Educational research introduction


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Educational research introduction

  1. 1. EDUC 515 Educational Research Fall 2013 Adapted from Creswell, Nocera, Buller,
  2. 2. Main Components of Research • Statement of the Problem / Purpose Statement – What is the problem you are investigating? – Why it is important? • Research Questions and Hypotheses – What are your Research Questions? In other words what is it that you are trying to find out by doing this study?
  3. 3. Main Components of Research (cont.) • Review of the Literature – What is your Theoretical Framework? (What is the theoretical basis for your study?) – A good piece should be grounded in theory. Simply put, a theory is a statement explaining a phenomenon. • Examples: – Socio-economic status influences academic performance – Metacognitive ability influences performance in school subjects – Knowledge of story grammar enhances reading comprehension of narrative text – Discipline problems is more common among students with low self-esteem – Presenting information visually enhances recall and understanding – Inquiry learning methods improves understanding of material – What previous studies shed light on this topic and how do they differ from your study?
  4. 4. Main Components of Research (cont.) • Methodology/Strategies of Inquiry – Revisit your research questions. – How will your perform your data collection? • Qualitative • Quantitative • Mixed Methods – How will you analyze the data? • Analysis – What are your findings and how do they inform your research questions?
  5. 5. Main Components of Research (cont.) • Conclusion – A summary of your findings and how they answer the research questions (major themes that emerged from the data; less detailed than the analysis section). • Implications – What does this study mean? What might happen or change as a result of this new knowledge? – What recommendations do you have for future research on this or similar topics?
  6. 6. 3 Main Types of Methodology (Strategies of Inquiry) • Qualitative – [Subjective] How do the participants make meaning of events in their lives? – How do participants perceive a situation/problem? – Phenomenological: Finding the human experience by looking at events as participants describe them. • Data Collection – Interviews, focus groups – Observation, participant observation
  7. 7. 3 Main Types of Methodology (cont.) • Quantitative – [Objective] What is the relationship among variables? – Events, participants’ perceptions, etc. are assigned numbers and these numbers are analyzed using statistical procedures. • Data Collection – Surveys, questionnaires – Measures, document review
  8. 8. 3 Main Types of Methodology (cont.) • Mixed Methods – Mixes both qualitative and quantitative approaches. • Data Collection Example: A review of the documents shows that an inordinate amount of students are failing Mr. Olsen’s class. – Report statistics: 15% of Olsens’s students earn failing grades as opposed to 3% of students in other classrooms in the school and 5% of students district- wide. – Conduct a focus group with students who are doing well and with those who are failing. Interview certain individuals. Interview Mr. Olsen and other teachers.
  9. 9. First Steps Your starting point should be typed and about 1 page in length. You can list your paper Steps 1 -5 to address the following: 1. Step 1: After reading, think of a problem you see in your school (or district, community in which students live , etc.) that you would like to investigate. Describe this problem in 1 or 2 paragraphs. *You will not actually be conducting research during this course.
  10. 10. First Steps 2. Step 2: Choose a worldview (combination of worldviews) that most closely reflects your ideas (see Table 1.1, p. 6). Give a brief explanation of why you chose this worldview – what do you like about it? Do you see any shortcomings?
  11. 11. First Steps • Step 3: Select a methodology/strategy of inquiry (qualitative, quantitative, mixed methods). Be sure that your worldview meshes with the methodology you choose (see p. 16 -18). • Step 4: Create a list of Key Words (approx. 5) that you would use to begin researching literature on this topic.