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Characteristics of a Good Research Question


2 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?

3 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

4 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?

5 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?

6 Descriptive Historical Experimental

Types of ResearchDescriptiveHistoricalExperimental

7 Descriptive ResearchResearch 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

8 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)

9 Historical ResearchInvolves 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

10 Type of ResearchWhat do students think are the least popular courses in the high school
curriculum, and why?a. experimentalb. descriptivec. historical
11 Type of Research Design
How do parents feel about the elementary school counseling program?a. experimentalb.
descriptivec. historical

12 Type of Research Design

How can Tom Adams be helped to learn to read?a. experimentalb. descriptivec. historical

13 Type of Research Design

Do students who have high scores on reading tests also have high scores on writing tests?a.
experimentalb. descriptivec. historical

14 Type of Research Design

Does team teaching help or hinder student learning?a. experimentalb. descriptivec. historical

15 Type of Research Design

What sorts of activities are of most interest to slow learners?a. experimentalb. descriptivec.

16 Type of Research Design

What effect does the gender of a counselor have on how he or she is received by counselees?a.
experimentalb. descriptivec. historical

17 Type of Research Design

a. experimentalb. descriptivec. historicalIn what ways were the kinds of bills passed into law
during the administrations of Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan similar and different?

18 Research Hypothesis & Types of Variables

19 HYPOTHESIS TESTINGNull Hypothesis and Research Hypothesis?

20 The Null Hypothesis (Ho)

relates to a statistical method of interpreting conclusions about population characteristics that are
inferred from observations made with a sampleasserts that observed differences or relationships
merely result from chance errors inherent in the sampling processIf the researcher rejects the
null hypothesisshe accepts the research hypothesisconcluding that the magnitude of difference
between observed and anticipated is too great to attribute to sampling error

21 The Null Hypothesis (Ho)

Operational Definition:MATH KNOWLEDGEscore obtained on the Stanford Diagnostic Test -
Level - BrownMATH SKILLS PRACTICEnumber of problems completed on drill-and-practice
work sheetsH0There will be no difference in Math Knowledge scores for students who practice
and students that do not practice

22 The Research Hypothesis (H1)

is a formal affirmative statement predicting a single research outcomea tentative explanation of
the relationship between two or more variablesis directionalIn behavioral sciencesthe variables
may be abstractions that cannot be directly observedthese variables must be defined
operationally by describing some sample of actual behaviors that are concrete enough to be
observed directly

23 The Research Hypothesis (H1)

Operational Definition:MATH KNOWLEDGEscore obtained on the Stanford Diagnostic Test -
Level - BrownMATH SKILLS PRACTICEnumber of problems completed on drill-and-practice
work sheetsH1Math Knowledge scores will be higher for students that practice

24 Possible Outcomes in Hypothesis Testing


25 Possible Outcomes in Hypothesis Testing

TrueFalseCorrectDecisionAcceptErrorType II ErrorCorrectDecisionErrorRejectType I ErrorType I
Error: Rejecting a True HypothesisType II Error: Accepting a False Hypothesis