Emerging Mixed Methods in Social Research: The Digital Challenge

Editors: Dr.Bartolomé Rubia Avi (University of Valladolid, Spain), Dr.Jennifer C. Greene (University of Illinois, USA), and Dr.Iván M. Jorrín Abellán (Kennesaw State University, Georgia, USA).

Scope

This special issue analyses the transformations in educational and social interactions, and concomitantly in research that has been generated by advances in digital technologies in the fields of Education and the Social Sciences. Today, our educational and social spaces are inhabited by digital technologies that can record people’s macro actions, as in political demonstrations or mobs, alongside micro-processes, such as reading or writing. These technologies can digitally capture people’s opinions and knowledge claims, the intersections of people’s public and private lives, and the dynamics of social and material consumption, including the dynamics of movement, mobility, and displacement. In research, classic data collection tools –direct observation, video recordings, open– and closed-ended questionnaires, interviews– can now be supplemented or even replaced by digital technology that is able to capture key social and cognitive processes that are integral to meaningful education and social well being.

The digitisation of educational and social science data collection and analysis has been developing for more than 20 years, accompanying the Web 2.0 development processes. But, the extension of the Semantic Web and the new Big Data systems have significantly advanced the process of configuring profiles as ways to document educational and social trends. In schools, this process is helping to generate new ways of understanding the creation of technological resources; and enabling dynamics inside and outside the classroom that have catalysed changes in pedagogical methodologies, educational proposals, as well as new forms of evaluation. Thus, learning processes continue to be regulated by teacher-led activities, yet also by student-led activities, enacted through the use of digital resources in students’ private spaces both inside and outside the school. So today, researchers can develop teacher training programs in digital applications that acknowledge the value of student learning both in the classroom and in the spaces created by where the student lives, travels, and plays. This has also led to a new way of investigating educational and social processes because the use of automatic information inevitably leads us to quantitative analyses that can complement or converge with qualitative research processes.

These recent technology developments can offer important contributions to research, along with significant threats. Regarding contributions, new digital technologies can enable a process of analysis and interpretation that is closer to the actual experiences of people in a given educational or social setting. These technologies can address the question: In digital networks, how purposefully or “quasiunconsciously” do people participate in the social processes of work, notably in interaction, communication, collaboration, coordination, shared or group work, interdependencies, and social engagements. Regarding threats, on the other hand, the loss of anonymity in social actions, and therefore also in educational ones, opens up the possibility of observing human and social action from the position of a kind of “Orwellian Big Brother”. In a way where the unconscious action of people can serve to identify vital processes, intentions and human interactions that can be interpreted in a deeper way than was usual before the digital and technological era.

Therefore, for this special issue of the Journal’ Comunicar’, we invite contributions from people working with digital technology in the domains of Education and Social Science. We welcome contributions that thoughtfully engage the debate on how to constructively analyse and use the potential of developing technologies both in our fields and in our research.

Descriptors

  • Data analysis from the digital technology perspective in Education and Social Sciences.
  • Research from mixed perspectives mediated by digital technology.
  • Research designs in technological environments with a mixed-methods approach.
  • Mixed methodologies as a basis for social analysis in the framework of Big Data.
  • Mixed research models in the fields of Educational Research and Social Sciences.

Questions

  • How have research models in education changed with the integration of technology?
  • What has technology contributed to our knowledge of social processes and how?
  • What research in technologies uses mixed designs, and how are those inquiry processes planned?
  • Is digital technology having an impact on the mixed-methods paradigmatic framework?
  • How do mixed design research models influence the definition of social research where digital technology is the basis of human interaction?
  • What kind of rationality in interpretation processes can be developed with the mediation of digital technology and “Big data”?

Thematic Editors Profile

Dr Bartolome Rubia-Avi, University of Valladolid (Spain)

ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4963-4552

PhD from University of Valladolid (Valladolid-Spain) specialising in Curricular Design and Educational Research and Associate Professor in the Department of Pedagogy of that University, specialising in Educational Technology. Previously, Dr Rubia-Avi graduated from the University of Granada in Philosophy and Educational Sciences. He is a member of the Intelligent & Cooperative Systems Research Group at the University of Valladolid (GSIC-EMIC: www.gsic.uva.es). This group is comprised of teachers and researchers who focus their work in the field of Technology for Education, basically within the framework of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL) studies. He is currently Director of the Centre for Transdisciplinary Research in Education (CETIE-UVA http://www.cetie.uva.es). He is also a founding member of the Educative Technology Network (RUTE), a Spanish association that brings together teachers, researchers and people close to the world of educational technology for schools. In this network, he served a board member from its foundation until 2012. His work has focused on the use of technology in collaborative learning environments, developing, within his research group, more than 40 European, National and Regional projects in this field. He has also worked on different research projects on educational innovation in university education, especially in the process of evaluating such experiences. He is currently focusing on the following topics: Technologies for body cognitive learning; Analysis of cognitive styles and their involvement in learning; Emotional education in disadvantaged educational contexts.

Dr Jennifer C. Greene, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (USA)

ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7244-7819

Jennifer C. Greene is a professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She received her BA in psychology from Wellesley College and her PhD in educational psychology from Stanford University. Prior to Illinois, Greene held faculty positions at the University of Rhode Island and Cornell University. Greene’s work focuses on the intersection of social science methodology and social policy and aspires to be both methodologically innovative and socially responsible. Greene’s methodological research has concentrated on advancing qualitative and mixed methods approaches to social inquiry. In the field of evaluation, she has contributed both theoretical and practical scholarship in democratic and values-engaged approaches to evaluation. Greene has held leadership positions in the American Evaluation Association and the American Educational Research Association. She has also provided editorial service to both communities, including a sixyear position as co-editor-in-chief of New Directions for Evaluation, and current positions as an associate editor of the Journal of Mixed Methods Research and series co-editor for the series Evaluation and Society. Her publication record includes a co-editorship of the Sage Handbook of Program Evaluation and authorship of Mixed Methods in Social Inquiry. Greene is the past president of the American Evaluation Association (https://education.illinois.edu/faculty/jennifer-greene).

Dr Iván-Manuel Jorrin-Abellan, Kennesaw State University (USA)

ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8549-5924

He is Professor of Educational Research in the Department of Secondary and Middle Grades Education, at the Bagwell College of Education. He’s a passionate learner who loves teaching, research and innovation. He has expertise in qualitative research methods with extensive experience teaching and researching innovative uses of technology in education. He has worked for twelve years (2001-2014) at the Intelligent & Cooperative Systems Research Group at the University of Valladolid (Spain), where He got his PhD in Educational Technology. Within this transdisciplinary team formed by engineers, computer scientist and educators, they developed a number of innovative technologies to support teachers in the complete lifecycle of collaborative learning environments. In 2009 after a two-year Fulbright scholarship at the University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign, He founded the Center for Transdisciplinary Research in Education (CETIE) at the University of Valladolid. In 2014 He was hired by Kennesaw State University (Ga) where He has recently developed the Hopscotch Model; a theoretical model and a webtool based on Google technologies, to help novice researchers generate qualitative research designs. (http://facultyweb.kennesaw.edu/ijorrina/)

Guidelines for authors and submission of contributions

Editorial guidelines are available here

Contributions to the Special Issue can be submitted here

Deadlines

Initial date for proposal articles: 1 September 2019

Deadline for submission of articles: 28 February 2020

Date of publication of this issue: Preprint: 15 July 2020

Printed edition: 1 January 2020

Deadline for submission of articles: 28 February 2020