Research Questions … yes again!

Mood: rushed rushed
Now Playing: Baat Meri Suniya To Zara (Kuch Naa Kaho)

Well, James said I had to rephrase my research question. My current research question as it stands is as follows:

How does the use of software modes influence the learning of mathematics with respect to the three task types?”

Well, first of all he didn’t like the word modes since I were referring to it as types before. But then him, myself and Doug came to a consensus that since I already introduced the term boxes then I could use the term boxes instead. Anyway, James problem with the research question as it is stated here was that to him it sounded as if I was going to do a survey of mathematics teachers to discover whether using software mode or not has an effect on how mathematics is learning. Instead he suggested a research question of the following format:

What are the differences between the software modes in their effect on the learning of mathematics with respect to the three task types?

However, I didn’t like the use of ‘what’ particularly as this indicated that I was comparing the three software specifically and as there were not very strong evidence to show that there is a specific difference I don’t want to use what.

I think perhaps if I developed the hypothesis or what I’m trying to do maybe it might be easier to determine the appropriate research question. Ok the first hypothesis is that:

  1. Students perform differently depending on task type (this is not actually a hypothesis Galbraith and Haines found this out)
  2. Students’ performance/approach to solving different task types would vary depending on the software used

I think the second hypothesis is what I’m trying to do … but one word that could combine performance and approach … because performance to me only indicate the scores but I also want to look at the approach they are taking but I want to be careful with the word approach because then I might get into tool appropriation when I am more concerned with their cognitive processes. Hmm, but I have a slight problem with the term solving since interpretive tasks do not seem to be really solving but rather a sort of reasoning of what might be happening although I guess in some sense that is solving – but supposed the students did not solve the problem but yet gave an answer so probably answering might be better. Maybe I could put them as two questions (that might make James a bit antsy :D)!

But I think the research questions could be:

“Do students’ performance when answering the three task types vary depending on the software box used?”

and if so or not

“Do students’ approach to answering the three task types vary depending on the software box used?”

and if so or not

“Why do students’ approach to answering the three task types vary depending on the software box used?”

Yup I think I could work with that since the first would use the scores, the second one would use the explorations and explanations to answer these questions since these could be quantitatively based. And I could see the third question being answered qualitatively.

Ok just to send this off to Doug and James.

One comment

  1. I sometimes think that there just aren’t enough words in the English language to express the subtle differences we need when focusing in on our research questions. Hope you’ve got it sorted out now 🙂

    BTW Welcome back.

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