The Viability of a Software Tool to Assist Students in the Review of Literature
Timothy R. Anderson, Grand Canyon University, United States
Grand Canyon University . Awarded
Most doctoral students are novice researchers and may not possess the skills to effectively conduct a comprehensive review of the literature and frame a problem designed to conduct original research. Students need proper training and tools necessary to critically evaluate, synthesize and organize literature. The purpose of this concurrent mixed methods study was to determine if the use of a literature review software tool in an introductory research course resulted in improved quality of literature review scores as assessed by a criterion-based scoring rubric. During this study, the software tool was introduced to doctoral students in five sections of an 8-week introductory research course offered at one university located in the Southwestern United States. The quantitative component of the study consisted of comparing the literature review rubric scores of students who used the software tool to those who did not. Qualitative data collection consisted of participants completing surveys and participating in interviews regarding their perceptions of the effectiveness of the software tool in assisting them with the literature review and if they would recommend the tool to others. The findings indicated that although no significant difference existed in scores between the students who used the tool versus those who did not, participants and faculty reported positive perceptions of the tool. The results of this study indicated that although further research is needed on the viability of the tool as a way to improve the scores of students, the participants of the study did feel the tool was beneficial to their research process.
Keywords: Educational technology, constructivism, educational software, literature review, learning theories, organizing literature, evaluating literature, synthesizing literature
Anderson, T.R. The Viability of a Software Tool to Assist Students in the Review of Literature. Ph.D. thesis, Grand Canyon University.
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