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    Ch02 topic selection Ch02 topic selection Presentation Transcript

    • Educational Research Chapter 2 Selecting and Defining a Research Topic Gay, Mills, and Airasian
    • Topics Discussed in this Chapter  Identifying a Research Topic  Reviewing the Literature  Developing and Stating Hypotheses
    • Identifying a Topic  A research topic focuses the study to a defined, manageable size  It provides structure for the steps in the scientific method  It is discussed in many ways  Research question  Research problem  Purpose of the research
    • Identifying a Topic  Four main sources of topics  Theory – an organized body of concepts, generalizations and principles that can be subjected to investigation  Provides conceptually rich topics  Provides confirmation of some aspects of theory  Personal experience  Replication  Library immersion Obj. 1.1
    • Identifying a Topic  Narrowing and focusing topics  Three problems with broad topics  Enlarges the scope of the review of the literature beyond reason  Complicates the organization of the review of the literature itself  Creates studies that are too general, too difficult to carry out, and too difficult to interpret Obj. 1.3
    • Identifying a Topic  Suggestions for narrowing topics  Talk to experts in the field  Professors in your college or department  Researchers you know  Read secondary sources that provide overviews of your topic  Handbooks  Encyclopedias  Reviews Obj. 1.2. & 1.4
    • Identifying a Topic  Quantitative and qualitative studies – differences in when a topic is narrowed  Quantitative studies tend to narrow the topic initially  Qualitative studies tend to narrow the topic throughout the research process itself Obj. 1.4
    • Identifying a Topic  Researchable and non-researchable topics  Researchable topics…  can be investigated through the collection and analysis of data.  have theoretical or practical significance.  have been conducted ethically.  contribute to the educational processes  can be adequately researched given the expertise, resources, and time constraints of the researcher. Obj. 1.5
    • Identifying a Topic  Non-researchable topics…  address philosophical or ethical issues.  Cannot be resolved through the collection and analysis of data  address “should” questions.  Ultimately these are matters of opinion Obj. 1.6
    • Identifying a Topic  The formal statement of a quantitative research topic…  identifies the variables of interest.  describes the specific relationship between the variables.  identifies the nature of the participants. Obj. 1.7 & 1.8
    • Identifying a Topic  The formal statement of a qualitative research topic…  emerges over the course of the study.  begins as an initial statement that tends to be stated as a general issue or concern.  becomes focused as more is learned about the context, participants, and phenomena of interest.  is typically stated late in a written study. Obj. 1.8
    • The Literature Review The review of the literature involves the systematic identification, location, and analysis of documents containing information related to the research problem Obj. 2.1
    • The Literature Review  Functions of a literature review  Determine what has been done already  Provide insight necessary to develop a logical framework into which the topic fits  Provides the rationale for the hypotheses being investigated and the justification of the significance of the study  Identifies potentially useful methodological strategies  Facilitates the interpretation of the results Obj. 2.2
    • The Literature Review  General recommendations for the scope of the review  Bigger does not mean better  Heavily researched topics provide enough references to focus only on the major studies  Lesser researched topics require reviewing any study related in some meaningful way even if this means searching related fields Obj. 2.3
    • The Literature Review  Four stages when conducting a review  Identifying key words to guide the search  Identifying sources  Abstracting the information found in the references  Analyzing, organizing and reporting the literature Obj. 2.4
    • The Literature Review  Identifying key words  Importance of experimenting with several key words and combinations of them  Using “legal” key words for particular data bases  ERIC Thesaurus  Accessed through the ERIC homepage Obj. 2.4 & 2.8
    • The Literature Review  Identifying sources  Characteristics of sources  Primary and secondary  Empirical and opinion  Importance of using secondary sources such as handbooks, encyclopedias, and reviews early in the review process Obj. 2.6
    • The Literature Review  Identifying sources  Broadening and narrowing keyword searches  Three important Boolean operators  AND narrows a search  OR broadens a search  NOT narrows a search  Narrowing and focusing by date of publication, specific authors, titles, etc. Obj. 2.5
    • The Literature Review  Identifying sources  Searching for books  Electronic databases of university libraries  Keyword searches  Searching for journals or papers  ERIC  Indices usually accessed more easily through the library at your university using EBSCO or other such search tools  Education Index  Psychological Abstracts  Dissertation Abstracts  Readers’ Guide to Periodical Literature Obj. 2.7 & 2.10
    • The Literature Review  Identifying sources  Searching the web  Search engines  Google, Excite, HotBot  Subject directories  Yahoo!, Web Crawler, Lycos  Meta search engines  Dogpile, Mamma, Vroosh
    • The Literature Review  Identifying sources  Educational sites  ERIC, Ingenta, New Jour, Education Week, National Center for Education Statistics, US Dept. of Education, Developing Educational Standards, Education Resource Organization Directory  Evaluating web sites  Quality, honesty, bias, and authenticity  Thinking Critically about WWW Resources, Critically Analyzing Information Sources Obj. 2.11 & 2.12
    • The Literature Review  Abstracting the references  Locating, reviewing, summarizing, and classifying references  Seven steps  Read the article abstract  Skim the entire article  Record complete bibliographic information  Classify and code the article  Summarize the article  Identify thoughts about the article you believe important  Indicate direct quotes properly Obj. 4.1
    • The Literature Review  Recommended strategies when abstracting  Begin with the most recent references and move toward the most dated  Record all bibliographic information  Author, date of publication, title, journal name or book title or website name, volume and issue, pages, library call number or URL  Identify direct quotes and record page numbers  Identify main ideas
    • Literature Review  Analyzing, organizing and reporting  Technical nature of reporting  Documentation  Formal language  Adherence to prescribed styles (e.g., APA)  Outline the review  Group by topics  Analyze for similarities and differences within subheadings  Discuss the least relevant studies first, followed by the most relevant studies  Summarize the review and discuss the implications related to the research problem
    • Literature Review  Differences between quantitative and qualitative reviews  Quantitative reviews are typically conducted in the initial stages of the study  Qualitative reviews are ongoing throughout the entire study reflecting the need to understand data as it is collected, analyzed, and interpreted Obj. 3.1
    • Literature Review  Meta-analysis  A statistical approach to summarizing the results of many studies that have investigated the same problem  Two unique characteristics  The review is as inclusive as possible  The results of each study are translated into a statistic called an effect size (ES) Obj. 4.3
    • Literature Review  Meta-analysis  Effect sizes  Essentially the difference between the means for the experimental and control groups in control group standard deviation units  The average of all effect sizes for all of the studies summarizes the overall effect of the studies  Effect size indices generally range from 0.00 to slightly more than 1.00 Obj. 4.3
    • Literature Review  Meta-analysis  Interpreting effect sizes  There is no single standard by which effect sizes are interpreted  The authors suggest the following criteria  If the effect size is less than 0.30 it is considered small  If the effect size is greater than 0.30 and less than 0.70 it is considered moderate  If the effect size is greater than 0.70 it is considered large Obj. 4.4
    • Developing Hypotheses  Two views of hypotheses  Inductive – a generalization made from a number of observations  Typical of qualitative studies  Deductive – derived from theory and aimed at providing evidence to support, expand, or contradict aspects of that theory  Typical of quantitative studies Obj. 5.1 & 5.4
    • Developing Hypotheses  Defining a hypothesis  A researcher’s tentative prediction of the results of the research  Formulated on the basis of knowledge of the underlying theory or implications from the literature review  Testing a hypothesis leads to support of the hypothesis or lack thereof Obj. 5.1
    • Developing Hypotheses  A good quantitative hypothesis…  is based on sound reasoning.  provides a reasonable explanation for the predicted outcome.  clearly and concisely states the expected relationships between variables.  is testable. Obj. 5.2
    • Developing Hypotheses  Types of quantitative hypotheses  Research hypotheses state the expected relationship between two variables  Non-directional – a statement that no relationship or difference exists between the variables  Directional – a statement of the expected direction of the relationship or difference between variables  Null – a statistical statement that no statistically significant relationship or difference exists between variables Obj. 5.5 & 5.6
    • Developing Hypotheses Obj. 5.5 & 5.6 Non-Directional Directional Null There is no relationship between math attitudes and math achievement There is a strong positive relationship between math attitudes and math achievement H0:  = 0 There is no difference in the achievement of students using technology or not using it Students using technology will have higher levels of achievement than students who are not using it H0: 1 - 2 = 0
    • Developing Hypotheses  Hypotheses in qualitative studies  Given the nature of qualitative research, formal a priori hypotheses are not stated  Generative role of qualitative research  Testing role of quantitative research  Focus is on generating new hypotheses as a result of the study (i.e., inductive hypotheses) Obj. 5.10
    • Stating Hypotheses  Formats for quantitative experimental studies  P who get X do better on Y than P who do not get X  P represents the participant  X represents the treatment  Y represents the outcome  Testing hypotheses  Statistical analysis of data  Importance of the results regardless of the outcome  Results support or fail to support hypotheses, but they never prove or disprove hypotheses Obj. 5.7 & 5.9