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Learning management systems: A review of the research methodology literature in Australia and China
Education is seen as an important vehicle to foster relationships with countries in the Asia-Pacific region–particularly with Australia’s most important economic partner, China. There are many prior studies that have explored the impact of Learning Management Systems (LMSs) on users, through a variety of research designs. However, the diversity of research designs used means that the nuances and subtleties of the diverse approaches, particularly in the context of Australia and China are unknown. The purpose of this literature review is to compare the research designs employed by empirical studies of LMS usage in Australia and China. This review explores the similarities and differences in research methodologies (quantitative, qualitative or mixed methods), research approaches (confirmatory or exploratory) and data collection methods commonly used in a selection of contemporary studies from both countries. The findings indicate Chinese studies employ quantitative methodologies more than Australian studies; confirmatory research is more prevalent in China than Australia; and that there is a distinct preference for surveys in Chinese studies. This review will assist the developers of future collaborative research projects between China and other countries, to construct study designs that are compatible with the identified research strengths.