Title: Selection and use of elicitation techniques for education research

Authors: Gordon Rugg, Brendan D'Cruz, Lorraine Foreman-Peck, Eileen Grimshaw, Sheila Guilford, David Roberts, Michele Tonglet

Addresses: School of Computing and Mathematics, Keele University, Keele, Staffordshire ST5 5BG, UK. ' Business School of University of East London, University of East London, Docklands Campus, 4-6 University Way, London E16 2RD, UK. ' School of Education, University of Northampton, Bounds Green Road, Northampton NN2 7AL, UK. ' 8 Stanhope Road, Northampton NN2 6JX, UK. ' Northampton Business School, University of Northampton, Bounds Green Road, Northampton NN2 7AL, UK. ' UK. ' UK

Abstract: This article describes a framework for the choice of elicitation method and demonstrates the application of this framework to education research, via a set of case studies. These studies investigate issues relating to retention of students on courses, with particular reference to mature students on further education and higher education courses. One study uses projective questionnaires to investigate reasons for withdrawal which students might be reluctant to discuss via other approaches. Other studies use online self-report and laddering to investigate students| academic skills both qualitatively and quantitatively. A further study demonstrates how apparently subjective terms can be quantified in a way which enables testing of widely held beliefs (in this case, that a dissertation with an interesting title is likely to get a good mark). Finally, another study is briefly described in which online self-report is used to investigate factors affecting potential students| perceptions of courses and institutions via prospectuses and web-based material. The implications for pedagogic practice and for research into student retention are briefly discussed.

Keywords: craft skills; laddering; projective questionnaire; student perceptions; think aloud technique; elicitation techniques; education research; case studies; student retention; mature students; further education; higher education; student withdrawal; prospectuses; web-based material.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIOME.2008.019648

International Journal of Information and Operations Management Education, 2008 Vol.2 No.3, pp.235 - 254

Published online: 18 Jul 2008 *

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