The Language of Learning Objects A Cross-disciplinary Study Carla Meskill & Gulnara Sadykova University at Albany, SUNY
Purpose of the study: Compare and contrast the language used in MERLOT peer reviews, specifically that of the Sciences versus that of the Humanities versus that of Education.
Working Hypotheses • There are discipline-specific uses of • language in discussing teaching • and learning. • Such differences will be revealed in • the patterns and frequencies of • specific language use in the MERLOT • Peer Reviews.
DATA • 1691 peer reviews from the three focal • discipline groups • Hard Sciences: • Biology, Chemistry and Physics (892 • reviews) • Humanities: History, Music and World • Languages (478 reviews) • Education (321 reviews)
Emerging Categories of Contrast • The NOT TOO SURPRISING Category • 2) The DESCRIPTORS Category • 3) The AGENCY Category
Descriptors: Preliminary Results • Out of 89 words selected, only 8 showed no significant difference in usage between all three disciplines; • in 29 instances only one group -Education or Humanities - showed significant difference when compared to Hard Sciences; • judging by the words selected, in 67% (60 out of 89 words) reviewers choose different descriptors to describe and evaluate MERLOT learning objects
Next Steps • Random content analysis • Member checks • Syntactic Constructions
Questions? • Suggestions?