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  1. 1. An Introduction to Research & WESTOP Data Collection
  2. 2. Lee Fulmer WESTOP Research and Technology Committee
  3. 3. Agenda <ul><li>Why do research? </li></ul><ul><li>What is research? </li></ul><ul><li>Types of research </li></ul><ul><li>What does DOE say about research? </li></ul><ul><li>Exercise </li></ul><ul><li>WESTOP data collection </li></ul>
  4. 4. Why do Research? <ul><li>To find out what is effective </li></ul><ul><li>Accountability </li></ul><ul><li>Mathematica </li></ul>
  5. 5. What is Research? <ul><li>Definitions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Information gathering </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Collecting and analyzing new information in order to increase our understanding </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. What Research is <ul><li>Attempt to achieve systematically and with the support of data the answer to a question, the resolution to a problem, or the greater understanding of a phenomenon </li></ul><ul><li>Generation of new information and testing of ideas </li></ul>
  7. 7. Characteristics of Formal Research <ul><li>Starts with a question or problem </li></ul><ul><li>Requires a clear articulation of a goal </li></ul><ul><li>Follows a specific plan or procedure </li></ul><ul><li>Often divides the principal problem into more manageable subproblems </li></ul>
  8. 8. Characteristics of Research Cont’d <ul><li>6. Specify assumptions you’re making </li></ul><ul><li>7. Collection and interpretation of data </li></ul>
  9. 9. Types of Research <ul><li>A man from remote village is the first in his village to fly </li></ul><ul><li>Friend 1: How far did you go? How high did you fly? </li></ul><ul><li>Friend 2: How did you feel moving so fast? What was it like being above the clouds? </li></ul>
  10. 10. Types of Research <ul><li>Quantitative: answer questions about data that can be measured in order to explain and predict </li></ul><ul><li>Qualitative: answer questions about nature of phenomena in order to describe phenomena and understand it from the participant’s point of view </li></ul>
  11. 11. What the Dept. of ED says <ul><li>No Child Left Behind </li></ul><ul><li>Requires that teachers use techniques and methods that have been shown by “rigorous” research to be effective </li></ul><ul><li>Randomized control trial </li></ul>
  12. 12. Randomized Control Trial <ul><li>Definition : people randomly assigned to an intervention group or to a control group, in order to measure the effects of the intervention </li></ul><ul><li>Unique feature : Best chance of objectively demonstrating cause and effect </li></ul><ul><li>Superior to other designs in measuring intervention’s effect </li></ul>
  13. 13. Potentially Misleading Designs <ul><li>Pre-post study: Examine whether participants improve or regress during intervention </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Even Start </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Summer Training and Education Program </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Potentially Misleading Designs <ul><li>Comparison Group:Comparison group chosen by other than randomization </li></ul><ul><li>Hormone replacement therapy </li></ul><ul><li>Well-matched comparison groups can suggest trends, but gold standard is control group </li></ul>
  15. 15. Responses to DOE <ul><li>American Evaluation Association </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>American Educational Research Association </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>National Education Association </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Uses of WESTOP Data <ul><li>Illustrate program effectiveness </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Within your institution or agency </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To potential funders </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In grant proposals </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Research on program effectiveness </li></ul>
  17. 17. Data Collection <ul><li>Two stages </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Initially collect data on prior experience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>illustrate program effectiveness </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Eventually collect additional data that may be relevant for research </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Why Prior Experience? <ul><li>Aggregate data </li></ul><ul><li>Speaks to legislative intent </li></ul>
  19. 19. Why Two Stages? <ul><li>Prior experience data a modest data set and perhaps the most important </li></ul><ul><li>Work out bugs </li></ul><ul><li>Gauge participation level </li></ul><ul><li>Second stage will require specifying which data to collect </li></ul>
  20. 20. Discussion <ul><li>Is the collection of regional prior experience data useful to you? </li></ul><ul><li>What other types of regional data would you like to see collected? </li></ul>
  21. 21. References <ul><li>Identifying and Implementing Educational Practices Supported by Rigorous Evidence: A User Friendly Guide . 2003. US. Dept of Education Institute of Education Sciences National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance. Downloaded 1/5/05. </li></ul>
  22. 22. References <ul><li>Practical Research Planning and Design . (1997) Leedy, Paul with contributions by Timothy J. Newby and Peggy A. Ertmer. Prentice Hall, Inc. Sixth Edition. </li></ul>