Refining research question2010


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  • RREE workshop -- 2004
  • Refining research question2010

    1. 1. Refining Your Research Question
    2. 2. In this session, we will… <ul><li>Discuss guidelines for creating a ‘good’ research question </li></ul><ul><li>Provide time to revisit and revise your research questions and plans </li></ul><ul><li>Consider appropriate methods for investigating your research question(s) </li></ul>
    3. 3. Guiding Principles for Scientific Research in Education <ul><li>Question : pose significant question that can be investigated empirically </li></ul><ul><li>Theory : link research to relevant theory </li></ul><ul><li>Methods : use methods that permit direct investigation of the question </li></ul><ul><li>Reasoning : provide coherent, explicit chain of reasoning </li></ul><ul><li>Replicate and generalize across studies </li></ul><ul><li>Disclose research to encourage professional scrutiny and critique </li></ul>National Research Council, 2002
    4. 4. Why are research questions important? <ul><li>“ Well-crafted questions guide the systematic planning of research. Formulating your questions precisely enables you to design a study with a good chance of answering them.” </li></ul><ul><li> -- Light, Singer, Willett, By Design (1990) </li></ul>
    5. 5. A good research question will… <ul><li>be clearly linked to overall project goal </li></ul><ul><li>allow the target population to be identified </li></ul><ul><li>guide the appropriate level of aggregation (e.g. class, course, curriculum, institution) </li></ul>
    6. 6. A good research question will… <ul><li>identify the outcome variables and key predictors of those variables </li></ul><ul><li>determine what type of study is needed (e.g. descriptive, relational, experimental) </li></ul><ul><li>identify background characteristics that might influence outcomes </li></ul>
    7. 7. A good research question will… <ul><li>raise questions about how to best collect data </li></ul><ul><li>influence the number of participants in the study </li></ul>
    8. 8. Writing a good question… <ul><li>What do you want to learn about? </li></ul><ul><li>Draft and redraft with increasing specificity using the 8 guidelines listed earlier </li></ul><ul><li>Ask for feedback from colleagues </li></ul><ul><li>Build on the work of others by conducting a systematic literature review </li></ul>
    9. 9. <ul><li>What is the question? </li></ul><ul><li>What research and instructional designs? </li></ul><ul><li>What data collection methods? </li></ul><ul><li>How to analyze and interpret data? </li></ul><ul><li>Are findings valid and generalizable? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the next questions? </li></ul><ul><li>WHO? </li></ul>What evidence will we accept?
    10. 10. Causation vs. Correlation <ul><li>Correlation – association between independent and dependent variables </li></ul><ul><li>Causation – relationship between independent and dependent variables such that a change in an independent variable (predictor) will change the dependent variable (outcome) in a known way </li></ul>
    11. 11. An Example <ul><li>Many studies have established a direct relationship between student height in elementary school and reading level </li></ul><ul><li>Correlation? </li></ul><ul><li>Causal effect? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>look for factors not included in the correlation </li></ul></ul>
    12. 12. Research Methods
    13. 13. Data collection approaches
    14. 14. Theoretical Framework • Ausubel 1968; meaningful learning • Novak 1998; visual representations • King and Kitchner 1994; reflective judgment • National Research Council 1999; theoretical frameworks for assessment Multiple Choice … … Concept Maps … … Essay … … Interview high Ease of Assessment low low Potential for Assessment of Learning high Assessment Gradient
    15. 15. “ Few faculty members have any awareness of the expanding knowledge about learning from psychology and cognitive science. Almost no one in the academy has mastered or used this knowledge base. One of my colleagues observed that if doctors used science the way college teachers do, they would still be trying to heal with leeches.&quot; J.J. Duderstadt (2001), president emeritus of the University of Michigan, in &quot;A University for the 21st Century.&quot;
    16. 16. Exercise <ul><li>Individually, for each of the research questions in the handout, determine: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>if the question meets the 8 guidelines discussed earlier </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>suggestions for improving the question </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Share your results with a neighbor </li></ul><ul><li>Be prepared to report to the full group </li></ul>