Choosing research methods

What looks to be challenging for you about locating and applying a new research method?

My initial challenge was to identify potential methods, define what they are and how they should be used.  Then I can determine what looks interesting to me and think about how it will fit into my interests. 

As I researched and pursued meaning in various methodologies I went a little off-track thinking about a direction I wanted to take for my dissertation.  So, my new challenge is focus!  Naturally, I wanted to dig deeper into my dissertation ideas to see how that could work. 

After several days, the realization sunk in that I had made no progress for this class.  I decided to put all other work aside and focus.  This is when I ran into my third challenge, the cat.  She sprawled herself over my laptop and fell asleep, but I pressed on still able to type with three fingers.  Unfortunately, she was so warm and snuggly I succumbed and was soon fast asleep as well.

Ok, let’s try this again! 🙂

Which ones did you identify in class and which seems most valuable/interesting? Why?

In class I found the Soft Systems Methodology the most relevant to my current work and future goals.  If I go with this approach it would certainly need to be integrated with another approach to fit what I want to accomplish. This leads me to consider approaches that fit well with SSM or even other approaches.

Other approaches that I am looking at:

  • Cognitive Mapping methodology: Using visual diagrams like concept maps and mind maps to diagram a mental model of the cognitive process during a learning activity.  I think this is more of a process or technique than an actual framework. This could potentially be helpful in my dissertation allowing me to visually align learning cognition with tasks, outcomes, or design elements.

  • Qualitative comparative analysis: This mixed method approach consists of a qualitative step where data is analyzed qualitatively for causation, and then goes through a quantitative systematic review. I have already determined my research will incorporate some level of both quantitative and qualitative.  This process of analyzing empirical and descriptive data will very likely be incorporated into my research.

  • Phenomenography: the study of how people perceive the world.  As it applies to my research, it would be interesting to understand how participants perceive the knowledge they want to acquire, as well as did or did not acquire while participating in the game-based learning exercise.  Since I want to measure working memory it would be interesting to understand the individual perception of how training influenced their experience and compare it to the learning cognition quantitative data collected.


Dixon, R. (2014) Cognitive mapping techniques: Implications for research in engineering and technology education. Sprint, 25(2)

This entry was posted in Computer Mediated Discourse Analysis. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *