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  1. 1. Problem Statements Notes from McMillan & Schumacher EDUU600
  2. 2. General Research Problem Does the problem statement imply the possibility of empirical investigation? Does the problem statement restrict the scope of the study? Does the problem statement give the educational context in which the problem lies?
  3. 3. Quantitative Questions Does the research purpose, question, or hypothesis states precisely what is to be determined? Is the question specific enough to be researchable? Is the deductive logic clear? Does the question indicate how the results will be reported?
  4. 4. Quantitative Problem Formation Start with a general topic and narrow to a problem Need help to narrow the focus: Read secondary literature Talk with people who might use the results of the study Brainstorm with fellow researchers and academic advisors Must make decisions: What are the variables? Who is the population? What is the logic of the problem?
  5. 5. Research Hypotheses Tentative statement of expected relationship between two or more variables Must be testable or verifiable Should offer a tentative explanation based on theory or previous research Should be concise and lucid Experimental research should hypothesize directional difference Example: “Fifth grade students who receive microcomputer assisted instruction will have higher math achievement than comparable students who did not receive microcomputer- assisted instruction.”
  6. 6. State a Possible Hypothesis What is the effect of individualized and structured social studies on high school students? H.S. students in an individualized curriculum will score higher on a social studies test than students in a structured curriculum Do teachers’ perceptions of job stress differ among teachers of mildly retarded, moderately retarded, and nonretarded children? There is a significant difference in the scores of a teacher burnout inventory of mildly retarded, moderately retarded, and nonretarded children - OR The degree of teacher burnout increases as the students’ level of intellectual ability decreases.
  7. 7. Variables Dependent Variable The consequence of the manipulated variable Dependent on the experimental (or independent) variable. Correlational Research – the Predicted or Criterion Variable Independent Variable The manipulated or experimental variable Referred to as the antecedent variable Precedes the dependent variable Correlational Research - called the Predictor Variable
  8. 8. Dependent and Independent Variables? Relationship of Teacher Cognitive Styles to Pupils’ Academic Achievement Gains Dependent – Academic Achievement Gains Independent – Teacher Cognitive Styles Effects of Two School-Based Intervention Programs on Depressive Symptoms of Preadolescents Dependent – Depressive Symptoms Independent – Two school-based intervention programs
  9. 9. Deductive Logic CONSTRUCT VARIABLES OBSERVATION LOGICAL REASONING RELATIONSHIP Define the Observation and Instrument to Measure the Phenomenon Start with abstract construct that is not directly observable Determine if variables are observable - Categorically or Measured Continuously
  10. 10. Deductive Logic Defined CONSTRUCT VARIABLES Categorical or Measured OBSERVATION LOGICAL REASONING RELATIONSHIP Intelligence – Creativity – Motivation Aptitude – Anxiety – Self Concept Event – Category – Behavior Attribute that Expresses the Construct Data Collection Instrument for Measuring Variable
  11. 11. Deductive Logic - Example INTELLIGENCE VARIABLES: Intelligence & Achievement OBSERVATION LOGICAL REASONING RELATIONSHIP Intelligence relates positively to achievement. Variables defined operationally: Intelligence – IQ Test Achievement – Standardized Test Measure Variables Compare through Statistical Test to Determine Relationship
  12. 12. Qualitative Problem Formation Select a General Topic Select a Mode of Inquiry Interactive or Noninteractive Topic and Methodology Interrelated Selected almost simultaneously Narrow topic to a more definitive topic Research interests come from: Personal experience and interest in topic Have physical and/or psychological access to present or past social settings.
  13. 13. What is the case to be studied? This study describes and analyzes how women faculty members at an urban university perceive their professional and personal lives and how they integrate their lives. Female member at an urban university The research problem is to describe how Miss Sue, a first-year elementary school teacher, learns a professional role with students, faculty, administrators, and parents, and how she develops “meaning” for teacher professionalism. Miss Sue’s first year as a teacher in an elementary school.
  14. 14. Inductive Logic Synthesized Abstractions Narrative Descriptions Field Records A Case LOGICAL REASONING LOGICAL ANALYSIS Generate Generalizations and Explanations List themes, Assertions, Propositions Detailed Narrations of People, Incidences, Processes Specific “Case” or Situation Examined Through Field Records Obtained over Time
  15. 15. Inductive Logic Defined Present Explain, Assert Discover and Describe Explore and Examine Case LOGICAL REASONING LOGICAL ANALYSIS Generate Generalizations and Explanations List themes, Assertions, Propositions Rich, thick, details Discovery Oriented Classroom Observations, In-Depth Interviews, Historical Documents
  16. 16. Inductive Logic Example Interpretations Conclusions Students Words Case Study Literacy Students LOGICAL REASONING LOGICAL ANALYSIS Code Themes - Student Perceptions Pros and Cons of Electronic Portfolios Interviews, Portfolio Reflections, Artifacts, Observations, Opinions Case Study of 10 Students Creating Electronic Portfolios
  17. 17. After researcher has begun to collect data Emergent Design Changing Data Collection Strategies Study in greater depth as data emerge Evolves throughout study
  18. 18. Anticipated prior to study Derived from researcher’s experience during study Stated as broad, general questions What? How? Why? Reformulated and adjusted throughout study
  19. 19. Qualitative Questions Do the research questions indicate the particular case of some phenomena to be examined? Is the methodology appropriate for the description of present and past events? Is the inductive logic reasonably explicit? Does the research purpose indicate the framework for reporting the findings?
  20. 20. Mixed Method Problem Statements Begin with the formulation of a general problem Followed by a more specific purpose for the study Research questions and foreshadowed problems presented with deference to the relative importance of each method in the study
  21. 21. Equal Priority to All Questions Both quantitative and qualitative data collected at about the same time Research questions and foreshadowed problems usually presented together Findings from both kinds of data would be analyzed and interpreted together
  22. 22. Explanatory Design Measured results explained by qualitative data Data collected sequentially Quantitative phase provides general results explained with qualitative data
  23. 23. Exploratory Design Qualitative questions, then quantitative questions Qualitative methods used first to investigate the scope of the phenomenon Quantitative methods then investigate the findings in a more structured way
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