BY YUSUF HIDAYAT (2003512120)


The essential features of experimental research are:  The investigators deliberately control and manipulate the conditions which determine the events;  Making a change in the value of one variablecalled the independent variable;  Observing the effect of that change on another variable-called the dependent variable.;  Seeking to support or not support a null hypothesis;

Designs in educational experimentation There are several different kinds of experimental design, for example:  the controlled experiment (the ‘true’ experiment): two or more groups;  The field or quasi-experiment;  the natural experiment.
(Cohen et al., 2007:274)

True experimental designs
There are several variants of the ‘true’ experimental design, and we consider many of these below:  the pretest-posttest control and experimental group design;  the two control groups and one experimental group pretest-posttest design;  the posttest control and experimental group design;  the posttest two experimental groups design;  the pretest-posttest two treatment design;  the matched pairs design;  the factorial design;  the parametric design;  repeated measures designs.
(Cohen et al., 2007:275)

A ‘true’ experiment includes several key features:
 one or more control groups;  one or more experimental groups;

 random allocation to control and experimental

groups;  pretest of the groups to ensure parity;  posttest of the groups to see the effects on the dependent variable;  one or more interventions to the experimental group(s);  isolation, control and manipulation of independent variables;  non-contamination between the control and

Quasi-experiment designs, include:
 the one-group pretest-posttest;

 the non-equivalent control group

design;  the time series design;

The pretest-posttest control and experimental group design

The pretest-posttest control group design can be represented as:
Experimental RO1 χ O2 Control RO3 O4

The two control groups and one experimental group pretest-posttest design
This design can be illustrated as follows:
Experimental RO1 χ O2 Control1 RO3 O4 Control2 χ O5

The posttest control experimental group design The design is:
Experimental R1 χ O1 Control R2 O2


The post-test two experimental groups design
The design is:

Experimental1 R1 χ1 O1 Experimental2 R2 χ2 O2

The pretest-post-test two treatment design
The design is: Experimental1 RO1 χ1 O2 Experimental2 RO3 χ2 O4
The other design might be: Experimental1 RO1 χ1 O2 Experimental2 RO3 χ2 O4 Control RO5 O6

Borg and Gall (1979:547) as quoted in Cohen et al. (2007:279) set out a useful series of steps in the planning and conduct of an experiment:
1. 2. 3.



Carry out a measure of the dependent variable; Assign participant s to matched pairs, based on the scores and measure established from step 1; Randomly assign one person from each pair to the control group and the other to the experimental group; Administer the experimental treatment/intervention to the experimental group and, if appropriate, a placebo to control group. Ensure that the control group is not subject to the intervention; Carry out a measure of the dependent variable with both groups and compare/measure them in order to determine the effect and its size on the dependent

The factorial design
Factorial design is useful for examining interaction effects. It also has to take account of the interaction of the independent variables. For example: On factor (independent variable) may be ‘sex’ and the other ‘age’. Or the effect on motivation for learning mathematics (see p.281).

The parametric design
Parametric designs are useful if an independent variable is considered to have different levels or a range of values which may have a bearing on the outcome (confirmatory research) or if the researcher wishes to discover whether different levels of an independent variable have an effect on the outcome (exploratory research).

Repeated measures designs
Here participants in the experimental groups are tested under two or more experimental conditions. So, for example, a member of the experimental group may receive more than one ‘intervention’, which may or may not include a control condition. (See page 281).

A quasi-experimental design
1. A pre-experimental design: the one

group pretest-post-test 2. A pre-experimental design: the one group post-tests only design 3. A pre-experimental design: the posttests only non-equivalent groups design 4. A quasi-experimental design: the pretest-post-test non-equivalent group design

The one-group time series
The one group is the experimental group, and it is given more than one pretest and more than one post-test. The time series uses repeated tests or observing both before and after the treatment.

Single-case research
Single-case research is an experimental methodology which has been extended to such diverse fields as clinical phychology, medicine, education, social work, psychiatry and counseling. This design has the following characteristics:  They involve the continuous assessment of some aspects of human behavior over a period of time, requiring on the part of the researcher the administration of measures on multiple occasions within separate phrases of a study.

Procedures in conducting experimental research
An experimental investigation must follow a set of logical procedures, those are: 1. Researchers must identify and define the research problem; 2. Researchers must formulate hypotheses that they wish to test; 3. Researchers must select appropriate levels at which to test the independent variables; 4. Researchers must decide which kind of experiment they will adapt;

5. In planning the design of the experiment, researchers must take account of the population to which they wish to generalize their result. 6. With problems of validity in mind, researchers must select instruments, choose tests, and decide upon appropriate methods of analysis. 7. Before embarking upon the actual experiment, researchers must pilot test the experimental procedures to identify possible snags in connection with any aspect of the investigation; 8. During the experiment itself, researchers must endeavor to follow tested and agreed-on procedures to the letter.

A ten-step model to conduct the experiment research can be suggested:
1. Identify the purpose of the experiment;

2. Select the relevant variables;
3. Specify the level(s) of the intervention

(e.g. low, medium,. High intervention); 4. Control the experimental conditions and environment; 5. Select the appropriate experimental design; 6. Administer the pretest;

7. Assign

the participants to the group(s); 8. Conduct the intervention; 9. Conduct the post-test; 10.Analyze the results.

Evidence-based research
Evidence-based research is a method of investigation, bringing together different studies to provide evidence to inform policy-making and planning (Cohen et al., 2007:289290).

Meta-analysis is the analysis of other analysis. It involves aggregating and combining the results of comparable studies into a coherent account to discover main effects. This is often done statistically, though qualitative analysis is also advocated (Cohen et al., 2007:291).

The advantages of using metaanalysis, Fitz-Gibbon (1985) cites the following:
o Humble, small-scale reports

which have simply been gathering dust may now become useful; o Small-scale research conducted by individual students and lectures will be valuable since meta-analysis provides a way of coordinating results drawn from many studies without having to coordinate the studies themselves; o For historians, a whole new genre of

There are four steps in conducting a meta-analysis:
o Finding studies (e.g. published, unpublished

review) from which effect sizes can be computed; o Coding the study characteristics (e.g. date, publication status, design characteristics, quality of design, status of researcher); o Measuring the effect sizes (e.g. locating the experimental group as a z-score in the control group distribution) so that outcomes can be measured on a common scale, controlling for ‘lumphy data’ (non-independent data from a large data set); o Correlating effect sizes with context variables (e.g.

An example of meta-analysis in educational research
Glass & Smith (1978) and Glass et al. (1981):3544) as cited in Cohen et al. 2007:295) identified 77 empirical studies of the relationship between class size and pupil learning. These studies yielded 725 comparisons of the achievements of smaller and larger classes, the comparisons resting on data accumulated from nearly 900.000 pupils of all ages and aptitudes studying all manner of school subjects. Using regression analysis, the 725 comparisons were integrated into a single curve showing the relationship between class size and achievement in general. This curve revealed a definite inverse

Cohen et al. Education, Routledge. (2007). Research in sixth edition. USA:

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