Understanding and Interpreting Educational Research

Ronald C. Martella, J. Ron Nelson, Robert L. Morgan, and Nancy E. Marchand-Martella

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I. UNDERSTANDING RESEARCH

1. Thinking Critically about Research

Objectives

Overview

How Important Is Critical Thinking?

What Are the Elements to Becoming a Critical Research Consumer?

What Are Science and the Scientific Method?

What Are the Purposes of Science?

What Is a Scientific Theory?

What Are the Types of Scientific Logic?

In What Ways Do We Gain Information?

What Are Constraint Levels in Educational and Psychological Research?

What Are the Differences between Basic and Applied Research?

What Is Replication Research?

Summary

Discussion Questions

II. CRITICAL ISSUES IN RESEARCH

2. Fundamental Issues for Interpreting Research

Objectives

What Is Variability?

What Is Internal Validity and Its Threats?

What Is External Validity and Its Threats?

What Are Statistical and Social Validities?

Summary

Discussion Questions

Interpretation Exercises

3. Reliability, Validity, and Interobserver Agreement

Objectives

Overview

What Are Reliability and Validity Issues in Quantitative Research?

How Do Researchers Assess the Reliability of Measurement Devices?

How Do Researchers Determine the Validity of Measurement Devices?

What Are Reliability and Validity Issues in Qualitative Research?

What Is Interobserver Agreement?

What Are the Methods of Establishing Interobserver Agreement?

What Are the Factors That Influence Interobserver Agreement?

What Are the Factors to Consider When Assessing Measurement Devices in the Context of a

Study?

Summary

Discussion Questions

Practice Exercises

III. QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS

4. Basic Statistical Concepts and Sampling Procedures

Objectives

Overview

What Are the Scales of Measurement?

What Is a Univariate Frequency Distribution?

How Can We Describe Data Sets?

What Role Do Hypotheses Play in Research?

What Are Parametric and Nonparametric Tests of Statistical Significance?

What Is Statistical Significance?

What Are Type I and Type II Errors and Power?

What Are the Types of Statistical Significance Testing Methods?

What Are the Different Sampling Methods?

What Are the Sampling Decisions Researchers Make?

What Is Sampling Error?

Summary

Discussion Questions

5. Experimental Designs

Objectives

Overview

What Are True Experimental Designs?

What Are the Most Common True Experimental Designs?

What Are Factorial Experimental Designs?

What Are Quasi-Experimental Designs?

What Are the Common Quasi-Experimental Designs?

What Are Preexperimental Designs?

What Are the Types of Preexperimental Designs?

When Should Researchers Use Each Experimental Research Design?

Summary

Discussion Questions

ILLUSTRATIVE ARTICLE EXAMPLE

Research Example Questions

Additional Research Examples

Threats to Internal Validity Form

Threats to External Validity Form

6. Causal-Comparative Research

Objectives

Overview

What Is the Causal-Comparative Research Method?

What Should Researchers Consider When Designing a Causal-Comparative Research Study?

Can the Causal-Comparative Approach Be Combined with Factorial Designs?

When Should Researchers Use the Causal-Comparative Research Design?

Summary

Discussion Questions

ILLUSTRATIVE ARTICLE EXAMPLE

Research Example Questions

Additional Research Examples

Threats to Internal Validity Form

Threats to External Validity Form

7. Correlational Research

Objectives

Overview

What Is the Correlational Research Method?

What Are the Issues in Designing a Correlational Study?

What Are the Statistical Procedures Used in Correlational Research?

When Should Researchers Use the Correlational Research Method?

Summary

Discussion Questions

ILLUSTRATIVE ARTICLE EXAMPLE

Research Example Questions

Additional Research Examples

Threats to Internal Validity Form

Threats to External Validity Form

8. Survey Research Methods

Objectives

Overview

What Are the Purposes of Survey Research?

What Are the Different Types of Surveys?

What Are the Factors in Choosing a Survey Method?

How Is Survey Research Designed?

When Should Researchers Use Survey Research?

Summary

Discussion Questions

ILLUSTRATIVE ARTICLE EXAMPLE

Research Example Questions

Additional Research Examples

Threats to Survey Validity Form

IV. QUALITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS

9. Basic Understandings in Qualitative Research

Objectives

Overview

What Are the Characteristics of Qualitative Research?

What Are the Differences between Qualitative and Quantitative Research?

What Are Qualitative Research Procedures?

What Is Understanding in Qualitative Research?

What Are the Evaluative Criteria for Judging the Reliability and Validity of Qualitative Research?

What Are the Types of Triangulation Methods?

How Are Qualitative Data Analyzed?

Summary

Discussion Questions

10. Data Collection and Designs in Qualitative Research

Objectives

Overview

What Are Field-Oriented Studies?

What Is Historical Research?

What Are Mixed-Methods Studies?

When Should Researchers Use Each Qualitative Research Design?

Summary

Discussion Questions

ILLUSTRATIVE ARTICLE EXAMPLE

Research Example Questions

Additional Research Examples

Qualitative Research Examination Form

V. SINGLE-CASE RESEARCH METHODS

11. Withdrawal and Associated Designs

Objectives

Overview

What Are Graphing Methods in Withdrawal Designs?

What Are Withdrawal and Associated Designs?

When Should Researchers Use Each Withdrawal and Associated Design?

Summary

Discussion Questions

ILLUSTRATIVE ARTICLE EXAMPLE

Research Example Questions

Additional Research Examples

Threats to Internal Validity Form

Threats to External Validity Form

12. Multiple-Baseline Designs

Objectives

Overview

What Are Graphing Methods in Multiple-Baseline Designs?

What Are Multiple-Baseline Designs?

When Should Researchers Use Each Multiple-Baseline Design?

Summary

Discussion Questions

ILLUSTRATIVE ARTICLE EXAMPLE

Research Example Questions

Additional Research Examples

Threats to Internal Validity Form

Threats to External Validity Form

13. Additional Single-Case Designs

Objectives

Overview

What Is a Changing-Criterion Design?

What Is a Multitreatment Design?

What Is an Alternating Treatments Design?

What Are Combination Designs?

When Should Researchers Use Each of the Additional Single-Case Designs?

Summary

Discussion Questions

ILLUSTRATIVE ARTICLE EXAMPLE

Research Example Questions

Additional Research Examples

Threats to Internal Validity Form

Threats to External Validity Form

VI. EVALUATION RESEARCH

14. Program Evaluation

Objectives

Overview

What Are the Goals and Objectives of Program Evaluation?

What Are the Types of Program Evaluations?

How Is a Program Evaluation Conducted?

When Should Program Evaluations Be Conducted?

Summary

Discussion Questions

ILLUSTRATIVE ARTICLE EXAMPLE

Research Example Questions

Additional Research Examples

15. Evaluating the Literature

Objectives

Overview

What Are the Purposes of Research Syntheses?

What Are Systematic and Unsystematic Research Syntheses?

What Are The Considerations For Conducting Research Syntheses?

How Do Researchers Plan and Execute Research Syntheses?

When Should Researchers Conduct Research Syntheses?

Summary

Discussion Questions

ILLUSTRATIVE ARTICLE EXAMPLE

Research Example Questions

Additional Research Examples

VII. ACTION RESEARCH

16. Action Research: Moving from Critical Research Consumer to Researcher

Objectives

Overview

What Is Action Research?

What Are the Characteristics of Action Research?

How Are Quantitative Methods Used in Action Research?

How Are Qualitative Methods Used in Action Research?

How Are Single-Case Methods Used in Action Research?

How Are Survey, Historical, and Program Evaluation Research Methods Used in Action Research?

What Are the Ethical Principles and Codes of Conduct for Research?

How Does One Write a Research Article?

How Are Articles Submitted for Publication?

When Should One Conduct Action Research?

Summary

Discussion Questions

ILLUSTRATIVE ARTICLE EXAMPLE

Research Example Questions

Additional Research Examples

Glossary