Considering the credibility of technology education research: A discussion on empirical insights and possible next steps
Keywords:Research credibility, Trustworthiness, Research standards, Replicability, Transparency
Technology education is a maturing research field. If studies are conducted which lead to suggestions for practice – which many are – as such changes can impact a substantial number of learners and require significant resources, it is essential that the underpinning results are credible. Therefore, much like there are standards for educational practice, standards in research are equally as important. Such standards help ensure that findings are valid and trustworthy.
There are several dimensions to research credibility, such as replicability, reproducibility, the clear presentation of research questions and/or hypotheses, and reporting transparency, and it is important that the credibility of technology education research is considered for several reasons. In addition to ensuring sufficient empirical support for recommendations for practice, credibility is important to ensure trust in findings from both researchers and the wider community of stakeholders. It is also important for new studies which build upon prior work, that the evidential strength of the prior work is clearly understood.
Over the past two years, several studies have been conducted to examine current levels of credibility dimensions, specifically replicability and transparency, in technology education research. In this paper, the results of these will be briefly summarised with a view towards suggesting general areas for improvement and in providing practical ways in which to do so. More importantly, through this paper a broader discussion can be started around what standards should be considered for technology education research across different dimensions of credibility. Finally, other ways in which research credibility can be examined will be considered with a view towards gaining an understanding of what the technology education research community consider as more or less important within this research agenda.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Jeffrey Buckley
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