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Specifying a Purpose and Research Questions or Hypotheses

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  1. Specifying a Purpose and Research Questions or Hypotheses Chapter 5 Dr. Kakali Bhattacharya EDPR 7521

  2. The Purpose Statement • Overall direction and focus • Topical sentence • Quantitative – closed ended, cause and effect, predictive • Qualitative – open ended, exploratory • Examples

  3. Family of Variables • Independent (cause) • Intervening • Dependent (effect, outcome) • Control variables • Moderating variables (effect of two variables) • Confounding variables • Example – banana peel

  4. Theories in Quantitative • Explains and predicts the probable relationship between independent and dependent variables • Bhattacharya’s banana theory • If certain conditions are true then the variables will be related (structure of theoretical discussion)

  5. Tips for Quantitative Purposes • One sentence • State what you want to study • Number of people • Context • Specify if testing theory • Seek to relate 2 or more variables • Compare independent variable to 2 or more dependent variables • Describe one variable • State independent variable first and then dependent variable • Using sample scripts on page 128, write a quantitative purpose statement

  6. Designing Quantitative Questions • Specify variable – characteristic, attribute • Need to know how you are going to measure variable • Variables measured as categories (male, female) • Continuous variables (low to high scores)

  7. Writing Quantitative Questions • Do NOT write WHY questions • How and what are ok • Describe, compare, relate are ok • Questions about significant differences • No need to write number of participants if already in purpose • Operationalize all variables used in purpose and in questions in a paragraph following either research purpose or questions

  8. Types of Questions • Descriptive • Example (frequency) banana peel (p. 129) • Relationship • How does independent variable relate to dependent variable for (context, participants) • Is there a relationship between independent and dependent variable? • Comparison • Differences – is there a significant difference? (better framed than text p. 130)

  9. Quantitative Research Questions • Are there significant differences in student affective learning between traditional classroom instruction and instruction through a game/simulation? (experimental) asks questions about differences (groups, treatments) • How do (insert specific variables) predict how (#) African American parents and guardians of school-aged children rate their children’s elementary and secondary school teachers, and the public system as a whole? (correlational) asks questions about relationship (not causal, just existence) • What is the degree to which (#) exemplar teachers report using cooperative learning versus the degree to which they would prefer to use this method, and well as the relative use of each element of cooperative learning? (survey) asks questions that starts with “what is….?” appropriate to gather quick opinions, perceptions.

  10. Write Quantitative Questions • Using the tips and scripts write at least one quantitative question aligned with your quantitative purpose • Refer to p. 129-130 and also the previous slide

  11. Null Hypothesis • No difference between independent variable group 1 and independent variable group 2 in terms of dependent variable for participants at research site • In other words, whatever scores you get are purely coincidental and has nothing to do with dependent variable • Banana peel example

  12. Alternate Hypothesis • Something is going on and it is not coincidental but because of the treatment • Directional and nondirectional • Measurement of means between two groups • Either you know if one is greater than the other (directional) • Or you know they are unequal (non-directional) • Based on your research question, write a null and an alternate hypothesis. If your research question was descriptive, then work with some difference or experimental questions

  13. Qualitative Purpose Statements • No hypothesis • No use of variables • No testing or predicting of theories • Open-ended, multiple possibilities • Seek to understand, evaluate, explore, describe, interrogate, deconstruct

  14. Central Phenomenon • What would you like to know? • What would be your indicators? • How would you know that you know?  • Using the topics with which you worked earlier, we will now write qualitative research purpose and questions

  15. Qualitative Purpose Statements • Referring to the example and the script on p. 136 write a qualitative purpose statement about your topic

  16. Qualitative Research Questions • In what ways do foreign-born ESL teachers draw on their experiences as foreign-born residents living in the U.S. to open or close new social networks for their students? • How do students perceive the value of the new math program? • What are the experiences of survivors of Katrina who were in the superdome? • How do social structures within the K-12 system affect achievement levels of the students? • What is the role of the new math program in students’ achievement?

  17. Qualitative Research Questions • Referring to the previous slide and examples on pp. 136-137 and the script on p. 137 write a qualitative research question for your topic • Ignore subquestions and other categorizations