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H809 – Categorisation of research methods (A11.2)

May 1, 2011

This module is really designed along the lines of ‘spiral learning’, not to say iterative learning. As a teacher I know it makes sense to repeat course material as it deepens knowledge and als helps to make connections. From the student perspective the constant revision and comparison of all the readings, seems like ‘groundhog day’ – like an infinite loop – which has the desired effect to deepen learning, to contrast them in great depth, but I also have to say, that not all activities really make sense and contribute to a better understanding.

This activity required us to classify each of the empirical research studies met so far in the H809 readings using a H809_Table 11.1 that adapted Madge (1953) categories:

  • Documents
  • Observation
  • The interview
  • Experiment

The categorisation of research methods did not yield clear results. Most of my H809 colleagues came to the same conclusion that most authors of the readings used different sources of data. Yet, multiple sources of data are essential to develop a better understanding and to design more reliable and valid research. Already Wegerif and Mercer (1997), but also Aczel and Issroff (2010) mentioned that mixed method approaches minimize the challenges and exploit the strengths of the various methods effectively.

Well, here my findings.

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