All entries for Sunday 18 May 2008

May 18, 2008

Factorial Design: Overvoming the fear of dealing with quantitative approach

I really felt intellectually satisfied, after attended the last ARM session yesterday. The session was about Factorial Design.

When I did my Master study in Malaysia few years ago, my research project aimed to identify the effectiveness and efficiency factors of a learnining management system. The biggest problem I faced was the lack of knowledge and skills in conducting factor analysis. In the Research Methodologies class, no practice was given on questionnaire design, data collection, data entry, etc. Besides, at university level, no courses or training provided or told to be available to taught-Master students on research training.

What I gained after attending the course was merely theories. In Karate sparring, we call this as 'skin-touch'. It's more like acting. To survive, I looked for alternatives, and I chose qualitative approach. I really hoped to learn how to conduct statistical tests, particularly by using SPSS, but the environment disallowed me to do so. When I tried to justify the choice of research approach, I felt like cheating myself to convince others.

Now, I am very happy to be able to study in the University of Warwick. The supports provided by the university are so great which make me feel like registering to attend all training and seminars and lectures that I am interested in. For example, I am learning SPSS now from three instructors concurrently. Two from ARM courses and one from IT Service. All the instructors are highly qualified and skillful, but I personally like the instructor from ITS more because of her teaching approach. Her constant encouragement and "no one should left behind" spirit really impressed me. Being an instructor myself, who also provide training on computer applications, I believe that such spirit is the key of successful instructor-led training.

Of course, there are still rooms for improvement. For example, I am yet to see the availability of 3D modelling software for creating multimedia contents in this university.

May 2008

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