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A Short Guide to Action Research 4 th Edition Andrew P. Johnson, Ph.D. Minnesota State University, Mankato

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Chapter 8: Quantitative Design in Action Research

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Quantitative research is based on the collection and analysis of numerical data Three quantitative research designs can fit within the action research paradigm: 1. correlational research 2. causal–comparative research 3. quasi-experimental research

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CORRELATIONAL RESEARCH Seeks to determine whether and to what degree a statistical relationship exists between two or more variables Used to describe an existing condition or something that has happened in the past

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Correlation Coefficient Correlation coefficient = the degree or strength of a particular correlation Positive correlation = when one variable increases, the other one also increases Negative correlation = when one variable increases, the other one decreases Correlation coefficient of 1.00 = a perfect one-to-one positive correlation Correlation coefficient of.0 = absolutely no correlation between two variables Correlation coefficient of –1.00 = a perfect negative correlation

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Misusing Correlational Research Correlation does not indicate causation Just because two variables are related, we cannot say that one causes the other Negative Correlation Increase in one variable causes a decrease in another

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Making Predictions Correlation coefficient identified by the symbol r When r = 0 to.35, the relationship between the two variables is nonexistent or low When r =.35 to.65, there is a slight relationship. When r =.65 to.85, there is a strong relationship

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CAUSAL-COMPARATIVE RESEARCH Used to find reason for existing differences between two or more groups Used when random assignment of participants for groups cannot be met Like correlational research, used to describe an existing situation compares groups to find a cause for differences in measures or scores

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QUASI-EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH Like true experiment; but no random assignment of subjects to groups random selection is not possible in most schools and classrooms Pre-tests and matching used to ensure comparison groups are relatively similar

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Five Quasi-Experimental Designs Exp = experimental group Cnt = control group O = observation or measure T = treatment

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Pretest-Posttest Design GroupTime ExpOTO CntOO

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Pretest-Posttest Group Design GroupTime ExpOTO CntOO

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Time Series Design GroupTime ExpOOOOTOOOO GroupTime ExpT1OOOOT2OOOO

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Time Series Group Design GroupTime ExpOOOOTOOOO CntOOOOOOOO GroupTime ExpT1OOOOT2OOOO CntT1OOOO OOOO

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Equivalent Time-Sample Design GroupTime ExpTOOTOO

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THE FUNCTION OF STATISTICS Descriptive statistics = statistical analyses used to describe an existing set of data Measures of central tendency describes a set of data with a single number a. mode - score that is attained most frequently b. median - 50% of the scores are above and 50% are below c. mean - the arithmetic average

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Frequency Distribution = all the scores that were attained and how many people attained each score ScoresNumber of Students

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Line graph for frequency distribution

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Measures of variability = the spread of scores or how close the scores cluster around the mean Range = the difference between the highest and lowest score Variance = the amount of spread among the test scores standard deviation = how tightly the scores are clustered around the mean in a set of data

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Scores with a Small Variance xx xxx xx x Scores with a Large Variance xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx

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Small Standard Deviation: Closely Distributed Scores

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Large Standard Deviation: Widely Distributed Scores

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INFERENTIAL STATISTICS Inferential statistics = statistical analyses used to determine how likely a given outcome is for an entire population based on a sample size make inferences to larger populations by collecting data on a small sample size Statistical significance = that difference between groups was not caused by chance or sampling error

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