Since my last thesis post, I have moved on to the methodology chapter. I now have the first three chapters more or less written (probably less if you ask my advisor), but will have to revisit them later for fine tuning and summaries.
My opening paragraph of the chapter states that this study has specified a number of objectives concerned with students? perceptions towards blogging in an educational setting. To answer these objectives, a case study will be conducted offering a ?rich and vivid description? (Cohen et al. 2001, p. 182) of the educational context within which the blogging occurred, illuminating the various, associated issues. Cohen et al. (2001) define a case study as the study of an ?instance in action? (p. 181). In this study, the instance is the use of blogging as a tool for reflection and the sharing of opinions and information. Hamel (1992) argues that the point of a case study is to provide an explanation of a particular ?object of study? (p. 32) in terms of the context in which the object of study exists. The context in which this example of blogging exists will be detailed to provide a clear set of boundaries for the study.
I then go on to discuss the participants and the context of the study, which includes a description of the Foundations year program and the role of blogging in the e-portfolio project.
One difficulty will be in the data analysis. The entire blogging cohort will first be asked to complete an on-line survey, which will include questions asking if participants are willing to be interviewed, and if they would be willing to volunteer their blogs for analysis. From the survey results, exemplary outcomes will be determined and willing authors of blogging exemplars for the different outcomes will be approached for interviews and content analysis of their blogs. I am not sure exactly what statistics I will need to focus on. I can call up as many as I like, especially after taking an advanced Excel course. The trick of course is to know when to use which statistic. I will have to call on my colleague Rita for her mathematical expertise.
>> Cohen, Louis., Manion, Lawrence., Morrison, Keith. (2001) Research Methods in Education. RoutledgeFalmer: London.
>> Hamel, Jacques, Dufour, Stephane, Fortin, Dominic. (1993). Case Study Methods. Newbury Park, Sage Publications.
>> Yin, Robert K. (2003). Applications of Case Study Research. Thousand Oaks, Sage Publications, Inc.