Using a Mixed Methods Research Design in a Study Investigating the ‘Heads of e‑Learning’ Perspective towards Technology Enhanced Learning

February 26, 2017

This paper outlines the research design, methodology and methods employed in research conducted in the context of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and focuses on the Heads of e-Learning (HeLs) perspective about Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) by campus-based UK institutions. This paper aims to expand on the research design and the research methodology that was followed as part of this research, making a justified argument for mixed methods approaches in e-learning contexts. The background of this research and its research questions is outlined first to provide the context of this research. Following a review of the literature on TEL that informed this research, this paper provides an explanation of the researcher’s worldview before discussing the chosen research design. The status of the findings and their generalisability based on the chosen methodology are then discussed. The research findings show that most universities represented in the survey offered various staff development opportunities to their academic staff in the effective use of TEL and that examples of innovative use of technology are evident in some areas in all participating institutions. Staff’s digital skills and competencies coupled with a pedagogical underpinning as well as a supportive institutional culture were found to be the enablers for the effective implementation of TEL, according to the HeLs’ expert informed responses. The paper is summarised and concluded making a case for the adoption of Mixed Methods Research (MMR) in e-learning settings.

The Electronic Journal of e-Learning