Methodology: Look for Answers!
What population(s) are of interest to you?
Consider who you might have access to (e.g., faculty, students, administrators) and go back to your research question:
- Can researching this population answer my question?
- Can I collect basic demographic information from the participants? (If not, you can still do the research. However, if you can, this information will help you better understand your results.)
What will you measure? How will you measure it?
Go back to your research question and ask…
- Is what you’re wondering measurable?
- Are you measuring what you’re wondering?
- How do you know what you want to measure?
AAC&U VALUE Rubrics can be used to assess student artifacts based on key learning outcomes (e.g., critical thinking, quantitative literacy, written communication).
Existing course assignments: Using assignments that are a normal part of a course is common with SoTL research. They can be used in terms of scoring and grading (e.g., with VALUE Rubrics) or accessed for qualitative data (e.g., seeking evidence of critical thinking and reflection).
Metacognition: Thinking about thinking. How an individual understands and is aware of his/her own learning processes.
- Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ, Likert-type surveys)
- Wolters’ Metacognitive Strategies Questionnaire (MSQ, Likert-type surveys)
Motivation: Internal feelings that energize, sustain, and direct behaviors.
- MUSIC Model of Motivation (Likert-type surveys, interviews, short-response, teacher and student versions)
Self-regulated learning: The strategies we use to pursue goals by controlling our actions and cognitive processes.
Self-efficacy: Confidence in one’s ability to do well on a specific task.
- Guide for measuring self-efficacy (surveys, interviews)
Goal-orientation: Goal orientation theory examines the reasons why students engage in their academic work and considers important constructs such as flow, mindset, and grit.
- 3 X 2 Achievement Goal Questionnaire (AGQ, survey)
Engagement: This takes multiple forms such as behavioral, cognitive, emotional, and social.
- Wang’s Engagement Scale (survey, teacher and student versions)
- Skinner et al.’s Behavioral and Emotional Engagement (survey)
You can also find example research specific to ePortfolios in PEARL (the parent site): eportfolio.aacu.org
Your choice of data analysis depends wholly on your research question. Qualitative or quantitative? Mixed methods?
How can we help you answer some of these questions?