Characteristics of Experimental Research
1) Hattie’s (2003) participants were classified as experienced or expert according to the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards certification process. This process is based on the best available evidence of what constitutes high standards of teaching and learning and has been rigorously researched and evaluated. On the boards website it says
“All of the research contributes to understanding and improving the National Board Certification process. Yet, it is misleading to draw major conclusions about the overall value and impact of National Board Certification based solely on individual studies. No single study or small group of studies can effectively describe the range of impact of the National Board Certification process.”
They stop short of saying that the research “proves” that accreditation improves the quality of teaching and learning and this is in accord to with what Johnson and Christensen (2008) say
“you [should] eliminate the word prove from your vocabulary when you are talking about research”? p22
What does Johnson and Christensen (2008) mean and why are the NBPST so modest about their claims?
On the contrary to the misunderstandings by many that a hypothesis can be tested and proven to be true through research, Johnson and Christensen (2008) asserts that research is not a tool based on which a phenomena can be proved to be true. It is a systematic process which acquires data of a relevant topic or an issue, analyses the data, interprets and reports information. Research helps to understand a particular assumption or a claim to be reasonable, unreasonable or assist to understand the reality. Johnson and Christensen (2008) chapters one, two and three helps to understand that there are two approaches to research: qualitative and quantitative research, which have led to different methods of inquiry in order to understand what is to be true or what constitute reality. Hattie’s (2003) research indicates the importance of educational research in understanding the important factors contributing to teaching and learning. However, as each educational setting differs from another, educators need to be able to read and to interpret research findings to their own contexts to be able to have better implications. According to Johnson and Christensen (2008), and McMillan (2004), educators also need to be able to question the quality of the research and take into consideration the credibility of the research and the usefulness of the outcomes in making informed decisions about teaching and learning in their own contexts.
Johnson and Christensen (2008) suggest that better judgment cannot be based on a single or small sample research studies but multiple studies using mixed methods research methods.
Generalizing the research outcomes in to the educational settings needs to be based on the quality and the nature of study taken place, participants and the research methods used and comparing other studies to see if there are any correlating conclusion on previous studies
2) What is the key defining characteristic of experimental research?
Active manipulation of an independent variable is the key defining characteristic of an experimental research.
The characteristic of experimental research is where the researcher objectively observes a phenomena which is made to occur in a strictly controlled situation where one or more variables are systematically changed by manipulation.
“Active manipulation is not involved in any other types of research. Because of this â€¦experimental research provides the strongest evidence of all the research methods about the existence of cause and effect relationships” (Johnson, Christensen 2008,p.41)
3) A researcher discovered that students who studied mathematics at University scored higher on a test of problem solving ability at the end of their degree than students who did not. The researcher argued that the study of mathematics should be encouraged because “it improves a student’s ability to solve problems” What type of design is this? Do you agree with the researcher’s conclusion? Give reasons.
What type of design is this?
Quantitative, causal-comparative research design.
Do you agree with the researcher’s conclusion? Give reasons.
Do not agree with the research conclusion.