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Investigating cross-national educational software portability: the case of electronic workbenches

Association for Educational and Training Technology
Publication Date
  • Communication
  • Education


PII: 0360-1315(93)90040-P Computers Educ. Vol. 21, No. l/2, pp. v-vi, 1993 Pergamon Press Ltd. Printed in Great Britain PREFACE This Special Issue had its beginning more than 2 years ago, when the Guest Editors, as coordinators for the Educational Technology Stream of the First European Conference for Educational Research, which was held at the University of Twente in The Netherlands in June 1992, began communication with researchers for participation in the Stream. This stimulated our thinking about the nature of research in the subset of educational technology relating to computer-related applications in education. The papers in this Special Issue, although all based on papers presented in the Conference Stream, are by no means presented as a conference proceedings. They are a selected subset, much modified and expanded by their authors, to form a cohesive group related to the theme of this Special Issue: What is the nature of research relating to computers in education? How can it be conceptualized? One approach to scientific research is that of theory testing. However, the domain of our inquiry, computer-related applications in education, has as yet no cohesive theoretical framework. The domain is too new, too continually expanding, too multi-disciplinary, too context sensitive, too broad and complex, to be tested against a theoretical framework that its many practitioners would accept as fundamental. We see instead a spiral conceptualization where each revolution of the spiral could be broadly seen as having three phases of research activity. We describe them as follows: -The Describe-Understand-Explain Phase, where the intention is to look insightfully at a particular context, to see what is happening with computer-related applications in that context, and to try to explain it in that context. The goal is localized theory, grounded in a specific context. Typically, research approaches of this type employ methods such as surveys, or observations, or question

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