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E-Learning - Case Study Example

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Synopsis: This is a two page APA citation style critical analysis of the data collection methods for the article titled: Naturalistic Inquiry in E- Learning Research. There are two references cited in the critical analysis. The topics of internal validity, external validity…
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E-Learning Case Study
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Critical Analysis of Data Collection Method for the Article: Naturalistic Inquiry in E- Learning Research Synopsis: This is a two page APA citation style critical analysis of the data collection methods for the article titled: Naturalistic Inquiry in E- Learning Research. There are two references cited in the critical analysis. The topics of internal validity, external validity and capacity of replication of the empirical study will be reviewed.
In the empirical study on e- learning which was conducted by Agostinho, naturalistic questioning methods were applied. The aspects of this empirical research which supply compliance to the five rules which are mentioned in the article are the following:
The master’s degree level courses provided an environment which was conducive to the subject matter. The environment in which the empirical study was conducted was not originally designed for the naturalistic questioning method. The two situations were reviewed from a comprehensive perspective. The researcher was also a participant in the e- learning program and endeavored as a teacher respondent. This aspect facilitates the potential for researcher bias.
The comments from the respondents were applied to the conclusions of the empirical study. In this type of research, there exists the potential of the respondents tainting the findings of the empirical study with bias. In this paradigm it is impossible to distinguish the causes and the outcomes. There was no independent variable and no dependent variable identified in this empirical study.
Internal, External Validity, Replication and Researcher Bias
The largest contributor to the potential of the presence of researcher’s bias is the statement of the researcher in the article. The researchers discussed how the first quality standard of the researcher’s rationale there is congruence between the problem which is being studied and the context of the study. The first quality standard of the empirical study must be able to provide significant outcomes which can be compared to a previous study. The researchers declared that their rationale for the research plan was to be able to manifest significant outcomes and the manner in which the research study demonstrated its sustainability. In this aspect the potential for researcher bias is significant. The researcher is anticipating certain outcomes before initiating the research study and reaching a conclusion.
The second standard of an empirical study is to be able to show rigor. The assessments of rigor for the normal empirical inquiry which ensure internal and external validity. These aspects of internal and external validity are founded upon the methodological perception of scientific realism. The author states that this empirical study is exempt as it is a naturalistic questioning model. This has been delineated as a qualitative study. However, a qualitative instrument such as a Likert scale was not used for assessment.
Agostinho denotes that confidence in external and internal validity was established by the application of the seven operational implements which were delineated in the article. Notwithstanding, these checks do not ensure the capacity of replication of the empirical study. In the manner in which the experiment was conducted, replication of similar conditions would be almost impossible to perform. This is an integral part of the empirical process, the ability of replicating the empirical study and manipulating the depended and independent variables.
A study can be deemed to be of an internally valid aspect if there are no confusions between the dependent and independent variables. In this study, the independent and dependent variables are not defined.
There are inherent factors which are mentioned in the eight step verification which are not fulfilled in this empirical study. The history of the researcher as an e- learner and a teacher respondent has a significant influence on the outcomes of the empirical study. There are also other factors which included the maturity of the empirical process. This maturity process may cause the respondents to experience fatigue; hunger and boredom which would significant contribute to the outcome of this empirical study (Barlow & Hersen, 1984)
When the dependent variables are assessed, there exist changes which are manifested by the nature of measurement. In an empirical study, non- reactive assessments should be applied. These may be recording equipment or simply not disclosing to the respondents that they were being participants in a research studying the Hawthorne study, it was demonstrated that individual behavioral manifestations may be changed due to the premise that the respondents become aware of the fact that they are participating to an empirical study and that they may be able to exercise individual influence over the outcomes (Anderson et al., 1999).
In the study which was conducted by agostinho, non reactive assessments should have been applied. The participants should not be aware that they are being analyzed for the purposes of research. This could have been accomplished by means of conducting the study with a hidden video reproduction device, audio reproduction equipment of simply be not disclosing to the respondent that they were participating in a research study.
Agostinho, S. (2004). Naturalistic inquiry in e- learning research. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 4(1): article 2. Retrieved from
Anderson, C.A., Lindsay, J.L., & Bushman, B.J. (1999). Research in the psychological laboratory (truth or triviality?) Current Directions in Psychological Science, 8: 3-9
Barlow, D.H. & Hersen, H. (1984). Single case experimental designs. New York: Pergamon. Read More
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