Right now it seems that my research question is: What is my research question? It's maddening.
I'm struggling with it, but this is what I have so far (as with all my work thus far -- special shout out to my friend Kate for looking over all the first attempts, so that my web persona can be just the tiniest bit less vulnerable):
1. To what extent are faculty and students aware of the options available when choosing instructional technology and of the long-term cost considerations (fiscal, ethical, ideological, and otherwise) involved in adopting software for use in higher education?
a. What are the options and alternatives (particularly in terms of proprietary software options in contrast to open source models) available to faculty and administration when choosing instructional technology software such as course management systems (CMS), ePortfolio programs, and assessment software?
b. What are the fiscal, pedagogical, and ideological factors involved in the decision making processes on the part of faculty staff and administration when choosing software for their institution?
c. What are the ethical and political implications (if any) that influence the decisions made by faculty, staff, and administration when purchasing and utilizing proprietary software?
The first question I see as a kind of overarching question of the project. The sub-questions seem to actually be the questions that would have to come first. If that makes any sense at all. (Once again, I'm a bit too close to tell at this point). The other thing I'm stuggling with are the nuances between ideological and political and ethical (and even then, I guess, fiscal and pedagogical since those are both political and ideological...and...sigh). This part feels unruly to me right now. I'm still working it all out, but feedback is welcome. I should just make this a workshopping blog.