Future research Ideas: with phenomenological approach

In the last day of the Phenomenology Workshop, we tried phenomenological research writing. Mark asked us to do “speed dwelling (writing)” with the following questions. So, I tried to come up with my future research idea from my dissertation study.

What phenomenon do I want to know?

Phenomenon: In online learning environments, instructors use group work. how higher and lower performing college students interact with group members when they are in online learning environment?

My assumptions: about this phenomenon is that higher and lower performing college students benefit differently from group work in online learning environment. Generally, the goal of group work is to provide learning environment where students can get cognitive challenges and develop higher order thinking. Due to lack of motivation or lower confidence in the subject, lower performing students may not engage into the group work. Also, even higher performing students, who may have interests in the subject, may engage in the group work but superficially.

Early understandings: According to the literatures about group work, positive interdependence influence the effectiveness of group work. Instructors need to provide diverse types and levels of scaffoldings to students in order to achieve the goals of group work. Students in different performance levels have different prior knowledge levels, different metacognitive and cognitive learning strategies, and motivation. To let these diverse students achieve learning goals, instructors need to scaffold the group work.

Intensities, Leaks, and flow: I need to make sure whether I am talking about engaging into the group work or learning from group work. “What are goals of group work and do group work achieve these goals” will be my questions. Students may engage into the group work but may not reach to the learning achievement. What is my focus of interests? I think my interests are in “learning achievement”. What kinds of learning in group work? Cognitively, students need to learn content knowledge and with the content knowledge, student should be able to grow their thoughts about the content with higher order thinking: evaluate, criticize, analyze, and synthesize.

Reflection after talking with three attendees in the WSI have changed my introduction about my phenomena. Based on the parter, I try to give more examples to my partner. But start with same sentence. Key words so far were, group work in online learning environment, instructors’ helps, positive interdependence. But, while talking I was not confident about what is my phenomena? I think I am talking about research problems and my assumptions about the topic that I’m interested in.

My Follow-up Questions: how can I gather(not collect) Lived Experience Description(LED)? What types of data?

I had a mini conference with Mark about my research idea. His suggestion of using phenomenological approach is (1) gathering LED of instructors who provided scaffoldings or (2) LED of lower or higher achieving students in different group composition settings could be good data.

Good example of writing interpretive phenomenology study:

Greenwalt, K. A. (2008). Through the camera’s eye: A phenomenological analysis of teacher subjectivity. Teaching and Teacher Education, 24(2), 387–399. doi:10.1016/j.tate.2006.11.006


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