Use of Technology in Research ProjectsEducation research is a data-intensive enterprise. Each year, IES awards grants to researchers who propose to conduct secondary data analyses and meta-analyses, develop, implement and evaluate interventions, and develop measurement tools. Almost all of these projects involve data collection.
In recent years, several IES-funded researchers have explored options for more efficient approaches to collecting data from study participants, as well as seeking to reduce the potential for data entry errors. Some of these options were featured during a panel session at a recent IES Principal Investigators' meeting in Washington, DC. Organized by IES's National Center for Education Research (NCER) and the National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER), the panel featured researchers who are using hardware (e.g., iPods, iPads, and tablet computers), computer applications, and computer software to improve their data collection processes. One researcher, for example, is using iPod-based diaries to collect information about teacher stress for a social behavioral intervention program. Another researcher is using an iPad app to conduct classroom observations and a third is using a software program to collect electronic data via iPads and tablet computers. In addition, one researcher is using a virtual classroom to study public speaking and attention in students with higher functioning autism. » read more