default/files/upm-binaries/38122_Chapter1.pdf

Royal Roads University Writing Centre. (N.D.). Thesis Statements/Research Questions/Problem Statements. Retrieved from https://library.royalroads.ca/writing-centre/writing/structure/thesis-statements