Is Educational Research on the Decline? Hsieh, et al.
The title says it all, and the research says that the answer is 'Yes'. In this survey of 4 educational psychology journals in 1983 and from 1995 to 2004, the authors look at educational experiments, design, and reporting as it has changed over the years.
If you'd like the Cliff Notes summary, Douglas Reeves of the Center for Performance Assessment gives an overview and commentary in the latest weekly from Edexcellence.org: The mad, mad world of education research. I'll leave the analysis and debate over the details to our readers. However, the finding backs up something I've noticed.
In my own research, it seems rather difficult to find good studies on the effects of new media on education. Given the tremendous volume of education journals published each year, you'd think a good bit of it these days would look at empirical evidence of new media's success and inadequacies. Indeed, there are a number of journals devoted to just that topic. Yet hard looks at student results are few.
I don't think that will hinder media development that much; hence our emphasis on open source cooperation and market judgment of the results. Yet it's somehow comforting to know that if new media isn't getting tough scrutiny in the academy, neither are treatments/products/methods delivered by other means.