Selection of a Research Problem
involves reading, discussing, and conceptualizing. A process of successive approximations to the problem as factors related to the problem are considered.
Statement of the Research Problem
concise and should identify the key factors (variables) of the research study.
a characteristic or condition that is the same for all individuals in a study
a characteristic that takes on different values or conditions for different individuals
"value of dependent variable depends on the independent variable"
aka outcome variables, are the values we calculate stastics with
Ex: study of the effect of teacher praise on reading achievement of second graders, the dependent variable is reading achievement
"may affect the dependent variables"
Ex: study of the effect of teacher praise on reading achievement of second-graders, independent variable is kind of praise
manipulated independent variable
Ex: amount and kind of praise is manipulated by researcher
classifying independent variable
variable which cannot be manipulated
- an independent variable other than the independent variable of primary interest whose effects are determined by the researcher
It is known to account for some/additional variation in the outcome of interest
Therefore, it’s effects are determined (or “controlled”) by the researcher in the design
It is included in analysis to get a clearer picture of the effects of the PRIMARY independent variable.
a variable that may or may not be controlled but has an effect in the researcg situation
Ex: grade level
Has many levels that can be combined with the levels of the independent variable of primary interest to produce different effects.
It affects the direction and/or strength of the relationship between primary independent and dependent variables
Can be qualitative (e.g., sex, class, race) or quantitative (e.g., levels of achievement)
variables operating in a specific situation such that their effects cannot be separated.
Ex: reading comprehension being a function of both passage length and grade level, cannot tell how much of the effect were due to each variable.
Difference uses of “Student Prior Achievement” in a study of teaching techniques
As a Control Variable: Study focuses on high achievers
As a Moderating Variable: Sort students as ”over, at, & below” grade level –different techniques
**Confounding Variable: Known to influence, but not included in the research design
define how or by what means we are going to measure the variable
Ex: Ability to learn: score on the LM Form of SBI Scale
Science Achievement: Score on science subtest
Concept attainment performance: time to solve 5 problems
Types of operational definitions
1. Constructed in terms of how the particular object or thing operates:
Motivation: persistent attendance of students in school as measured by number of days attended
2. Constructed in terms of what an object or phenomenon looks like
Team teaching: utilization of two or more teachers to develop lesson plans and teach in one or more subject areas for a fixed set of students
3. Constructed in terms of operations performed to cause the phenomenon to occur:
Conflict: a state produce by placing two or more individuals in a situation where each has the same goal but only one can obtain it.
a guess at the solution to a problem, the status of the situation, or relationship of two or more variables
aka research hypothesis
- tentative statements about the expected outcomes for the variables of the research study
Ex : "As punitive, disciplinary methods are increased in an elementary school, student achievement will decrease."
- given in statistical terms
- statement about one or more parameters that are measures of the populations under study
Ex: The mean reading achievement of the population of third grade students taught by Method A equals the mean reading achievement of the population taught by Method B."
no difference or relationship is hypothesized
indicates the situation corresponding to when the null hypothesis is not true
non directional research hypothesis
does not state a direction
Ex: Equals/ does not equal
directional research hypothesis
states a direction
Ex: is less than/ is greater than
specific research problems, possibly stated in question form, that provide a focus for the research
What is research?
Informed by a particular theory and current knowledge
Conducted in a systematic process (5 steps)
Reliable [consistent in execution]
Valid [internally and externally]
Informed by a particular methodological approach