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Triangulation as a powerful tool to strengthen the qualitative research design: The Resource-based Learning Career Preparation Programme (RBLCPP) as a case study

Somarie Holtzhausen

Presented at the Higher Education Close Up Conference 2, Lancaster University, 16-18 July 2001

Area: Qualitative Research on educational development

 

ABSTRACT

Notwithstanding the worldwide controversial debate amongst researchers on the quantitative-qualitative dichotomy, the demand for qualitative research has increased in the higher education field. Emerging from research there seems room for both these research approaches. Thus, the two research approaches should be regarded as equivalent value - one is not inferior to the other. By not relying on a single method, researchers can be more confident of their research results, due to increased reliability and validity. Furthermore, by following a multimethod research approach (i.e. triangulation), a more complete, holistic and contextual portrayal can be captured of the units under study. The understanding of human nature and social reality, where these phenomena are so enmeshed, is increased as well. The above-mentioned would only be possible because weaknesses of one method will be compensated for by the strengths of the other.

The thread linking all the above-mentioned benefits of a multi-research method is the crucial part played by the qualitative research method in triangulation. In these cases, the researcher is able to sustain a profitable closeness to the situation, which allows greater sensitivity to the multiple sources of data. Thus, qualitative data serves as the glue that cements the interpretation of the multimethod results (by understanding the world in which one lives and interpreting it from the participant's frame of reference). In order to demonstrate this (i.e. triangulation as a powerful tool to strengthen the qualitative research design), the Resource-based Learning Career Preparation Programme (RBLCPP) served as a case study. Reference is made to the results of this pilot programme (for the introduction of the RBL delivery mode), which also serves as a unique access programme. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to critically investigate the in-depth value of the qualitative research within the triangulation approach, with specific reference to the above-mentioned study.

1. INTRODUCTION

Despite the worldwide controversial debate amongst researchers on the quantitative-qualitative dichotomy, the popularity of qualitative research has increased in the higher education field. Emanating from research there seems room for both these two research approaches. Equally important is the fact that one is not inferior to the other. So by not relying on a single research approach and methodology, the validity and credibility of the research findings are improved (Denzin 1978; Patton 1990; De Vos 1998). The fact that phenomena such as in social sciences are enmeshed (when a human being is the unit of analysis) makes it impossible to quantify feelings/perceptions/etc. It is also inappropriate to quantify the finer nuances or the deep-seated problems of the human being. The deduction can therefore be made that an integrated multi-method research approach increases the understanding of human nature and social reality in their full complexity.

2. AIMS OF THE PAPER

This paper has a general aim and specific aims:

2.1 General aim

2.2 Specific aims

The specific aims of the paper were to:

In order to put the discussion on the value of multi-approach methods (i.e. triangulation) - as included in the general aim - into perspective of this case study, it is vital that a condensed account of the study be provided subsequently.

3. BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY

Higher education in South Africa, as elsewhere in the world, is currently being characterised by massification, globalisation, political transformation, more non-traditional students entering the system, striving towards quality and cost-effective educational programmes, as well as a paradigm shift from teaching-/lecture-based to learning-based education. Within the above-mentioned learning paradigm there are various teaching/instruction methods, of which Resource-based Learning (RBL) is one. The latter is a learning methodology according to which the learning content is made accessible to students and the emphasis is shifted to the facilitator as the manager of knowledge and not the main source of knowledge. All the above-mentioned provide evidence that the paradigm shift is operating on two different levels. Firstly RBL at the individual level, means the shifting to new ways of thinking about learning. Secondly, at the organisational level it implies mission shifts from providing instruction to producing student learning as well as the shift to operating as a learning organisation (Olivier 1998).

In addition, RBL represents a curriculum and mode of delivery. It also refers to the increased use of a variety of media, methods and mechanisms to meet the different and divergent needs of learners (a vital aspect in the South African context) in a rapidly changing higher educational environment. Besides, South African Ministry of Education as evidence in various policy documents (e.g. NEPI 1993; NCHE 1996; RSA DoE 1996; RSA DoE 1997a; RSA DoE 1997b; CHE 2000; RSA DoE 2001) support the use of RBL, especially during the transformation of the South African higher education system. The reason for this support is because RBL is regarded as an appropriate delivery mode and a key principle to meet the challenges (e.g. the expectations of the learners, the realities of the work place, and to maintain high standard graduates) posed to the university system. Therefore, in South African higher education RBL should have a crucial role to play in accommodating the challenge of increased access and enhanced quality within a resource constrainted and diverse student body context. An additional fact is that these challenges are even bigger in South Africa than in other countries. For example, on the one hand RBL has been opposed due to the cultural variables; the African culture emphasises the importance of human community, while RBL emphasises the importance of the individual's independence and to work at your own pace - therefore it would be more difficult to implement RBL in an African culture. On the other hand, RBL can provide a solution, for example, to massification needs.

In order to keep up with the above-mentioned demands of a rapidly changing higher education arena, the University of the Free State (UFS) in Bloemfontein in South Africa decided to commence with the RBLCPP in 1997. In the South African context this is a unique access programme. This programme also served as a pilot study for the introduction of an RBL mode - i.e. for academic transformation in the institution. It is also important to take note of the fact that the implementation of RBL is a bit different in this specific programme, because face-to-face contact is included. The introduction of this new learning mode had inevitable implications for the RBLCPP, because both staff and students had to make imperative paradigm shifts. It also had implications for the facilitators and co-ordinators in terms of modifying their cognition, affect and behaviour in terms of how they facilitate and interact with students. These latter attributes determined the psychological experience within facilitators and co-ordinators.

"Psychological experience" refers to the emotional and psychological needs that these staff would experience during their facilitative relationship such as approval, love, recognition, companionship, stimulation, interest, acceptance and communication (Knight & Scott 1997). The researcher was particularly interested in establishing the psychological experiences of facilitators and co-ordinators in the RBL programme, the reason for this being to prevent certain negative psychological experiences in the future as well as to identify strategies that these staff could use to cope more effectively with the RBL innovation,

4. RESEARCH METHODS AND PROCEDURES

To achieve the above-mentioned a non-experimental research design was employed. Non-experimental research represents an investigation of connections between two or more variables, without a planning intervention (Huysamen 1993). Different non-experimental designs exist of which the criterium group design was the most appropriate for this study. In a criterium group design, criterium groups are selected randomly from the populations that represent the different levels of the independent variable (classification factor) and the dependent variable is measured (Huysamen 1993). The independent variable was viewed as a classification factor, because the researcher had no power over the different and definite levels of the independent variable.

The researcher decided on the above-mentioned approach to serve as a retrospective tool for both facilitators and co-ordinators (i.e. to reflect on the psychological experience of higher educational change in an RBL programme) in order to understand change and the accompanying process that are key ingredients in any theory about human behaviour (Banister et. al 1994; Maxwell 1996).

In this study the independent variable was the facilitation of learning. This facilitation of learning was the responsibility of two groups, namely facilitators and co-ordinators. The dependent variable in this study was the psychological experience of higher educational change.

A purposive sampling strategy was used. This consisted of a purposive selection of facilitators (Group 1) and purposive selection of co-ordinators (Group 2). The details of the exclusion criteria for the purposeful selection follow in 4.1.

4.1 Research group

The respondents of this purposive selection included all new facilitators (n1 = 10) and all the current co-ordinators (n2 =10) involved in the RBLCPP based at the UFS. These respondents of the universum were included in the empirical research due to the fact that the respondents had first-hand experience of all the phenomena being investigated (Maxwell 1996).

The first group of ten facilitators could be classified as all new facilitators in the RBLCPP, which started in 1998. Exclusion criteria such as experience of the RBL mode and facilitators and co-ordinators in any other programme except the RBLCPP contributed to the homogeneity of the group. The factor taken into account during the selection of the second group (i.e. co-ordinators in the RBLCPP) was that they had to be involved with the programme for longer than six months.

Table 1 reflects Group 1 (facilitators) and Group 2 (co-ordinators) of this study:

GENDER

FACILITATORS

PERCENTAGE

CO-

ORDINATORS

PERCENTAGE

Male

2

20%

3

30%

Female

8

80%

7

70%

TOTAL

10

100%

10

100%

TABLE 1: Composition of the population facilitators (n1 = 10) and co-ordinators (n2 = 10).

As indicated in the above-mentioned table, only 20% of the facilitators were male, while only 30% of the co-ordinators were male. A Chi-square-test was done to determine if there was a significant difference in the proportions of genders between the two groups. The calculated c 2 value was 0,267 (p = 0,606) and was not in the least significant regarding the 5% level. Consequently it can be accepted that the two groups were reasonably homogeneous, which should not affect the results.

As already mentioned, the respondents were recruited from the RBLCPP of the UFS. After obtaining approval from the director of the programme to include facilitators and co-ordinators as respondents, letters were sent to the respondents informing them of the purpose of this study. They were then subsequently contacted to determine a convenient time for the interview. The respondents were again contacted a day before the interview to ensure maximum participation.

4.2 Hypothesis formulation

The following central research hypothesis was proposed as regards the quantitative research:

A significant difference exists in the psychological experience as regards resource-based learning between those who act as facilitators and co-ordinators in the RBLCPP based at the UFS.

From this proposed research hypothesis a null and alternative/non-directional hypothesis can be stated for each of the seven stages of concern. With regard to stage one, the null and alternative hypotheses were as follows (Everitt 1996):

HO   :    m 1    =    m 2

H1    :    m 1    +   m 2

Where m 1 = the mean stage 0 (Awareness) score for the population facilitators and,

m 2 = the mean stage 0 (Awareness) score for the population co-ordinators.

The above-mentioned also applies to the other six stages of the Stages of Concern (SoC) Questionnaire.

4.3 Statistical procedure and measuring instruments

This study made use of descriptive statistics in order to obtain an indication of the first empirical research aim (i.e. to determine the psychological experience of educational change of the facilitators and co-ordinators in an RBL programme). Due to the size of the investigated groups (n1 = 10 and n2 = 10) a non-parametric statistical technique was used to investigate the proposed hypothesis as stated in the second empirical research aim - based on collected information, to determine whether facilitators and co-ordinators have different psychological experiences of educational change in an RBL programme. The reason for this is that with small group respondents, there are doubts as regards the supposition of normality of the distribution of scores and the homogeneity of variances. All the dependent variables of the seven stages of concern were measurable on an interval scale (quantitative data) and therefore the Mann-Whitney-U-test could be considered as a counterpart of the t-test for two independent (uncorrelated) groups (Behr 1988; Cozby 1993). The Mann-Whitney-U-test is a nonparametric test, which was used to investigate and analyse the proposed statistical hypothesis. In this study the 5% level (a = 0,05) of significance was used for interpretation of the third empirical research aim (i.e. based on scientific evidence, to make accountable recommendations to directly improve the functioning of the staff such as facilitators and co-ordinators and indirectly the whole programme).

The responses of the co-ordinators and facilitators to the structured interviews were transcribed and computerised before the qualitative data could be analysed and systematised. The qualitative data from the structured interviews was analysed by using the Qualitative Solutions and Research's Non-numerical Unstructured Data Indexing Searching and Theorising (QSR NU*DIST4) Application Software Package (Qualitative Solutions and Research Company 1995) software to assist in a partially ordered meta-matrix, cross-case analysis (Miles & Huberman 1994). This supports the data coding system in an Index System, searching for text, patterns and coding and then theorising about the data. In this study the responses by facilitators and co-ordinators were structured by using the Index Tree according to which data was organised hierarchically in categories and subcategories. These categories and subcategories served as the basis on which the data was structured and displayed. The second data analysis activity consisted of the grouping of all the various responses of facilitators and co-ordinators via coding and pattern coding in order to categorise the responses through meta-matrixes which facilitate theorising (Patton 1990; Miles & Huberman 1994). In this study a comparative analysis of both qualitative and quantitative data was done via triangulation. The two types of triangulation which were used, are discussed in 5.1. The implications of the usage of triangulation are the following:

It was appropriate for this study to make use of a combination of the quantitative and qualitative approaches (i.e. to use triangulation to strengthen the research design) as a result of the fact that it was insufficient to use a single method for the investigation of the complexity of human nature and social reality (e.g. the psychological experiences of facilitators and co-ordinators due to higher educational change).

5. TRIANGULATION

Triangulation involves the conscious combination of quantitative and qualitative methodologies as a powerful solution to strengthen a research design where the logic is based on the fact that a single method can never adequately solve the problem of rival causal factors (Denzin 1978; Patton 1990; De Vos 1998).

5.1 Triangulation process

The two relevant forms of triangulation of this study will now be discussed.

Quantitative and qualitative data triangulation

Data triangulation implies the collection of accounts from different participants in a prescribed setting, from different stages in the activities of the setting and, if appropriate, from different sites of the setting (Banister, Burman, Parker, Taylor & Tindall 1994: 146). It also entails the cross-checking of the consistency of specific and factual data items from various sources via multiple methods at different times (Guba & Lincoln 1989; Patton 1990). In this study data triangulation entailed the comparison of qualitative data received from structured interviews with facilitators and co-ordinators with quantitative data from the Stages of Concern Questionnaire and the Demographic and relevant information questionnaire of facilitators and co-ordinators. Using this dual approach does not result in a single, clear-cut, consistent picture, but rather presents a challenge to improve comprehension of the various reasons for the existence of inconsistencies between the two sets of data (Patton 1990).

Quantitative and qualitative methodological triangulation

Methodological triangulation entails combining both quantitative and qualitative data collection methods (Banister et al. 1994). This is based on the rationale that a single data collection method is insufficient to provide adequate and accurate research results. It is vital to remember that the above-mentioned method is also a form of comparative analysis where the interpretation of the results is complicated when the convergence of data leads to inconsistencies and contradictions.

5.2 A review of the triangulation results

According to Miles and Huberman (1994) and De Vos (1998), data management is an integral part of data analysis. Managing such a database is viewed as a challenge, due to the need to comprehend the data and to locate a description to illustrate a concept (Morse & Field 1996).

In this study the researcher decided to handle data management by displaying of the triangulation process results in a matrix. This provided a summary of what the results were and identified common themes in various sets of data in order to generate the triangulated results. A review of the triangulation results of this study is illustrated in seven tables. In these seven tables the horizontal rows represent the broad stages of concern dimensions. Column 1 consists of the seven stages of concern. The summary of the quantitative data triangulation results is found in Column 2. Column 3 reflects the data of the qualitative data triangulation results, while the fourth column consists of themes, confirmed by either the quantitative or the qualitative data triangulation results. The methodological triangulation results, which consist of the quantitative (Column 2) and qualitative (Column 3) results, are provided in Column 5.

These seven tables only provide a cryptic display of results in the matrixes, and therefore require elaboration and discussion of the methodological triangulation results, which are the core findings of the triangulation process. The latter are stated as conclusions, where the issues not confirmed by the methodological triangulation were used to contextualise the conclusions in greater detail.

6. TRIANGULATION AS A POWERFUL TOOL TO STRENGTHEN THE QUALITATIVE RESEARCH DESIGN

In order to demonstrate how triangulation can serve as a powerful tool to strengthen the qualitative research design, the following example is provided:

A thread linking all the above-mentioned benefits is the important part played by the qualitative research method in triangulation. The researcher was likely to sustain a profitable closeness to the situation, which allowed greater sensitivity to the multiple sources of data. Qualitative data served as the glue that cemented the interpretation of the multimethod results. In other words, the qualitative data were used as a critical counterpoint to quantitative methods. Thus the analysis benefited from the perceptions drawn from personal experiences and first-hand experiences - the researcher used qualitative data to enrich and brighten the portrait.

In addition, the significance of triangulation was also captured in the following benefits, where it specifically empowered the qualitative research design in this study:

Despite the benefits of triangulation, there are also certain limitations. The findings are, for example, not projectable in a statistical sense. However, qualitative research has the unique ability to overcome this by providing insight into the underlying issues most pertinent to the population under study. Furthermore, other constraints (e.g. time, costs) may also prevent effective use. Nevertheless, triangulation has vital strengths and encourages productive research. This lifts qualitative methods to their deserved prominence and simultaneously demonstrates how quantitative methods can and should be utilised in complementary fashion.

To summarise, triangulation is seen by the researcher not only as a tool, but also a solution in our complex world to provide valid and reliable data. Thus the qualitative research approach is not only strengthened, but also empowered by implementing triangulation.

7. CONCLUSION

From the research it became clear that the qualitative-quantitative dichotomy can be complementary in the operation of triangulation within the educational research arena, for example serving as a form of comparative analysis where the interpretation of the results is complicated, particularly when the convergence of data leads to inconsistencies and contradictions. One such an example, in this study, was the presence of both high motivation levels and high frustration levels as regards RBL involvement. This contradiction could only later be clarified by the qualitative data set, which once again confirmed the value of triangulation.

Triangulation also represented a more discursive approach to the identification of needs as well as being of potential value for decision-making relating to the promotion of quality in staff and the programme as a whole.

Therefore the above-mentioned demonstrated that the qualitative-quantitative debate moved from conflict to co-operation. This is emphasised by two other factors regarding the nature of this debate. Firstly, various research inquirers will now accept the idea that there are two different, equally legitimate approaches to inquiry. Secondly, various inquirers also feel that - whatever differences may exist between these two approaches - it does not really matter much; that the profession has reached a stage of, if not synthesis, then certainly compatibility and co-operation between the approaches.

Due to the fact that educational research has a broad scope, covering different techniques and methodologies as well as various aspects of the educative process (both formal and informal), this paper has endeavoured to persuade the reader that one way to strengthen the qualitative research design is via triangulation. This again highlighted the complementary relationship between qualitative and quantitative research within a critical paradigm.

To summarise, triangulation in this study was more than scaling, reliability and convergent validation; it captured a more complete, holistic and contextual portrayal of units under study. Therefore it played a prominent role in eliciting data and suggesting conclusions to which other methods would have been blind.

8. REFERENCES

Banister, P., Burman, E., Parker, I., Taylor, M. & Tindall, C. 1994. Quality methods in Psychology. Buckingham: Open University Press.

Behr, J.A. 1988. Empirical research methods for human sciences. Durban: Butterworths.

Birley, G. & Moreland, N. 1998. A practical guide to Academic Reseach. London: Kogan Page.

Brown, A. & Dowling, P. 1998. Doing research/reading research: A mode of interrogation. London: Falmer Press.

Brown, S. & Smith, B. 1996. Resource-based leaning. London: Kogan Press.

CHE (Council on Higher Education). 2000. Towards a new higher education landscape. Pretoria: DoE & CHE

Cozby, P.C. 1993. Methods in behavioural research. London: Mayfield Publishers.

Denzin, N.K. 1978. The Research Act: A theoretical introduction to sociological methods. New York: McGraw-Hill.

De Vos, A.S. 1998. Research at grass root. Academic: J.L. van Schaik.

Everitt, B.S. 1996. Making sense of statistics in Psychology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Guba, E.G. & Lincoln, Y. 1989. Fourth generation evaluation. Newbury Park: SAGE.

Huysamen, G.K. 1993. Methodology for the Social and Behavioural Sciences. Pretoria: Sigma Press.

Jick, T.D. 1979. Mixing Qualitative and Quantitative Methods: Triangulation in Action. Administrative Science Quarterly 24(4): 602-611.

Kaplan, B. & Maxwell, J.A. 1994. Qualitative Research Methods for Evaluating Computer Information Systems. In J.G. Anderson, C.E. Aydin & S.J. Jay (Eds), Evaluating Health Care Information Systems: Methods and Applications. Thousand Oaks: SAGE.

Knight, J. & Scott, W. 1997. Co-facilitation. London: Kogan Page Limited.

Maxwell, J.A. 1996. Qualitative Research Design: An interactive approach. California: SAGE Publishers.

Miles, M.B. & Huberman, A.M. 1994. Qualitative data analysis. Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publishers.

Morse, J.M. & Field, P.A. 1996. Nursing research: The application of qualitative approach. London: Chapman & Hall.

NCHE (National Commission on Higher Education) 1996. A Framework for Transformation (Final Recommendations). Pretoria: Department of Education.

NEPI (National Education Policy Investigation) 1993. Report on the NEPI post-secondary education research group. Cape Town: Oxford University Press.

Olivier,C. 1998. How to educate and train outcomes-based. Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik.

Patton, M.Q. 1990. Qualitative evaluation and research methods. Newbury Park: SAGE Publishers.

Qualitative Solutions and Research Company 1995. QSR NUD*IST4 User Guide. (Application Software Package). Melbourne: Qualitative Solutions and Research Company.

Ralph, E.G. 1999. Oral-questioning skills of novice teachers: ... Any questions? Journal of Instructional Psychology 26(4): 286-297.

RSA DoE (Republic of South Africa. Department of Education). 1996. The Green Paper on Higher Education Transformation. Pretoria: State Press.

RSA DoE (Republic of South Africa. Department of Education). 1997a. The White Paper on Higher Education. Pretoria: State Press.

RSA DoE (Republic of South Africa. Department of Education). 1997b. Higher Education Act 1997 (Act No.101 of 1997). Pretoria: State Press.

RSA DoE (Republic of South Africa. Department of Education). 2001. National Plan for Higher Education. Pretoria: Department of Education.

 

MATRIX (seven tables)

Table 1 A summary of data and results of the data-, methodological- and theoretical triangulation

Stages of Concern

Quantitative

Data s results

(Method 1)

Qualitative

Data s results

(Method 2)

Issues not confirmed by data s

Results of Method s

(Methods 1 + 2)

Awareness

*Facilitators are more intense ly concerned with RBL than the co-ordinators.

 

Facilitators are more involved with RBL than co-ordinators.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Facilitators seem to be more concerned about own application of RBL than co-ordinators.

 

 

*Both facilitators and co-ordinators indicated their concerns as regards RBL, which are unique to the SA context.

*Both facilitators and co-ordinators now appear to be more motivated, excited and confident about RBL.

*Both facilitators and co-ordinators seem to be frustrated about certain contextual aspects, which could prevent successful implementation of RBL.

 

 

 

* Facilitators seem to be more concerned about own application of RBL than co-ordinators.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*All the reasons why RBL was introduced within the higher education context.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Facilitators and co-ordinators need to be more aware of the reasons why RBL was introduced in the higher education context.

 

Stages of Concern

Quantitative

Data s results

(Method 1)

Qualitative

Data s results

(Method 2)

Issues not confirmed by data s

Results of Method s

(Methods 1 + 2)

Informational

*Facilitators appear to want more information about RBL than co-ordinators.

 

 

*Facilitators are more interested in general characteristics, effects and requirements of RBL than co-ordinators.

*Both facilitators and co-ordinators appear to globally understand the RBL concept, but seem to require more knowledge and skills.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Limited information resources prevent successful implementation of RBL.

*Facilitators and co-ordinators need more knowledge and skills concerning RBL.

 

Stages of Concern

Quantitative

Data s results

(Method 1)

Qualitative

Data s results

(Method 2)

Issues not confirmed by data s

Results of Method s

(Methods 1 + 2)

Personal

*Facilitators seem to be more uncertain about the demands and inadequacies to meet demands than co-ordinators.

 

 

*Co-ordinators seem to be more uneasy about RBL than co-ordinators, but it does not necessarily indicate resistance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Status implications seem to be more intense for facilitators than co-ordinators.

 

 

 

*Financial implications seem to be more intense for facilitators than co-ordinators.

*Both facilitators and co-ordinators indicated concerns as regards RBL (e.g. lack of knowledge and skills of RBL, lack of resources, misconceptions about distance education).

*Both facilitators and co-ordinators require more, regular follow-up workshops.

*Facilitators and co-ordinators seem to experience frustration as well as an inability and uncertainty as regards RBL.

*Most of the facilitators and co-ordinators indicated the difficulty of facilitating in a second language.

The majority of facilitators feel that there is not a status difference between a facilitator versus a lecturer, while the majority of the co-ordinators feel there is a status difference between a co-ordinator versus a lecturer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Financial and status implications of facilitators and co-ordinators.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Facilitators and co-ordinators indicated the need for more knowledge of an African language and of English.

 

 

 

Stages of Concern

Quantitative

Data s results

(Method 1)

Qualitative

Data s results

(Method 2)

Issues not confirmed by data s

Results of Method s

(Methods 1 + 2)

Collaboration

*Co-ordinators are more concerned about the co-ordination and co-operation with others as regards RBL than facilitators.

*The co-ordination between facilitators and co-ordinators seemed to be satisfactory.

*The majority of facilitators and co-ordinators appear to receive positive responses from work colleagues to whom the RBL concept is unknown.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Co-ordinators' leadership role.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Facilitators and co-ordinators need more guidance on how to improve the co-ordination and co-operation within the RBLCPP.

Refocussing

*The facilitators seem to be more concerned about the universal benefits of RBL than co-ordinators.

*Facilitators appear to have more ideas about how to improve the programme.

 

 

 

*Both facilitators and co-ordinators seem to be positive about RBL.

 

 

 

 

 

 

*None.

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Facilitators and co-ordinators need more information regarding the universal benefits of RBL.

 

Stages of Concern

Quantitative

Data s results

(Method 1)

Qualitative

Data s results

(Method 2)

Issues not confirmed by data s

Results of Method s

(Methods 1 + 2)

Results of Theory s

Management

*Co-ordinators seem to be more focused on the RBL tasks and processes than facilitators are.

*Co-ordinators seem to be more responsible for the efficiency, organising, managing, scheduling and time demands of RBL than facilitators are.

*Co-ordinators seem to be more involved with logistic, time and management concerns due to their job descriptions.

*Facilitators indicated that they spent most of their time facilitating, while the co-ordinators spent most of their time writing material.

*Both facilitators and co-ordinators indicated the efficiency of RBL (e.g. creating independent and active learners).

*Organising and scheduling demands as regards RBL .

*Facilitators and co-ordinators need more guidance and support as regards time management within the RBL framework.

*The results of the percentage of time devoted to certain job aspects indicated that facilitators and co-ordinators seem to act upon their roles.

Consequence

*Facilitators seem to be more focused on the impact of RBL on the students in relation to outcomes and evaluation than co-ordinators.

 

*Both facilitators and co-ordinators appear to be concerned and frustrated about the students' poor language proficiency and lack of background knowledge.

*Both facilitators and co-ordinators appear to be sceptical about the students' ability to be independent learners due to the above-mentioned problems.

*Required performance and competencies of students.

*Facilitators and co-ordinators need to be aware of the consequences of RBL for themselves and not only for the students.

*Prioritise RBL as a personal goal and do not only focus on the students.

*From facilitator and co-ordinator perspective there is a need to have more knowledge and skills to handle the diversity of the disadvantaged students (with reference to the language problem and lack of background knowledge).

 

 

This document was added to the Education-line database on 27 June 2001