Dissertation Topic

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Photo from: Google Images

So, the next few months are gonna pretty rough. We are now really gearing up to start the dissertation process. Grand Canyon University starts the process with the dissertation prospectus. Now, I really don't expect everyone to read this, but anyone who would like to provide constructive criticism so that I can improve on this would be greatly appreciated.

 

Dissertation Prospectus

Satisfaction and Learning Style

Submitted by

Renee L. Franklin

May 18, 2016

To Be Determined

 

Prospectus Instructions:

1.      Read the entire Prospectus Template to understand the requirements for writing your Prospectus. Each section contains a narrative overview of what should be included in the section and a table with criteria required for each section. These criteria will be used to assess the prospectus for overall quality and feasibility of the proposed research study.

2.      As you draft each section, delete the narrative instructions and insert your work related to that section. Use the criteria table for each section to ensure that you address the requirements for that particular section. Do not delete/remove the criteria table as this is used by you and your Committee to evaluate your prospectus.

3.      Prior to submitting your prospectus for review by your Chair or Methodologist, use the criteria table for each section to complete a self-evaluation, inserting what you believe is your score for each listed criteria into the Learner Self-Evaluation column.

4.      The scoring for the criteria ranges from a 0-3 as defined below. Complete a realistic and thoughtful evaluation of your work. Your Chair and Methodologist will also use the criteria tables to evaluate your work.

5.      Your Prospectus should be between 6-10 pages when the tables are deleted.

 

Score Assessment
0 Item Not Present
1 Item is Present, But Does Not Meet Expectations: Not all components are present. Large gaps are present in the components that leave the reader with significant questions. All items scored at 1 must be addressed by learner per reviewer comments.
2 Item Approaches Meeting Expectations, But Needs Revision: Component is present and adequate. Small gaps are present that leave the reader with questions. Any item scored at 2 must be addressed by the learner per the reviewer comments.
3 Item Meets Expectations: Component is addressed clearly and comprehensively. No gaps are present that leave the reader with questions. No changes required.

 

Dissertation Prospectus

Introduction

The purpose of this quantitative correlational study is to determine the relationship between online learning satisfaction and learning style. This author is also interested in trying to determine if one or two particular learning styles are more conductive to online learning environments. Much research has occurred on satisfaction in online classes, but no one has looked at how learning style affects satisfaction in online classes. What this author would like to determine is if one or two learning styles leads to more satisfaction within the online environment. Since online classes are becoming more and more popular, it would help to know what factors affect satisfaction in order to try to reduce attrition rates. If learning style does in fact affect satisfaction one could use this information to help those whose learning style is mismatched to the online environment by providing study strategies to help provide more satisfaction.

 

Criteria (Required Components): score 0-3 Learner Self-Evaluation Score

(0-3)

Chair or Reviewer Evaluation Score

(0-3)

Introduction

This section briefly overviews the research focus or problem, why this study is worth conducting, and how this study will be completed.

The recommended length for this section is one paragraph.

1.       Dissertation topic is introduced. 3  
2.       Describes how the study extends prior research or fills a “need” or “defined gap” from current literature. 3  
NOTE: This Introduction section elaborates on Point #1(the Topic) from the 10 Strategic Points. This Introduction section provides the foundation for the Introduction section in Chapter 1 of the Proposal.
NOTE: When writing this section ensure it has a logical flow, as well as uses correct paragraph structure, sentence structure, tense, punctuation, and APA format.
Comments from the Evaluator:

 

 

Background of the Problem

There has been much research done on both learning styles and satisfaction of online learners, but there are not many looking at both at the same time. Some have looked at how learning style affects learner outcomes (Lyke & Frank, 2012). Some have looked at how satisfaction affects learner outcome (Klein, Noe, & Wang, 2006). A study done by Cakiroglu (2014) looked at learning style and study habits on learning performance. The results showed that both learning style and study habits would affect performance (Cakiroglu, 2014). While the author looked at these variables separately, the findings appear to suggest a correlation between the two variables on one’s performance overall. This author would like to try to confirm or deny this correlation.

Another study looked at how perceptions of satisfaction could affect one’s experience (Ilgaz & Gulbahar, 2015). These authors looked at students in various online programs offered at Ankara University in Turkey using two self-report measures to determine readiness and satisfaction (Ilgaz & Gulbahar, 2015). It also appears that obstacles such as technical difficulties affect how satisfied a person is with online learning (Ilgaz & Gulbahar, 2015). Looking at this study it would seem technical difficulties are hard to overcome if one is not comfortable with computers. This would seem to say that a person with more technical knowledge would be more satisfied, but those with better time management skills should then also be more satisfied.

Yet another study looked at how learning styles may affect learning outcomes (Rogowsky, Calhoun, & Tallal, 2015). These authors, however, did not find statistically significant results that learning style affects learning outcome (Rogowsky, Calhoun, & Tallal, 2015). This could be due to the measurement instruments used, though as one may have been easier than the other. It is because of these conflicting results that this author would like to see if one or two learning styles are better suited for the online environment. The second question this author would like to try to answer if is one or two learning styles may receive more satisfaction from the online environment.

 

Criteria (Required Components): score 0-3 Learner Self-Evaluation Score

(0-3)

Chair or Reviewer Evaluation Score

(0-3)

Background of the Problem

The background section explains both the history of and the present state of the problem and research focus.

The recommended length for this section is two-three paragraphs.

1.      Identifies the “need,” or “defined gap” that will lead to the research problem statement in a following section. Citations from the literature in the last 5 years describe the problem as a current “need” or “gap” for further research. 3  
2.       Discusses how the “need” or “defined gap” has evolved historically into the current problem or opportunity to be addressed by the proposed study. 3  
3.       ALIGNMENT: The problem statement for the dissertation will be developed from and justified by the “need” or “defined gap” that is described in this section and supported by the Literature. 3  
NOTE: This Background of the Problem section uses information from Point #2 (Literature Review) in the 10 Strategic Points. This Background of the Problem section becomes the Background of the Study in Chapter 1 in the Proposal. It is then expanded to develop the comprehensive Background to the Problem section in Chapter 2 (Literature Review) in the Proposal.
NOTE: When writing this section ensure it has a logical flow, as well as, uses correct paragraph structure, sentence structure, tense, punctuation, and APA format.
Comments from the Evaluator:

 

 

Theoretical Foundations and Review of the Literature/Themes

The theoretical foundation for this study is self-determination theory. In this theory one’s motivation in learning is front and center. The student-centered approach to learning takes into account learning style and cognitive readiness when in the classroom (Link, 2015). This applies to this study because this author would like to see how one’s learning style affects satisfaction in the online environment and if one or more learning styles are better suited to the online environment. Because motivation is the first thing one needs in order to do well in class, the student-centered approach works with the learning style to help the student get the most out of his or her classes.

Review of the Literature

  • Satisfaction: Satisfaction is related to attrition. The more satisfied the student is the longer he or she will remain in the program(Lyke & Frank, 2012). There are several factors that can affect satisfaction such as autonomy, relevance, and competency (Ke & Kwak, 2013). Learning style could also be a factor of satisfaction in the online environment.
  • Learning Style: Leaning style could have an effect on satisfaction in the online environment. Khanal, Shah, and Koirala (2014) found that students are more satisfied with the program when learning preference matches teaching style. After a study done by Lyke and Frank (2011) it was suggested that more research be done to determine what students do best in which setting, online or traditional.

 

Criteria (Required Components): score 0-3 Learner Self-Evaluation Score

(0-3)

Chair or Reviewer Evaluation Score

(0-3)

Theoretical Foundations and/or Conceptual Framework

This section identifies the theory(s) or model(s) that provide the foundation for the research. This section should present the theory(s) or models(s) and explain how the problem under investigation relates to the theory or model. The theory(s) or models(s) guide the research questions and justify what is being measured (variables) as well as how those variables are related (quantitative) or the phenomena being investigated (qualitative).

Review of the Literature

This section provides a broad, balanced overview of the existing literature related to the proposed research topic. It describes the literature in related topic areas and its relevance to the proposed research topic findings, providing a short one-two sentence description of each theme/topic and identifies its relevance to the research topic supporting it with at least one citation from the literature.

 

The recommended length for this section is two-three paragraphs

1.       Theoretical Foundations section identifies the theory(s), model(s) relevant to the variables (quantitative study) or phenomenon (qualitative study). This section should explain how the study topic or problem coming out of the “need” or “defined gap” in the Background to the Problem section relates to the theory(s) or model(s). (One paragraph) 3  
2.       Review of the Literature Themes/Topics section: This section lists the major themes or topics related to the research topic. It provides a short one-two sentence description of each theme/topic and identifies its relevance to the research topic supporting it with at least one citation from the literature. (One or two sentences per theme/topic). 2  
3.       ALIGNMENT: The Theoretical Foundations models and theories need to be related to and support the problem statement or study topic. The sections in the Review of the Literature are topical areas needed to understand the various aspects of the phenomenon (qualitative) or variables/groups (quantitative) being studied; to select the design needed to address the Problem Statement; to select surveys or instruments to collect information on variables/groups; to define the population and sample for the study; to describe components or factors that comprise the phenomenon; to describe key topics related to the study topic, etc. 2  
NOTE: The two parts of this section use information from Point #2 (Literature Review) from the 10 Strategic Points. This Theoretical Foundations section is expanded upon to become the Theoretical Foundations section in Chapter 2 (Literature Review). The Theoretical Foundations section is also used to help create the Advancing Scientific Knowledge section in Chapter 1. This Review of Literature Themes/Topics section is expanded upon to provide the Review of the Literature section in Chapter 2 (Literature Review). The Review of the Literature Themes/Topics section is also used to provide the basis for the Significance of the Study section in Chapter 1.
NOTE: When writing this section ensure it has a logical flow, as well as uses correct paragraph structure, sentence structure, tense, punctuation, and APA format.
Comments from the Evaluator:

 

 

Problem Statement

It is not known if leaning style affects satisfaction in the online environment. This study will help to provide this answer. Research has shown that when attrition rate is high, satisfaction is low and when satisfaction is high, attrition rate is low (Beauvais, Stewert, DeNisco, & Beauvais, 2014). A study done by Skogsberg and Clump (2003) found that there is a difference between learning style of psychology majors and biology majors. So, one could also assume there may be one to two learning styles that are better suited for online learning. If one’s learning style is suited for online learning, he or she may get more satisfaction from the program. This information could help both schools and students receive a greater benefit from online programs.

 

Criteria (Required Components): score 0-3 Learner Self-Evaluation Score

(0-3)

Chair or Reviewer Evaluation Score

(0-3)

Problem Statement

This section includes the problem statement, the population affected, and how the study will contribute to solving the problem.

The recommended length for this section is one paragraph.

1.       Presents a clear declarative statement that begins with either:
“It is not known how or why…” (qualitative),

or

“It is not known if or to what degree/extent…” (quantitative).

3  
2.      Clearly describes the magnitude and importance of the problem, supporting it with citations from the literature. 2  
3.       ALIGNMENT: The problem statement is developed from and justified by the “need” or “defined gap” defined by the Literature that is discussed in the Background to the Problem section above. 3  
NOTE: This section elaborates on Points #3 (Problem Statement) from the 10 Strategic Points. This section becomes the foundation for the Problem Statement section in Chapter 1(and other Chapters where appropriate) in the Proposal.
NOTE: When writing this section ensure it has a logical flow, as well as uses correct paragraph structure, sentence structure, tense, punctuation, and APA format
Comments from Evaluator:

 

Research Question(s) and Phenomenon or Research Questions, Hypotheses, and Variables

Variable 1: Learning Style

Variable 2: Online Classes

Variable 3: GPA

Variable 4: Satisfaction

The variables are learning style, online classes, and GPA. The learning style of each participant will be assessed using the VARK questionnaire. The GPA, which will be used to measure satisfaction, will be a self-report question to each participant. This information will be analyzed to accept or deny the research questions listed below.

R1:          Does one’s learning style affect satisfaction in the online classroom?

H1:      There is a significant relationship between satisfaction and learning style.

H01:     There is not a significant relationship between satisfaction and learning style.

R2:         Is one learning style more effective in the online environment?

H2:      One or more learning style is more effective in the online environment.

H02:     One or more learning styles are not more effective in the online environment.

This information will help to determine if one’s satisfaction is tied to learning style and if one or two learning styles are more conduction to the online environment. This information will help both students and schools to ensure that students are getting the most out the online programs being taken.

 

Criteria (Required Components): score 0-3 Learner Self-Evaluation Score

(0-3)

Chair or Reviewer Evaluation Score

(0-3)

Research Question(s) and/or Hypotheses

This section narrows the focus of the study and specifies the research questions to address the problem

statement. Based on the research questions, it describes the variables or groups and their hypothesized

relationship for a quantitative study or the phenomena under investigation for a qualitative study.

(2-3paragraphs)

·         The recommendation is a minimum of two research questions along with related hypotheses and variables is required for a quantitative study.

·         Also recommended is a minimum of two research questions along with the phenomenon description is required for a qualitative study.

·         Put the Research Questions in the appropriate Table in Appendix B based on whether the study is qualitative or quantitative.

1.       Qualitative Designs: States the research question(s) the study will answer, and describes the phenomenon to be studied.
or

2.      Quantitative Designs: States the research question(s) the study will answer, identifies the variables, and presents the hypotheses.

3  
3.       ALIGNMENT: The research questions are based on both the Problem Statement and Theoretical Foundation model(s) or theory(s). There should be no research questions that are not clearly aligned to the Problem Statement. 3  
NOTE: This section elaborates on Points #5 (Research Questions) & #6 Hypothesis/variables or Phenomena) from the 10 Strategic Points. This section becomes the foundation for the Research Question(s) and/or Hypotheses section in Chapter 1 in the Proposal.
NOTE: When writing this section ensure it has a logical flow, as well as uses correct paragraph structure, sentence structure, tense, punctuation, and APA format.
Comments from the Evaluator:

 

 

Significance of the Study

There are a few implications if the results of this study are significant. First, if learning style does affect satisfaction of the online learner, this will contribute another factor for this construct. Research has shown that student-centered learning appears to help with satisfaction (Ke & Kwak, 2013). Learning styles are a part of student-centered learning because each student has a preferred method of learning. This study would help to determine if any changes need to be made regarding classes or techniques used in the classes to help the students succeed. Second, if one or two learning styles are better suited to the online program administrators could use this information to help provide strategies to those students in need. The information gained from this study could help with attrition rates by ensuring every student has the strategies he or she needs to be successful.

 

 

Criteria (Required Components): score 0-3 Learner Self-Evaluation Score

(0-3)

Chair or Reviewer Evaluation Score

(0-3)

Significance of the Study

This section identifies and describes the significance of the study and the implications of the potential results based on the research questions and problem statement, hypotheses, or the investigated phenomena. It describes how the research fits within and will contribute to the current literature or body of research. It describes potential practical applications from the research.

The recommended length for this section is one paragraph.

1.      Describes how the proposed research will contribute to the Literature, relating it specifically to other studies from the Background to the Problem and Problem Statement above. 2  
2.       Describes how the proposed research will contribute to the literature on the selected theory(s) or model(s) that comprise the Theoretical Foundation for the study. 2  
3.       Describes how addressing the problem will have practical value for the real world considering the population, community, and/or society. 2  
4.       ALIGNMENT:

Part 1 is based on specific studies from the Background to the Problem and Problem Statements sections above and identifies how this research will contribute to that Literature. Part 2 is based on specific model(s), theory(s) or variables from the Theoretical Foundations section above and identifies how this research will contribute to the knowledge on those model(s) or theory(s). Part 3 reflects on potential practical applications of the potential research findings based on Literature in the field of practice.

3  
NOTE: This section does not directly come from any section of the 10 Strategic Points. However it does build on the Background to the Problem, Problem Statement and Theoretical Foundations sections that are developed from the 10 Strategic Points. This section becomes the Significance of the Study section in Chapter 1 in the Proposal.
NOTE: When writing this section ensure it has a logical flow, as well as uses correct paragraph structure, sentence structure, tense, punctuation, and APA format.
Comments from the Evaluator:

Rationale for Methodology

For this study the best methodology would be a quantitative correlational study. The purpose of this study is to determine if a relationship exists between satisfaction and learning style in online classes. While a qualitative study could determine this, the quantitative methodology would do better in showing if a relationship does or does not exist (Haegele & Hodge, 2015). In research, best practice is to only ask for the information needed to answer the questions put forth. In this case, the information needed is qualitative. So while a quantitative or mixed method study could help for a broader view of the questions, a qualitative study would answer the questions best. This author would like to see if a relationship exists, therefore a correlational study would be the best fit. This will show if there is a relationship between satisfaction and learning style. Therefore, a quantitative methodology will answer the questions better than a qualitative study.

 

Criteria (Required Components): score 0-3 Learner Self-Evaluation Score

(0-3)

Chair or Reviewer Evaluation Score

(0-3)

Rationale for Methodology

This section clearly justifies the methodology the researcher plans to use for conducting the study. It argues how the methodological framework is the best approach to answer the research questions and address the problem statement. It uses citations from textbooks and articles on research methodology and/or articles on related studies.

The recommend length for this section is one paragraph and completion of Table 1 (quantitative) and/or Table 2 (qualitative) in Appendix B.

1.      Identifies the specific research methodology for the study (quantitative, qualitative, or mixed). 2  
2.       Justifies the research methodology to be used for the study by discussing why it is the best approach for answering the research question and addressing the problem statement. Uses citations from original sources in the literature on the specific research methodology to support the arguments. (NOTE: Books such as those by Creswell, which are secondary sources summarizing others approaches to research, may not be used as sources in this section). 2  
3.       ALIGNMENT: The selected methodology should be justified based on the Problem Statement and Research Questions. 3  
NOTE: This section elaborates on the methodology part of Point #7(Methodology and Design) in the 10 Strategic Points.

This section becomes the foundation for the Research Methodology in Chapter 1 of the Proposal and the basis for developing Chapter 3, Research Methodology.

NOTE: When writing this section ensure it has a logical flow, as well as uses correct paragraph structure, sentence structure, tense, punctuation, and APA format
Comments from the Evaluator:

 

 

Nature of the Research Design for the Study

The design of this study is correlational. The correlational design is used to find relationships between two or more variables (Beauvais, Stewert, DeNisco, & Beauvais, 2014). This is exactly what this author wishes to find; a relationship between learning style and satisfaction. The sample will come from schools that offer online courses such as Marana High School, University of Phoenix, and hopefully Grand Canyon University. The sample should consist of students enrolled in online classes that are between the ages of 16 and 60.

 

Criteria (Required Components): score 0-3 Learner Self-Evaluation Score

(0-3)

Chair or Reviewer Evaluation Score

(0-3)

Nature of the Research Design for the Study

This section describes the specific research design to answer the research questions and why this approach was selected. It describes the research sample being studied as well as the process that will be used to collect the data on the sample.

The recommend length for this section is one paragraph and completion of Table 1 (quantitative) and/or Table 2 (qualitative) in Appendix B.

1.       Identifies the specific type of research design chosen for the study as well as a sample appropriate for the design. (e.g., Quantitative designs include descriptive/survey, correlational, causal-comparative, quasi-experimental, and experimental. Qualitative designs include case study, narrative, grounded theory, historical, and phenomenological.) Although other designs are possible, these are the designs GCU recommends doctoral learners use to help ensure a doable study. 2  
2.       Discusses why the selected design is the best design to address the research questions as compared to other designs. 2  
3.       ALIGNMENT: The selected Research Design should be justified based on the research questions as well as the hypotheses/variables (quantitative) or phenomenon (qualitative). It should also be aligned with the selected Research Methodology. 3  
NOTE: This section also elaborates on the Design part of Point #7 (Methodology and Design) in the 10 Strategic Points. This section provides the foundation for Nature of the Research Design for the Study in Chapter 1.
NOTE: When writing this section ensure it has a logical flow, as well as uses correct paragraph structure, sentence structure, tense, punctuation, and APA format.
Comments from Evaluator:

 

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this quantitative correlational research is to see to what degree a relationship exists between learning style and satisfaction for students enrolled in online classes. The independent variable, learning style, will be measured by the VARK Learning Style Inventory. The dependent variable, satisfaction, will be measured by the Grade Point Average (GPA) of the students. The target population for this study are students enrolled in online classes. The sample size should be at least 100 students, but more would be more helpful in determining if a relationship truly exists.

 

Criteria (Required Components): score 0-3 Learner Self-Evaluation Score

(0-3)

Chair or Reviewer Evaluation Score

(0-3)

Purpose of the Study

The purpose statement section provides a reflection of the problem statement and identifies how the study will be accomplished. It explains how the proposed study will contribute to the field.

The recommend length for this section is one paragraph.

1.      Presents a declarative statement: “The purpose of this _______study is….” that identifies the research methodology, research design, target population, variables/groups (quantitative), or phenomena (qualitative) to be studied, and geographic location. It often includes a version of the Problem Statement as a way to define the phenomenon or variables/hypotheses. 2  
2.       ALIGNMENT: The Purpose Statement includes: Research Methodology, Research Design, and Problem Statement from the previous sections. It also includes the target population, which should be of sufficient size to provide a large enough sample to complete the study and provide significant (quantitative) or meaningful (qualitative) results. 3  
NOTE: This section elaborates on Points #8 (Purpose Statement) in the 10 Strategic Points. This section becomes the foundation for the Purpose of the Study in Chapter 1 of the Proposal.
NOTE: When writing this section ensure it has a logical flow, as well as uses correct paragraph structure, sentence structure, tense, punctuation, and APA format.
Comments from the Evaluator:

 

 

Instrumentation or Sources of Data

This study will gather data about the students enrolled in online classes. The types of information needed from each student is his or her learning style, his or her feeling of satisfaction, and his or her GPA. The feeling of satisfaction will be a self-report question. The collection of GPA will also be self-report. These two self-report questions will allow this author to determine how satisfied the student is with his or her program. The VARK Learning Style Inventory will be used to determine the learning style of each student. This assessment asks different questions regarding one’s preferred learning methods and then translates the answers to these question into a learning style that the student uses to learn.

 

Criteria (Required Components): score 0-3 Learner Self-Evaluation Score

(0-3)

Chair or Reviewer Evaluation Score

(0-3)

Instrumentation or Sources of Data

Describes, in detail, all data collection instruments and sources (tests, questionnaires, interviews, data bases, media, etc.). Discusses the specific instrument or source to collect data for each variable or group (quantitative study). Discusses specific instrument or source to collect information to describe the phenomena being studied (qualitative study).

The recommend length for this section is one paragraph AND completion of Table 1 (quantitative) and/or Table 2 (qualitative) in Appendix B.

1.      Identifies and describes the types of data that will be collected to answer each Research Question for a qualitative study. Identifies the data that will be collected for each Variable/Group in a quantitative study. 3  
2.       Identifies tools, instruments, or databases to be used to collect the data (e.g., observations, interviews, questionnaires, documents, media (qualitative), standardized tests, surveys, and databases (quantitative)). For a qualitative study, identify the specific tools, instruments, or databases for each research question in a qualitative study. For a quantitative study, identify the name of the specific “validated” and “previously used in quantitative research” survey or data source to be used to collect data for each variable, providing a citation for the instrument or data source. 3  
3.       ALIGNMENT: Aligns with the Research Questions (qualitative) or Variables (quantitative) previously described in the Research Question(s) and Phenomena or Research Questions, Hypotheses, and Variables section above. Identifies and describes the data and data source that will be used to answer each Research Question for a qualitative study. Identifies, describes, and names the type of numerical data and specific data collection instrument or source that will be used for each variable and group in a quantitative study. 3  

NOTE: This section elaborates on Point #9 (Data Collection) from the 10 Strategic Points.

This information is summarized high level in Chapter 1 in the Proposal in the Nature of the Research Design for the Study section. This section provides the foundation for Instrumentation (quantitative) or Sources of Data (qualitative) section in Chapter 3.

NOTE: When writing this section ensure it has a logical flow, as well as uses correct paragraph structure, sentence structure, tense, punctuation, and APA format.

Comments from the Evaluator:

 

 

Data Collection Procedures

The target population will consist of students in online classes. This author will contact a few schools in the area that offer online classes such as Marana High School, University of Phoenix, and Grand Canyon University. It is the hope of this author that the sample size will be around 400 students. With this size sample, the author should be able to determine if the results of the data analysis are significant or not. This sample size should provide a confidence level of 95% allowing for a true estimate of reliability of the findings.

This author will contact several schools in the area to obtain consent from the administrators. This author will also complete the IRB review as required by Grand Canyon University to ensure standards are met. Sample selection will be through email. Data will be stored on my computer in an encrypted file. Data collection will be done with the VARK Learning Style Inventory and the self-report satisfaction question and GPA. SPSS will be used for data analysis.

 

Criteria (Required Components): score 0-3 Learner Self-Evaluation Score

(0-3)

Chair or Reviewer Evaluation Score

(0-3)

Data Collection Procedures

 This section details the entirety of the process used to collect the data. It describes each step of the data collection process in a way that another researcher could replicate the study.

 

NOTE: It is recommended that the researcher get written approval (or at the very least unofficial approval) to conduct their research study in their selected organization. Ensure the person (who is usually a school superintendent, school boards, or corporate officer) providing approval is authorized by the organization to grant approval for research. Do not assume your organization will allow you to collect data since many organization do not allow research to be completed within the organization.

The recommended length for this section is two paragraphs.

1.      Defines the target population and the expected sample size, which comprises the people or organizations being studied, as defined in the problem statement. For quantitative studies, it justifies why the target population and expected sample size (final number of people or organizations being studied for which data will be collected) is large enough to produce statistically significant results (quantitative) or meaningful results (qualitative). 2  
2.       Provides an overview the proposed step-by-step procedure to collect data using the tools, instruments, or databases from the section above. Includes the steps (e.g., obtaining initial informed consent from participating organization; IRB review; sample selection; groupings; protecting rights/well-being; maintaining data security; sample recruitment; data collection instruments and approaches; field testing instruments; notifying participants; collecting the data, etc.) in a way another researcher can replicate the study. Steps may be provided in a list format. 2  
3.       ALIGNMENT: Shows the steps and approach to collect data for each and every data source identified in the Instrumentation or Sources of Data section. Defines the sample as the set of people or organizations being studied for which data will be collected. The sample size must be correct for the type of design selected to get statistically significant (quantitative) or meaningful (qualitative) results. 2  
NOTE: This section elaborates on Points #4 (Sample and Location) and #9 (Data Collection) in the 10 Strategic Points.

This section provides the foundation for the Data Collection Procedures section in Chapter 3 in the Proposal. And it is summarized high level in Chapter 1 in Nature of the Research Design for the Study in the Proposal.

NOTE: When writing this section ensure it has a logical flow, as well as uses correct paragraph structure, sentence structure, tense, punctuation, and APA format.
Comments from the Evaluator:

 

Data Analysis Procedures

Both research questions in this study will use inferential statistics to answer the questions. Using SPSS, the first question will use a correlation to determine if learning style has an effect, or a relationship with, satisfaction. The second question will look for differences of GPA between the learning styles. This question will use the factorial ANOVA to determine if there are learning styles that are better suited to the online environment. To answer this question, if one or even two learning styles typically have better GPA’s this would show a statically significant difference. However, if the difference is not statistically different, the GPA’s should not be clustered around one or two learning styles.

 

Criteria (Required Components): score 0-3 Learner Self-Evaluation Score

(0-3)

Chair or Reviewer Evaluation Score

(0-3)

Data Analysis Procedures

This section describes how the data were collected for each variable or group (quantitative study) or for each research question (qualitative study). It describes the type of data to be analyzed, identifying the descriptive, inferential, and/or non-statistical analyses. Demonstrates that the research analysis is aligned to the specific research design.

The recommend length for this section is one paragraph AND completion of Table 1 (quantitative) and/or Table 2 (qualitative) in Appendix B.

1.       Describes the analysis to examine each stated research question and/or hypothesis. For quantitative studies, describes the analyses including the inferential and/or descriptive statistics to be completed. For qualitative studies, describes the specific analytic approach appropriate for the Research Design and each research question to be completed. In qualitative research the different research questions may require different approaches to doing qualitative data analysis, as well as descriptive statistics. 2  
2.       ALIGNMENT: For qualitative studies, there is a clear and obvious alignment between each research question, data to be collected, tool or data source, as well as data analysis to understand/explain the phenomenon. For quantitative studies, there is a clear and obvious alignment between each variable, data to be collected, instrument or data source, as well as data analysis for each hypothesis. 3  
NOTE: This section elaborates on Point #10 (Data Analysis) from the 10 Strategic Points. This section provides the foundation for Data Analysis Procedures section in Chapter 3 in the Proposal.

 

NOTE: When writing this section ensure it has a logical flow, as well as uses correct paragraph structure, sentence structure, tense, punctuation, and APA format.
Comments from the Evaluator:

 

 

Ethical Considerations

This author does not foresee any ethical issues arising from this study. The students who decide to participate will not be asked for personally identifiable information. The data will be stored on this author’s computer in an encrypted file to ensure privacy. Each response will be coded with a number assigned to the participant. Students will be recruited through email and provided with the opportunity to either respond or not respond.

 

Criteria (Required Components): score 0-3 Learner Self-Evaluation Score

(0-3)

Chair or Reviewer Evaluation Score

(0-3)

Ethical Considerations

This section discusses the potential ethical issues surrounding the research, as well as how human subjects and data will be protected. It identifies how any potential ethical issues will be addressed.

The recommended length for this section is one paragraph.

1.      Discusses potential ethical concerns that might occur during the data collection process. 3  
2.       Describes how the identities of the participants in the study and data will be protected. 3  
3.       Describes subject recruiting, informed consent and site authorization processes. 3  
4.       ALIGNMENT: Ethical considerations are clearly aligned with, and relate directly to the specific Data Collection Procedures. This section also identifies ethical considerations related to the target population being researched and organization or location as described in the Purpose Statement section. 3  
NOTE: This section does use information from any of the 10 Strategic Points.

This section provides the foundation for Ethical Considerations section in Chapter 3 in the Proposal.

NOTE: When writing this section ensure it has a logical flow, as well as uses correct paragraph structure, sentence structure, tense, punctuation, and APA format.
Comments from the Evaluator:

 

 

 

References

Beauvais, A. M., Stewert, J. G., DeNisco, S., & Beauvais, J. E. (2014). Factors related to academic success among nursing students: A discriptive correlational research study. Nurse Education Today, 34(6), 918-923. doi:10.1016/j.nedt.2013.12.005

Cakiroglu, U. (2014). Analyzing the effect of learning styles and study habits of distance learners on learning performances: A case of an introductory programming course. The International Review of research in open and distance learning, 15(4), 160-184.

Fleming, N. D. (1995). I'm different not dumb: Modes of presentation (VARK) in the tertiary classroom. Research and Development in Higher Education, 18, 308-131.

Haegele, J. A., & Hodge, S. R. (2015). Quantitative methodology: A guide for emerging physical education and adapted physical education researchers. Physical Educator, 7259-7275.

Ilgaz, H., & Gulbahar, Y. (2015). A snapshot of online learners: e-readiness, e-satisfaction, and expectations. International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 16(2), 171.

Ke, F., & Kwak, D. (2013). Constructs of student-centered online learning on learning satisfaction of a diverse online student body: A structural equation modeling approach. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 48(1), 97-122. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.2190/EC.48.1.e

Klein, H. J., Noe, R. A., & Wang, C. (2006). Motivation to learn and course outcomes: The impact of delivery mode, learning goal orientation, and perceived barriers and enablers. Personnel Psychology, 59(3), 665-702.

Link, S. (2015). Self-determination theory. Research Starters: Education Online Edition.

Lyke, J., & Frank, M. (2012). Comparison of student outcomes in online and traditional classroom environments in a psychology course. Journal of Instructional Psychology, 39(4), 245-250.

Prithishkumar, I., & Michael, S. (2014). Understanding your student: Using the VARK model. Journal of Postgraduate Medicine, 60(2), 183-186.

Rogowsky, B. A., Calhoun, B. M., & Tallal, P. (2015). Matching learning style to instructional method: Effects on comparison. Journal of Educational Psychology, 107(1), 64-78. doi:10.1037/a0037478

Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2000). Self-determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development, and well-being. American Psychologist, 55(1), 68-78. doi:10.1037110003-066X.55.1.68

Seiver, J. G., & Troja, A. (2014). Satisfaction and success in online learning as a function of the needs for affiliation, autonomy, and mastery. Distance Education, 35(1), 90-105. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01587919.2014.891427

Sihoe, A. L. (2015). Rationales for an accurate sample size evaluation. Journal of Thoracic Disease 7, 11, E531-E536. doi:doi:10.3978/j.issn.2072-1439.2015.10.33

Swan, K., Shea, P., Frederickson, E. E., Pickett, A. M., & Pelz, W. E. (2000). Course design factors influencing the success of online learning. ERIC Online, 513-518.

Weiner, B. (2010). The development of an attribution based theory of motivation: A history of ideas. Educational Psychologist, 45(1), 28-36.

Wilke, D., & Vinton, L. (2006). Evaluation of the first web-based advanced standing MSW program. Journal of Social Work Education, 42(3), 607.

Zacharis, N. Z. (2010). The impact of learning styles on student achievment in a web-based versus an equivilant face-to-face course. College Student Journal, 44(3), 591.

 

 

 

Appendix A

The 10 Strategic Points

The 10 strategy points emerge from researching literature on a topic that is based on, or aligned with, the defined need in the literature as well as the learner’s personal passion, future career purpose, and degree area. The 10 Strategic Points document includes the following 10 key or strategic points that define the research focus and approach:

  1. Topic—Provides a board research topic area/title.

Is satisfaction of online learners due to learning style?

  1. Literature review—Lists primary points for four sections in the Literature Review: (a) Background of the problem/gap and the need for the study based on citations from the literature; (b) Theoretical foundations (models and theories to be foundation for study); (c) Review of literature topics with key theme for each one; (d) Summary.
  1. Background of the problem/gap
    1. Satisfaction in online instruction has been looked at but ow how satisfaction relates to learning style.
    2. Attrition rate is increased because a person in online classes tends to feel isolated (Johnson, Gueutal, & Falbe, 2009). This isolation needs to be dealt with to get students to better engage in the process.
    3. Motivation reflects outcomes – One must be motivated to learn in the online environment ((Klein, Noe, & Wang, 2006), if the learning style is not conductive to the online environment, will this affect motivation and/or satisfaction?
    4. Satisfaction appears to be linked to autonomy (Seiver & Troja, 2014). Those who enjoy working on their own appear to have more success in the online environment.
    5. Satisfaction with online environment appears to directly determine if a student will continue or drop-out(Ke & Kwak, 2013).
  2. Theoretical Foundations (Models and theories to be foundation for study.
    1. Self-determination theory of interpersonal motivation(Ryan & Deci, 2000)
    2. Attribution based theory of intrapersonal motivation(Weiner, 2010).
  3. Review of literature topics with key theme for each one.
    1. Satisfaction – Satisfaction is related to attrition. The more satisfied the student is, the longer he or she will stay in the program(Lyke & Frank, 2012).
    2. Isolation – Even online students felt that their peers in the virtual classroom helped to support learning – a common criticism of online learning(Wilke & Vinton, 2006).
    3. Learning style – Does not appear to affect outcome but little research looks at satisfaction and its relation to learning style(Zacharis, 2010).
    4. VARK Learning Styles – Neil Fleming developed this inventory to help both teachers and students understand how they learn.(Fleming, 1995).
    5. Online learning- Discussion appears to hold importance in online learning however only constitutes a small percentage of the grade(Swan, Shea, Frederickson, Pickett, & Pelz, 2000).
    6. Information presentation – because we each have our own style in which we learn the best, understanding which style is a preference can help to implicate strategies that will work best for the individual(Prithishkumar & Michael, 2014).
  4. Summary
    1. Gap/problem: While many studies have been done on the efficacy of online learning there is still a high attrition rate. Could a learners learning style have an effect on satisfaction?
    2. Prior Studies: Prior research has provided information on success and how learning style can affect the way one processes information.
    3. Quantitative Study: Instruments and data sources are available to measure desired variables.
    4. Significance: Research will add to information about the success and satisfaction of online learning also providing information about those learners who would do will in that environment.
  1. Problem statement—Describes the problem to address through the study based on defined needs or gaps from the literature.

It is not known if there is a relationship between one’s learning style and satisfaction in the online environment.

  1. Sample and location—Identifies sample, needed sample size, and location (study phenomena with small numbers and variables/groups with large numbers).
  1. Location: online classrooms
  2. Sample: Online Students
  3. Sample size: approximately 200 students
  1. Research questions—Provides research questions to collect data to address the problem statement.
    1. R1: Does learning style affect the level of satisfaction an online student achieves?
    2. R2: Is one learning style more effective in the online environment?
  2. Hypothesis/variables or Phenomena—Provides hypotheses with variables for each research question (quantitative) or describes the phenomena to be better understood (qualitative).
    1. H1: There is a significant relationship between satisfaction and learning style.
    2. H10: There is not a significant relationship between satisfaction and learning style.
    3. H2: One learning style is more effective in online learning.
    4. H20: One learning style is not more effective in online learning.
  3. Methodology and design—Describes the selected methodology and specific research design to address problem statement and research questions.
    1. This study will use a quantitative methodology with a correlational design.
  4. Purpose statement—Provides a one-sentence statement of purpose including the problem statement, methodology, design, population sample, and location.
    1. The purpose of this quantitative correlational study is to develop the understanding of the relationships between learning style and satisfaction in online learning of online students.
  5. Data collection—Describes primary instruments and sources of data to answer research questions.
    1. Learning style: VARK Learning Style Inventory (Fleming, 1995).
    2. Satisfaction: Self-report Likert scale question: 1-5 How satisfied are you with your online classes?
    3. Learning style effectiveness: Self-report GPA
  6. Data analysis—Describes the specific data analysis approaches to be used to address research questions.
    1. Descriptive statistics will describe the sample characteristics and variable results.
    2. T-test to test for difference in learning style and satisfaction. Possible linear regression analysis of inferential statistics to test hypothesis.

 

 

Appendix B

Variables/Groups, Phenomena, and Data Analysis

Instructions: Complete the applicable table to assist with your research design. Use Table 1 for quantitative studies. Use Table 2 for qualitative studies. Use both tables for mixed method studies. This table is intended to define how you will collect and analyze the specific data for each research questions (qualitative) and each variable (quantitative). Add additional rows to your table if needed.

 

Table 1

Quantitative Studies

 

Research Questions:

State the research Questions

Hypotheses:

State the hypotheses to match each Research question

List of Variables/Groups to Collect Data For:

Independent and Dependent Variable(s)

Instrument(s)

To collect data for each variable

Analysis Plan

Data analysis approach to (1) describe data and (2) test the hypothesis

 

1.       1. Does one’s learning style affect satisfaction in the online classroom? H1: There is a significant relationship between learning style and satisfaction in the online environment.

H10: There is not a significant relationship between learning style and satisfaction in the online environment.

Independent Variable: Learning style

Dependent Variable: Satisfaction with online course.

VARK Learning Inventory

GPA

inferential statistics to answer the questions. Using SPSS, the first question will use a correlation to determine if learning style has an effect, or a relationship with, satisfaction. The second question will look for differences of GPA between the learning styles. This question will use the factorial ANOVA to determine if there are learning styles that are better suited to the online environment.
2.       2.Is one learning style more effective in the online environment? H2: One learning style is more effective in the online environment.

H20: One learning style is not more effective in the online environment.

Independent Variable: Learning Style

Dependent Variable: GPA

VARK Learning Style Inventory

GPA

3.      

Again, I am looking for constructive criticism on this document. You can leave it in the comments, email me at [email protected], or use my feedback form on the home page. Thank you in advance for taking the time to do this for me.

 

Have a great day!

Renee

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