E-learning Research Design

This paper is a review of the literature about a research design to be used to study e-learning.

This paper explains that, as online learning takes its place within the arena of higher education, it is imperative that reliable research be instigated to determine the level of quality that exists and can be expected. The author stresses that there is a need for researchers to choose methodology relevant to the questions being asked. The paper states that the researcher hoping to investigate student retention rates related to online learning programs needs to be aware of the variables, appropriate methodologies, and the choices in instruments to aid in research.

Table of Contents
Points to Consider
Related Studies
“In deciding on a methodology, the researcher would do well to consider that “the objective of most clinical studies is to determine one of the following–prevalence, incidence, cause, prognosis, or effect of treatment; it is therefore useful to remember which type of study is most commonly associated with each objective” (Mann, 2003, p. 54). If the purpose of the study is to isolate cause for behavior change, a single-case research design is suggested (Barlow and Hersen, 1984, cited in Foster et al, 2002). A simple study design for determining change in behavior is referred to as the “A-B design” where a baseline period is used as a “control” and is compared with a “B” phase where the dependent variable is in force.”