Self Study


Researching Educational Technologies

Self Study
Futures Study
Case Study
Wk 1
Wk 2
Wk 3
Wk 4
Wk 5
Wk 6
Wk 7
Wk 8
Wk 9
Wk 10
Wk 11
Wk 12

Self Study Research

20% Contribution to your course grade

  • 5% Ontology articulated and justified

  • 5% Epistemology articulated and justified

  • 5% Pedagogy articulated and justified

  • 5% Research Methodology articulated and justified

Portfolio item due Friday 9am Week 3

Self Study Research combines action research, narrative inquiry, and autoethnography.

Self-study of practice is a methodology that helps practitioners unpack and more deeply understand the complexities and problematic nature of professional practice, particularly in research, teaching and teacher education. Like autoethnography there is a focus on self, and like action research there is a focus on practice. However, self-study requires that practitioner researchers examine practice in a way that privileges the self, and considers how one’s identities shape the practices we engage in.

Your first assignment for this course involves Self Study Research. You will be the subject of your own research, and the focus is on describing how you go about learning to become an Educational Technologies Researcher, through your exploration of your personal preferences with regards to ontology, epistemology, pedagogy, and methodology. These are challenging concepts to learn, and the process you take to learning about these concepts, identifying and articulating the difficulties you have, and describing your successes and failures, is what you will be researching. Self Study has developed from previous methodologies of practitioner inquiry, teacher inquiry, reflective practice, and action research, but differs with its emphasis on you as the researcher studying your role within, and not outside, the practice. Equally important as conducting a personal situated inquiry, self-study research also requires that your study is informed by the literature and open for critical and collaborative reflection and validation. As such, your Self Study will be prepared for publication, not just submission as an assignment.

In exploring your journey to learn about Educational Technologies and to establish your personal ontology, epistemology, pedagogy, and methodology, you will be expected to study the literature of other researchers into this process. To assist you, we have provided a range of literature, where students and researchers have articulated the challenges they have had in developing thier perspectives. These will provide references and a literature review to your own Self Study research.

You will then need to briefly describe your Self Study methodology, using the notes provided here to assist you, summarise what Self Study research means to you.

A few tips to improve your Self Study writing:

  • The autobiographical nature of your writing should ring true to readers, being relatable to their own experiences;

  • Your writing should promote insight and interpretation of the key process you have been through, it is not a diary, but a story of your journey, highlighting the nodal moments of significance;

  • You must be honest and forthright, detailing the good and bad experiences, successes and failures, prejudices and biases;

  • Your story is about your struggle to become a researcher of Educational Technologies;

  • Your story should help others in their own journeys, not as a map, but a guide on how to approach their own travels;

  • Powerful stories should show your development through dramatic action, what is at stake, what is achieved; and

  • Situate your story, describing your setting, situation, and actions. It is not just about you, but also the context of your narrative.

The fundamental aspect of self study is that you are exploring your own personal learning journey, but within the academic framework of existing research on personal academic journeys, i.e. you need to refer to and reference the journeys of others and compare and contrast these with your own.

Your self study is on your learning of two interrelated topics: Your personal experiences with educational technologies and how you have learnt to use new educational technologies; and your personal experiences with learning about ontology, epistemology, pedagogy, and methodology, in relation to Educational Technologies research.

You may submit your Self Study assignment at the end of week 3 in which case feedback and marks will be provided by the end of week 6. You may however submit up until week 12, but feedback and marks will then not be available until week 14.

Your Self Study could comprise the following sections and approximate word lengths, with an overall word length of no more than 1500 words.

There will be four criteria you should address:

  1. Ontology articulated using an Educational Technology example and justified with academic referencing (explored in week 1)

  2. Epistemology articulated using an Educational Technology example and justified with academic referencing (explored in week 1)

  3. Methodology articulated using an Educational Technology example and justified with academic referencing (explored in week 2)

  4. Pedagogy articulated using an Educational Technology example and justified with academic referencing (explored in week 3)

You are provided with the research problem and question for your Self Study, and the following structure is suggested for your paper:

Research Problem

Educational Technology research students often find it difficult to articulate a Theoretical Perspective to inform their research. (This is fixed and does not count towards your word limit)

Research Question

What is my Theoretical Perspective and how has it informed my learning and research about an Educational Technology? (This is fixed and does not count towards your word limit)

Literature Review

Briefly review the research literature on the Educational Technology you are exploring (50 words), and for each subtopic (ontology, epistemology, pedagogy, and methodology) briefly explain what is involved, referencing existing research (your literature review (50 words per topic) (250 words total but the actual APA references do not count towards this)



Briefly describe your background with the Educational Technology, the subtopics, and your use of the Self Study methodology (25 words).

Data Collection

Describe sources of data, e.g. the two Ontology and Epistemology Quizzes, course notes, independent readings, weekly course quizzes, your own course notes and reflections, contributions and responses to the discussion forums (50 words). These sources should inform your data analysis, if not, leave it out.

Data Analysis

Present your data using tables and graphs where possible (25 words). This data should inform your Findings narrative, if not, leave it out.


Provide a story of your learning about the subtopic concepts using your learning about and use of an Educational Technology as a context for examples (while these will be interwoven, you should have about 150 words per subtopic (600 words total for your narrative).

Your narrative describes how you learnt about each subtopic and must use an Educational Technology example, but these may be combined, i.e. the one Educational Technology example can be used for all subtopics - you may explore how you learnt about Learning Management Systems or Interactive White Boards, etc. as an example in which to create a narrative of how you developed your understanding of ontology, epistemology, pedagogy, and methodology. While many of these subtopic concepts may be relatively new to you, you should be able to explore how you have learnt about these in this course at least, and ideally how past practices with the exampled Educational Technology helped form your perspectives even if you did not then know the terminology of these subtopics.

Discussion and Implications

What do these findings mean for your future practice as a researcher and educator (100 words).


Consider how your findings could be applied in other contexts, for yourself or others, and what bias may limit this (50 words).


List references for all works cited in your paper using APA7 style. You may find the university referencing tool helpful in correctly formatting your references (This does not count towards your word limit).

You are tightly constrained by the 1100 word limit, though exceeding this by up to 10% (110 words) will not be penalised.

An opportunity may exist for your Self Study to contribute towards an academic paper on Self Study in which you would be a contributing author.

Samaras, A. P. (2011). Overview of the self-study research process: what and how. In Self-study teacher research: Improving your practice through collaborative inquiry (pp. 23-48). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc. doi: 10.4135/9781452230481.n2

Garbett, D., & Ovens, A. (Eds.). (2016). Enacting self-study as methodology for professional inquiry. Self-Study of Teacher Education Practices (S-STEP).



A realist ontological perspective is described in "Ontology of Learning Environments" as the author explores the changing nature of teaching and learning spaces

Brown, G. (2008). The ontology of learning environments.