Methodology of research on e-learning: A comparison between Iranian and foreign research


1 Bu -Ali Sina University، Hamedan، Iran

2 University of Tarbiat Moallem، Tehran، Iran


The present research is aimed to identify the prevalent methodologies of research on e-learning conducted in Iran and other countries. Research methodology can be defined as a set of perceptions and decisions which
influences the identification of the problem، the choice of methodology، data collection and analysis by the researcher. The research sample consisted of papers published in four foreign journals، namely British Journal of Educational
Technology، Journal of Computer Assisted Learning، Computers & Education and Educational Technology Research & Development، and also the entire set of papers published on this subject in Iranian accredited academic journals
that were selected through a criteria-based sampling method. In all cases، to identify the papers’ research methodology; the abstract، statement of the problem، research question(s)، data collection instruments، sampling method
and data analysis sections were analyzed using the quantitative content analysis method. Findings showed that in research carried out in other countries، quantitative، qualitative and mixed methodologies comprise 46.94، 27.26
and 25.79 percent of methodologies respectively، while these figures were 13.95 and 18.60 percent in Iranian papers. The study on the shift taken ، 67.44 place in methodologies in foreign countries research on e-learning within a span of ten years (2000-2009) indicated the relative prevalence of quantitative methodology vis-à-vis its qualitative and mixed counterparts. However، the overall trend was slow and towards further adoption of qualitative and mixed