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Possible research topics

February 27th, 2006 (11:26 pm)

Qi’s pieces of idea about research topic__2-26

·Video technology,
·Web-based technology (VAT)
Maybe it will be helpful if I do something for the system design team.
·Implementation of video technology in education;
·cognitive tools,
·critical thinking,
·learn from self and others through collaboration or independently;
Theoretical Framework
·Evidence- based inquiry
(design-based research);
· Learn from self and others through collaboration
Preservice teachers (it is convenient since our program have these people). We may have other convenient participants I do not know yet.
1. How does web-based video system (VAT) improve student teachers critical thinking during field experience?
2. To what extent does web-based video system support student teachers during field experience?
3. What are the Guidelines/principles using video technology in educational research?
·The reason I mention critical thinking because my initial interview with one participant let me realize how important critical thinking is. The participant mention critical feedback from mentors and peers, given critical feedback are very useful.
·I am also interested in the collaborative reflection in Our VAT system. I have not formed well research questions about this.
·The research questions just came into my mind. They need refine to connect my research with our ongoing project.
Have experience in video, learning system design, and our project is running VAT
I can not develop VAT . Need collaboration with other people. Afraid this idea is not feasible. But it may be out of my control.
Career Goals
Educational set:
Tenure-tracked assistant professor at US. Hope to teach studio course first. Research will focus on learning tools, cognitive tools ( use video technology in education, may medical education or other), online learning environment).
Business set:
ET/ e-learning Project manager/consultant. Develop, design and evaluate e-learning solutions for corporation.
I mention this hope you can give me so advice on how to choose a research topic targeted at my career goals.
Educational set will be more feasible after I graduate from here. I always expect some opportunity do some research in business set.
If I can have at least 5 years’ work experience, it will make me easier to find a great job in China.
I am afraid to put teacher education as my major research topic. I prefer to use teacher education as the context. As far as I know, if I am going to find a job related teacher education, I will have little chance to be successful since I do not have any experience working at K-12 environment at USA. Right?


Why  change self assessment?
I think I own you an explanation why I do not put self assessment as my focus since we spent 8 months discussing about that. My research comes more from learning than teaching. From learning perspective, self assessment literature covers two major issues: promote learners to take initiative for their own learning and improve the ability of self assessment over time. As far as I know, self assessment in teacher education is intertwined with reflection, which has lots of literature there. If study self assessment in teacher education field, I can not avoid talking about reflection, which already has lots of literature there. In addition, self assessment will require me to develop some rubrics/guideline of self assessment, which is the hardest part because I lack of field-based experience. I had 8 months’ part time teaching experience in China. Obviously, my teaching is different from here.  In addition, self assessment is not part of current preservice teacher education program. It is hard to for me to examine it. For my understanding, self assessment will not be very useful until the teachers will consider the learners’ self assessment data seriously. This situation is hard to happen since all training program or course program will have a clear syllabus before teaching. And the evaluation criterion of the student achievement is usually set up before teaching. Why we ask learner to self assess them if the teachers do not know how to use the self assessment information? What is the difference between self assessment and reflection journal? Sometimes, I think reflection journal provides more detailed information than self assessment.   So I feel doing self assessment research will be out of my control.

By the way, your proposal about evidence-based assessment, I think, is very interesting.  

What is the purpose of my research?

My purpose should be a big one not a small one.  Small purpose limit my thinking.  So my purpose is not to improve specfic performance or to teacher certain skills, but to help and support people to be more smart.  One of the purpose is critical thinking. 

See this link read more critical thinking. But a short citation is here first:

"Everyone thinks; it is our nature to do so. But much of our thinking, left to itself, is biased, distorted, partial, uninformed, or downright prejudiced. Yet the quality of our life and that of what we produce, make,or build depends precisely on the quality of our thought. Shoddy thinking is costly, both in money and in quality of life. Excellence in thought, however, must be systematically cultivated." 



self assessment and reflection

February 20th, 2006 (11:27 am)

several citations from the link:


Reflection is what allows us to learn from our experiences: it is an assessment of where we have been and where we want to go next.
~ Kenneth Wolf

Understanding why an activity or practice was productive or nonproductive in the classroom is a key element in the progression from novice to master teacher.

Becoming a reflective practitioner requires time, practice, and an environment supportive to the development and organization of the reflection process. This is a highly individualized process and the licensure candidate should find the structure and method of reflection that best suits him or her.

My questions about Collins articles

February 12th, 2006 (10:39 am)

current mood: confused

I write this journal helping me recall how many questions I have for Design-based Research so far.

1. (P15.) Design Experiments were developed as a way to carry out formative research to test and refine educational designs based on principles derived from prior research.

Questions:  What is the difference between DBR and formative research/evaluation?

2. (p15). In the 1990s there has been a movement to develop a new methodology for carrying out studies of educational interventions under the labels" Design Experiments" or "Design Research"...

Questions: What is the environment at that time?  Why the environment trigger the new development of Design Research?  What is context for the emerge of DBR?

3.(p18) The design is constantly revised based on experience, until all the bugs are worked out.

Questions: Amazing. Hope I still survive when all the bugs are worked out. Is it too ideal?

4.(p.19) Design research should always have the dual goals of refining both theory and practice

Questions:  It seems true that Design Research is so powerful, is the panacea. If DBR is the answer, then what is the question?

5. (p19) Design researchers try to optimize as much of the design as possible and to observe carefully how the different elements are working out.... when some aspect of the design is not working, the design team,.. should consider different options to improve the design practice, and institute design changes and frequently as necessary.

Questions: What is the methodology to optimize, and observe carefully? How to deal with pragmatic issue if frequent change?

6. (p21) Why Design Research? (p.21)

Design experiments bring together two critical pieces in order to guide us to better educational refinement: a design focus and assessment of critical design elements. Ethnography provides qualitative methods for looking carefully at how a design plays out in practice, and how social and contextual variables interact with cognitive variables. Large-scale studies provide quantitative methods for evaluating the effects of independent variables on the dependent variables. Design experiments are contextualized in educational settings, but with a focus on generalizing from those settings to guide the design process. They fill a niche in the array of experimental methods that is needed to improve educational practices.

Questions: It is clear to know what ethnography and large-scale studies bring to us. But I have much trouble to grasp the point what DBR will bring to us. One reason I guess is the paragraph is so short that it did not explain why design research in detail. I am still not sure why design research

7 (p33) Our approach to design research requires much more effort than any one human can carry out.

Questions:  Am I still a human?

My Research Interests

February 6th, 2006 (11:17 am)

current mood: crazy

My research interest is about self assessment and learning. I care about how self assessment can help people to develop themselves and be a successful lifelong learner.

Specially, I will start to examine self assessment using EBDS (developed by LPSL) in preserivce teachers. I am wondering how video technology can effectively help preservice teacher to self assess themselves and make progress step by step.

There are many evidence preservice teachers may use for assessing themselves. Some of them are student feedback, student score, artifacts, peer and mentor teacher feedback, self feeling. Video technology is good at capturing the whole live classroom teaching, but it can not cover all the evidences. In addition, video capture is good at providing rich data but it can not tell one what works or doesn't work in his practice. One needs to find evidence by himself. Technology can provide support at this point. Currently, the VAT system (developed by LPSL) is using Lens (Instruments for assessment) to guide preservice teacher to find right evidence to assess his own teaching. I am wondering how the lens work.

This semester, I am going to conduct an initial study on the influences of video in preservice teacher. Fortunately, I do not need to apply IRB approval since the project (directed by LPSL) just got the approval of IRB.

Here is my brief description of research procedure:

1. Pre-interview
2. Informal interview, observation
3. Self assess teaching practice, mentor teacher assess the same teaching practice both at the beginning and at the end of the program. And then compare the results to see if there is some change.
4. Post-interview.

Currently, the interview protocol is under developing. I should clarify my participants this week.

More information later...

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