Implementing Grounded Theory in Research on Blended Learning Environments

In: The Translational Design of Universities


Grounded theory as an inductive and exploratory research method has not any hypothesis. Therefore, data analysis process turn into a challenge that should be solved; how to organize and analyze the qualitative data? This paper presents the implementation of Grounded Theory as a research methodology in the field of design education. It illustrates how to analyze, organize, and transform data in an inductive approach till reach to a theory. By doing so, different unrelated data will be organized as a tree until form a holistic model. Each experience in grounded theory needs an innovative approach responding to unique challenges during the research process. The research aims to explore the limitations and benefits of a face-to-face design studio as well as a virtual design studio as experienced by architecture students and educators in order to find the optimal combination for a blended environment to maximize learning. While the studio environment has been promoted as an ideal educational setting for project-based disciplines, few qualitative studies have been undertaken in a comprehensive way. This study responds to this need by adopting Grounded Theory methodology in a qualitative comparative approach. The theory results from systematic data process as the main outcome: a holistic blended model which is sufficiently flexible to adapt to various setting, and facilitate constructivist learning.


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