June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
Educational Research and Methods
26.1676.1 - 26.1676.25
Using Phenomenography: What are Key Considerations when Selecting a Specific Research Approach?Phenomenography is a qualitative research method that is growing in popularity withinthe engineering education community as it enables scholars to investigate criticalvariation in students’ learning experiences. As a method of inquiry, phenomenographyoriginated from Sweden in the 1970’s where a team of educational researchers (Martonand colleagues) were trying to understand how and why some people learn better thanothers. For example, phenomenography could be used to identify students’ commonmisconceptions around scientific concepts. Since then, additional researchers inAustralia (Bowden and others) have expanded the use of phenomenography by using it asa framework to investigate socially constructed phenomena. These two differentapproaches to using phenomenography share similarities, and they also introducedifferences--especially in the data collection and data analysis phases. Despite theimportance of understanding these differences, existing literature does not provide a clearsynthesis of how researchers might choose a way to use phenomenography. Asengineering education researchers using phenomenography, we each found it challengingwith our combined reviews of current literature to understand the implications ofselecting a particular approach for our individual research questions. This paper aims toadd transparency to the process of selecting a specific approach through the presentationof each of our three cases, which include selection of the Swedish approach, Australianapproach, and a blend of the two. We include reflection on our processes of becomingfamiliar with the different perspectives and then developing our own study designs. Wewill provide recommendations based on these reflections for key elements for researchersto consider when conducting phenomenographical research.
Dringenberg, E., & Mendoza-Garcia, J. A., & Tafur-Arciniegas, M., & Fila, N. D., & Hsu, M. (2015, June), Using Phenomenography: Reflections on Key Considerations for Making Methodological Decisions Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.25012
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