31 SES 02 B, Comparative Survey Design to Determine Research Priorities in Language Education Across Europe
The aim of this workshop is to familiarise participants with the Delphi method of research – a less well known and applied survey method in education science. The underlying philosophy of the Delphi approach is that group assessments of a given topic are more valid than individual assessments. The Delphi method is therefore applied when a group perspective is required. The workshop organisers will describe the background and development of this survey method, its various and possible applications, and methods of analyses.
The workshop objectives are:
- To introduce the development, purpose and early implementations of the Delphi method
- To familiarise workshop participants with the various ways of implementing this survey method in education science
- To assist participants in the qualitative and quantitative evaluation of data generated using the Delphi survey method, as well as demonstrate the presentation of data in survey ‘rounds’
- To generate ideas and discussion among participants about how they might apply this method in their respective areas of research
The workshop organisers will concretely describe the design, implementation and findings of a Delphi study that they carried out in order to determine the most pressing research questions in the field of language education in Germany. Acknowledging that language is a critical factor for educational attainment – whether that means acquisition of the language of schooling, facilitation of heritage languages, or the learning of foreign languages in a globally connected world – this Delphi study was carried out in order to gauge research priorities for the field at a time when record numbers of refugees arrived in Germany and as successful multilingual development had been identified as a key educational objective (BMBF, 2012). At the same time, research resources continue to dwindle. Clarifying priorities in research on language education therefore becomes a priority in itself. It will be described how an expert panel of survey participants was assembled, how questions were posed to them in order to gauge their research priorities, how this data was analysed and presented in a further survey round, and how all data were analysed and a ranking of research priorities reached.
This workshop therefore responds to the overall conference theme of “inclusion/exclusion – resources for educational research” very clearly: by aggregating research priorities in our given field, these rankings are a resource upon which researchers, not least emerging researchers, of language education may draw upon when defining their topics of investigation. This resource has been collaboratively and democratically established by the expert community itself through the systematic inclusion/exclusion of topics that bind the research community to the needs of learners and practitioners. Although the purpose of the presented study was to assist in the development of the research field by aggregating open research questions in the area of language education, we would emphasise that such a study is relevant to all aspects of educational research (and not just language education) and we therefore encourage researchers of varying backgrounds and different research interests to join this workshop. Workshop participants will be presented with both qualitative and quantitative datasets previously generated by workshop organisers as coding exercises. It is expected that this will lead to discussion on the implementation of such a study in different national and research contexts. Finally, on the basis of the Delphi study presented here, the workshop organisers have developed ties with other researchers across Europe (Austria, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain). The workshop will therefore conclude with a presentation of this cooperation and attempts to implement the presented study in different contexts.
An iterative and reflective research approach, Delphi follows survey rounds in which respondents are asked not just to answer questions but are, in turn, encouraged to reconsider their answers in light of other respondents’ anonymous feedback. The aim of this approach can be to aggregate ideas, reach stability or convergence on open questions, or to attain consensus among expert respondents. The method was initially developed at the beginning of the cold war to forecast future technological needs by the US military (Dalkey, 1969). Delphi has since been implemented in social policy and health care studies as a group facilitation method (e.g. Adler and Ziglio, 1996; Hasson et al., 2000). In education science, it has been applied in the field of vocational education to assist in research development (Brosi et al., 2003); in the area of teacher training, it has been used to determine the core educational topics that should be taught to prospective teachers (Kunina-Habenicht et al., 2012). The Delphi method has also been used in intercultural education in developing effective methods for the inclusion of and support for migrant and minority learners (Rösselet, 2012; Sprott, 2014). The workshop organisers have direct experience with both open and closed formats, and qualitative and quantitative analysis via a multistage Delphi study conducted among ca. 200 researchers of language education in Germany. Workshop participants will be guided through the stages of this Delphi study, the chosen formats, data analysis, and data interpretation. It will be demonstrated how the expert panel of participants was assembled and approached, how qualitative data from an open format round was analysed using MAXQDA software, and how rankings (i.e. research priorities in the case of the study at hand) were established on the basis of quantitative analyses using SPSS. Participants will also be presented with datasets for individual and group activities.
The Delphi study presented here managed to aggregate research priorities, over two survey rounds, in the field of language education in Germany. Given the workshop format, we focus less on the findings from this study, and more on the process. We expect that workshop participants will have an understanding of the iterative and reflective nature of the Delphi method as well as its various implementations (open, closed, online, face-to-face). They will learn how to assemble a structured panel of respondents. They will also be supported in the evaluation of qualitative and quantitative data, the presentation of such data to research participants, as well as analysis and interpretation of data. By the end of the workshop, participants will be expected to have developed ideas about how to implement the Delphi method in the context of their own research.
Adler, M., and Ziglio, E. (1996). Gazing into the Oracle. The Delphi Method and its Application to Social Policy and Public Health. London and Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley Publishers. Brosi, W. et al. (2003). Delphi-Erhebung zur Identifikation von Forschungs- und Entwicklungsaufgaben in der beruflichen Aus- und Weiterbildung. Schriftenreihe des Bundesinstituts für Berufsbildung. Bonn: Bundesinstitut für Berufsbildung. BMBF – Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung. (2012). Sprachliche Bildung und Mehrsprachigkeit: http://www.empirische-bildungsforschung-bmbf.de/de/252.php. Dalkey, N.C. (1969). The Delphi Method: An Experimental Study of Group Opinion. Santa Monica: Rand. Hasson, F. et al. (2000). Research guidelines for the Delphi survey technique. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 32(4), 1008-1015. Kunina-Habenicht, O. et al. (2012). Welche bildungswissenschaftlichen Inhalte sind wichtig in der Lehrerbildung? Ergebnisse einer Delphi-Studie. Zeitschrift für Erziehungswissenschaft, 15, 649-682. Rösselet, S. (2012). ExpertInnen machen Schule. Ergebnisse einer Delphibefragung zur Förderung von SchülerInnen mit Migrationshintergrund. Wiesbaden: Springer VS. Sprott, K. (2014). Culturally Competent Common Core Practices: A Delphi Study. Journal of Research Initiatives, 1(2), Article 8. Available at: http://digitalcommons.uncfsu.edu/jri/vol1/iss2/8.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
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