Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

Instruments Used in Doctoral Dissertations in Educational Sciences in Turkey: Quality of Research and Analytical Errors

Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

Instruments Used in Doctoral Dissertations in Educational Sciences in Turkey: Quality of Research and Analytical Errors

Article excerpt


The aim of this study was to define the level of quality and types of analytical errors for measurement instruments used [i.e., interview forms, achievement tests and scales] in doctoral dissertations produced in educational sciences in Turkey. The study was designed to determine the levels of factors concerning quality in research methods and the case study model was used. Theoretical universe for the study was 324 doctoral dissertations in educational sciences in Turkey from 2003 to 2007. Sampling group was consisted of 211 doctoral dissertations accessed through online in the National Thesis Center. In order to collect the data, an evaluation form was developed by the researcher and the data analysis method was epistemological document analysis. In the analysis process, frequencies, descriptive statistics, and typology analysis techniques were used. The findings indicate that the properties of measurement tools used in dissertations in educational sciences were absent and that the most common analytical mistake was the absence of validity.

Key Words

Research in Educational Sciences, Measurement Instrument, and Design Errors.

The number of educational research concerning the educational system has gained an important role in the decade. While some of the published studies have created a basis for educational reforms, another portion has tested the results of previous research and the reliability via literature review (Balci & Apaydin, 2009; Odom et al., 2005; Onwuegbuzie & Daniel, 2003). In parallel to this growth in quantity, inquiry process of educational research, the results reached through the conduct of research and the availability of high quality works are quite important. When these studies were examined, some authors' findings included misconceptions, contrary to the reality, opposite findings were expressed. This study provides an important and necessary synthesis of studies (Dunkin, 1996).

Kieffer, Reese, and Thompson (2001) determined that variance and covariance analyses, regression analyses, and correlation analyses had been frequently used in 756 articles issued in Journal of Counseling Psychology (JCP) and American Educational Research Journal (AERJ) between 1988 and 1997. In addition to American oriented journal analysis, in Onwuegbuzie's (2002) study published in British Journal of Education Psychology (BJEP) in 1998, the most frequently used analyses procedures were variance, covariance, and factor analysis.


The purpose of this study was to examine the quality of research, measurement instruments and the types of analytical errors in doctoral dissertations in educational sciences produced in the Turkish universities.


Research Design

While conducting the research, which aimed to determine the measurement instruments used and the analytical errors in the doctoral dissertations in educational sciences between the years of 2003 and 2007, the case study design had been used in addition to the other qualitative research designs (Creswell, 1998; Merriam, 1998, Yildirim & Simsek, 2005).

Universe and Sampling

The theoretical universe of this research was the doctoral dissertations produced in Turkey in education sciences. Yet, the theoretical universe to study, which was identified by taking into consideration the improvements in methodology and whether they were up to date, included 324 doctoral dissertations education sciences between the years of 2003 and 2007 (Yüksek Ögretim Kurulu [YÖK], 2008). The distribution of doctoral dissertations when the year was taken as the unit of analysis was as follows: 2003 (n=43, 13.2%), 2004 (n=50, 15.4%), 2005 (n=50, 15.4%), 2006 (n=84, 25. 9%), and 2007 (n=97, 29.4%). In the research, a sampling was not used since the researcher was able to reach all the dissertations except 211 dissertations due to the restrictions of usage. As a result, the examined distribution of doctoral dissertations based on years was as follows: 2003 (n=6, 2. …

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