To study the impact of Online Education- Increased screen time or Quality Education

Research Proposal

1. Introduction

1.1 Overview

Online education has been a source of learning and teaching for many years. But with the outbreak of the pandemic Covid-19 and the different restrictions and lockdown online education has become an integral part of the lives of students and parents across the globe. The reason it is very important to assess the impact of online education in terms of whether it offers quality education to the students or is just a means that has increased their screen time is because with Covid-19 people are restricted to following this method of education. There have been many studies that were conducted with respect to online education and its impact on students with the scenario has changed a lot with the pandemic (Gopal et al., 2021). Thus, it becomes crucial to get a true picture of the impact that online education has on the lives of students. There are many distractions available while studying online which impacts the level of attention and the quality of learning absorbed by a student.

Online education is a way to conduct education among students and this is something that would be persuaded in the years to come. This makes it very vital and hence this topic is selected for the research to get an understanding of the real influence that it can have on people. Another key reason to study this is to assess the impact so that suitable and better strategies can be developed by the respective authorities for the betterment of the students (Dong et al., 2020).

The reason this research is important is that it will help in gaining the right understanding of the impact that online education has on the students in negative or positive aspects. It is also important for others to gain a perspective of the influence so that they can manage the level of education of themselves or their children accordingly to balance things in the right way.

1.2 Research aims and objectives

Aim – The aim of this research is to study the impact of Online education and assess its influence of it.

Research objectives –

1. To assess the need for online education.

2. To review the positive impact of online education on children.

3. To evaluate the negative influence of online education and the reason behind it.

4. To assess the future implication of online education in the long run.

5. To recommend ways and strategies to make online education more effective for children.

1.3 Research question

  • What is the role of online education and the influence of the same in the lives of students?

2. Literature Review

The advancement of technology and the need and desire of people to learn and study from different regions across the globe gave popularity to the topic of online education. In the past many years more and more are showing their desire to learn from the online medium as they find it to be convenient and, in many aspects, cost-effective as well. With the outbreak of Covid-19, the entire world was found to be in lockdown. The restrictions laid down by the government along with the need to be safely made people identify different ways to continue with the educational aspect (Selvaraj et al., 2021). This made schools, colleges, and universities switch to the online education medium.

Impact on online learning

The duration of online learning has a profound impact on the effect that it has on the students. Web based learning and education are increasing with time and so is the impact of the same. It is reported that students who rely on online education for all of their learning and education tends to spend more duration of time online in comparison to students who uses both online and traditional methods of learning.

As stated by Zahedi et al (2021), it is believed that online education has increased the screen time of students. It is because even if the students are not attentive or studying, they are still part of the online class. This is not good as the students are not learning anything making their education suffer. A lot of students believe that studying and teaching in a traditional face to face class offer a more interactive and better learning. The element of online learning does not offer this making the quality of education suffer in this regard. All this indicates that online learning is not such an effective way of learning making one increase the time spent on the different devices and screen time.

Strategies for better online education

It is important that less, but effective time is used for learning and teaching through the online medium. Students should be made to actively participate through interactive learning. The main focus should be on improving the quality of learning and education rather than spending more time with the students (Chakraborty et al., 2021). Along with that, a feedback or interaction session can be conducted to assess the progress and understand the ways online education and learning can be made better for the students. All this would help in creating a positive effect on quality online learning.

3. Research Methodology

3.1 Introduction

Research methodology is the section of the research that states the methods or ways that are selected for gaining a true and better understanding of the subject topic (Tight, 2017). It acts as the guideline on the basis of which the research would be taking place. The use of the research online model would be used as a means to offer a clear understanding of the different stages that would be undertaken for the purpose of the research. This includes the research philosophy, research approach and design along with data collection and analysis.

3.2 Research epistemology and ontology

Epistemology states the research philosophy that is used by the collection of important data and insights with the intent to satisfy the research (Hight, 2021). It states the things that are true. There are numerous sources of knowledge. Based on the needs and requirements of the research study, the researcher would make use of empirical knowledge. This is because it is based on the application of knowledge that is gained through logic and which relies on objective facts.

The several categories of research philosophy consist of realism, interpretivism, positivism,  and pragmatism philosophy. As per the requirement and the research objectives, the constructivism research philosophy seems to be best suitable for the research. It is because it makes use of the right method of data collection that can be used to gain deeper knowledge about the research topic. It would help in developing a rationale along with integrating the data and information that is collected at different stages of the research (Klakegg, 2016). One can test out the different theories or understanding gained over time to assess and evaluate their validity in different aspects based on the research objectives and questions. An unbiased approach is used in this regard that helps in presenting the real information acquired through the participants who are included as part of the research. As the research topics human element, constructivism philosophy would be appropriate as it states that the knowledge is collected through human experience from the different participants of the research.

Ontology is defined as the way the interpretation of a fact takes place. It helps in assessing if a factor is subjective or objective (Littlejohn, 2016). Two aspects of ontology are subjectivism and objectivism. With consideration of the research objectives and the need of the research, the researcher would make use of objectivism. As per this, the social phenomena are made through the perceptions and the actions taken in relation to that. It states that the view of the researcher or the study may vary based on the person collecting it and the subject taken into account. It is socially constructed and hence there would be multiple factors and views on the nature of the study. The use of this will help the researcher in understanding the topic and the way the knowledge is acquired through the human element (Adom et al., 2016). The interaction of the human aspect with the other reality and outside world is taken into account in subjectivism making it suitable for the research topic.

3.3 Research approach

The research approach states to be the plans and procedure aspect of the research that is taken with the intent to satisfy the research. It includes data collection, analysis and implementation. The major types of data approach are the deductive and inductive approaches (Azungah, 2018). In the inductive approach, new theories are built based on the different concepts and theories that are already present. Based on the understanding gained, patterns are developed which are further used to assess and analyse things. In the deductive approach, the hypothesis is developed based on the existing theory and the same is then tested through the data and information collected and analysed.

Based on the aim and objective of the research, the inductive approach seems to be suitable for the research study. It is because it helps in making awareness of the data and information acquired and generate meaning out of them. This makes it appropriate based on the research objectives of the research study. This will also make use of the already available theory in order to explore the research question of the study. This will help in gaining a better understanding which in turn can be further used by the researcher to draw a meaningful conclusion for the research (Zina, 2021).

3.4 Research design

Research design states to be of the research the base that helps in stating the further steps or the next stages that should be followed for the completion of the research. There are numerous research design. This includes exploratory, descriptive, conclusive and experimental among others. The exploratory research design helps in offering insights into a respective situation. The conclusive research design is meant to verify the insights gained and be more specific and selective in terms of the topic. The descriptive research design is the one in which in-depth knowledge of the research topic is acquired. The experimental research design is the one in which a scientific approach is undertaken, and two sets of variables are used in order to make better judgements.

By assessing the research objectives and the need of the research, the exploratory research design seems to be the most appropriate (Pandey, 2019). It is because this design is suitable in case the study of the people who have practical experience with the problem are being studied which is true in the case of the research. It also helps in generating better insights into the relationship of the variables involved. The information gained through this will help in developing a deeper understanding which can be used by suitable authorities in many aspects. It would be very effective for developing clarity for the research topic which will be useful in satisfying the research objectives successfully.

3.5 Data collection and sampling method

Data collection holds the biggest and most crucial role in research methodology. It states the true and reliable information based on the way the information is collected from the different sources. Based on the nature of the study, the research type is selected. There are two types of research – qualitative and quantitative (Coe et al., 2021). The qualitative research type is the one in which subjective and more detailed understanding is used for the collection of the data. The quantitative research type constitutes the numerical and statistics ways for gaining the data. There is another type known as mixed research data. It is the one in which both qualitative and quantitative research type is used for data collection. For conducting this research, the mixed research data type seems most suitable by the researcher. It is because it would help in gaining a wider and more detailed understanding of the research subject. This will help in fulfilling the gap that exists between the qualitative and quantitative research types so that a suitable conclusion can be drawn from it. It is also selected as it is a more intuitive and logical approach through which the data and information collected from the quantitative way can be supported and presented better through the qualitative data type and vice versa (Paradis et al., 2016). This will help in offering a true and more real picture making them fit with the aim of the research.

There are two methods of data collection. These are the primary and secondary methods of data collection. The primary form of data collection states the data that is collected primarily for the aim of the research. It is the information that was not available previously and is collected with the need of the research making it 100% relevant to the research topic. The primary data is completely new and is designed based on the environment situation of the study. The secondary form of data collection is the one that is already done by other researchers and might not hold relevancy with the current environment. The secondary data is already available and for a different purpose. This means that they are not 100% relevant based on the research topic. The major sources of primary data collection are interviews, surveys, observation methods among others (Voleti, 2019). The major sources of secondary form of data collection are journals, online articles, books, publications and other such verified and reliable sources.

For this research, the application of the primary and secondary sources of data collection seems appropriate. The primary data would be collected by using the mixed research method. The researcher would make use of both survey and interview methods for data collection. To collect the quantitative data survey method would be suitable while the interview method would work well for the qualitative data. In order to conduct the survey, the use of the questionnaire method would be appropriate. A set of a structured and well-defined set of questions would be shared with the target group of the research. This would include the students using online education as part of their learning. The use of the online survey would be done with respect to this as this will help in reaching a large set of respondents along with making it time and cost-effective. The questions would be self-explanatory and in easy language so that the respondents can answer them without much difficulty or confusion (McCusker and Gunaydin, 2015).

The participants would be shared an email requesting their consent for being a part of the research. Once the approval is received, the questionnaire would be mailed to them along with the consent form to state their permission along with the purpose of the research. The use of the data and information shall also be stated along with the assurance of maintaining the privacy of the same. In order to collect the interview questions, the use of the online interview method is selected. It is because it would not be possible to conduct a face-to-face interview in such a scenario. Also, the use of telephonic interview might not offer the connectivity and relatedness that an online interview offers. It is also quite cost-effective along with offering a piece of true and real information based on the research topic making them great for the research study.

The sources of collecting the secondary source of data would include online sources such as books, published journals, articles among many others (Johhson and Sylvia, 2018). The researcher would go through the abstract of the journals to ensure that it matches with the research topic. Along with that, the use of bibliographies would be done by analysing the books and ensuring that they are in sync with the need of the study. It would be ensured that reliable and genuine sources are selected for the purpose of the research.

Sampling plays a vital role while conducting a research study. It focuses on selecting a selective bunch of respondents that presents a true picture of the entire population. There are two kinds of major sampling methods – probability and non-probability sampling methods. For carrying out this research, the non-probability sampling method seems appropriate. The use of convenience sampling would be used as the researcher might not have the details of the entire population. This would make convenience sampling appropriate as this would allow the researcher to select the samples based on his convenience and judgement (Etikan and Bala, 2017). This would be used both for the survey and the interview method. This would be based on the ease of the researcher. It would include people from different levels of education and belonging to different spheres of life. A total of 100 samples would be selected for carrying out the survey questionnaire research. It would include the people and students who are making use of online education for their studies. In order to conduct the interview, a total of 20 people would be selected that would include both students and teachers offering online education on the different subjects.

3.6 Data Analysis

The data collected through the different methods need to be analysed in order to draw a meaningful conclusion from it. For analysing the quantitative data collected by the researcher, the use of the Excel sheet would be suitable. This would mean collecting the data and inserting the information in an Excel sheet. Based on the information gained the data would be presented with the help of charts, graphs and frequency tabulations for better understanding and representation of the same.

In order to analyse the interview data, the use of thematic analysis would be appropriate. It is because it would be based on the research objectives on the basis of which suitable themes would be developed (Terry et al., 2017). The use of different theories and understanding would be done based on the previous research and information. The interview responses received would be analysed from the transcript and the information would then be sorted into different themes in which they are found to be appropriate. On the basis of that, they would be analysed and compared with the secondary information helping in drawing meaningful conclusions out of them.

4. Ethical issues

There are different types of ethical issues which a researcher might encounter while conducting research. The ethical issue with respect to this research study includes the issue with data collection and analysis. There are chances that proper consent of the participants is not taken while conducting the research or the data is used for other purposes than the one stated to the participants. Many a time proper credit is not offered to the authors and researchers whose work is included in the research study (Artal and Rubenfeld, 2017). The use of other’s work is one’s own is also done making it a huge ethical issue. Designing the study is also an ethical issue as it might not be ethically approved, or proper research proposal and guideline is not adhered to.

While conducting this research, it would be ensured that no harm is subjected to the participant of the research. The privacy and confidentiality of the respondents would be maintained during the entire research process. It would be made sure that the participants are voluntarily involved in the research and no sort of force or coercion is imposed on them for being a part of the research. The researcher prepared a suitable research proposal and the approval of the same is undertaken to ensure that the work would be conducted in right regard. The researcher would offer due credit to the authors whose work would be used while making this research. The data and information acquired during the research study would be presented in the right and true format and no distortion of the report or response should be done in any form (Roberts, 2015).

It would also be seen that only true and reliable sources of the secondary form of data are used for the purpose of the report. Plagiarism is another aspect that would be taken proper care of and no exaggeration or deception of any form in regard to the aims and objectives of the research would be conducted.

5. Conclusion

From the analysis done and the understanding gained, it can be stated that the research proposal holds the key information about the research. Online education is increasing as a part of the learning of students all over the world. This has decreased the personal interaction between the tutor and the student. The selection of the right research methodology would help in acquiring the key data and information. The analysis of this would help in gaining a true and authentic picture leading to drawing a meaningful conclusion. This would help in answering the research questions along with fulfilling the research objectives with respect to online education either being an improvement in quality education or just a way to increase the screen time of the students.

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