Conducting Educational Research: A Comparative View

By R. Murray Thomas | Go to book overview

levels), pupils' concentration skills, conditions of distractibility, mood (depression, optimism, self-confidence), speed and accuracy in acquiring knowledge, study habits, and long-term memory.

In summary, there is no experimental design that is superior to all others for all research situations. The choice of a design requires balancing costs (time, energy, participants, facilities, funds, bother, undesirable side effects), the gravity of decisions that are based on the outcome of the experiment, and the benefits that could derive from the research results.


CONCLUSION

For convenience of discussion, the approaches to data collection reviewed in this chapter have been presented as six separate types. However, it is clear that in practice those types are not mutually exclusive. One type often merges with another. A case study conducted over an extended period of time becomes historical research. Most ethnographies are essentially case studies. And correlational information, survey results, and experiments can be embedded in a historical account.

Furthermore, each of the approaches may include a variety of specific information-gathering techniques and instruments. Commonly used techniques, along with their advantages and disadvantages, are described in Chapters 6 and 7.


RESEARCH PROJECT CHECKLIST
1. What is the target question or series of questions that my research is intended to answer?____________________
2. Which approach or combination of approaches will I employ in my
research?
__1. Case study
__2. Historical analysis
__3. Ethnography
__4. Surveys
__5. Correlational comparison
__6. Experiment
__7. Other (explain)__________
3. If I plan to include an experimental approach in my research, what form of
experimental design will I employ? (Describe and diagram the design.)
(Note: Answer questions 4, 5, and 6 for each approach that will be used.)

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