research proposal introduction example

research proposal introduction example

Research Proposal on Improving Educational Outcomes through Technology Integration

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1. Introduction

This research proposal provides an overview of the nature of the study that will endeavor to show the impact of technology integration in education and assess its level of effectiveness in improving student learning and achievement. The background explores the history and evolution of technology, the state of technology in today’s society, and the role of technology in education. The problems associated with technology and the benefits of technology integration are discussed. The goal of this paper is to update education policy and practice with research findings regarding which technology applications and resources are most effective to improve student learning and achievement. The research proposal goes on to explain the research design and methodology that will be used to gather research. This includes an introduction, statement of the problem using questions, aims of the study, objectives of the study, research questions, and hypothesis. This will give a clear idea of exactly what the study is about and what the study is trying to achieve. This is important as there is a large amount of published research on technology, but much of it is not the effect technology has on increasing student learning and achievement. Without a strong methodology in place, this research may be lost in the sea of research not directly related to the effect of technology on student learning.

2. Literature Review

With technology’s strengthening presence in the modern world, countries have seen its benefits within their economic sectors and now the current focus has shifted to integrating it in the educational sector to improve student learning. Recent studies have aimed to move towards understanding the impact of technology by questioning how it influences student learning. They want to know if technology has a big impact on student learning and if so, in what ways. Because of the varying results of past studies, a general answer between researchers is still undefined. Future studies need to move beyond the simplistic, correlational methodologies that have dominated this field of inquiry (Kozma, 2003, p. 5). At the same time, these results have been used to persuade educational leaders to begin infusing technology into K-12 education with the promise of increased student learning (see CEO Forum, 2001). Should research evidence continue to suggest that technology has differential effects on student learning, then the issue of how technology is implemented, supported, and managed to meet different student needs should become the focus of inquiry. This topic has gained further importance with recent legislative efforts to direct funding to technology initiatives designed to improve student achievement. Other impacts of technology on the educational system have become more apparent. With an increase in the public’s awareness of educational issues and the subsequent demand for higher quality teaching, policy-makers and education leaders are seeking research findings that can guide the effective use of technology to improve student learning. In several developed and developing countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, Hong Kong, and Singapore, efforts to transform the educational system into an environment with a higher quality learning experience for students have been emphasized by the infusion of technology into schools. This emphasis seeks to use technology to make learning an engaging and empowering experience for students, both inside and outside the classroom (Department of Education, Science and Training, 2002). Such a transformation in the nature of schooling to technology-rich constructivist environments has the potential to greatly improve student learning. Given this context, it becomes more critical to identify how technology can be effectively integrated into different subject areas to promote higher order learning and to better understand factors that can influence the successful implementation and impact of technology. These emerging questions continue to carry us beyond the simple does it work inquiry towards a more complex understanding of how and why technology can have differential effects.

3. Research Methodology

Surveys We will utilize surveys with students and teachers in our case study district. The survey will provide us with a large amount of information in a relatively short time and will ensure that all aspects of the study are covered. Students and teachers can also complete the surveys at a time that is convenient for them, ensuring their full cooperation. For the purpose of this study, we will only issue the surveys at two different points within the study. This will be issued to the students and teachers at the beginning of year 1 and approximately halfway through year 2. The results from the first survey will provide us with a helpful comparison at how the integration of technology has affected students’ current learning situation.

Focus group interviews In order to gain a better understanding about the needs of students and teachers within our case study district, we will utilize focus group interviews as a method to gather information. The purpose of these interviews will be to gather detailed opinions and information from the participants. The interviews center on a set of topics and answer open-ended questions. Our sample groups will consist of students, teachers, and district administrators. Each interview will last approximately 30 minutes, and we will conduct the interviews until we have a better understanding of the topics and all questions have been answered.

4. Expected Results and Implications

Technology integration shows to have a significant positive impact on student achievement, educational outcomes, and streamline personal productivity. The results of this study, therefore, are expected to contribute especially to educators and to policymakers. As regards educators, the expected results will evidence that technology use can be effectively used to improve student learning and achievement, leading to an increase in the efficacy of lesson delivery and personalized learning. This may have a positive impact on the way in which technology is used within the classroom, with an increased willingness to invest time and resources into technology-aided learning with an aim to achieve defined learning outcomes. The results of the proposed research will provide evidence to policymakers that technology can be used to improve learning and teaching for K-12 students. This is particularly important within the US and other countries, as large investments in technology have been made over the past 20 years on the presumption that greater use of technology within schools will improve student achievement. However, policymakers continue to invest in technology without research-based evidence of its impact on student achievement. This has been evident through several initiatives, including the $1.7 billion spent on educational technology in Mississippi, which has unsuccessfully impacted statewide education standards. Findings from this research will influence a change in education policy, leading to initiatives that are likely to be more successful in using technology to improve student achievement.

5. Conclusion

The study provided evidence that adequate technological resources are a vital component in successful technology integration. Participants regularly cited the lack of resources as a major hindrance to their ability to integrate technology. This perceived lack of resources was a major source of frustration. The participants were very interested in learning about technology tools that would benefit their students, however, they were unable to try these tools because they did not have access to them. This suggests that in order to facilitate technology integration, educators must ensure that teachers have both access to and training with various technology tools. Results also indicated that the potential for peer collaboration could be a major factor in increasing teacher technological literacy. The teachers that were involved with collaborative groups expressed a higher level of technical literacy and were more confident in their ability to integrate technology. This finding reflects the importance of social interactions in teacher professional development.

The findings showed that the participants had positive attitudes toward technology integration. However, these attitudes were not reflected in their own behaviors of technology use in their classrooms. While the teachers’ technical literacy did have a significant effect on their attitudes toward technology integration, it did not appear to influence their ability to integrate technology into their curricula. This information suggests that a teacher’s positive attitude towards technology does not necessarily translate into behaviors of technology integration. It appears that there are other factors affecting a teacher’s decision to integrate.

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