Sunday, 4 August 2013

Revised research topic

Proposed question…

How does a rural primary school prepare for (or embed) the use of online courses and instructional video to support student achievement?

(What I want to look at is the use of online video & courses to improve the learning opportunities in multilevel classes – with a scenario planning lens this will consider and plan for how the school may need to change some of its infrastructure and curriculum expectations to embed this practice.)

I believe that students need to be self-motivated in their learning and be able to self-direct their learning.  The use of online video and courses means that students can learn and revisit instructions as they need to.  At a more personal level, using online video / courses would allow students in my multilevel class to receive quality instruction when I am working with a different learning group, thus maximising their learning opportunities.

Major questions include – what infrastructure is needed, onsite resources needed, skills for teachers, new pedagogy to support effective use, perceptions of key users such as staff, students and parents – time frame for achievement?

I feel this is a key issue in rural schools around the world.  Teaching in multilevel classes is always a challenge as there are so many learning needs to cater to.  This could be an effective way to modify pedagogy and teaching strategies within a multilevel classroom to enhance the learning taking place.


This is both an historic issue as well as current/future based.  The idea to use educational / instructional video has been around since the popularisation of television.   However it has not had the predicted impact on education, likely because the pedagogy hasn’t changed to support effective use.


  1. Great to see ongoing refinement in your research topic. The sign of a reflective researcher!

    Remember to keep a narrow focus for example: "integrating online instructional videos within e-learning approaches at a rural school in New Zealand."

    e-Learning or online learning covers a wide range of approaches - so I recommend you keep a narrow focus. Avoid the compelling temptation to solve all the problems with one research project ;-)

    You will have the opportunity for developing scenarios in your area of interest. While you most welcome to use a scenario planning lens for your research - -you may be adding a layer of complexity. Remember scenario planning is about the future which hasn't happened yet - so fewer research publications to consult for your bio.

  2. How about trying this by imagining what your rural primary school might be like in the future with the focus you wish, starting with "What if ..." to help you focus on the future. E.g. What if I could use instructional resources with videos suited to all my students? How could that happen?
    And I know that
    1. Te Kura the Correspondence School is developing online learning with primary students
    2. The VLN Primary is also developing approaches

    That might help you imagine some more and find sources too!

    1. Thanks Niki. I like the idea of scenario planning as it looks at a broader picture. It also seems to allow you to consider the aspects of the other models such as TAM and CBAM - i wasnt aware that the correspondence school was developing online resources for primary students. There are a lot of possibilities - although as Wayne points out I could be creating a greater challenge for myself....