Characteristics of a Good Research Question FEASIBLE ETHICAL SIGNIFICANT CLEAR
Characteristics of Good Research Questions • The question should be feasible: it can be investigated without an undue amount of time, energy, or money. • How do students feel about the new guidance program? • Is a whole-language approach to reading more or less effective than a basal approach?
Characteristics of Good Research Questions • The question should be clear: most people would agree as to what the key words in the question mean. • Did the 2nd grade math curriculum work? • Is mainstreaming effective? • Key words? • Rephrase question.
Characteristics of Good Research Questions • The question is significant: is the question worth investigating in terms of time needed, energy required, effect on or for subjects. • What is the effect on student self-esteem when taught to type on a manual typewriter vs. a Pentium II computer with a high resolution video screen? • Does an in-school suspension program decrease problematic behaviors? • Problems?
Characteristics of Good Research Questions • The question is ethical: it will not involve physical or psychological harm or damage to human beings, or to the natural or social environment of which they are apart. • Is physical punishment more effective than positive reinforcement in decreasing enuresis? • Will students master basic math facts faster if instruction is delayed until grade 2?
Types of Research Descriptive Historical Experimental
Descriptive Research • Research that describes what is, describing, recording, analyzing, and interpreting conditions that exist * • Involves some type of contrast and attempts to discover relationships between non-manipulated variables * • Research that provides and accurate portrayal of characteristics of a particular individual, situation, or group ** • Used as a means of discovering new meaning, describing what exits, determining the frequency with which something occurs, and categorizing information ** • The systematic investigation of relationships among two or more variables, without determining or interpreting cause and effect * Best & Kahn (1986); ** Miller-Keane & O’Toole (2005
Experimental Research • describes what will be when certain variables are carefully controlled or manipulated * • objective, systematic, controlled investigation for the purpose of predicting and controlling phenomena and examining probability and causality among selected variables ** * Best & Kahn (1986); ** Miller-Keane & O’Toole (2005)
Historical Research • Involves investigating, recording, analyzing, and interpreting the events of the past for the purpose of discovering generalizations that are helpful in understanding the past and the present, and, to a limited extent, in anticipating the future * • Research involving analysis of events that occurred in the remote or recent past ** * Best & Kahn (1986); ** Miller-Keane & O’Toole (2005
Type of Research • a. experimental • b. descriptive • c. historical • What do students think are the least popular courses in the high school curriculum, and why?
Type of Research Design • How do parents feel about the elementary school counseling program? • a. experimental • b. descriptive • c. historical
Type of Research Design • How can Tom Adams be helped to learn to read? • a. experimental • b. descriptive • c. historical
Type of Research Design • a. experimental • b. descriptive • c. historical • Do students who have high scores on reading tests also have high scores on writing tests?
Type of Research Design • Does team teaching help or hinder student learning? • a. experimental • b. descriptive • c. historical
Type of Research Design • a. experimental • b. descriptive • c. historical • What sorts of activities are of most interest toslow learners?
Type of Research Design • a. experimental • b. descriptive • c. historical • What effect does the gender of a counselor have on how he or she is received by counselees?
Type of Research Design • a. experimental • b. descriptive • c. historical • In what ways were the kinds of bills passed into law during the administrations of Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan similar and different?
Null Hypothesis and Research Hypothesis HYPOTHESIS TESTING ?
The Null Hypothesis (Ho) • The null hypothesis • relates to a statistical method of interpreting conclusions about population characteristics that are inferred from observations made with a sample • asserts that observed differences or relationships merely result from chance errors inherent in the sampling process • If the researcher rejects the null hypothesis • she accepts the research hypothesis • concluding that the magnitude of difference between observed and anticipated is too great to attribute to sampling error
The Null Hypothesis (Ho) • Operational Definition: • MATH KNOWLEDGE • score obtained on the Stanford Diagnostic Test - Level - Brown • MATH SKILLS PRACTICE • number of problems completed on drill-and-practice work sheets • H0 • There will be no difference in Math Knowledge scores for students who practice and students that do not practice
The Research Hypothesis (H1) • The research hypothesis • is a formal affirmative statement predicting a single research outcome • a tentative explanation of the relationship between two or more variables • is directional • In behavioral sciences • the variables may be abstractions that cannot be directly observed • these variables must be defined operationally by describing some sample of actual behaviors that are concrete enough to be observed directly
The Research Hypothesis (H1) • Operational Definition: • MATH KNOWLEDGE • score obtained on the Stanford Diagnostic Test - Level - Brown • MATH SKILLS PRACTICE • number of problems completed on drill-and-practice work sheets • H1 • Math Knowledge scores will be higher for students that practice
Possible Outcomes in Hypothesis Testing True False Accept Error Correct Error Correct Reject
Possible Outcomes in Hypothesis Testing True False Correct Decision Accept Error Type II Error Correct Decision Error Reject Type I Error Type I Error: Rejecting a True Hypothesis Type II Error: Accepting a False Hypothesis