Experience-sampling methods and their potential for educational research
Experience-sampling methods (ESM) enable us to learn about individuals’ lives in context by measuring participants’ feelings, thoughts, actions, context, and/or activities as they go about their daily lives. By capturing experience, affect, and action in the moment and with repeated measures, ESM approaches allow researchers access to expand the areas and aspects of participants’ experiences they can investigate and describe and to better understand how people and contexts shape these experiences. We argue ESM approaches can be particularly enriching for education research by enabling us to ask new and interesting questions about how students, teachers, and school leaders engage with education as they are living their lives and thus help us to better understand how education contexts shape learning and other outcomes. In this article, we highlight the value of these approaches for addressing new and exciting questions they may help education researchers to answer as they allow us to uncover experience in new ways.
Zirkel, S., Garcia, J., & Murphy, M. C. (2015). Experience-sampling methods and their potential for educational research. Educational Researcher, 44, 7-16.