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# Course Content

I.
II. III.

IV. V.

VI.

Introduction to the Research Process Identification of the Research Problem Development of the Research Question or Hypothesis Formulation of the Research Methods Analysis and Interpretation of the Collected Data Writing the Research Report

## The Scientific Method

1.
2. 3.

4.
5. 6.

7.

Develop the problem Develop a theoretical solution to the problem Formulate the hypothesis or question Formulate the research plan (methods) Collect and analyze the data Interpret the results and form conclusions Refine the theory

## Formulation of the Research Methods

A.
B. C.

D.

Selecting the Appropriate Design Selecting the Subjects Selecting Measurement Methods & Techniques Selecting Instrumentation

## Formulation of the Research Methods

E.
F. G. H. I.

Developing Procedures & Protocol Using a Pilot Study Selecting the Appropriate Analysis Techniques Developing a Timeline & Budget Collecting the Data

Sampling Procedures

Definitions
Population group of things (people) having one or more common characteristics Sample representative subgroup of the larger population

Used

to estimate something about a population (generalize) Must be similar to population on characteristic being investigated

Representative

Sampling Methods

Probability Sampling Simple random sampling Stratified random sampling Systematic sampling Cluster (area) sampling Multistage sampling

Fishbowl

Most

Difficult

## Stratified Random Sampling

Technique
Divide population into various strata Randomly sample within each strata Sample from each strata should be proportional

Better

## in achieving representativeness on control variable

Difficult Difficult

## to pick appropriate strata to ID every member in population

Systematic Sampling

Technique

Use system to select sample (e.g., every 5th item in alphabetized list, every 10th name in phone book) Quick, efficient, saves time and energy Not entirely bias free; each item does not have equal chance to be selected System for selecting subjects may introduce systematic error Cannot generalize beyond pop actually sampled

## Randomly select groups (cluster) all members of groups are subjects

Appropriate when
you

cant obtain a list of the members of the population have little knowledge of pop characteristics Pop is scattered over large geographic area

More

## practical, less costly

Conclusions should be stated in terms of cluster (sample unit school) Sample size is # of clusters

Multistage Sampling

Stage 1
randomly

## sample clusters (schools) sample individuals from the schools

Stage 2
randomly

selected

Sampling Methods

Probability Sampling Simple random sampling Stratified random sampling Systematic sampling Cluster (area) sampling Multistage sampling

## Similar to stratified random sampling Technique

Quotas

set using some characteristic of the population thought to be relevant Subjects selected non-randomly to meet quotas (usu. convenience sampling)

selection

## bias Cannot set quotas for all characteristics important to study

Convenience Sampling

Take them where you find them - nonrandom Intact classes, volunteers, survey respondents (low return), a typical group, a typical person Disadvantage: Selection bias Use post hoc analysis to show groups were equal at the start

Sample Size

Critical factor is whether sample is representative Necessary sample size depends on population size Recommendations:

Use tables from books 30 per group Descriptive studies 10-20% of population No more than 50% of population

## Other Sampling Considerations

Random assignment Sampling of treatments (experimental research) Use post hoc analysis to show groups were equal at the start Since random sampling is often impossible, sample must be selected on some theoretical basis Be careful with generalizations

## When Selecting Subjects

Are subjects with special characteristics necessary for your research? (age, gender, trained/untrained, expert/novice, size, etc.) Can you obtain the necessary permission and cooperation from the subjects? Can you find enough subjects? Interaction among selection of subjects, treatments, and measures is essential for experimental studies.

Reporting Subjects

State how many subjects were selected Describe how the subjects were selected Discuss whether any subjects were lost during the study and why Explain why the subjects were selected Describe subject characteristics that are pertinent to study be very specific Identify procedures taken to protect the subjects