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# Research methods

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Slides by Christian Spannagel …

Slides by Christian Spannagel
Course held in Beira, Mozambique, in Sep/Oct 2011

Published in: Education, Technology

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• 1. Research questions and how to answer them Christian Spannagel University of Education Heidelberg [email_address] http://cspannagel.wordpress.com
• 2. Research questions and methods
• Does x have an effect on y?
• Does x lead to more y?
• Which influence does x have on y?
• Are x and y correlated?
• What do students think when…?
• What do students communicate when…?
• How can problem x be solved?
• How can situation x be improved?
experiment action research study w. correlations qualitative studies
• 3. Research questions and methods
• Does x have an effect on y?
• Does x lead to more y?
• Which influence does x have on y?
experiment finding cause-and-effect relationships x  y f(x)=y testing hypotheses H 0 : x does not have an effect on y. H 1 : x does have an effect on y.
• 4. Experiment: Running Example Do pictures support students when learning how to calculate with fractions? Control confounding variables! Randomize! One-factorial experimental design Material  Learning outcome factor / independent variable dependent variable Material pictures Group P no pictures Group N
• 5. Experimental Design Again: One-factorial experimental design one factor with three levels Do pictures support students when learning how to calculate with fractions? Material Pictures (circles) Group PC Pictures (rectangles) Group PR no pictures Group N
• 6. Experimental design „ Do pictures of fractions support students who are visual learnerns more than students who are auditive learners?“ two-factorial experimental design Factor A: Material Factor B: Learning Style ATI (aptitude treatment interaction; Cronbach & Snow, 1977) Learning Style Material visual auditive Pictures (circles) Group PCV Group PCA Pictures (rectangles) Group PRV Group PRA no pictures Group NV Group NA
• 7. Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) Dependent variable: learning outcome: lo i,j
• Analysis of variance!
• main effect A, main effect B, interaction effects
Learning Style Material visual auditive Pictures (circles) lo 1,1 lo 1,2 Pictures (rectangles) lo 2,1 lo 2,2 no pictures lo 3,1 lo 3,2
• 8. Multivariate Analysis of Variance (MANOVA) In addition: Think of repeated measurements! 2 dependent variables: - learning outcome: lo i,j - motivation: mo i,j Learning Style Material visual auditive Pictures (circles) (lo 1,1 , mo 1,1 ) (lo 1,2 , mo 1,1 ) Pictures (rectangles) (lo 2,1 , mo 1,1 ) (lo 2,2 , mo 1,1 ) no pictures (lo 3,1 , mo 1,1 ) (lo 3,2 , mo 1,1 )
• 9. Dependent variables and tests
• What to measure?  dependent variables
• learning outcome
• motivation
• time to learn something
• mathematics self-efficacy
• Tests
• parametric tests (t-test, analysis of variance, …)
• Preconditions! (metric scale, normal distribution, homogeneity of variance, …)
• non-parametric tests or rank-order statistics (Mann-Whitney U, Wilcoxon, Bredenkamp, …)
• less preconditions, but also less standard
• 10. Experiment
• Planning
• research hypotheses
• experimental plan: independent variables
• Dependent variables and tests
• Sample size determination
• Realization
• Data Analysis
• parametric or non-parametric tests
• univariate vs. multivariate
• with or without repeated measurements
• Internal and external validity
• Characteristics:
• planned
• controlled
• replicable
• variation
• analysis
• 11. Internal and external validity
• Internal Validity: IV  DV?
• maturation
• history
• testing
• instrumentation
• selection
• experimental mortality
• External Validity
• Generalizable to
• other persons?
• other situations?
(Campbell & Stanley, 1963)
• 12. Research questions and methods
• Does x have an effect on y?
• Does x lead to more y?
• Which influence does x have on y?
• Are x and y correlated?
• What do students think when…?
• What do students communicate when…?
• How can problem x be solved?
• How can situation x be improved?
experiment action research study w. correlations qualitative studies
• 13. Study with correlations But should be significant and relevant
• 14. Research questions and methods
• Does x have an effect on y?
• Does x lead to more y?
• Which influence does x have on y?
• Are x and y correlated?
• What do students think when…?
• What do students communicate when…?
• How can problem x be solved?
• How can situation x be improved?
experiment action research study w. correlations qualitative studies
• 15. Qualitative studies
• Analyzing artefacts regarding qualitative aspects
• texts (learning diaries, written assignments, …)
• audio files (interviews, …)
• videos (recorded lessons, …)
• Qualitative content analysis (Mayring)
• finding categories
• Structuring artefacts
• often used in case-Studies
• 16. Action research in social sciences
• John Collier (1884-1968) and the improvement of the conditions of Indians
• Kurt Lewin (1890-1947) and (e.g.) the improvement of the conditions in companies
• Paulo Freire (1921-1997) and the improvement of the educational system in Brazil
• 17. Action research
• seeks improvements in a concrete context; tries to solve concrete problems
• Researcher is part of the system
• but systematic (!)
• cyclic
• Lewin (1946): „a spiral of steps each of which is composed of a circle of planning, action and fact-finding about the result of the action.“
(Hinchey, 2008)
• 18. Action research plan act evaluate / reflect
• 19. Action research Pose a question formulate a research plan Why? What? How will I collect data? How will I analyze data? When? Who will help? … Collect and analyze data develop and realize action plan document (and share)
• 20. Action research Pose a question formulate a research plan Collect and analyze data develop and realize action plan document (and share) literature theory experiences
• 21. Action research Pose a question formulate a research plan Collect and analyze data develop and realize action plan document (and share) documents artefacts Learning diaries observations interview results questionnaires audio, video data …
• 22. Typical action research projects
• 30 Laptops in a class
•  new tasks?
•  new forms of assessment?
• In Germany: co-education of first and second graders
• 23. Further aspects
• creation of „research communites“ sharing results and experiences
•  research!
• „ quality management“
• with or without „critical friend“?
• Basic research is important, but research must also go „into the world“
• Lewin (1946): „Research that produces nothing but books will not suffice.“
• many different approaches of „action research“
• 24. experiment action research
• 25. Experiment: systematic, controlled revelation of cause-and-effect-relationships.
• Help on concrete problems?
• Evaluation of longer-lasting processes?
• 26. Action research vs. experimental research?
• Goal: improving the system bei acting
• complexity is accepted
• Takes the concrete situation into account
• Criticism: subjective
• Goal: analyzing the system by observing
• Complexity is reduced
• tries to generalize
• objective (really?)
Action research Experimental research
• 27. Action research vs. experimental research?
• cyclic
• natural context
• „ in the world“
• Model for others
• „ more“ qualitative
• „ seeking understanding“
• „ teacher research“
• linear
• Artificial situation
• „ in the laboratory“
• replicable
• „ more“ quantitative
• „ seeking truth“
• „ research on teaching“
Action research Experimental research
• 28. What do you think?
• Perhaps both approaches are relevant to different situations?
• What about using experiments as method in the context of action research?
• Is action research science?
• Is your research proposal more experimental or more of the action research type? Is it something completely different?
• 29. Research questions and methods
• Does x have an effect on y?
• Does x lead to more y?
• Which influence does x have on y?
• Are x and y correlated?
• What do students think when…?
• What do students communicate when…?
• How can problem x be solved?
• How can situation x be improved?
experiment action research study w. correlations qualitative studies