2Subject AimsData analysis methods appropriate for investigating issues across a range of topics in education.Conceptual understanding of statistics rather than formal mathematical derivationsUnivariate and bivariate statistics.Skills in questionnaire design
3AssessmentsThere will be 10 exercises (30%), and 1 project (4000 words) (70%)
4SPSS is requiredSPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences)
6Reading materials for Topic 1 Module1.pdf:Educational research: some basic concepts and terminologyT. Neville Postlethwaite
7Topic 1 outline Types of educational research Planning educational researchResearch questions
8Issues/headlines in Education Australian students lag in maths, scienceFunding splurge fails to improve student resultsBest assessment practiceBoys lag behind girlsAccountability policiesUse technology in the classroomsDecide if quantitative and/or qualitative methods may be used to investigate each of the issues.
9Types of Research Questions addressed by quantitative methods DescriptiveAssociation/CorrelationalCausal/Explanatory
10Descriptive Problems - 1 Which subject fields are more frequently chosen by Australian Year 11 and 12 students?Do girls choose different subject fields compared with boys? If so, what are the subjects preferred by girls?Are there differences in subject choice according to differences in social status and ethnic family backgrounds?What are the areas that Professional Development Program for teachers should cover?Are all primary school teachers qualified to teach?What are the status of school building in a country?
11Descriptive Problems - 2 May not be as straightforward as the computation of frequencies and averages.Break-inOn the radio, an advertisement for an insurance company ran as follows: “Every 10 minutes, a car is stolen in Zedland. Every 21 minutes, a house is broken into. Take up an insurance policy today.”Using only the information given in the advertisement, can you concludeanything about the chance a car will be stolen in Zedland?that it is more likely to have a car theft than a house break-in?Give reasons to support your answer.
12Association - 1Are there any relationships between students’ reading achievement and their mathematics achievement?Is there an association between reading achievement and the number of books in the home ?Association does not always lead to causal.
13Association - 2In a town in Europe, the number of storks is positively correlated with the number of babies born.Crime rate is positively correlated with ice cream sales.
14Causal relationships - 1 Does smaller class size increase student performance?Do students’ performance improve if more homework is assigned?Does parental attitude have an impact on student achievement?
15Causal relationships - 2 Causal relationship is very difficult to identify.Number of books at home is positively correlated with student achievement.Can student achievement be improved by placing more books in a home?Mediating variablesHigh parental expectations of achievement is correlated with both number of books at home and student performance.
16Causal relationships - 3 Study design to establish casual relationships needs to be “confirmatory” than “exploratory”.Confirmatory approachE.g., we hypothesise that increasing homework can increase student performance.Carry out a study where some students are assigned more homework and some are not.Exploratory approachObtain student performance data and other information including homework, school administration, hours of teaching, etc.Find correlations between student performance and other variables.
17Research Stages Stage 1: Research aims Stage 2: Literature Stage 3: Research designStage 4: InstrumentationStage 5: PilotingStage 6: Data collectionStage 7: Data cleaning and Data analysisStage 8: Research report
18Research aim(s)Example: To identify factors influencing student withdrawal from school and explore the extent to which each factor contributes to student withdrawal from schoolThis example will take you through the process of:1-operationalising a research aim into research questions.2-how literatures were reviewed and the proportions established3- hypotheses4-resech design5-developping instruments
19Literature Review Review the related literature What have been done in the field?What are controversial debates? School of thought?What are the “gaps”? (knowledge and methods)What are the findings?Develop a theoretical framework
20Research questionsWhat are the factors that influence students’ academic achievement?Which method of instruction is most effective in teaching young children to read?
21PropositionsGender, ethnicity, family economic status, parents’ education and occupation, parents’ and students’ attitudes, were important factors relating to students' academic achievement.School effectiveness has an impact on student achievementTeacher qualification has an impact on student achievementPropositions were established as a result of literature review . Propositions formed the research theoretical framework for your project.
22Research design At this stage the following should be identified: Source of informationWho is appropriate to provide the necessary informationCharacteristics of the target populationData collection methods
23Data collection methods Cross-sectional vs longitudinalIf longitudinal, how many times?Sample vs cohortIf sample, how many?Questionnaire, test, interview, published statisticsHow many questions?
24Establishing the link between information needed, source of information and methods of data collectionInformation needed/variables to be measuredSource of informationMethods of data collectionThe table that presents a link between information needed, and from whom and whore information can be obtained, and how to obtain this information (structured interview or mail questionnaire…)
25Link between the information needed, sources and methods Data collectionStudent genderStudentsQuestionnaireFamily characteristicsparentsParent attitudesParentsStudent attitudesStudent achievementtestsSchool characteristicsSchool/PrincipalQuestionnaire/interview
26Questionnaires Needed Student questionnaire Parent questionnaire School questionnaire
27InstrumentationDevelop/validate and pilot instruments (test or questionnaires)Once the research design was completed. The next step is to design the instruments and pipot the instruments.
28Variables included in the Parent Questionnaire Family social status/wealthMother EducationFather EducationMother OccupationFather OccupationFamily sizeParent attitudesIt is important to identify the variables to be coved in the questionaries.
29Variables included in the Student Questionnaire Student genderEthnicityStudent attitudesStudent academic achievementStudent behaviour
30Data collection and data management Field work supervisionEntering the data into data fileCleaning the data
31Data Analysis Descriptive Correlational Causal Note that statistics can only provide correlational information. Any causal interpretation is made by people.
32Writing up the reports and discussions Technical reportPolicy reportGeneral public
33A few examples to contemplate Margins of error in test scoresFor Year 5 numeracy, each child is tested on just 40 questions each year in a national test. If David obtained 25 out of 40 on the 2009 test, how much would we expect David’s scores to vary if tests similar to the 2009 test are administered?For a 40-question test, David’s scores might vary by as much as 5 score points.In percentage terms, if a student’s score is 70% on a test, we expect the range of this student’s scores on similar tests to be between 58% and 82%.
34Simpson’s paradox Men Women Arts Sci total 5 men and 5 women apply for university places (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simpson%27s_paradox)MenWomenArts3 out of 4 (75%)1 out of 1 (100%)Sci0 out of 1 (0%)1 out of 4 (25%)total
35False positives Prevalence rate for a disease in a population is 1%. Test for this disease-ve/-ve 95%+ve/-ve 5% (5% of those who do not have the disease show a +ve result)+ve/+ve 95%-ve/+ve 5% (5% of those who have the disease show a -ve result)Is this a good test?Suppose 10,000 people were tested. 600 had +ve result. What is the proportion of the people with +ve result who actually have the disease?