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The Role of Feedback in Promoting Student Learning
Paradigm in research explains the fundamental belief or pattern of thoughts that the researcher creates as the guiding principle in the research. It can be said that paradigm is the binding ideology that directs thoughts for the set of ideas deemed fit for inclusion in the research. For research to hold true to the art of scientific game of expression and revelation of complex nature issues, it must apply certain rules that assist the researcher to illustrate the link that academic contribution has between scientific problems and solutions. According to Guba and Lincoln (1994, p108), research paradigms provide the explanation that the researcher needs in order to illustrate legitimate application of defined intellectual scope for a particular problem.
Scientific research comes up with acceptable explanation to some problematic phenomena or resolves some misunderstanding that the human intellect cannot rest until satisfied. Towards this satisfaction, there must be some way of making the scientific work logical and acceptable beyond simple reproach. It is therefore important for a researcher to make sure that the work of research satisfies any doubt and criticism through demonstration of thoughtfulness through theory and hypothesis. Paradigm is the basic framework that science provides to academic world and science to build theory. A scientific world without paradigm is therefore unimaginable since the relationship between science and theory, hence paradigms is synonymous with intellectual capacity put to test through research.
As Guba and Lincoln (1994) argue, paradigms are built by the clarification of three questions namely; ontological question, epistemological question and methodological question. Ontological question deals with demonstration of the keeping in touch with reality of nature inside a particular type of research undertaking. Epistemological question inside paradigm and research creates bridges to knowledge about a certain topic that the research problem presents to learners and researchers (Becker 1996, p53). Methodological question presents the solution to the way and manner of conducting the research to come up with a solution to the research question. There are three basic research paradigms which include positivism, interpretivism and critical theory.
The most important question to deal with in most empirical scenarios is the methodological question since it details how a research problem can be overcome. There are various research methodology orientations that the researcher can choose to employ in a research project, mainly making a choice dependent on the nature of the research problem that the work seeks to establish and solve (Weber, 1949). The following segment details on the methodological aspects of the research paradigm with regard to the choice of research ideas in the role of feedback in promoting student learning.
Choice of Positivism
In terms of the nature of the research question in determining the role of feedback in promoting student learning, the methodology of choice was positivism. A natural explanation of why students respond in a specific manner to their learning experiences is the best way to illustrate the research solution. Adoption of positivism goes hand in hand with the need to make generalizations in the various student segments as demonstrated by the questionnaire areas of interest. By assuming the rationality of the human beings, positivism realizes its objective through attachment of meaning on students’ subjective interpretation to feedback. As observed in the questionnaire, positivism applies its methodological question by controlling the thinking path of the respondents in the research. Methodological questions under positivism are usually conducted in surveys and this type of research could only be represented through a questionnaire form of survey to achieve its purpose (Creswell, 1994).
In order to determine the distinct student perception on the impact of feedback on promoting learning, it involves empirical determination in order to draw conclusions about student learning experiences. It therefore follows that a lot of experimental work is needed in the research design. To subject students to an experimental setup introduces an important element of research paradigm that can only be captured under the positivism framework. The important element of the research that positivism captures is replicability of results which is only demonstrated through an empirical setting. The methodology adopted in the research must therefore involve some form of observation which can be explained though theoretical backgrounds. Towards this end, positivism serves the best interests of the research by providing the avenue to conduct empirical studies with measurable or quantifiable results.
According to Krauss (2005, p760), the positivist researcher needs to realign the findings on a predetermined phenomena through the generally acceptable expectations. The author holds the opinion that the positivism paradigm allows the researcher the freedom to allow the audience to concur on certain propositions that only require scientific base of thought that should only be enhanced and enforced through theoretical arguments. It is clear that by choosing the positivism paradigm to formulate a methodology this research endeavor is destined to find a solution to the scientific question. To support this position, it is clear that the positivism paradigm is based on factual findings of an empirical study which forms a significant portion of this research. It is compatible to involve the research question with a methodology that supports its course of action in different perspectives.
Under the research question posed by the missing link between feedback impact perception patterns among students and the learning process, it is almost impossible to carry out the research without introduction of some form of measure. In the methodology aspects of a research setting that establishes some form of measure, it is imperative that the researcher establishes the quantitative element to the research problem. Research paradigms outline the procedure for the researcher to come up with the appropriate parameters needed to postulate the necessary theory or hypothesis. The research paradigm that sets out the procedure is positivism, which has been exploited in this research endeavor to the point where a questionnaire is formulated.
Under the various observation needs that the researcher deems fit to be included in the research results, it is clear that the objectives of the research can remotely be spotted. This is perhaps why the paradigm is taken as a framework for the demonstration of how research takes charge of thoughts towards finding a solution to a particular research problem. Under the survey outlined in the questionnaire, it is possible to identify the various observation areas that need to be addressed in terms of feedback perception patterns from the students. Quantification of the feedback aspects is possible through various score categorizations depending on the individual student’s perspective.
The level of objectivity is however limited by the scope of the survey design since there must be some element of control under positivism. The role of the researcher in positivism paradigm is to ensure that a particular limitation is introduced into the parameters of the study in order to capture the measurement or quantification aspect for the research. In defining the quantification units, the researcher is supposed to be objective as far as the study needs are concerned. The survey is conducted under the stipulated assumptions that the finding ought to deliver to the research, in contemplation of the observations that the research generally makes. In light of the issues involved in the determination of impact of feedback on promoting learning among students, a questionnaire is used to relay the information in a quantifiable manner.
Since the positivist approach employs the deductive thought in establishment of facts, a theoretical explanation to the feedback phenomena among students ought to be given (Outhwaite 1983, p324). Under the positivist approach, explanations must be delivered to the observation made in a particular orientation of thoughts usually defined by a hypothesis, theory or assumptions. Regarding the specificity that the observations must have, there is a huge connection with reality as a belief that is held throughout the research. It follows that approval of a particular position taken by a research question is demonstrated in the close relationship that the quantification values have with the actual belief. The capacity of positivism to put theories to test in deductive approach and perspective is a winning position for the researcher, particularly in the social sciences such as in determining the impact of student reflection behavior (Krauss 2005, p760).
Through quantification of the sample results into definite values, the explanation to determination of impact of feedback on promoting learning among students is easily presented. Generation of meaning from such a remotely understandable pattern based on personalized views is important in research questions of this nature. Quantitative approach is very helpful in presentation of research results where it could otherwise be difficult bearing in mind the complex nature of human behavior is not easily understood. To make meaning out of such complex phenomena can only be made possible through some quantification procedure well captured in the outlined survey in form of a questionnaire. By making is a closed end questionnaire with value restrictions makes this form of a survey easily manageable in terms of quantitative analysis. However, to allow some subjective opinion from the respondents, standard questionnaires usually have a segment that contains an open ended questions format for enhancement of the delivery of opinions. It is regulated in form of location at the end of the quest.............
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