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In this final week, you will consider the soft skills involved with developing and maintaining a positive and productive relationship with your chair and other members of the Walden community.

Week 12 Assignment: Research Problem Development

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**Replace this line with your full name** Comment by Research: How to use this template: Where you see text or information bracketed by asterisks, you must replace that text with your updated information; your own work.

**Replace this line with your EDD/EDS specialization**

Walden University

Working Title

Background 1 paragraph

In this section, write one good paragraph that sets the stage for your research problem. Use the MEAL plan for organizing the paragraph to pursue doctoral-level standards for scholarly writing. The mnemonic MEAL has four letters, so all scholarly paragraphs will have a minimum of four sentences.

· M – Your first sentence must be a topic sentence that states the m ain idea of the paragraph.

· E – Thenext e vidence sentence(s) reports 3 references to research that substantiate(s) the main idea. Because they report evidence, all sentences in the evidence paragraph element require APA citations with references.

· A – Provide at least one a nalysis sentence in your own words. Do not use quotations. Analysis sentences connect the evidence back to the main idea of the paragraph. The best analysis sentences are also cited with references.

· L – Let’s conclude. Finally, end your paragraph let’s conclude sentence. Start the sentence with “Therefore…” or “So…” or similar. This does not require citations. Review the Exemplar paper to see a background paragraph that was scored high on the assignment rubric.** Comment by Research: When your instructor reads your paragraph, s/he will be looking to fit each sentence into one of these four MEAL plan elements, and in the proper order. Author opinions communicate bias; an APA taboo, and they do not fit any of the MEAL plan elements. Do not include your opinions!

Problem Statement

(with 3-5 citations to evidence that the problem exists)

One paragraph – write one straightforward, sentence stating the problem. Make it clear, specific, & unambiguous. By “specific” we mean as narrow a problem as practical. Then provide 3-5 references to evidence that the problem exists in the current research literature. Explain in your own words, no quotations, please. If the problem is that the apples have worms in them, give evidence that the apples have worms in them. Don’t write about the benefit of apples, the cost of apples, or anything else about apples. Give evidence that the problem exists…that the apples do, indeed, have worms in them. The more cited evidence sentences you provide, the stronger case you build for studying the problem.

Evidence from the Local Setting (Level 2 APA Heading)

One paragraph – Use local evidence, not evidence from the literature unless it is a study in the local context. Use personal communications, local test scores, or etc.)

The Gap in Practice (or the gap in the literature about practice) (Level 2 APA Heading)

One paragraph – Describe research from the past 2 to 3 years to discover what has been discovered about your problem and discuss what still needs to be researched or discovered. What do researchers say still needs to be researched or discovered?

Purpose Statement (1 – 2 paragraphs)

To address your stated research problem, what is the purpose of your study? Will you describe, compare, determine, explore, examine, etc.? Complete the purpose sentence below and be sure to clarify your variables/concepts of interest. Your purpose statement should reflect and align* to your problem statement.

Write this: “The purpose of this __________________[qualitative or quantitative] study is to ___________ _________________ _______________________[Replace this text with your response.]”

This statement should tell us the methodology, the population, and the geographic location if applicable. For this assignment, please choose either a qualitative or quantitative study. Next, finish the paragraph by telling us why such a study would be important. Include three citations to support your idea.

Theoretical or Conceptual Framework (1-2 paragraphs)

What theory(ies) and/or concept(s) support (frame) your study and who are the original author(s)? Provide an in-text citation with your response. Summarize the key propositions/constructs of the theory or concept. Please note that a conceptual framework aligns with a qualitative study, a theoretical framework only aligns with a quantitative study, and for a mixed method study it may be either or both depending on the design. For this assignment, please choose either a qualitative or quantitative study.

Follow this outline:

1. What is the theory or conceptual framework?

2. Why is it appropriate for the study?

3. How does it guide the purpose, data collection, and data analysis?

4. Review 1 or 2 recent education studies that used your framework.

Research Question(s)

List only 1 or 2 research question(s) that you plan to use to address your applied education problem. Your question(s) must be able to address the problem, align with your purpose statement, and be appropriate for the study approach. For a quantitative study, also note the corresponding hypotheses (null and alternative).

QN Relationship (Correlation) Boilerplate

RQ1: What is the relationship between **your first variable of interest** and **your second variable of interest** among **your population of interest**?

H01: There is no statistically significant difference between **variable 1** and **variable 2** among **the population of interest**.

Ha1: There is statistically significant difference between **variable 1** and **variable 2** among **population of interest**.

Boilerplate for QL research questions

RQ 1: How do **participants** perceive/understand/experience **central phenomenon**in a **research site**? Comment by Research: Choose the best verb for your study. The word perceive is most commonly used in QL research.

Methodology (1 – 2 paragraphs)

What systematic approach (qualitative or quantitative) and research design (basic qualitative, case study, quasi-experimental, correlational, etc.…) do you plan to use to address your research question(s)? Justify your choice of approach and design, with citations from the literature, and discuss how your methodology aligns to your problem, purpose, and research questions.

It is very important that the method fit the other components of the paper. The method must provide a valid answer to the RQ! Be specific, detailed, and precise. Explain how the chosen methodological design flows naturally from the problem, purpose, and questions. In other words, how is it aligned with the study? Review the guidance in the Prospectus Guide and the exemplar.

Possible Types and Sources of Information or Data

Present and explain the possible types and sources of data that could be used to address the proposed research question(s), such as test scores from college students, employee surveys, observations, and/or semistructured interviews with practitioners,


Week 11 Assignment: Capstone Paper

Angel Winslow

EDD: Early Childhood Education, Walden University

EDDD 8113- Tools for Doctoral Research

Instructor: Steven Wells

October 30, 2021

Working Title

The Impact of Virtual Learning on Academic Success in Early Childhood Education 


The outbreak of the COVID 19 pandemic has brought major changes in the ways in which students acquire knowledge in early childhood educational settings. During the 2020-2021 school year when the pandemic forced schools to pivot to a virtual environment, school readiness goals were not met, and children’s scores decreased by 25%. Virtual learning is increasingly being promoted by educational policymakers to replace face-to-face models during the COVID-19 pandemic (Dhawan, 2020). This decision is informed by the desire to maintain young children’s learning while preventing the spread of the disease among the children population (Kaden, 2020). However, parents, teachers, and learners’ beliefs and attitudes towards its efficacy in accomplishing the desired academic outcomes remain largely unexplored by past and contemporary scholars (Avgerinou & Moros, 2020). This phenomenon is widely attributed to the newness of the technology among early learners. Many schools in North America closed in-person learning following the outbreak of the pandemic. Therefore, there is a need to conduct research that directly responds to this concern by assessing the distinct challenges associated with remote teaching and learning and its impact on academic success in early childhood education contexts.

Problem Statement

The problem is little is understood about the perceived influence of virtual learning technologies on learning outcomes of early childhood students. Adedoyin & Soykan, (2020) inferred that additional research into worthwhile modes of virtual learning is needed in view of health crises past and present. Similarly, Timmons et al. (2021) observed that the paucity of studies examining the impacts of distance education in early childhood learning settings is that its use became pronounced only after the CODID 19 outbreak. Furthermore, Kim (2020) stated that virtual learning became ubiquitous because of the pandemic during 2020.

Evidence from the Local Setting 

This problem also exists in an urban Head Start Center in a Southern State. This is evidenced by the director of the Head Start center who stated that little is understood about the way virtual instruction has affected learning outcomes (personal communication, Oct. 21, 2021). Also, the data from school readiness goals (personal communication, Oct. 21, 2021) supports the existence of this problem in the following ways. In this respect, the agency reports that existing studies only focus on its efficacy in higher learning institutions. However, such contexts, the technologies, improve learning experience and increase student-teacher interactions.

The Gap in Practice

This problem in the existing gaps in studies examining the effects of virtual learning technologies on educational success in early childhood educational settings is largely attributed to its newness in such contexts (Gillett-Swan, 2017). Researchers have found a strong positive correlation between their use in higher learning and educational success. Educators have attempted to use the technology to improve learning outcomes among children aged between 4 and 5 years. For instance, Turnbull (2019) suggests that one of the best practices in utilizing such technologies is to familiarize teachers and students with how they operate. Additionally, collaborating with parents can encourage students to adopt the technology to generate positive learning outcomes (Dong et al., 2020).

Purpose Statement 

The purpose of this quantitative study is to determine the relationship between adoption of virtual learning technologies in early childhood education settings and students’ academic performance?This will include determining whether the implementation of distance education tools improves students’ academic outcomes. As part of the research process, the study will investigate if it reduces or improves students’’ academic performance.

What is the theory or conceptual framework?

However, Siemens (2004), stated the connectivism theory holds that the learning experiences and processes as they exist in the real-world are not wholly represented. According to the model, a complete educational system incorporates an element of community and global connectivity. Thus, it recommends the adoption of technologies that enhance integrated and coordinated learning processes, such as electronic devices, videoconferencing, and social media tools. More importantly, the theory suggests that such technologies optimize student engagement and experience, translating in improved academic performance.

Why it is Appropriate for the Study?

The theory is important in understanding the incorporation of virtual learning technologies in early childhood education settings. More specifically, it places emphasis on the importance of sharing of information thoughts, and values to improve academic outcomes. To this end, the framework acknowledges that technology is a critical component of the learning process as it improves the process of coordination, connection, and sharing of knowledge across different learning groups.

Guiding the Purpose, Data Collection, and Analysis

The key tenets of the theory guide the process of gathering, and analyzing data in varying ways. For instance, it provides insights into the questions that should be asked during interactions with participants. Additionally, it directs the analysis process by using it principles, such as knowledge sharing to guide the types of data that should be gathered. For instance, the theory is largely linked to the correlational analysis, which will form the basis of this study.

Two Recent Educational Studies that have used the Theory

Numerous researchers have employed the connectivism theory to explore the effects of technology on learning. Azlain (2019), for instance, investigate the role of social networking sites such as Google Plus and Edmondo, in promoting collaborative e-learning based on connectivity. His results suggest that such technologies optimize collaborative and supportive learning processes. Similarly, Mattar (2018) examine how connectivsim-related learning can be utilized in the fields of educational technology. The findings suggest that web 2 technologies enhance student learning experience and overall performance.

Research Question(s)

QN Relationship (Correlation) Boilerplate

RQ1: What is the relationship between adoption of virtual learning technologies in early childhood education settings and students’ academic performance?

H0: There is no statistically significant relationship between adoption of virtual learning technologies and academic performance among early childhood learners in the United States.

Ha: There is statistically significant relationship between adoption of virtual learning technologies and academic performance among early childhood learners in the United States.

Boilerplate for QL research question

RQ 1: How do early childhood education learners perceive the adoption of virtual learning technologies with respect to their academic performance?


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