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Research Methods and the New Media : Series in Communication Technology and Society - Frederick Williams

Research Methods and the New Media

Series in Communication Technology and Society

Paperback Published: 26th September 1988
ISBN: 9780029353318
Number Of Pages: 228

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The "new media" -- interactive videodiscs, telecommunications, computers, VCRs, teletext systems, and more -- present researchers with new challenges when it comes to studying practical applications or theoretical effects. This valuable volume aids researchers in first recognizing the special qualities of interactivity, demassification, and asynchroneity that the new media have created and to instruct professional researchers and students in alternative research methods, multiple methods, and the triangulation of results. For the first time, a variety of methods are examined as they apply to new media research, including mathematical modeling, controlled experiments, quasiexperiments, surveys, longitudinal studies, field studies, archival and secondary research, futures research and forecasting, content analysis, case studies, and focus groups.

Whether the problem to be researched is as focused as considering the cost-benefit for a school wishing to adopt computers in the classroom or as wide-ranging as determining the effects of video games on child socialization, this up-to-date and thorough guide alerts researchers to the pitfalls of traditional methodology and offers a firm foundation upon which they can build reliable, accurate projects able to produce sound results.

Perspectives on Research on the New Media
Distinctions in the Study of New Media
The New Media
New Media - Components and Combinations
Telecommunications
Computing
New Service Applications
Special Qualities of New Media
Three Dimensions
Some Distinctions of New Media Research
The Research Challenge
Summary
Trends in the Study of New Media
The Influence of Communication Media on Research
The Media and Research Traditions
The Sequence of Media
Children and Media
Communication Theories and Media
The Direction of Communication Research
Paths Not Taken
Communication Policy Analysis
Expanding the Study of Media Technologies
Summary
Choosing among Alternative Research Designs
Conflicts Over Research Methods
Conventional Approaches
Mathematical Modeling
Controlled Experiments
Quasi-experiments
Surveys
Longitudinal Studies
Field Studies
Archival and Secondary Resarch
Futures Research and Forecasting
Content Analysis
Case Studies
Focus Groups
Assumptions and Criticisms of Conventional and Positivist Approaches
Alternative to Conventional Research Methods and Designs
Sources and Rationales
Interpretive Approach
Contextualism
Action Research
Criteria for Choosing Among Designs and Methods
A Triangulation Example in the Study of Word Processing
Summary
Notes
Problems and Solutions for Research
Validity, Reliability, and Sampling
Requirements of Research Designs
A Case Study of Teletext Research
Elements of Research Design
Validity
Reliability
Sampling
Studying the New Media Over Time
Need for a Temporal Perspective
Choices in Over-time Research
Problems in Studying New Media Over Time
Summary
Notes
Adoption of New Media
The Importance of Interactivity
What Is the Diffusion Paradigm?
The Critical Mass in the Adoption of Interactive Media
Adoption of Computer-Mediated Communication Systems
Implications of the Critical Mass Concept for Research Methods
Forecasting the Diffusion of New Media
An Emphasis on Prediction
The Failure of Videodisc Players
Centers of Forecasting Research
How Accurate Are Forecasts?
How Is the Rate of Adoption Forecast?
Why Are Certain Forecasting Methods More Accurate?
Can 2 Million French People Be Wrong?
Summary
Using Computer-Monitored Data
Automating Data Collection
Characteristics of Computer-Monitored Data
Advantages for Validity and Reliability
Comparing Computer-Monitored
Data to Self-Report Data
Research Uses of Computer-Monitored Data
Monitoring and Initiating
Types of Data and Research Design Elements
An Example Showing a Combination of Uses
Retesting the Erie County Study with Computer-Monitored Surveys
Merging Computer-Monitored Data with Questionnaire Data
Data Combinations
Problems
Merging the DataResults
Summary
Strategies for Studying Cases
Why Do a Case Study?
What Defines a Case Study?
Microcomputers in the Schools: A Case Study Example
Background and Problem
Method
Results
General Steps for Designing a Case Study
Specify the Need for a Case Study
Define the Unit of Analysis
Plan Data-Gathering and Analyses
Carry Out the Research Plan
Summary
Implementing Formative Evaluation
A "Developmental" Approach
Characteristics of Formative Evaluation
Background
Evaluation as a Research Focus
Formative as Against Summative Evaluation
Practical Benefits
Uses with New Media
Steps in Formative Evaluation
Define Objectives
Select the Scope of the Research
Select Data-Gathering Methods
Analyze Results and Provide FeedbackFormative Evaluation as Mass Communications Research
Summary
9
Return on Investment
Methods for Costs Analyses
Types of Analyses
Applications to New Media
Major Steps in a Cost Analysis
Define the Problem
Select the Analysis Method
Gather Data
Conduct Analysis and Draw Conclusions
Beyond Cost Analyses
Summary
Measuring Productivity
Going Beyond Costs and Benefits
Productivity as Efficiency Ratios
Basic Production Ratios
Ratios of Revenues Relative to Personnel or Technology
Return-on-Investment Ratios
Ratios Relative to Value Added
More on the Value-Added Concept
Examples of Productivity Analyses
Basic Cost-Benefit Analysis
Value Added
Capital-Labor Trade-off
New Media as Strategic Investment
Selecting Options
Gaining Competitive Advantage
Summary
New Considerations
New Theoretical Approaches
The Need for New Theory
The Networks and New Media
Network Paradigm, Data, Measures, and Methods
Influence of Networks on Adoption of Computer Systems
Interaction and Involvement
The Nature of Interactivity
Psychological Involvement and Interactive Videodiscs
Social Involvement and Parasocial Interaction
Summary
Issues of Ethics and Ideology
Human Costs and Benfits
Research with Human Subjects
Background
The Belmont Report
Institutional General Assurance
Practical Notes
Privacy as an Example of an Ethical Issue
Making Private Information Public
Personal Privacy
Protecting Privacy in Research
Equity as an Example of an Ethical Issue
Summary
Appendix: On-line Data-base Services
References
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780029353318
ISBN-10: 0029353319
Series: Series in Communication Technology and Society
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 228
Published: 26th September 1988
Publisher: FREE PR
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.37 x 15.44  x 1.52
Weight (kg): 0.35

Earn 107 Qantas Points
on this Book