Questions I want to pilot

Mood:  a-ok
Now Playing: That’s What Daddy Wants (Wayne Hancock)
Topic: Research questions

So, got the observation set up over in Cranfield on Monday – and I am still wrestling with what I expect to get out of it.

So, I’m brainstorming here – all I keep remembering is that I’m looking at the learning and teaching of linear programming in various learning contexts – although it is really learning rather than teaching.

Ok, let’s see what are the main goals of this pilot study:
1. Pilot my observation skills
2. Pilot my interviewing skills

So, essentially I’m piloting two methods of data collection.

Just got an idea – I wanted to use Galbraith and Haines mathematics computing attitude scales – I was thinking I could have pilot here in the OU with people who would have perhaps did linear programming or mathematics at the undergraduate level or perhaps using OU students – not sure what I’m looking for in that case – but just as pilot to compare how these attitudes may differ from discipline or possibly by students taking the course, if whether their attitudes of mathematics-computing compare well to the course that they were undertaking.

Or perhaps I can interview people who did linear programming here in the OU and as them how they felt about it, what kind of software they used and what they thought about the software etc. It might be a long time ago for these people and they mightn’t even remember the course.

I could possibly interview OU students who did the course?? Got to go through SRPP for this – but still need to come up with what I’m looking for … probably could call it exploratory research just like exploratory surgery 😀

Still haven’t got to the questions I want to get from the pilot study … I think from the observation/ interview study at Cranfield I want to see:
1. What kind of approach is used in teaching linear programming for this course? I.e. is it more like a soft-applied approach or a hard-applied approach etc
2. How are the lectures presented?
3. The amount time spent on formulation, solutions etc and the problems given to the students
4. The amount of interaction that the students have between them and the teacher
5. When is the software whipped out for the students to use and what are the problems and comments that the students have when using the software
6. What they do when they are behind the computer – i.e. follow teacher’s instructions to the law or do their own thing

From the teacher interviews:
1. Why the particular approach is used for these particular kind of students? i.e. soft-applied/ hard-applied – and whether a different approach would have been better in the teacher’s opinion
2. Would this course be sufficient to meet their future goals in their field?
3. How much they think linear programming would be used in their future jobs etc.
4. Why the choice of software?
5. Would they have preferred a different software?
6. What problems they see with using the software and problems that student’s bring up?
7. How do they go about assessing student’s linear programming accomplishment
8. What kind of problems are set for them – in assignments, tests or projects?

As for the interviewing of students at Cranfield and maybe in the OU:
1. What they think of linear programming – is it a hard or easy concept?
2. Do they think it will be easy to implement? Or do they see themselves using the concept or using some other concept
3. What they found hard about linear programming?
4. What they enjoy most or least about studying it?
5. Do they enjoy using the software for linear programming? What they enjoyed the most/ least?
6. Would they have preferred some different kind of software?
7. What problems they see when using the software and learning?

Well, these seem all like questions I want them to understand – but to what purpose? To merely illustrate how linear programming is taught at one institution (or learning context) and to highlight the problems/ challenges of teaching linear programming (and with software)?

Seems good to me 😀

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