How modern technologies can help with student research

Research is an integral part of any education process because it’s a great tool for facilitating learning. It promotes the development of problem-solving skills and provides a deeper understanding of a subject. While doing some research, students get a chance to build their confidence in the academic field.

Multiple studies have revealed that individuals who conduct research at college are more satisfied with their learning experience. They are also more competitive when searching for jobs. As you see, the role of research in education shouldn’t be underestimated.

Technology impact on education

Today, we are living in a technology-driven world where the internet dominates in all aspects of our lives, and education is no exception. Technology affects the way we access learning, acquire knowledge and gain new skills. Now students have the possibility to undergo courses online and even get a degree over the Internet. They don’t need to meet face to face with teachers anymore, so everyone can complete their work from the comfort and convenience of home. Geographic barriers have been broken down by technology implementation, so individuals can complete even a highly specific program available only at one school across the country without moving to another city.

Technology also allows more flexibility because students don’t need to attend college at specified times. Instead, they can access course materials and complete classwork whenever their schedule permits. As long as they meet assigned deadlines, planning is up to them.

Apart from that, the assessment system has also transformed to the online format thanks to technology, which is highly beneficial for everybody. Why? First of all, it’s absolutely fair as AI cannot show any signs of bias. Secondly, online testing can be a great solution for individuals suffering from test anxiety and distress caused by taking exams in a group of people.

Another advantage of technology in education is the availability of learning content. Now it’s not a problem anymore to find diverse learning materials, such as educational blog posts, e-books, or videos. Online content makes studying easier and reduces students’ efforts. All you need to get help with a research paper is just to open your laptop and find a website with the most valuable information. Students don’t have to go to the library so often as before to find materials necessary for their studies, which helps them to save precious time.

And last but not least, technology places great emphasis on interactivity in contrast to the idea of passivity, where students just sit back and listen to a teacher or read textbooks. Since recently, they can get more engaged in the education process with the help of modern interactive tools. Educators believe that this can spark a broader interest in the disciplines, leading to better retention and higher motivation to study topics deeper.

How latest technologies help with research

Scientists argue that technology usage for academic research can be considered in terms of three aspects, such as:

  • information and data collection
  • data, text, and statistical analysis
  • outcomes communication.

Let’s learn more about each of them!

Information and data collection

In the last two decades, the number of academic online journals has dramatically increased. Now they serve as valuable sources of information for academics.

Technology helps students conduct online surveys with the help of email, webpages, or web survey software, so data collection becomes easier.  Individuals working on research can use the 2WAY or Perseus survey systems to gather information more efficiently.

Data, text, and statistical analysis

Most up-to-date survey systems, including those mentioned above, can also be used for automated statistical analysis. With the help of them, the data can be formatted to bar or pie charts as well as itemized lists of text responses.

Some of the most popular analysis tools helping students with their research are SPSS, SIMSTAT, and SAS. These are statistics programs that can complete a wide range of statistical analyses of a descriptive nature. They are applied when working on cross-tabs, t-tests, ANOVA/ANCOVA correlations, different types of regression analysis, and so on.

There are also some tech tools for quantitative text analysis available. They can help with the development of alphabetical and frequency lists, coding with a built-in custom dictionary as well as other special analyses.

FIndings communication

Modern software systems and apps used by students allow them to publish the data collected from respondents as HTML reports or to export it to third-party tools for report writing. Technologies also help with creating reference citations and formatting reports or research articles, so communicating research findings becomes quite simple.

Final thoughts

Education is being rapidly transformed by technology, which looks very exciting. In fact, technology reshapes how we learn and conduct research. With the help of the latest tools and analytics platforms using sophisticated algorithms, students can instantly collect humongous data and analyze them.

As science goes digital so quickly, what else can we expect from it in the future?

Author’s BIO Michael Stoddard is an academic writer and researcher. Michael conducts studies on the role of technology in different teaching strategies. He believes that learning can be easily facilitated with the help of up-to-minute tech tools, so they should be integrated into all classes.