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Qualitative Research on Educational Technology: Philosophies, Methods and Challenges

Author(s): Heng Luo

Journal: International Journal of Education
ISSN 1948-5476

Volume: 3;
Issue: 2;
Start page: E13;
Date: 2011;
Original page

This paper reviews qualitative research in the field of educational technology through the lens of ontology, epistemology and methodology. A definition of educational technology research is followed by a discussion on how basic research in this field fails to render progress in academic achievement and the potential of qualitative inquiry to promote learning and teaching. Different ontological and epistemological assumptions behind such two research methodologies are also summarized and discussed. The paper then identifies three qualitative research methods that are prevalent in the field of educational technology: ethnography, case study and design-based research. The characteristics, strengths and limitations of those three methods are analyzed using examples from the literature within the past three decades.

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