Ross, S., Morrison, G., Lowther, D. (2010). Educational technology research past and present: Balancing rigor and relevance to impact school learning. Contemporary Educational Technology, 1(1), 17-25.
The 2010 journal article coauthored by Ross, Morrison and Lowther has a central theme that posits the importance of increased educational technology research in light of the accelerated, and expanded use of technology in educational settings in recent years. The journal article examines both past and present trends in educational research as they impact instructional practices generally, and learning in schools specifically. Four broad topics are part of the discussion. The summarized topics are:
1.)Various concepts of effective technology utilization in the classroom setting;
2.)Historical trends and topics;
3.)Alternative research designs for balancing rigor and relevance;
4.)A singular suggested direction for future research
The journal article has direct application and relevance specifically for first year doctoral students pursing the educational technology degree because the research components of our work though fluid and unformed will inevitably need to balance the same issues of rigor versus relevance discussed in this journal article. Understanding, and/or being able to reference the considerations in explicit detail may ultimately help refine the the resulting work product that is a DET doctoral student’s thesis/final project.
This journal article is useful because it informs the reader about the considerations for effective research as decisions are made in an effort to balance internal validity and external validity considerations. It presents the author’s thesis that balancing rigor and relevance is an achievable goal if, “researchers [will] reduce efforts to prove the “effectiveness” of technology, while focusing on conducting rigorous and relevant mixed-methods studies to explicate which technology applications work to facilitate
learning, in what ways, in which contexts, for whom, and why.”