Research Trends in Technology-Based Learning from 2000 to 2009: A Content Analysis of Publications in Selected Journals
Hsu, Yu-Chen, Ho, Hsin Ning Jessie, Tsai, Chin-Chung, Hwang, Gwo-Jen, Chu, Hui-Chun, Wang, Chin-Yeh, Chen, Nian- Shing, Educational Technology & Society
Technology-based learning is increasingly important in the 21st century. However, studies in analyzing its appropriateness, its application and practices, and its influence on today's education are still under debate and discussions (e.g. Chan, Hue, Chou, & Tzeng, 2001; Shih, Feng, & Tsai, 2008). Besides, numerous studies in this area have explored a wide range of topics, such as the improvement in technology-based learning environments, the effectiveness of web-based instruction, and the integration of new technology into classrooms. Therefore, reviewing the research trend of technology-based learning may help the researchers in related fields to identify their research interests and design considerations. Besides, the study will also provide policymakers with a reference to make plans in the future. Hence, it is important and meaningful to examine the technology-based learning research trends at this point.
This study intends to investigate the research trends of technology-based learning from 2000 to 2009. Five major research journals were selected for analysis, namely the British Journal of Educational Technology (BJET), Computers and Education (C&E), Educational Technology Research & Development (ETR&D), Educational Technology & Society (ET&S), and the Journal of Computer Assisted Learning (JCAL). The research questions addressed by this paper include:
1. What research topics related to technology-based learning were published in these selected journals from 2000 to 2009? And what were the topic variations between the first five years (2000-2004) and the second five years (2005-2009)?
2. What research sample groups related to technology-based learning were selected in these published articles from 2000 to 2009? And how did the sample group selections shift between the first five years (2000-2004) and the second five years (2005-2009)?
3. What research learning domains related to technology-based learning were adopted in these published articles from 2000 to 2009? And how did the learning domain shift between the first five years (2000-2004) and the second five years (2005-2009)?
4. Is there any significant association between the research topic and the selection of the research sample group for these publications from 2000 to 2009?
5. Is there any significant association between the research topic and the adoption of the learning domain for these publications from 2000 to 2009?
Reviews of TBL research trends
The prevalent use of computing and communication technologies has increased in education and thus, learning is no longer limited to the traditional environment. Communication technologies such as the Internet, digital programs and systems, Personal Digital Assistants (PDA), and simulation games have been integrated into instruction to support learning. As a result, technology-based learning refers to the process of learning constituted with electronic technology (Cavus & Kanbul, 2010).
As more technological innovations are developing, their applications to education are also believed to be evolving. For example, Yengina, Karahocab A., Karahocab D., and Ozcinarc, (2010) have predicted that more technology-based learning (TBL) will occur with the newly developed devices or concepts, such as personalized and adaptive e-learning, portfolio collections, and more advanced online mind tools. In addition, the new web-based social networking tools such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or wiki will also expect to become an integral component of TBL (e.g. Clark & Mayer, 2008). As a result, examining what previous TBL research has accomplished and emphasized may help researchers to identify the research trends or design criteria. For example, Waight, Willging, and Wentling (2004) clarified e-learning reports published by government, business, and associations to understand the impacts and the focus of e-learning in the United States from 1999 to 2003 and the identified trends were: lifelong learning, improvements in technology, demand for high level skill workers, pervasiveness of computers, globalization, new ways of learning from new technologies, and improvement of the learning quality via the technology. …