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Research lesson problem statement

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  • Developing the problem Why do you want to observe? Formulating the hypothesis or question Whom & what do you want to observe? Hypothesis – expected result Based on theoretical construct, results of previous studies, or past experiences or observations Hypothesis should be testable, not a value judgment or unobservable abstract phenomenon Gathering the data How and when do you want to observe? Decide on proper methods to acquire data (very difficult) Reliability and validity of measuring instruments Employment of controls Objectivity and precision of data gathering process Maximize internal and external validity External validity – generalizability of results Internal validity – extent to which results can be attributed to treatments used (EVs) Gather data (easy part) Analyzing and interpreting the results Most formidable step Typically use inductive reasoning (synthesize data from his/her study with results of other studies) to contribute to development or substantiation of a theory Review study from pp. 9-10 in Baumgartner & Strong
  • To find a general problem area: Ask yourself what you don’t know that you would like to know. Identify research being done at your institution (talk with professors and advanced graduate students) Read review papers and textbooks Read current research Look for unanswered questions, controversial issues, theories to be tested, or practices to be refined or improved Write your philosophy of your field Write down all ideas & hunches that come to you when reading, studying, listening to lectures, etc. With what in your field are you dissatisfied? Analyze, challenge, and criticize popular beliefs and practices in your field What procedures or practices in your field interest you? USE HUNCHES, INTUITION, TENACITY – CHALLENGE AUTHORITY – NON-SCIENTIFIC METHODS OF PROBLEM SOLVING! Criteria for selecting a research problem Once you’ve developed a list of general problem areas, apply the following criteria to each problem area. This list will help you narrow down your list. Interest – Are you interested in the problem area, specific problem, and potential solution? Does it relate to your background? To your career interest? Does it “turn you on”? Will you learn useful skills from pursuing it? Theoretical value – Does the problem fill a gap in the literature? Will others recognize its importance? Will it contribute to advancement in your field? Does it improve the “state of the art”? Is it publishable? Practical value – Will the solution to the problem improve educational practice? Are the practitioners likely to be interested in the results? Will education be changed by the outcome? Will your own educational practices be likely to change as a result? Workability – Is the contemplated study within the limits and range of your resources and time constraints? Will you have access to the necessary sample in the numbers required? Is there reason to believe you can come up with an “answer to the problem”? Is the required methodology manageable and understandable? Can you attack it without prejudice? Critical mass – Is the problem of sufficient magnitude and scope to fulfill the requirement that has motivated the study in the first place? Are there enough variables? Enough potential results? Enough to write about? Do not jump into a computer search as you investigate a new problem or area. First, you need a broad overview and background of the problem you want to address. This is hard to get from individual articles. Second, your search is likely to be too broad if your problem is not specific enough. Therefore, start slowly. Unless you’ve read a lot in an area, a computer search of individual articles will prove more frustrating than rewarding initially. Write a general problem statement.
  • To find a general problem area: Ask yourself what you don’t know that you would like to know. Identify research being done at your institution (talk with professors and advanced graduate students) Read review papers and textbooks Read current research Look for unanswered questions, controversial issues, theories to be tested, or practices to be refined or improved Write your philosophy of your field Write down all ideas & hunches that come to you when reading, studying, listening to lectures, etc. With what in your field are you dissatisfied? Analyze, challenge, and criticize popular beliefs and practices in your field What procedures or practices in your field interest you? USE HUNCHES, INTUITION, TENACITY – CHALLENGE AUTHORITY – NON-SCIENTIFIC METHODS OF PROBLEM SOLVING! Criteria for selecting a research problem Once you’ve developed a list of general problem areas, apply the following criteria to each problem area. This list will help you narrow down your list. Interest – Are you interested in the problem area, specific problem, and potential solution? Does it relate to your background? To your career interest? Does it “turn you on”? Will you learn useful skills from pursuing it? Theoretical value – Does the problem fill a gap in the literature? Will others recognize its importance? Will it contribute to advancement in your field? Does it improve the “state of the art”? Is it publishable? Practical value – Will the solution to the problem improve educational practice? Are the practitioners likely to be interested in the results? Will education be changed by the outcome? Will your own educational practices be likely to change as a result? Workability – Is the contemplated study within the limits and range of your resources and time constraints? Will you have access to the necessary sample in the numbers required? Is there reason to believe you can come up with an “answer to the problem”? Is the required methodology manageable and understandable? Can you attack it without prejudice? Critical mass – Is the problem of sufficient magnitude and scope to fulfill the requirement that has motivated the study in the first place? Are there enough variables? Enough potential results? Enough to write about? Do not jump into a computer search as you investigate a new problem or area. First, you need a broad overview and background of the problem you want to address. This is hard to get from individual articles. Second, your search is likely to be too broad if your problem is not specific enough. Therefore, start slowly. Unless you’ve read a lot in an area, a computer search of individual articles will prove more frustrating than rewarding initially. Write a general problem statement.
  • Review the literature Get a broad overview of the problem area. Do not jump into a computer search as you investigate a new problem or area. This is hard to get from individual articles. Second, your search is likely to be too broad if your problem is not specific enough. Therefore, start slowly. Unless you’ve read a lot in an area, a computer search of individual articles will prove more frustrating than rewarding initially. Consult secondary sources – may be eliminated if already fairly knowledgeable about a topic or if problem is already very narrow. Encyclopedias Encyclopedia of Sport Sciences and Medicine, Encyclopedia of Physical Fitness, Encyclopedia of Physical Education, Fitness, and Sports; Encyclopedia of Educational Research; Handbook of Research on Teaching Information is usually dated. Research reviews provides current references, critical analysis, synthesis and integration, suggested areas of research Annual Reviews of Medicine, Annual Review of Psychology, Review of Educational Research, Physiological Reviews, Psychological Review, Exercise and Sport Science Reviews AAHPERD – What Research Tells the Coach, Kinesiology Reviews I, II, III Your review of literature (Chapter 2) should model published reviews – it should summarize what we know and BE CRITICAL Do not use reviews as a major source in your review – use it to provide framework for your review and then fill in the new material!! Textbooks Trade journals & newsletters Write a general problem statement.
  • Tells what will be (or was) done what was tested, determined, effected, compared, analyzed, evaluated, etc. Identifies variables & relationships to be studied
  • Review primary sources in the literature Search preliminary sources (hard copy or computer databases) to help you find primary sources (journal articles) via the computer (hard copy or computer). Abstracts, indexes, bibliographies, library information systems Use “Boolean operators” with keywords to narrow or broaden search on computer Search newest journals by hand (could be left out of database accidentally or because of keywords selected) Use reviews & reference lists from recent articles to obtain sources as well (but don’t rely on their critique – find primary source) Read abstracts (if provided) and then obtain primary sources (interlibrary loan or UnCover may be necessary) Abstracts Published abstracts of National Conventions like ACSM, AAHPERD – NASSM, NSCA, and NATA may not publish abstracts but they are usually available to be bought from the organization Completed Research in HPERD (theses and dissertation abstracts & bibliographical section of research article titles from more than 160 periodicals) Dissertation Abstracts International Index and Abstracts of Foreign PE Literature Biological Abstracts, Psychological Abstracts, Sociological Abstracts, Resources in Education (RIE), Current Index to Journals in Education (CIJE) Indexes Education Index Reader’s Guide to Periodical Literature New York Times Index Social Sciences Index Physical Education Index Index Medicus PsychInfo ERIC (Educational Resources Information Center) – RIE, CIJE Current Contents Bibliographies – Lists of books and articles by specific topics (some annotated) Library Catalogs (Information Systems) Computer databases Read and record the literature. Read each article and create a system for taking notes (notecards, computer database in Excel) Note reference for article, problem & hypotheses, subject characteristics, instruments & tests (reliability & validity), testing procedures, IVs & DVs, treatment, design and statistical analyses, findings & limitations or criticisms, future questions, relevant refs not located Should copy particularly relevant articles as well as take notes (make sure ref is on the article). Be critical of the study in your notes as well – you may use these to ultimately justify your study later (Critique Guidelines p. 42-43) Look for holes, contradictions, unexplored areas
  • Make a list of research questions that appear unanswered or are logical extensions of what you have read Write down every question that comes to mind. You can get rid of some later. Provide a rationale for the problem Decide whether you are going to attack this from a theoretical or practical perspective. May arise from real world settings May be generated from theoretical frameworks Identify variables to be studied Rewrite the problem statement
  • Developing the problem Why do you want to observe? Formulating the hypothesis or question Whom & what do you want to observe? Hypothesis – expected result Based on theoretical construct, results of previous studies, or past experiences or observations Hypothesis should be testable, not a value judgment or unobservable abstract phenomenon Gathering the data How and when do you want to observe? Decide on proper methods to acquire data (very difficult) Reliability and validity of measuring instruments Employment of controls Objectivity and precision of data gathering process Maximize internal and external validity External validity – generalizability of results Internal validity – extent to which results can be attributed to treatments used (EVs) Gather data (easy part) Analyzing and interpreting the results Most formidable step Typically use inductive reasoning (synthesize data from his/her study with results of other studies) to contribute to development or substantiation of a theory Review study from pp. 9-10 in Baumgartner & Strong
  • Now you want to review the literature again, becoming thoroughly knowledgeble in the problem area and obtaining ideas about methods, techniques, and instrumentation to attack the problem. Delimit the problem IVs, DVs, EVs, general procedures, operational definitions Identify assumptions & limitations Rewrite the problem statement Write the hypotheses/research questions In the intermediate steps and from here, you can use deductive and inductive reasoning to develop your hypotheses and develop your methodology. DO NOT DEVELOP HYPOTHESES AND METHODS BEFORE YOU REVIEW THE LITERATURE THOROUGHLY!!!!!!!!!!
  • Now you want to review the literature again, becoming thoroughly knowledgeble in the problem area and obtaining ideas about methods, techniques, and instrumentation to attack the problem. Delimit the problem IVs, DVs, EVs, general procedures, operational definitions Identify assumptions & limitations Rewrite the problem statement Write the hypotheses/research questions In the intermediate steps and from here, you can use deductive and inductive reasoning to develop your hypotheses and develop your methodology. DO NOT DEVELOP HYPOTHESES AND METHODS BEFORE YOU REVIEW THE LITERATURE THOROUGHLY!!!!!!!!!!
  • Now you want to review the literature again, becoming thoroughly knowledgeble in the problem area and obtaining ideas about methods, techniques, and instrumentation to attack the problem. Delimit the problem IVs, DVs, EVs, general procedures, operational definitions Identify assumptions & limitations Rewrite the problem statement Write the hypotheses/research questions In the intermediate steps and from here, you can use deductive and inductive reasoning to develop your hypotheses and develop your methodology. DO NOT DEVELOP HYPOTHESES AND METHODS BEFORE YOU REVIEW THE LITERATURE THOROUGHLY!!!!!!!!!!
  • Changing qualities or characteristics of an object, learner, teacher, environment, teaching methods, instructional materials, assessment instruments Any dimension that has 2 or more changing values Examples: Learner variables [sex-male or female; achievement-one of 99 percentiles; self-esteem – low,average,high; socioeconomic status – upper,mikkle, lower; prior knowledge – none,some,extensive; learning style – visual, auditory,tactile/kinesthetic Teacher variables – [experience; educational background] Environment variables [class size; setting – inner city, rural, suburban] Teaching method variables [level of technological support; size of cooperative learning groups]
  • Given the methods needed and the lack of knowledge we have in this area, we delimit the problem to outdoor recreation, and to describing reasons for drop out. How might this eventually be turned into an experimental study?
  • Now you want to review the literature again, becoming thoroughly knowledgeble in the problem area and obtaining ideas about methods, techniques, and instrumentation to attack the problem. Delimit the problem IVs, DVs, EVs, general procedures, operational definitions Identify assumptions & limitations Rewrite the problem statement Write the hypotheses/research questions In the intermediate steps and from here, you can use deductive and inductive reasoning to develop your hypotheses and develop your methodology. DO NOT DEVELOP HYPOTHESES AND METHODS BEFORE YOU REVIEW THE LITERATURE THOROUGHLY!!!!!!!!!!
  • Levels of IV not clearly identified.
  • Statistics answer the following question: How likely is it (what is the probability) that the actual findings in the sample would be obtained if the null hypothesis was true? ANSWER: p value  probability value  p =.05 There is a 5% chance that the actual findings in the sample would be obtained if the null hypothesis is true.
  • Now you want to review the literature again, becoming thoroughly knowledgeble in the problem area and obtaining ideas about methods, techniques, and instrumentation to attack the problem. Delimit the problem IVs, DVs, EVs, general procedures, operational definitions Identify assumptions & limitations Rewrite the problem statement Write the hypotheses/research questions In the intermediate steps and from here, you can use deductive and inductive reasoning to develop your hypotheses and develop your methodology. DO NOT DEVELOP HYPOTHESES AND METHODS BEFORE YOU REVIEW THE LITERATURE THOROUGHLY!!!!!!!!!!
  • Now you want to review the literature again, becoming thoroughly knowledgeble in the problem area and obtaining ideas about methods, techniques, and instrumentation to attack the problem. Delimit the problem IVs, DVs, EVs, general procedures, operational definitions Identify assumptions & limitations Rewrite the problem statement Write the hypotheses/research questions In the intermediate steps and from here, you can use deductive and inductive reasoning to develop your hypotheses and develop your methodology. DO NOT DEVELOP HYPOTHESES AND METHODS BEFORE YOU REVIEW THE LITERATURE THOROUGHLY!!!!!!!!!!
  • Presumed indicator of a construct For examples, see next 5 slides Abstract constructs must be defined in a way that makes them observable Typically there are many different ways to define a construct – some are more appropriate than others. For love Level of an endorphin-like chemical in the blood Frequency of romatic kissing A self-report rating scale (on a 1-10 metric, ranging from “I’m indifferent” to “I’m Going Crazy with Love”) The credit limit that one imposes on a partner’s charge card at J.C. Penney’s The rule for putting numbers or codes next to names in a research study Example: We all know what test anxiety is, but if we want to determine whether an intervention designed to lower test anxiety was effective, we would have to be able to quantify test anxiety in some way (e.g., HR, average # eye blinks per minute, level of perspiration, number of fidgets, blood pressure) Empirical: objective, first-hand, verifiable Constructs often lose their meaning when they are operationalized – the operational definition of the construct must be considered when interpreting the results and making conclusions from data – this is often one source of contradictions in the literature -> the operational definitions of a construct vary between studies and some ODs may be a better indicator of the construct tested than others. OD chosen has great implications for the value and meaning of the research. Example of problem OD: GPA & SAT are measures of intelligence or motivation?
  • Developing the problem Why do you want to observe? Formulating the hypothesis or question Whom & what do you want to observe? Hypothesis – expected result Based on theoretical construct, results of previous studies, or past experiences or observations Hypothesis should be testable, not a value judgment or unobservable abstract phenomenon Gathering the data How and when do you want to observe? Decide on proper methods to acquire data (very difficult) Reliability and validity of measuring instruments Employment of controls Objectivity and precision of data gathering process Maximize internal and external validity External validity – generalizability of results Internal validity – extent to which results can be attributed to treatments used (EVs) Gather data (easy part) Analyzing and interpreting the results Most formidable step Typically use inductive reasoning (synthesize data from his/her study with results of other studies) to contribute to development or substantiation of a theory Review study from pp. 9-10 in Baumgartner & Strong
  • Transcript

    • 1. The Scientific Method
      • Develop the problem
      • Develop a theoretical solution to the problem
      • Formulate the hypothesis or question
      • Formulate the research plan (methods)
      • Collect and analyze the data
      • Interpret the results and form conclusions
      • Refine the theory
    • 2. Identification of the Research Problem
    • 3. Steps to be Taken
      • Identify a general problem area
      • Revise & narrow the problem statement
    • 4.
      • Identify a general problem area
      • Criteria to use :
      • Interest
      • Theoretical value
      • Practical value
      • Workability
      • Critical mass
      Worthwhile?
    • 5.
      • Identify a general problem area
      • Why do people drop out of recreation programs?
      How do you make this applied research vs. basic research vs. action research?
    • 6.
      • Identify a general problem area
      • Review the literature
        • Get broad overview using secondary sources
      • Write a general problem statement
    • 7. Outline of the Problem
      • Topic : Attrition in Recreation Programs
      • Statement of the Problem : The problem was to determine why participants in recreation programs drop out.
    • 8. Writing Problem Statements
      • Tells what will be (or was) done
      • Identifies variables & relationships to be studied
    • 9.
      • Revise & narrow the problem statement
      • Review primary sources in the literature
        • Identify primary sources
        • Read & record the literature
        • Focus should be on identifying questions that need to be answered (theoretically & practically)
    • 10.
      • Revise & narrow the problem statement
      • Review primary sources in the literature
      • Make a list of research questions
      • Provide a rationale for the problem
      • Identify variables to be studied
      • Rewrite the problem statement
    • 11. Outline of the Problem
      • Results of Previous Studies
      • Questions to be Answered :
        • What is the extent of the attrition?
        • What is the nature of the attrition?
        • What are the causes of the attrition?
        • What is the relationship of the cause of attrition to each type of attrition?
        • Are there any factors that explain the causes of attrition?
    • 12. Statement of the Problem
      • The problem was to determine the extent to which participants in recreation programs drop out, the reasons for their dropping out, and the relationship of various facts to loss of enrollment.
    • 13. The Scientific Method
      • Develop the problem
      • Develop a theoretical solution to the problem
      • Formulate the hypothesis or question
      • Formulate the research plan (methods)
      • Collect and analyze the data
      • Interpret the results and form conclusions
      • Refine the theory
    • 14. Development of the Research Question or Hypothesis
    • 15. Steps to be Taken
      • Delimit the problem
      • Rewrite the problem statement
      • Write the hypotheses/research questions
      • Identify assumptions & limitations
      • Develop operational definitions
    • 16. Steps to be Taken
      • Delimit the problem
      • Rewrite the problem statement
      • Write the hypotheses/research questions
      • Identify assumptions & limitations
      • Develop operational definitions
    • 17.
      • Identify independent (cause, what is manipulated) and dependent (effect, what is measured) variables to be measured
    • 18. Outline of the Problem
      • What is the extent of the attrition?
        • In each season?
        • In different programs?
    • 19. Outline of the Problem
      • What is the nature of the attrition?
        • Males and females?
        • People of different ages?
        • People of different geographic regions?
        • People with different backgrounds in recreation?
        • Combinations of the above?
    • 20. Outline of the Problem
      • What are the causes of attrition?
        • Economic reasons?
        • Personality differences?
        • Personal (other than economic) reasons?
        • Other?
    • 21. Steps to be Taken
      • Delimit the problem
      • Rewrite the problem statement
      • Write the hypotheses/research questions
      • Identify assumptions & limitations
      • Develop operational definitions
    • 22. Variables
      • Any characteristic or phenomenon that can vary (or change) across organisms, situations, or environments
    • 23. Types of Variables Prior health, other foods Controlled influence Extraneous (Mediating) Male vs. female Subject characteristic Attribute (Subject) Number of doctor visits for colds or flu Measured outcome (effect) Dependent (Response) Eating apples (none or one per day) Presumed cause Independent (Situational) Example Key Characteristic Variable
    • 24. Statement of the Problem
      • The problem was to determine the extent to which participants in outdoor recreation programs in college drop out and the reasons for their dropping out.
    • 25. Steps to be Taken
      • Delimit the problem
      • Rewrite the problem statement
      • Write the hypotheses/research questions
      • Identify assumptions & limitations
      • Develop operational definitions
    • 26.
      • Which should
      • it be?
    • 27. Hypotheses
      • Research hypothesis
      • Alternative hypothesis
      • Null hypothesis
    • 28. Examples of Research Hypotheses
      • If children are taught to read via whole language, then their reading comprehension will be higher.
      • If children watch 3 or more hours of TV per day, then their behavior on the playground will become more aggressive.
      • If children learn in small cooperative groups, then their social interactions will be more positive.
    • 29. Form of Research Hypotheses
      • IF, THEN: If young children take piano lessons, then they will have higher math aptitude 10 years later.
      • STATEMENT: Young children who take piano lessons will have higher math aptitude 10 years later.
      • QUESTION: Will young children who take piano lessons have higher math aptitude 10 years later?
    • 30. Null Hypothesis & Statistics
      • STATISTICAL QUESTION : How likely is it ( what is the probability ) that the actual findings in the sample would be obtained if the null hypothesis was true?
      • STATISTICAL ANSWER : p value
      • (probability value  p =.05)
      • There is a 5% (5 in 100) chance that the actual findings in the sample would be obtained if the null hypothesis is true.
    • 31. Examples
      • RESEARCH : If children watch violent TV, then they will act more aggressively at recess.
      • ALTERNATIVE : Children prone to aggression simply watch more violent TV.
      • NULL : In a population of school-age children there is no relationship between TV violence and aggressive behavior.
    • 32. Steps to be Taken
      • Delimit the problem
      • Rewrite the problem statement
      • Write the hypotheses/research questions
      • Identify assumptions & limitations
      • Develop operational definitions
    • 33. Limitations - Example
      • This sample represented college students in the Northwest United States. Caution should be taken in extrapolating these results to people of other age groups in other geographic locations.
    • 34. Assumptions - Examples
      • All participants who sign up for recreation programs do so voluntarily.
      • All outdoor recreation programs are taught by qualified personnel.
    • 35. Assumptions - Examples
      • All subjects completed the questionnaire honestly and correctly.
      • The subjects understood the directions as they were intended.
      • The subjects were a representative sample of college students in the Northwest.
    • 36. Steps to be Taken
      • Delimit the problem
      • Rewrite the problem statement
      • Write the hypotheses/research questions
      • Identify assumptions & limitations
      • Develop operational definitions
    • 37. Operational Definition
      • Presumed indicator of a construct
      • Makes construct observable (empirical) & quantifiable
      • Caution: loss of meaning
    • 38. Creativity: Operational Definition
      • Teacher’s ratings on a scale of 1-10
      • Number of recognized science projects
      • Number of unusual uses for a briick named within one minute
      • Ratings of a short story written by students as judged by a creativity “expert”
      • Score on a researcher-developed test of creativity
    • 39. Intelligence: Operational Definition
      • Correctly solving logic problem
      • Answering questions about word meanings
      • Repeating backward strings of 8 numbers
      • Solving a math problem
      • Using “street smarts” to achieve a goal
      • Starting a new business
      • Paraphrasing the theme of a written paragraph
      • Solving an equation
      • Executing a triple lutz
    • 40. Number of fidgets in 15 minutes Hyperactivity Number of novel uses for paper clips described in 3 minutes Creativity Score on Coopersmith test Self-esteem GPA Motivation HR; BP; self-report rating Anxiety Score on GRE; score on Stanford-Binet scale Intelligence Operational definition Construct
    • 41. The Scientific Method
      • Develop the problem
      • Develop a theoretical solution to the problem
      • Formulate the hypothesis or question
      • Formulate the research plan (methods)
      • Collect and analyze the data
      • Interpret the results and form conclusions
      • Refine the theory
    • 42. Source
      • www.educ.uidaho.edu/.../Developing%20the%20 Problem . ppt -

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