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o Know the importance of educational research
critical Thinking Skills
o Be able to discuss the common areas of research in education (Major divisions of AERA)
Major Divisions in the AERA (Houses research
Division A: Administration, Organization, & Leadership
Division B: Curriculum Studies
Division C: Learning & Instruction
Division D: Measurement & Research Methodology
Division E: Counseling & Human Development
Division F: History & Historiograph
Division G: Social Context of Education
Division H: Research, Evaluation, & Assessment in Schools
Division I: Education in the Professions
Division J: Postsecondary Education
Division K: Teaching & Teacher Education
Division L: Educational Policy & Politics
Attempt to describe the characteristics of a situation
1.Randomly select a sample for a defined population
2. Determine the sample Characteristics
3. Infer the characteristics of the population based on the sample
How and Why
*Majority of Educational research best way for finding evidence for cause and effect relationships. Strongest form of explanatory research because it provides evidence of cause and effect
1.Were the researchers trying to develop a theory about a phenomenon to explain how and why it operates as it does?
2.Were the researchers trying to explain how phenomena operate by identifying cause and effect relationships?
testing hypotheses and theories that explain the functions of a phenomenon in detail.
Forescast a phenomenon
association made between two points in the same time.
Predict a future status of one or more dependent variables on the basis of one or more indent variables.
Example: Colleges want to know how well students did in high school to take their scores to know how well they will do in college.
Consolidating insights from multiple investigators, theories/ perspectives, sets of data, methods in order to understand a given entity of study.
meanings and views of people being studied
Example: Local languages, forms of expression, Jargon/ slang
External, Social scientific perspective
perspective of objective researcher
Use social scientific concepts, terms, and procedures to describe and explain behavior
Used to being research questions from outside
Five general TYPES of research
is aimed at generating fundamental knowledge and theoretical understanding about primary human functions and other natural processes.
Uses experimental with tightly controlled laboratory conditions
Five sense (Human element function)
determine how well social or educational programs work in real-world settings, as well as any improvement possibilities
Determine the worth, merit, or quality of specific program
Is concerned with developing judgments of how a program can be improved and aids developers and staff design and implement programs.
focus on cultivating judgments of a program’s effectiveness and any decisions regarding continuation.
Is especially helpful for policymakers to appraise previous future-funding decision and make future ones.
addressing and solving specific problems which local practitioners confront in their schools and communities, conducting research directly within the classroom or work environment.
Collecting information to aid in advancing a specific ideological, political position or orientation which a researcher believes will improve society.
Reducing inequality groups
answering real-world, practical questions in order to provide relatively immediate solutions.
These studies are typically found in professional journals
“theory of knowledge and its justification.”
Epistemology involves studying knowledge itself — including its nature, process of generation, how it is necessary, and the standards that are used to judge its adequacy.
idea that all knowledge comes from experience.
People learn by observing, and by doing so, they rely on their sensory perception. Each day, they look, feel, hear, smell, and taste so they can understand their surroundings.
These observations, as they are gained and absorbed, create a personal truth held up against the rest of the world.
philosophical idea that reason is the primary source of knowledge.
Reason involves thinking about an idea or situation and developing an understanding through analysis and logic.
Two major kinds of reasoning are deductive and inductive reasoning.
process of drawing a conclusion that is essentially true if the underlying premises are true.
One form of deductive reasoning is the syllogism.
Here is an example:
Major Premise: All schoolteachers are mortal.
Minor Premise: John is a schoolteacher.
Conclusion: Therefore, John is mortal.
olds that the foundational premises act as helpful, but not decisive reasons towards acceptance of a conclusion.
People engage in inductive reasoning regularly in their everyday lives when they observe many specific instances of some phenomenon and draw conclusions about it. Probabilistic
Major Premise: Socrates is dead.
Minor Premise: Socrates was a man.
Conclusion: Therefore, Man is mortal.
Another example, if a person gets up every morning to see evidence of the sun in the sky (either clearly in view or behind clouds), he or she is likely to conclude that the sun will appear in the sky in some fashion the next morning. Regarding this particular example, he or she is likely to be correct.
By conducting this kind of inductive reasoning, that person is utilizing a probabilistic form of reasoning. Specifically, he or she is stating what is probable to occur, not what will necessarily occur, thereby opening himself or herself up to a risk of being wrong.
Although something might have happened many times in the past, it is still possible that it will not happen in the future.
In other words, the future might not resemble the past.
Opening one's self to being wrong
Dynamics of Science
Characteristics of individuals and individual-level phenomena.
Example: Learning disabilities.
Examining how individuals interact and relate to one another and how groups and individuals affect one another.
Example: Middle school cliques.
Examining how groups form and change; documenting the characteristics of groups; studying intergroup relations; and studying group-level phenomena, such as cultural, social, political, familial, and economic institutions.
Example: High school student government relations.
-Selection of educational and social problems in need of attention
-Collection of empirical data
-Open discussion of findings, integrity, honesty, competence, systematic inquiry, empathic neutrality
-Respect toward research participants
-A healthy skepticism toward results and explanations
-A sense of curiosity and openness to discovery
-The active search for negative evidence (e.g., instances that do not fit your emerging or current explanation of a phenomenon)
-The careful examination of alternative explanations for the findings
-An adherence to the principle of evidence.
Bottom and works upward
Also known as inductive method
Typically used with qualitative data
Top Down approach
Also known as deductive method
Typically used with quantitative data
o Be able to apply the criteria used to determine the quality of a theory/ explanation
simple, concise, and succinct. If two competing theories explain and predict a phenomenon equally well, then the more parsimonious theory is to be preferred according to this rule.
From there on out, researchers acknowledge the parsimonious theory in the course of their studies and further exploration.
In other words, simple theories are preferred over highly complex ones, other aspects being equal.
For example, if someone said, “I do not care what the results of my research study are, because I am going to conclude that my theory is supported, no matter what,” then that person would obviously not be doing the kind of research that could ever reject or falsify a theory.
Should be testable and refutable
Other researchers conduct replication studies, examining the same variables with different participants in different techniques, thereby adding confidence to a research finding because the resulting evidence is much stronger.
But even in the face of replication, strong evidence rather than proof is all that is obtained because researchers always leave open the possibility that future researchers will come up with new theories and new conclusions.
answering research questions that lend themselves to study through the collection of numerical data
(e.g., rating scales, GPA, frequency of events).
Typically this major approach to research follows the confirmatory scientific method in the Research Wheel, focusing on hypothesis and theory testing. However, quantitative research can be exploratory as well when it has a descriptive focus.
Objectives of Quantitative Research: Description, prediction, control, explanation
9 components of the quantitative research process
The research’s inherent understanding of reality and truth as perceived by the researchers themselves.
Truth is objective
acts as the overall understanding of how knowledge is created or shared.
The process of drawing a sample from a population
A sample that accurately reflects the characteristics of the population as a whole
A sample that does not fairly represent the population non random samples
Know the who, what, when, where, and how of observations (Quantitative)
manipulating variables in a controlled environment to isolate the causal effects of a particular variable or set of variables.
Researcher estimate characteristics of populations based on sample data
Almost experimental (whole class rather than individual) Not random already placed in groups.
These methods generally can describe relationships or patterns of relationships, but do not easily allow for causal inferences.
no manipulation of an independent variable.
Non experimental researcher studies the relationship between one or more quantitative independent variables and one or more quantitative dependent variables
is a numerical index that provides information about the strength and direction of the relationship between two variables.
present when scores on two variables tend to move in the same direction.
For example, consider the variables high school GPA and SAT (the college entrance exam).
A diagram (known as a scatter plot chart)
is present when the scores on two variables tend to move in opposite directions
as one variable goes up, the other tends to go down, and vice versa.
example, consider these variables: amount of daily cholesterol consumption and life expectancy.
examines the relationship between one or more categorical independent variables and one or more quantitative dependent variables.
Because the independent variable is categorical (e.g., males vs. females, parents vs. nonparents, or public school teachers vs. private school teachers), the different groups’ average scores on a dependent variable are compared to determine whether a relationship is present between the independent and dependent variables.
example, if the independent variable is student retention (and the categories of the variable are retained in the first grade and not retained in the first grade) and the dependent variable is level of achievement, then the retained students’ average achievement would be compared to the nonretained students’ average achievement.
Condition or characteristic that can take on different values or categories such as age, grade point average, test scores, and gender.
is a variable that varies in type or kind, generally relating different groups.
is something that does not change, but takes on a single value.
is presumed to be influenced by one or more independent variables.
A cause-and-effect relationship between an independent variable and a dependent variable is present when changes in the independent variable tend to cause changes in the dependent variable.
Sometimes researchers call the dependent variable an outcome variable or a response variable because it is used to measure the effect of one or more independent variables.
Measurement in response to what you change or test
In the case X → Y, there is an independent variable (X) and a dependent variable (Y).
In the case X → I → Y, there is an intervening variable (I) occurring between the two other variables in a causal chain.
example, in the case of smoking, perhaps an intervening variable is the development of damaged lung cells. In other words, smoking tends to lead to the development of damaged lung cells, which tends to lead to lung cancer. It is helpful to identify intervening variables because these variables may assist in explaining the process by which an independent variable leads to changes in a dependent variable.
Which changes the relationship between other variables. strengthen or weakens
It delineates how a relationship changes under different conditions or contexts or for different kinds of people.
For example, a researcher might analyze a set of research data and find little or no difference between the performance scores of students who are taught by using the lecture approach and the scores of students who are taught by using the cooperative learning approach. On deeper analysis, however, they might discover that cooperative learning is more effective for extroverted students and that lecture works better for introverted students. In this example, personality type is a moderator variable: The relationship between teaching approach and performance scores depends on the personality type of the student.
Are variables other than the independent variable of interest (e.g., teaching approach) that may be related to the outcome.
When extraneous variables are not controlled for or dealt with in some way, an outside reviewer of the research study may come up with competing explanations for the research findings.
The reviewer might argue that the outcome is due to a particular extraneous variable rather than to the independent variable. These competing explanations for the relationship between an independent and a dependent variable are sometimes called alternative explanations or rival hypotheses.
phenomena through the collection of non-numerical data such as words, images, pictures, and interpretive categories.
Qualitative research is used to describe and understand what occurs locally (rather than globally), but it is nevertheless used at times to come up with or generate new hypotheses and new theories.
Qualitative research can be used when little is known about a topic or phenomenon, but more generally, it is used whenever one wants to discover or learn more about something in our world that is too complex for numerical data to capture.
Qualitative research is commonly used to understand people’s subjective and shared experiences and to express their “insider” perspectives often through systematic and careful observation and interviewing.
The major objectives of qualitative research include
exploration, discovery, and understanding.
Qualitative researchers rely on the exploratory or inductive mode of the scientific method, focusing on understanding just the particular, or starting with the particular and then cautiously moving toward an understanding of the general.
such as the subgroups in a group, how they think, how they interact, what kinds of agreements or norms are present, and how these dimensions come together holistically as group members interact as a “community.”
Qualitative researchers often contend that “reality is socially constructed”
For example, social behavior follows socially constructed values, beliefs, and norms.
Language also can influence on our views of the world.
For example, it has been suggested that the Inuit “see” many types of snow, whereas the average U.S. American probably only sees a few types of snow. Inuits’ local languages might allow them to see distinctions that you do not notice; this idea is known as the linguistic-relativity hypothesis.
The qualitative researcher constantly tries to understand the people he or she is observing from the participants’ or natives’ or actors’ viewpoints.
This is expressed in an American idiom as “putting yourself into someone else’s shoes."
It is important to remember that qualitative research is focused on understanding the insider’s perspective of people and their cultures and this requires direct personal and often participatory contact.
In this sense, the outcome of this research is the researcher's best approximation of participants' patterns of interaction and understanding, rather than the researcher's attempt at objectively measuring these constructs.
research’s inherent understanding of reality and truth as perceived by the researchers themselves.
acts as the overall understanding of how knowledge is created or shared.
A type of sampling in which the researcher specifies the characteristics of the population of interest and locates individuals with those characteristics.
Researcher has direct contact with and gets close to the people, situation, and phenomenon under study. The researcher’s personal experiences and insights are an important part of the inquiry and critical to understanding the phenomenon.
Researcher adopts an empathic stance in interviewing seeks vicarious understanding without judgment (neutrality) by showing openness, sensitivity, respect, awareness, and responsiveness. In observation this means being fully present (mindful).
Attention is paid to process. Researcher assumes change is ongoing whether the focus is on an individual, an organization, a community, or an entire culture; therefore, the researcher is mindful of—and attentive to—system and situation dynamics.
focuses on capturing and describing an individual’s perspective of events or phenomena.
Capturing and exploring cultural characteristics of participants is an important focus
focuses on both the stories of research participants and how they add to an overall understanding.
seek to address specific research questions through in-depth analysis covering a wide range of information.
emphasizes the use of inductive techniques to generate an explanation (or theory) of a given event.
is a validation approach based on the search for convergence of results obtained by using multiple investigators, methods, data sources, and/or theoretical perspectives.
This approach builds into the study and research process systematic cross-checking of information and conclusions through the use of multiple procedures or sources and therefore addresses the larger goal of study validity.
As an outcome, “triangulation” is said to occur when your results converge on the same conclusion.
Traditionally, four kinds of triangulation were identified:
data, methods, investigator, and theory.
Data triangulation refers to the use of multiple forms of data to capture a single phenomenon. These data provide the opportunity for cross-checking or researcher interpretations.
Investigator triangulation involves the use of multiple observers to record and describe the research participants’ behavior and context. These observers assess the degree to which their observations are corroborated in order to enhance the credibility and defensibility of the results.
Methods triangulation refers to the use of a mix of methods for organizing the study and collecting data with an objective of combining different methods that have non-overlapping weaknesses and strengths.
Finally, theory triangulation involves the use of a variety of theories and perspectives to explain the phenomena under study (including prior theories and/or other researchers). These contrasting perspectives can provide researchers with insights and help in the development of a more cogent explanation that fits their data.
The researcher assumes that each case is special and unique.
The first level of analysis is being true to, respecting, and capturing the details of the individual cases being studied; cross-case analysis follows from—and depends on—the quality of individual case studies.
Researcher seeks immersion in the details and specifics of the data to discover important patterns, themes, and interrelationships.
Begins by exploring, then confirming; is guided by analytical principles rather than rules. Study ends with a creative synthesis.
The whole phenomenon under study is understood as a complex system that is more than the sum of its parts.
The focus is on complex interdependencies and system dynamics that cannot meaningfully be reduced to a few discrete variables and linear, cause-effect relationships.
Researcher places findings in a social, historical, and temporal context and is careful about, even dubious of, the possibility or meaningfulness of generalizations across time and space.
Emphasizes instead careful comparative case analyses and extrapolating patterns for possible transferability to and adaptation in new settings.
The qualitative analyst owns and is reflective about her or his own voice and perspective; a credible voice conveys authenticity and trustworthiness.
Complete objectivity being impossible and pure subjectivity undermining credibility, the researcher’s focus is on balance—understanding and depicting the world authentically in all its complexity while being self-analytical, politically aware, and reflexive in consciousness.
Seeks convergence, correspondence, and corroboration of results from different methods.
Seeks elaboration, enhancement, illustration, and clarification of the results from one method with the results from the other method.
enhance results form one method to another
Seeks to use the results from one method to develop or inform the other method, where development is broadly construed to include sampling and implementation as well as measurement decisions.
Build on uses results from one to develop another
Seeks the discovery of paradox and contradiction, new perspectives and new frameworks, and the recasting of questions or results from one method with questions or results from the other method.
thoughtful mixing of methods, procedures, and other paradigm characteristics is an excellent way to conduct high-quality research.
Specifically, researchers should mix in a way that provides multiple (divergent and convergent) and complementary strengths (viewed broadly) and non overlapping weaknesses. This principle offers you a guiding “logic for mixing.”
Think about how you want to use the two types of methods
you should do this by looking for a way to complement the strength of one and the weakness of another
is its failure to recognize that creative and thoughtful mixing of assumptions, ideas, and methods can be very helpful and can often best address your research question(s).
Cannot mix quantitive and qualitative
which says that quantitative and qualitative approaches can be used together in a single research study as long as researchers respect the assumptions associated with quantitative and qualitative research and construct a thoughtful combination that will help to address their research question(s).
Can mix quantitative and qualitative
ultimately important and justified or “valid” is what works in particular situations in practice and what promotes social justice. Pragmatism is focused on consequences and the ends that researchers value.
identical concurrent: quantitative and qualitative data are collected at approximately the same time (concurrently) on the same individuals whoa re participating in both the quantitative and qualitative phases of the study (identical relation)
parallel sequential- quantitative and qualitative data are collected one after the other (sequentially) on different participants who are selected to represent the same population under investigation(parallel relation)
asks whether quantitative and qualitative data collection occur concurrently or sequentially. In a concurrent time orientation, data are collected for the quantitative phase and qualitative phase of the study at the same or during approximately the same time period.
refers to whether the qualitative and quantitative components or phases of the study occur at approximately the same point in time (i.e., concurrently) or whether they are organized into phases over time (i.e., sequentially)
refers to whether the qualitative and quantitative parts of the study are given approximately equal emphasis (i.e., equal-emphasis or interactive design) or if one part is considered primary and more strongly emphasized (resulting in either a qualitatively driven design or a quantitatively driven design).
of the quantitative and qualitative samples results in four major types:
identical, parallel, nested, and multilevel.
Some people participate in both quantitative and qualitative phases
Samples for quantitative and qualitative components are different but drawn from same population
Participants selected for one phase represent a subset of participants selected for another phase
Using quantitative and qualitative samples obtained from different levels of population under study.
two or more of the methods of data collection are used in a research study.
Example: standardized test data and qualitative interview data might be mixed combined in a given study
mixing uses information form two (or more) different methods of data collection methods
both quantitative and qualitative data are obtained through the creative use of a single method of data collection (i.e., using a mixed form of just one of the six major methods of data collection).
example, a mixed questionnaire includes both open-ended (exploratory) questions and standardized closed-ended items; the open-ended part provides qualitative data, and the closed-ended part provides quantitative data.
uses information collected by a mixed version a single method of data collection.
How well the participants (subjective) view and the researchers (objective) view are represented ?
Emic and Etip
Does quantizing and quantizing yield high quality meta inferences ?
If you only use one type of data analysis (i.e., quantitative analysis only or qualitative analysis only), then it is called monoanalysis.
if you use both types of data analysis, then it is called multianalysis.
Quantitative analysis of quantitative data
Qualitative analysis of qualitative data
This is not a type of mixed data analysis.
(a) For quantitative data: Quantitative analysis (QUAN) and qualitative analysis of quantitative data (QUALITIZE).
(b) For qualitative data: Qualitative analysis (QUAL) and quantitative analysis of qualitative data (QUANTITIZE)
Only quantitative analysis of both quantitative and qualitative data
Only qualitative analysis of both qualitative and quantitative data
This type is not frequently used.
This is a combination of “(a)” AND “(b)” from Monodata-multianalysis cell.
When researchers quantitize data, qualitative ‘themes’ are numerically represented, in scores, scales, or clusters in order to provide a comprehensive description of the studied phenomena. This technique allows for researchers to understand how often various categories or statements occurred in qualitative data.
One way of qualitizing data is by forming narrative profiles (e.g., modal profiles, average profiles, holistic profiles, comparative profiles, normative profiles), in which narrative descriptions are constructed from statistical data.
Action research is focused on addressing and solving specific problems that educational professionals face in their local schools and communities.
There is no perfect starting point for the origin or founding of action research, but most action research historians consider Kurt Lewin (1890–1947) to be the founder. This is because Lewin first coined the term action research and he practiced applied social research during the 1930s and 1940s until his untimely death in 1947. Kurt Lewin was also a well-known social psychologist. He is often considered the father of academic social psychology in the United States. Lewin tried to link theory with action, and he spent his career attempting to solve social problems. He wanted to connect national problems with local problems, such as racism, sexism and poverty.
where we are right now and what we routinely do in our lives tends not to change very much.
the result of forces for change (driving forces) and focus against change (restraining forces) being about equal
The state of even balance between driving and resisting forces.
Action research falls on the applied end of the basic-versus-applied research continuum
in basic or regular scientific research, the primary goal is to produce knowledge.
Production of knowledge that can be actively used to produce desired outcomes in our places of activity underlies action research.
Action research follows the philosophy of pragmatism, where we are concerned about acting in ways to solve problems and produce desired consequences.
A goal of regular educational research is to find solutions that generalize broadly; in contrast, action research is most immediately concerned with producing a desired outcome in particular places, such as a particular classroom or school, and generalizing is not an immediate goal.
Having said this, it is important that action researchers share their local knowledge with the larger scientific enterprise if science is going to work well in education and other areas of practice.
1.observe the consequences of their actions
2.determine what works in what situations
3. act in ways to produce what we value and improve our world
Researchers are said to have an action research attitude when they take on the attitude of a practitioner and a researcher in order to think about
Every educational professional should strive to become a reflective practitioner by thinking about what people do and why. Also, everyone should become intelligent observers of their actions and outcomes. The continuous and cyclical nature of action research means that researchers can complete more than one cycle in the pursuit of answers or solutions. Many action research projects require multiple cycles in which a researcher plans and tries something small, observes and reflects (e.g., makes a formative evaluation and adjusts their theory), and then plans a new cycle of improvement.
Discovery. Identify (via focus groups and interviews) and appreciate the strengths present in the organization and discover the organization’s potential.
Dream. A cross-section of members meet, create, share, revise, and agree upon a results-oriented vision for the organization.
Design. Members collaborate and determine how the organization will need to be structured to achieve its vision.
Destiny. Members and teams creatively work together to enact the new design/structure and sustain its momentum over time.
comprehensive evaluation and summarization of scholarly research which addresses a particular research topic -
provide an opportunity for researchers to share ideas and analyze research through the examination of existing literature.
Prior to analyzing any literature, researchers must identify the idea or topic they wish to investigate.
To gain understanding of current state of knowledge about your selected research.
TopicClass size and its effect on academic achievement.
Problem: Secondary students tend to perform differently based upon different teacher:student ratio and class size.
Purpose: To determine whether there is a relationship between class size and academic achievement in secondary science classes.
Question: What is the relationship between class size (small/moderate/large) and performance on measures of secondary Biology achievement, and to what degree to teaching strategies affect this relationship?
Hypothesis: Larger classes will be associated with lower achievement, but the use of inquiry-based teaching strategies will have a positive impact at all class sizes.
TopicClass size and its effect on academic achievement.
ProblemSecondary students tend to perform differently based upon different teacher:student ratio and class size, but no research has examined students viewpoints on this issue.
PurposeTo describe the experiences of students in a large classroom in an effort to better understand the ways in which their instructional needs are met.
QuestionWhat are the perceptions and experiences of secondary Biology students relative to getting their needs met by an effective teacher in a large class?
Did they use one method or mixed methods?
What advantages did each approach offer for understanding the topic/problem at hand?
How did each approach advance our understanding of the topic/problem?
What are the implications of the methods used in the cited studies for mixed
Topic Class size and its effect on academic achievement.
ProblemSecondary students tend to perform differently based upon different teacher:student ratios and class sizes, with multiple influences on classroom and assessment performances.
PurposeTo examine the influences – academic, personal, cultural – on student performance within a secondary science classes with different class sizes.
QuestionWhat are the relationships between influential factors – academic, personal, cultural – and class size (small/moderate/large) which affects student performances in secondary Biology classes?
Action researchers are reflective practitioners, and the process by which they develop their research ideas is often centered on unique situations and specific contexts within an educational community.
To this end, literature reviews are helpful for seeing what has worked for other action researchers, and applying previous utilized quantitative and qualitative methods within new and/or different contexts.
From there, action researchers are able to develop their research topic down to a narrowed research question which applies to the given practitioner’s situation. The literature review assists action researchers in anchoring their practices in a research base so that they are more likely to select strategies based upon evidence and simultaneously generate high quality evidence to support both their findings and practices.
TopicClass size and its effect on academic achievement in general science at my high school.
ProblemResults of recent standardized science assessments for secondary students in different class sizes for general science varied more than expected at my high school.
PurposeTo explore whether my proposed approach to incorporate more small group, hands-on activities into the high school’s general science curriculum will improve results on standardized science assessments.
QuestionWill having students do more small group, hands-on activities in the general science classes at my high school reduce the difference in standardized assessment results for students in different size classes?
is a technique to integrate and describe results from large amount of quantitative studies, and it tends to focus on a very specific question that can be quantified in a large number of similarly designed studied.
example, “What is the correlation between the Miller’s Analogy Test (MAT) and the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) verbal score?”
the research problem focuses on understanding the inner world of a particular group or exploring some process, event, or phenomenon.
As noted, a research question is a statement of the specific question(s) the researcher seeks to answer via empirical research (i.e., experiment or observation).
more likely to ask a general question about a process or express intent to explore or understand the participants’ meanings of a particular phenomenon.
state exactly the relationship being investigated between the target variables
In quantitative research, after a research problem has been identified and research question(s) have been stated, a hypothesis may be formed, particularly in experimental studies.
The research hypothesis is the formal statement of the researcher’s prediction of the relationship that exists among the variables under investigation.
The stated hypothesis typically emerges from the literature review or from theory. As stated earlier, one of the functions of theory is to guide research. One of the ways in which a theory accomplishes this is to predict a relationship between variables. Similarly, the research literature might suggest a relationship that should exist between the variables being investigated. However, hypotheses can also come from reasoning based on observation of events. For example, a researcher might have noticed that some children get very nervous when they take a test and that these children seem to get the poorest grades. From this observation, it is possible to formulate the hypothesis that performance decreases as test anxiety increases.
Focusing on specific change
Action research is focused on addressing and solving specific problems that educational professionals face in their local schools and communities. To that end, their statements of purposes are very much driven by the specific environments the study is conducted within.
a major difference from other approaches is that action research purposes are more idiosyncratic and local. The focus of the action research is change in a particular context or organization, so there could be elements of quantitative and qualitative research within a particular study. Also, action research studies are more fluid in that as people work through the cycle the overall purpose or specific questions may change.
formal statement of the researcher’s prediction of the relationship that exists among the variables under investigation.
Hypotheses are important in many quantitative studies because of the goal and purpose of such research studies.
one goal of quantitative research is identification of relationships that exist between sets of variables, whereas qualitative research attempts to discover, explore, or describe a given setting, event, situation, or set of meanings. In many quantitative studies, researchers conduct the study to determine whether the predicted relationship among the variables exists in the data collected.
a written document summarizing prior literature, research topic area and the research questions to be answered, and specifies the procedure to be followed in obtaining answer(s) to the research questions.
table of contents
providing full disclosure of the nature and purpose of a study will alter the outcome and invalidate the study. In such instances, it is necessary to mislead or withhold information from the research participants. It is often necessary to engage in some degree of deception to conduct a valid research study.
If deception is used, the reasons for the deception should be explained to the participants in the debriefing session held after the study has been completed. Debriefing refers to an interview conducted with each research participant after he or she has completed the study.
In this interview, the experimenter and research participant talk about the study. It is an opportunity for each research participant to comment freely about any part of the study and express any concerns. Debriefing is also an opportunity for the researcher to reveal aspects of the study that were not disclosed at the outset
helping participants, during the debriefing interview, deal with and eliminate any stress or other undesirable feelings that the study might have created in them, as might exist if you are studying cheating behavior or failure.
AERA ethical standards explicitly state that research “participants have the right to withdraw from a study at any time, unless otherwise constrained by their official capacity or roles.” This principle seems straightforward and easily accomplished: Merely inform the participant(s) that they are free to withdraw from the study at any time. From the researcher’s perspective, such a statement would seem to be sufficient to comply with the “freedom to withdraw” principle. However, from the participant’s perspective, such a statement might not be sufficient because he or she might feel coercive pressure to participate. Such pressure could arise if a teacher requests students to participate or if a principal or superintendent asks teachers to participate in a study. Students might feel coercive pressure if they think that their grades might be affected if they do not participate, or teachers might believe that their jobs are in jeopardy if they refuse participation. In such instances, the participant is not completely free to withdraw, and the researcher must make a special effort to assure the research participants that refusing to participate or withdrawing from the study will have no adverse effect on them.
identifying the dimensions, quantity, capacity, or degree of something.
uses symbols, such as words or numbers, to label, classify, or identify people or objects.
Example: gender, school type, race, political party, state of residence, college major, teaching method, counseling method, and personality type.
For example, this scale of measurement is frequently used to determine which students will be accepted into graduate programs. Most graduate programs receive many more applicants than they can accept; therefore, applicants are rank ordered from the one with the most outstanding credentials to the one with the least outstanding credentials, and a specified number of students with the highest ranks are selected for admission.
includes the rank-order feature of ordinal scales, with the additional characteristic of equal distances, or equal intervals, between adjacent numbers on the scale.
Example: Celsius temperature scale and the Fahrenheit temperature scale, because all points on these scales are equally distant from one another.
They lack a true zero point
is the highest level of quantitative measurement.
The ratio scale includes the properties of ordinal (rank order) and interval (equal distances between points) scales, plus it has a true zero point.
The number zero represents an absence of the characteristic being measured.
Example: On the Kelvin temperature scale for example, zero refers to the complete absence of heat. Most physical measurements are done at the ratio level (e.g., height, weight, age, distance, area). Something weighing zero pounds means that it is weightless. Similarly, if a person’s annual income was zero dollars last year that means they did not earn any money at all. Because the ratio scale of measurement has the characteristics of rank order, equal intervals, and a true or absolute zero point, all mathematical operations can meaningfully be performed.
refers to the consistency or stability of the test scores
a correlation coefficient as a measure of reliability, it is called a reliability coefficient.
A reliability coefficient of zero stands for no reliability at all. (A negative correlation is treated as meaning no reliability and that the test is faulty.)
A reliability coefficient of +1.00 stands for perfect reliability.
Researchers want reliability coefficients to be strong and positive (i.e., as close to +1.00 as possible) because this indicates high reliability.
accuracy of the inferences or interpretations made by an observer from the test scores.
appropriateness of the interpretations, inferences, and actions made based on test scores.
is the empirical evidence and theoretical rationales that support the interpretations and actions that taken on the basis of the score(s) obtained from an assessment procedure.
Accuracy and data evidence
what it is suppose to measure
For example, if a student is given an intelligence test and that student gets a score of 130, researchers would infer from that score that the student is bright and can master almost any academic skill attempted. To validate this inference, researchers would have to collect evidence indicating that a person obtaining a score of 130 on this test is a very bright person who can master subjects ranging from chemistry to philosophy.
inquiry process of gathering validity evidence that supports score interpretations or inferences. It involves evaluating interpretations or inferences for soundness and relevance. Many different types of validity evidence can be collected, and, in general, the best rule is to collect multiple sources of evidence. An important note here is that a discussion of validity evidence applies to any kind of measurement or assessment procedure a researcher plans on empirically studying and not just tests.
approximate validity with which we infer that a relationship between two variables is causal
about establishing trustworthy evidence of cause and effect.
to the extent to which the results of a study can be generalized to and across populations of persons, settings, times, outcomes, and treatment variations.
refers to the extent to which a higher-order construct, such as help seeking, teacher stress, or dyslexia, is accurately represented in the particular study.
the accuracy of the account as reported by the researchers.
1. Did what was reported as taking place in the group being studied actually happen?
2. Did the researchers accurately report what they saw and heard?
portraying accurately the meanings attached by participants to what is being studied by the researcher.
degree to which a theoretical explanation developed from a research study fits the data and is therefore credible and defensible.
is vital when a researcher wants to generalize from a set of research findings to other people, settings, times, treatments, and outcomes.
goal is to describe, summarize, or make sense of a particular set of data. The focus is more on interpretation than on calculation.
convey the essential characteristics of the data by arranging it into a more interpretable form (e.g., by forming frequency distributions and generating graphical displays) and by calculating numerical indexes, such as averages, percentile ranks, and measures of spread. The researcher can summarize the variables in a data set one at a time, as well as examine how the variables are interrelated (e.g., by examining correlations). The key question in descriptive statistics is how researchers can communicate the essential characteristics of the data.
In organizing a data set, each participant gets a row, and each variable gets a column.
the single numerical value that is considered the most typical of the values of a quantitative variable.
For example, if someone asked a teacher how well his or her students did on their last exam, using a measure of central tendency would provide an indication of what a typical score was. Further, if someone wanted to know how much money people tend to earn annually in the United States, a measure of central tendency would be suitable. Finally, in an experiment, a researcher might be interested in comparing the average performance (which is a measure of central tendency) of the experimental group with the average performance of the control group. The three most commonly used measures of central tendency are the mode, the median, and the mean.
Example, find the average of these three numbers: 1, 2, and 3. The average is 2, as determined according to the formula for the mean, which is shown below.
Add the numbers and divide by the total number
The median, or 50th percentile, is the middle point in a set of numbers that has been arranged in order of magnitude (either ascending order or descending order).
In the case of an odd quantity of numbers, the median is defined as the middle number.
example. 2, 9, 1, 7, 10
The first step is to put them in ascending order of magnitude as follows:
1, 2, 7, 9, 10 Now, one can easily see that the median is equal to 7 because 7 is the middle number.
In a situation of an even quantity of numbers, the median is defined as the average of the two innermost numbers. For example, consider the following number set:
3, 4, 1, 10 As before, the first step involves putting them in ascending order as follows:1, 3, 4, 10
Because there is no center number, it is necessary to take the average of the two innermost numbers, which in this case is the average of 3 and 4. By doing so, median is determined to be 3.5 [i.e., (3 + 4)/2 = 3.5].
is the most frequently occurring number. For example, 1, 2, 3, 3, 4
The mode is 3 because it occurs twice and the other numbers only occur once. Therefore, the number 3 is the most frequently occurring number. Now, consider this next set of numbers:
1, 1, 3, 3, 4
In this case, there are two modes: 1 and 3. When there are two modes like this, researchers can use the term bimodal to describe the data. If there are three or more modes, some researchers use the term multimodal as a descriptor.
unimodal, symmetrical distribution that is the theoretical model used to describe many physical, psychological, and educational variables.
the mean, the median, and the mode are the same number.
stretched in the positive direction, where numbers are increasing in numerical value
Mean >Median> mode
stretched in the negative direction, where numbers are decreasing in numerical value
is another branch of inferential statistics that is concerned with how well the sample data support a particular hypothesis, called the null hypothesis, and when the null hypothesis can be rejected
predicts no difference or no relationship in the population. Hypothesis testing operates under the assumption that the null hypothesis is true.
states that the population parameter is some value other than the value stated by the null hypothesis.
opposite of the null hypothesis and usually represents a difference between means or a relationship between variables. The null and alternative hypotheses are logically contradictory because they cannot both be true at the same time. If hypothesis testing allows the researcher to reject the null hypothesis, then the researcher can tentatively accept the alternative hypothesis.
Recall that when a null hypothesis is rejected, the finding is said to be statistically significant, and when a null hypothesis is not rejected, the finding is said to be not statistically significant.
Researchers report statistical significance to add credibility to their conclusions. Researchers do not want to interpret findings that are not statistically significant because these findings are probably nothing but a reflection of sampling error (i.e., chance fluctuations).
On the other hand, researchers do want to interpret research findings that are statistically significant. A commonly used synonym for the term hypothesis testing is the term significance testing, because when researchers engage in hypothesis testing, they are also checking for statistical significance.
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