Teachers can improve students’ pedagogical growth using new media technology tools in the classroom. New media tools support learning and offer a combination of visual, auditory, and tactile learning styles that enable learners to use a variety of technology tools to create, modify, and share knowledge (Franklin & van Harmelen, 2007). However, a substantial number of researchers denote that a lot of challenges, both technical and non-technical, are eminent when it comes to deployment of technology in organizations. There is a need to research technology adoption in different institutions to ascertain the challenges that accrue from technology adoption and the means of eliminating the challenges. The possibility of integrating web 2.0 tools in high school curricula needs to be tested to ascertain the overarching issues on the side of the instructors and learners. Whether new media adoption can be effectively incorporated in high school curricula depends on the quality of the methodology that is deployed in this research as it seeks to answer the research questions brought out in chapter 1and reiterated in chapter 2.
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This chapter brings out the modalities that are used in collecting data and the techniques that will be used in the synthesis and analysis of data to derive critical findings and recommendations. This is a guiding chapter to the researcher as it gives the guiding steps to the researchers on how to approach the research problem that has been brought out in chapters 1 and 2. The chapter begins with a restatement of the research where the problem statement and the focus of the research are brought ought. This is followed by a presentation of the research methodology, under which the research design and data collection techniques, tools and methods to be deployed in the research are explored. Justifications for the chosen techniques, tools and methods are also included. Data analysis procedures are also discussed in this chapter. The chapter ends with a discussion of the limitations of the research methodology deployed in this research.
Statement of the Problem
Although teachers and administrators value technology, they do not all want to adopt and use new media tools to support classroom instruction. Most teachers recognize that they need more training and preparation to integrate technology into their curricula in effective and meaningful ways (Sang et al., 2010). Based on the findings of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), the use of technology among educators and students shows enhancement in the development of problem-solving skills and improvement of decision-making skills (Jones & Cuthrell, 2011).
This study will investigate the state of adoption of new media tools in high school learning. The need for technology adoption in enhancing learning is overarching, yet there are a lot of varied opinions amongst teachers concerning the modalities of new media adoption in schools. This researcher will study educators’ views about the adoption of technology and the use of Web 2.0 in a high school setting, with a focus on educational objectives and not on the teaching tools. The role of educators as far as adoption and management of new media in schools cannot be overemphasized.
Adoption and integration of technology into the curricula has largely been dependent on educators’ preferences. According to Minnich (2010), director of standards and assessments for the Council of Chief State School Officers, many states will consider whether they want to adopt the Common Core State Standards and educate students in basic technology skills to succeed in college and careers starting in 2014-15 (Donnelly, McGarr, & O’Reilly, 2011). Binder (cited in Friedman, 2005) “indicates that in the future, how we educate our children may prove to be more important than how much we educate them” (p. 302).
A substantial number of teachers consider technology integration as an addition to meeting evaluation requirements (Ertmern et al., 2012). The use of new media in schools is considered to be a process in itself, where the standards that allow new media adoption are set first (Jones & Cuthrell, 2011).
Schuck, Aubusson, and Kearney (2010) believe that the slow adoption of new media technologies in schools is due to the limited teacher familiarity with these tools and partly to the supposed risks of using these technologies in the classroom. Educators are agents of change (Gladwell, 2002). Therefore, this study will discuss the challenges faced by educators who may want to adopt and use new media tools. As a high school teacher, this researcher is inspired to study educators’ perspectives about adopting and using new media tools in teaching (Zhao et al., 2005; Ajjan & Hartshorne, 2008). The researcher seeks to comprehend the nature of the environment in which new media tools can be adopted in high schools.
According to Akyeampong (2011), technology use in the classroom is now universal, with over 98% of all U.S. public schools having Internet access. Educators have an ongoing debate as to whether or not the adoption of new media tools in high schools will promote learning. Educators play a significant role in approving, adopting, and using technology tools in teaching. This study will examine the factors that enable the adoption and effective integration of new media technologies in teaching. To do so, the following research questions will also be answered through the data that will be collected and processed as indicated in the introduction to this chapter.
- R1: What is the educators’ perception of new media tools used in teaching?
- R2: What challenges and advantages to modern teaching do new media tools present?
- R3: To what extent can high schools utilize new media tools to support collaboration and communication among educators and students?
The research questions will guide in understanding the factors that shape new media adoption in schools and provide recommendations on the modalities of increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of new media adoption in high schools. Answers shall be collected from the sampled teachers and students in the selected schools to get answers to the research questions. The questions will be coined in such a way that the mini-questions under each research question will give deeper answers to each research question. The tools that will be used to extract answers from the sampled respondents include questionnaires, interview guides, and observation. Questionnaires and interview guides will be used to get responses to R1 and R2. Similar tools, together with observation will be used to collect data for R3.
The case study design is favorable for exploring the questions under study since it focuses on a limited number of respondents in a limited environment; in this case, the sampled four high schools in California. In this case, it will be easy to understand the confines of the environment under the selected schools and how such case environments shape the adoption of new media tools. The findings can then be extended to other schools in California. Research question 1(R1), question 2 (R2) and question 3 (R3) attract opinions, views, and observation, which can be easily linked in a case study.
Case study methodology will be ideal for the in-depth investigation in this study (Feagin, Orum, & Sjoberg, 1991). The case study provides a framework for research questions for this study. A case study will help in finding out if the results will support the theoretical framework and the research work for the topic under study. The case study will use observations and semi-structured interviews to achieve an adequate understanding of the educators’ ideas about the adoption and use of new media technology tools in high school teaching (Patton, 2002).
This researcher will collect data from open-ended face-to-face interviews with educators (see appendix). The face-to-face interview data and observation data will also present research findings based on the research questions. The initial interview transcripts will be separated into two groups: teachers and administrators. Based on participants’ general responses to the interview questions, the responses will be separated into broad themes significant to the teachers and the administrators (e.g., positive and negative views towards technology, technology tools used, and training/experience using new media technologies).
Using Dragon software, the interview audio will be transcribed into text format for comparison between the lists and general categories between teachers and administrators. A table will list all the new media tools used by teachers based on educators’ ideas and experiences. The table will also project the roles played by educators and the new media tool used to enhance teaching. The data, transcribed into text, will describe and compare educators’ perceptions about the effect of new media tools in their teaching.
This author believes the greater the range of data the better. As such, topic-related theories will be read and the findings will be compared with the empirical results of this case study (Yin, 1984). As a flexible and patient listener, responder, and investigator, this researcher will understand and remain unbiased during this study (Feagin, Orum, & Sjoberg, 1991). It is expected that important insights will be identified in this study to spur more investigations in this field of study. Findings from the case study will be confirmed using different data collection methods in a process called triangulation.
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The data analysis of this study may confirm that new media tools in high schools in California are still in their initial stages of adoption, despite the increasing numbers (Berners-Lee et al., 2006).
From the exploration of research problem in chapter 1 and chapter 2, it can be noted that this research does not only seek to get the perceptions of educators on the adoption of new media in high schools, but it also seeks to establish the modalities on which the new media can be effectively adopted in high schools. In the rationalization of methodology in chapter 1, it is noted that the development of new and practical insights in real-life experiments can best be approached through a case study. Thus, the suitability of the case study methodology in this research is highly valid as it effectively lands on the targeted sources of data, high schools, which are also the main beneficiaries of the findings that will be derived from the research.
According to Rastrick and Corner (2010), integrated capabilities and challenges of ICT at the organizational level can only be completely explored by staging case studies. Open research provides general information that cannot capture the set up of organizations and how they favor ICT adoption in the given organization. Therefore, to avoid generalizations, a case study design is adopted to help in streamlining the research and focusing on the main attributes of the research that are founded in the research questions. Gulsecen and Kubat (2006) ascertained the importance of a case study design in the qualitative and quantitative evaluation of issues affecting ICT adoption in schools.
The research design will be staged in such a way that interviews will be administered to both teachers and students in the selected schools. This data will then be integrated with the observations to provide concrete information on which the analysis will be based.
The completion of this research project will require three phases of data collection (Table 3). This researcher will employ a nonbiased approach to record observations independent of any expectations to understand the views and ideas of the educators about adopting and implementing new media technology in teaching. This researcher will observe, hear, and note the voices, feelings, actions, and concerns of school administrators and teachers and collect data through discussions, observations, and interviews with educators (Denzin & Giardina, 2006).
Although case studies present researchers with distinctive challenges, this researcher will monitor and explain the purpose of this study and set up interviews for all the participants, and remain open to alternative ways of thinking (Osteraker, 2008). This researcher will focus on educators’ perceptions about adopting and integrating new media technology using interviews and observations at work sites. Notes and analyzed data will be able to answer the overarching question and two sub-questions.
This author will gather an in-depth understanding of the background and the subject of the study and use tables, figures, appendixes and quotes from the interviews for presenting the results and the theoretical arguments clearly (Onwuegbuzie & Collins, 2007; Onwuegbuzie & Leech, 2007; Yin, 1994). Case studies rely on multiple sources of evidence and multiple data collection methods for validity and reliability reasons (Yin, 1994). The case study method will be used for investigating the case under study, understanding, and capturing reality and educators’ new and valid perceptions (Eisenhardt & Graebner, 2007).
This study has stimulated the intellectual curiosity of this researcher; hence, this project is underway with the theory and open-ended face-to-face interviews for data collection. Some critics believe that well-crafted case studies are a collection of narratives and visualizations. Single case studies are thought to limit the ability to generalize from conclusions or develop a theory from the selected case (Eisenhardt & Graebner, 2007).
Although the survey method is theoretically more cost-effective and quicker, some participants do not understand survey questions correctly, or they give wrong answers and the answers distort reality (Halinen & Tornroos, 2005; Onwuegbuzie & Leech, 2007). Therefore, this author will use the strengths of the case study method, take notes meticulously and systematically, Skype with some educators for interviews and discussions, and schedule face-to-face interviews to increase the possibility of getting the right answers from participants (Gummesson, 2006).
The case study is in line with the views made by Stake (1994), that a case study should avail detailed explanation on the study topic. This case study will be conducted during the fall of the 2013 to 2014 academic year. Dragon voice recording software will transcribe interview data electronically into text. This process will help in comparing educators’ perceptions about the effects of new media tools in high school teaching. Based on the above-discussed research questions, this researcher, as a data-collecting instrument, will use a table to tabulate data collected during interviews and site observations.
Research questions 1 (R1) will require primary responses, especially from the educators. This will be achieved through the use of interviews and the recorded responses. Part of the responses of the research question 2 are based on research question 1, thus data for research question 2 will be collected through interviews. Answers and data from research question 3 will be derived from the analysis of data in research question 1 and research question 2, backed by observation and secondary information from the literature. Yin (2012) observed that the use of a case study promises the researcher of the possibility of attaining primary data, as well as other supportive data that is critical in the analysis and derivation of recommendations. This eliminates the possibility of using surveys, which could have proven to be more cost-effective in this study.
Population and Sample Selection
As observed in the research design section, a case study design will be used in this research. The total population in this research is the total number of high schools that are found in the Central Valley, California. The study population will be derived via conducting a simple stratified random sampling, than simple random sampling, which will help the researcher to attain the four main schools that will form part of the main study population. Stratified sampling will be used to classify schools according to location, after which it will be easy to conduct random sampling to narrow down to individual schools, which will form the four schools. The final sample, which will comprise of teachers and administrators, will be derived from each of the four sampled schools through the use of purposeful sampling. A random sampling method is adopted because it has a higher probability of eliminating biases and realizing a high level of objectivity in research (Denscombe, 2007).
The general population is comprised of schools that are already embracing new media in learning and those schools that are still weighing on the possibility of deploying web 2.0 tools in learning. The study population will be comprised of teachers and administrators, from whom the perceptions, opinions, and observations about the adoption of new media in high schools will be derived. Owing to the selection of the study population, it is critical to note that the final population shall have different experiences, opinions, and observations concerning the adoption of web 2.0 tools in the high school curriculum. A total of 20 people will be sampled out under each final sample group; that is, in each school.
The researcher will use power analysis, t-test, in each school to arrive at the final samples under each of the chosen schools. Each school is considered as a mini-case in this research, thus the final samples that will be arrived at in each school are, to a large extent, considered to be independent (SAS Publishing, 2010). The four schools in this research represent the maximum study population from which a fraction of respondents will be derived to make the final study sample. As noted earlier, a total of 20 respondents will be derived from each school, which will form the final study sample.
Sources of Data
This researcher will make use of several data collection instruments, which include semi-structured interview guides, questionnaires, dragon voice recorders, and research notebooks. The questionnaires will be administered by the researcher to embrace observation, which is also a data collection method that will be used in the research. In addition to interviews, there will also be focused group discussions to collect data. Interviews will be critical in gaining the opinions and views of the study sample, thereby helping in providing answers concerning the perceptions of the researchers on new media adoption in high school teaching. Quantitative information will be recorded, coupled with the qualitative information first sight observation and findings from other studies of a similar nature.
This researcher will use methodological triangulation to ascertain the validity of this study; thus, there will be the use of multiple sources of data, such as open-ended face-to-face interviews, Skype interviews, observations, informal discussions, notes and former findings related to adoption and use of new media tools in modern education (Yin, 1994). Interview guides and questionnaires, which are the main instruments for the collection of primary data, were developed basing on the possible mini-research questions under each of the main research questions. Again, this implies that the data that will be collected is aligned to the research questions, thereby fulfilling the purpose of the study. Thurmond (2001) suggests that the triangulation method increases confidence in research data and creates innovative ways of understanding a phenomenon by “challenging or integrating theories, and providing a clearer understanding of the problem” (p. 254).
Validation of the data will be attained through the use of the triangulation method. Triangulation of the data from different data sources, such as main respondents, secondary findings and first and first-hand information, will be critical in ascertaining the quality and validity of the data about this research. This researcher will use primary sources for authentic and valid data for the documentary evidence. Such primary sources include records of technologies used at various high schools and technology-related professional development provided to the educators (Lincoln & Guba, 1985).
Data collection instruments will be developed based on the questions and the study design. Therefore, it is expected that any type of response will be in line with what is being investigated. Moreover, reliability can be ascertained by relating the raw data with quantitative and qualitative data, which will be attained through the use of observation and inference to earlier findings.
Data Collection Procedures
This investigator will request written permission from the school district, with permission from Grand Canyon University IRB. School administrators will be informed and asked for permission to contact the teachers and the administrators after permission is granted from the district office. The school administrators and teachers, upon their acceptance of the researcher’s request, will be notified of the nature and purpose of the study. This study contains analytical elements because multiple methods of data collection will include interviews, observations of the offices and classrooms, formal and informal discussions with the participants before and during research and collection, and reading of relevant documents (Patton, 2002).
District and school administrators and teachers from four high schools from a school district in Central Valley, California will participate in this study. This author will schedule informal discussion exchanges and formal interviews with educators, school and senior district administrators. This researcher will use the case study method as a lens to view, study, and understand issues about adoption and use of new media technologies in four medium and large-sized high schools. Some 20 participants will be selected and informed of the scope of this study in the process.
This study will be based on one overarching research question and two sub-questions. A set of open-ended questions will be designed for the open-ended face-to-face interviews and Skype interviews (see appendix). A checklist with open-ended questions about new media tools and teaching experience will be used as a checklist at the time of the interview (see appendix).
Lists will be used to compare the general categories between the teacher and administrators. Based on educators’ ideas and experiences, a table will list new media tools used by educators in teaching. The table will also project the role played by teachers and administrators in adopting modern or new media technologies and enhancing high school teaching. Based on the above-discussed research questions, this researcher, as a data-collecting instrument, will use a table to tabulate the data collected during interviews, observations, and discussions (see appendix).
Interviews guides will be used to extract information from teachers and school administrators through focused group discussions. In this case, the researcher records responses by taking notes and through audio-visual recording tools. Other interviews will be administered through Skype because of the multiple sets of responses that can be hardly captured in full by the researcher. This reiterates the importance of purposeful sampling, where the selection of people with knowledge on the research problem will be done. The questionnaires will be administered by the researcher for the respondents whom the researcher can physically reach. Several questionnaires will be administered through the phone, while others will be mailed to the respondents to reduce costs and embrace efficiency. Observation will be deployed in instances where the researcher will physically administer the questionnaires and in cases where the research will personally moderate the interviews under the focused groups. There will be formal interviews conducted occasionally on educators. There will also be informal interviews. All interviews will take at least half an hour to one hour.
Face-to-face interviews and Skype interviews will be scheduled with participants as per their availability. Dragon voice recording software will be used to record and transcribe all the interviews into text. Data analysis in this case study will begin in the field during data collection with the recorded interviews with the educators. Population sampling will be used to better define participants and to arrange interviews with them (Patton, 1990) (see appendix).
Data will be duplicated and stored in both soft and hard copies for the sake of preventing the loss of any data. The data will remain valid until after the researcher develops and presents the full research report. The soft data can then be deleted from where it was stored after the development of the report. The hard copies can also be disposed of at this stage.
Data Analysis Procedures
Case study results relate directly to the common readers’ everyday experience and facilitate an understanding of complex real-life natural situations (Denzin & Lincoln, 1994; Patton, 2002; Pope & Mays, 1995). To achieve efficiency in this research, the researcher will have a smart research design to act as a guide through the research. There will be numerous sources of data, as well as data analysis procedures. A theoretical model with be drafted to help guide the research. Data collection and analysis procedure activities will be systematically and methodically noted, and specify the sources of data, the collection method, how the data will be collected, managed and analyzed.
Analysis of the interview data and reanalysis of the study will provide a foundation for understanding the perception of educators. Purposeful sampling will enable this researcher to collect sufficient data to provide rich details about educators’ experiences and views about adopting and using new media technologies to maximize the range of information collected. Interviews and data analysis results will provide answers to the research questions.
The collected study data will be analyzed because data collection will include open-ended face-to-face interviews, observations of the classroom and offices, and informal discussion with the participants. In this case, meaning will be drawn from the study so that readers will be able to understand the context and know-how adoption and use of new media technology emerged and how it could affect modern teaching.
Data collection and analysis of this study and interpretation and reporting could take place simultaneously in a tabular form. According to McAninch’s findings (1993), a case needs subjective and objective measures. In this case, objective and subjective measures will be done by taking multiple perspectives from four sources of data. Therefore, the readers will be able to understand the context and know in what ways adoption and use of new media technology are important and effective in modern teaching. It will be vital to implement similar analytical approaches for each of the four mini-cases because a case study design will be used.
For research question 1, where the views of the educators are being sought for, data will be collected from the school administrators and teachers through interview guides and questionnaires. It is expected that most of the data attained under research question 1 shall be descriptive, thus coding will be critical in easing analysis of the data. Different response categories will be developed from the responses attained through the focused groups and the questionnaires by the research for the ease of making statistical inferences.
Data will be collected through observation and an exploration of the data collected for research question 1 for research question 2 and research question 3, which require more open views about the adoption of new media in the high school curriculum. In this case, the research is critical in synthesizing the responses under research question 1 and relating them to the observation made and results from secondary studies.
For ease of analysis, each set of data will be separated according to the research tool used to collect the data; that is systematic documentation. This will make it easy for coding the data according to the response categories that will have been identified and developed. Systematic documentation will enable the researcher to focus on the research based on the topic. Statistical tools like the use of graphs and charts will be used to represent information, thereby making it easy for the researcher to draw inferences from the data.
Statistical tools are critical in synthesizing and simplifying data, thereby making it easy for researchers to conclude the data. These statistical tools will be deployed in this research, more so after the systematic documentation, which is the first step in the synthesis of raw data, will have been done. Data analysis will result in interpretation and finding answers to the research questions. The data transcribed into text will describe and compare educators’ perceptions about the effect of new media tools in their teaching. The research will easily draw a line between similar and varied responses of the educators by tabulating information from the data collected. This will help in deriving findings for research question 1.
Based on the above discussion, this investigator, as a data-collecting instrument, will tabulate the data collected from multiple sources, including interviews, discussions, and observations. Purposeful sampling will enable this researcher to collect sufficient quality data to provide rich details about educators’ experiences and views about adopting and use of new media technology and maximize the range of information collected.
Ethical issues may be present in any kind of research. This investigator will focus this study on examining educators’ views and experiences about using new media technologies in their classrooms and offices. The desire to participate in this study will depend upon educators’ willingness to share their experiences and views on why they have adopted or want to adopt and integrate new media technologies in their curricula. Punch (1994) claimed that ethical failures are very rare in case studies; conversely, Batchelor and Briggs (1994) claimed that researchers who fail to address ethical issues result in being inadequately prepared to cope with the unpredicted nature of the study in question.
Therefore, this investigator has taken CITI online tests on ethical considerations suggested and required by Grand Canyon University. This investigator will not interfere with any of the normal processes operating on the observation site. For this reason, this investigator will collect data through interviews and classroom observation. The results of this study could expose educators or schools, thus safeguards such as anonymity and pseudonyms will be built in the study.
AoIR Ethical Guidelines suggest that users should examine the “acknowledged publicity of the venue” (Ess. 2002, p. 6). The AoIR ethical statement advises on guidelines that are more useful when conducting new media studies. The changing nature of the research relationship might be read as evidence that the existing principles, like minimizing harm, are still relevant for new media ethics. Therefore, this author will document personal perceptions and emotions for readers to evaluate the topic under study.
This author will support Dresser’s (1998) idea and follow the reviews and procedures to protect participants from any possible risk. According to Richardson (2009), new media users are more open, although the issue of what is classed as public on the Web is important because it influences the ethical decisions that the users make depending on the particular research circumstances. In this study, four forms of data, observations, face-to-face interviews, Skype interviews, and discussions, will give a richer and more inclusive description of the study in progress. Multiple sources of data will also support the validity of this study by providing various evidence that can validate reported findings (Yin, 1984).
As an interviewer, this researcher will check with educators if they want to reveal their identity or if they want to keep it undisclosed and anonymous. However, the identity of the respondents can be hardly concealed in focused groups. In cases where administrators and teachers are involved in focused groups, some teachers may fear to express negative opinions because of fearing the reaction from administrators. Negative opinions according to the research problem are important since they are used to back the perceptions of the respondents concerning new media adoption in the high school curriculum. This is bound to have a negative connotation in the findings, thereby jeopardizing the validity of the research results. This is a genuine concern basing on the fact that several administrators may be fostering technology adoption, while instructors are resisting the move.
While the use of focused group discussions is critical for developing founded justifications on the perceptions of the respondents, individual responses may block responses from other researchers. Also, other respondents may build on the responses of individual researchers to give responses that suit them. This tampers with objectivity and validity of the research findings. In this case, the researcher will consider variations, as well as debrief researchers before and after the research.
Using observation as a research collection mechanism is also worrying given the fact that observations are recorded by the researcher, who may record observations based on a pre-formed opinion. In this case, emphasis on the other data collection instruments is critical. Moreover, these are the main instruments for collecting data from the prime respondents.
The focus of Chapter 3 was to establish the research methodology and the parameters within which this case study will be conducted. This researcher will interview school and district administrators and high school teachers from four high schools in a district in Central Valley, California to obtain data regarding their views and experiences on adopting and using new media technology.
The chapter has elaborated on the case study research methodology that has been chosen for this research. The reason why a case study design has been chosen is that it is effective in exploring real issues, like technology adoption (Rastrick & Corner, 2010). The paper also expounds on data collection techniques, tools and methods. The final sample in the research is attained through the use of stratified sampling, simple random sampling, and purposeful sampling. Purposeful sampling is used to arrive at key informants in focused group discussions. The research has explored three main data sources and data collection instruments. The instruments include interview guides, questionnaires, and notes for observation. Data sources are teachers, administrators, and findings from other researchers.
It is anticipated that the results of this case study will add to the literature base in the field of web-based learning and provide some practical approaches to why educators should adopt new media tools into their curricula (Akyeampong, 2011). The researcher anticipates a high percentage of accuracy upon use of the methodology in the field gives the choice of the case study methodology and development of research techniques that will be used in the paper. This will, to a large extent, determine the findings of the research as will be depicted in the research report.
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