Examining Web 2.0 E-Learning Tools: Mixed Method Classroom Pilot

Examining Web 2.0 E-Learning Tools: Mixed Method Classroom Pilot

Janet L. Holland (Emporia State University, USA) and Dusti Howell (Emporia State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2491-7.ch015
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Abstract

With so many fields using new technologies in e-learning, we are all challenged with selecting and effectively implementing new Web 2.0 tools. This chapter provides a mixed method research approach to quickly evaluate available Web 2.0 tools and instructional implementation. Class observations and pilot study surveys were used to determine students’ levels of satisfaction after using various numbers of Web 2.0 tools and varying student work group sizes. The pilot studies were designed to model initial classroom examinations when integrating emerging Web 2.0 technologies. Use of this type of pilot study approach is necessitated as many individual class sizes are too small for a full research study, and the time needed to conduct a full study using multiple classes could cause the results to quickly be out of date, thus not providing the needed immediate classroom data for just in time learning. Fast emerging technologies pose a unique challenge to traditional research methodology. Where immediate specific classroom data is needed, a needs analysis with a pilot study is the best option. Note, with emerging technologies, it is difficult to find appropriate literature to determine its effectiveness in the classroom. If desired, compiling the results from many small pilot studies offers an additional benefit of fleshing out key issues to be examined later in greater detail using a full research study for extending theory or scientific practices.
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Evaluation Of Web 2.0 E-Learning Issues

One of the driving objectives of the pilot study is to begin an examination of the overall information systems used for instruction to make wise educational decisions directed towards the effective and efficient integration of Web 2.0 e-learning technologies. The following six questions were the basis for the immediate action research pilots designed to optimize student learning when working with emerging Web 2.0 e-learning tools.

The guiding pilot study research questions included:

  • 1.

    What Web 2.0 e-learning tools can be found through an extensive online search for instructional purposes?

  • 2.

    How can the Web 2.0 e-learning tools be implemented into teaching by aligning instructional tools to the curriculum goals and objectives based on classroom observations?

  • 3.

    What are the optimal number of Web 2.0 e-learning tools to use based on students’ quantitative level of satisfaction ranging from either one tool, a small group of six tools, or open-ended student selections?

  • 4.

    What data would students’ qualitative open-ended questions provide and how would it compare to the quantitative data in regards to students level of satisfaction when working with either one Web 2.0 tool, six tools, or open-ended tool choice?

  • 5.

    What is the optimal student group configurations when working with Web 2.0 e-learning tools based on students qualitative level of satisfaction ranging from one individual, two students, or larger group of four?

  • 6.

    What data would students’ qualitative open-ended questions provide and how would it compare to the quantitative data in regards to students’ level of satisfaction when working with one, two, or a group of four students when working with Web 2.0 e-learning tools?

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