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EDUC 500: Introduction to Educational Research Dr. Stephen Petrina Dr. Franc Feng Department of Curriculum Studies University of British Columbia.

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Presentation on theme: "EDUC 500: Introduction to Educational Research Dr. Stephen Petrina Dr. Franc Feng Department of Curriculum Studies University of British Columbia."— Presentation transcript:

1 EDUC 500: Introduction to Educational Research Dr. Stephen Petrina Dr. Franc Feng Department of Curriculum Studies University of British Columbia


3 EDUC 500 Methods, procedures, concerns Instruments - interview, scale, questionnaire research objectives - identifying sample- reminder quantitative methods keys to questions (“what” rather than “why”) Population for inclusion in study- people, events, objects, sampling related to choices of perspectives, approaches, ethics Criteria for sampling- related to research objectives, understanding of phenomena, practical constraints Proxies: attributes, constructs, operationalization, rationale for focus

4 EDUC 500 Diversity: Homogeneity vs. heterogeneity, Invariant/relative: blood (Palys, 2003), people Krech, Crutchfield & Ballachey, 1962), classrooms Denzin & Lincoln (1994) Representativeness, adequateness, intact, variability, influenced by socialization, norming, “common sense”, social construction Skinner box: rat in a maze, operant conditioning- perhaps facile, consistent with deductive scientific worldview (invariant example)

5 EDUC 500 Deductive model - Research in which theory is driven by a priori underlying assumptions Functioning to test, explain, affirm (closed); influences sampling choices, exceptions exist (e.g. exploratory factor analysis) Limitations in putting theory before research- preconceived notions, socialization factors, where “a procedural research decision implicitly reaffirms and supports a particular social arrangement” (Paly. 2003: 127)

6 Discourses of power (Foucault, 1970, 1972) Knowledge as arbitrary, role in surveillance, control, discursive borders, voice, margins Knowledge = (technical) power Influences research from the base: directions, rationale, sampling, etc. Reasons for sampling based on alternate rationale that pays attention to the margins

7 EDUC 500 Why not get statistics of population? At times possible- but frequently impossible, impractical, expensive to sample. It is possible to make predictions with relative size samples, around 2000 for national survey with error limits, where N= Population, n= Sample, +/- 2%)

8 EDUC 500 Sampling implications - Introduce error Idea is to minimize this error, with larger samples, Declare the margin error we are willing to tolerate When we “find” significance when there is none - generally set the alpha level at 0.05 (1 in 20), can set at 0.01 (1 in 100) or if it is really critical (1 in 1000)

9 Sampling Sampling language/terminology –connected with probability theory –universe, population unit of analysis –sampling elements –sampling frame –Representativeness –sampling ratio –sampling error

10 Sampling Universe/population synonymous terms full set of units of analysis/ sampling elements not inherent, defined by researcher e.g. persons, articles, statements an error in unit of analysis can have implications (Bateson, 1972).

11 Sampling Sampling frame from population, sampling error introduce problems with representativeness Probabilistic sampling Representativeness Descriptions of variability, normality, linearity, outliers Implications for ability to generalize back to population Larger sample size and random selection helps to minimize errors in probabilistic sampling

12 Probability-Based Sampling within margin of error- with random sampling all elements have equal probability of being selected every element is listed once and once only minimizes sampling error, deviation from population mean

13 Sampling errors Two main errors we need to be concerned with : –1) Systematic errors - the introduction of systematic bias –2) Random errors- due to vagaries of chance variation (range of certainty, e.g. 47 to 53), larger sample size, better estimate of “real” figure See table: how as sample size increases –lower sampling error, as size of confidence interval decreases (Palys, 2003: 131, 132) –Yet, note counter- example of Bush speech with CBS twin polls: touchtone phone in vs. commissioned survey (p )

14 Tyranny of the majority Tyranny of the majority (Palys, 132) –two languages/meanings of representation –dominant group vs. under-represented minority groups –one way to ensure rights of the minority groups are “represented”- research sub-groups –If as researchers, we are concerned with issues of marginalization, minority interests/disparaged social groups, then probabilistic sampling might not be an issue. –If we are less concerned with need to mirror the population in which representation is disproportionate, as we shall see, there are non- probabilistic sampling/qualitative approaches

15 Other approaches Other approaches to sampling- –systematic sample with random start- cyclical –will need to recognize problems with periodicity (e.g hockey teams, apartments stratified random sampling (note error in text, 35% not 10%) –when probabilities are known ahead of time –stratifying according to variable of interest to make comparisons –need large sample sizes for proportional stratified random sampling –can use different sampling ratios in disproportionate stratified random sampling but then, can no longer generalize, only compare

16 In absence of sampling frame When sampling frame is not readily available: –could employ multistage cluster sampling –performing random sampling of clusters within each successive cluster, until the desired “representativeness criterion” is reached (Plays, 2003: 136) –should be used only when sampling frame is unavailable since errors accumulates –also with content analysis for other objects of interest

17 Non-Probabilistic Sampling Haphazard, convenience or accidental sampling –minimal requirements, “ideally, somewhat homogenous –with respect to phenomenon of interest” (Palys, 2003: 142) –Pilot research to pretest research instruments –Research aimed at generating universals

18 Non-Probabilistic Sampling Purposive sampling –Does not aim for formal representativeness –Intentionally sought for criteria –Reflects researcher’s interest and understanding of phenomenon of interest –When sampling individuals could be more inductive, exploratory –Field-based research : choice of informants- including naïve, frustrated, outsider, rookie, “outs”, old hand (Dean et al., 1969) –Informants vary in willingness to disclose

19 Non-Probabilistic Sampling Purposive sampling (continued) –Extreme or deviant case sampling - for instance, experience of pain (Morse, 1994) –Intensity sampling - experienced experts, frequent or ongoing exposure to phenomenon of interest) –Maximum variety sampling (emphasizes sampling for diversity) –Snowball sampling - using connections; useful for deviant populations (Salamon, 1984), first influences –Quota sampling (target population with known characteristics)- Gallup -heterogeneous without true representativeness

20 Eliminating rival hypothesis Towards relational research: relationships, explanations Experimentalist –Classic experiment –Quasi-experimentation –Case-Study analysis Share common logic- control over rival plausible explanations Make reasonable inferences about causes Approaches vary in degree emphasize: –Manipulative or analytical control

21 Towards experimental design Science three types of questions, according to Lofland (1971) –Characteristics –Causes –Consequences Expand to include considerations of antecedents (causes) of phenomena of interest Implications (consequences) for other variables of interest Focus turns to examining relationships among variables and explaining how variables interact to produce phenomena of interest Informed by literature, allows for theorizing by examining relationships

22 The Problem of Causality Causal relationships, causality Differ slightly from Palys’ treatment of causality Non-trivial to claim causation Although Palys adds, “we cannot say that the experiment proved Pascal’s theory. Why? Why not? What can we say at best? Role of theory in contributing to explanation

23 Cook and Campbell (1979) - Torricellian vacuum, Pascal’s experiment Pascal’s historical experiment, elements of experimental design Independent variable - effect to assess, manipulable Dependent variable - measure of “effect” of independent variable Comparison to test for treatment effect Design: compare two tubes exposed to identical conditions except for treatment (change in altitude) Support, consistent, although cannot say proved: competing theories, “jury never quite out” Towards terminology and logic of experimentation

24 Pretest/Posttest Design: Example from the text Research question: Does watching a series of films about immigrants’ contributions to Canadian culture affect people’s attitude toward immigration policies and current immigration levels. (p. 260) Procedure, approach and design (what are these?) –Who are the participants/subjects/informants/respondents? –Why have we selected these participants? –Know initial conditions- preliminary measure of attribute –Reliable and valid instrument to measure attribute under study –Application of treatment –Measure and assessing impact of treatment, if any –Number of variables: exposure to film (manipulated), measure to see whether change has occurred –Independent variable as treatment variable XO2O2 O1O1 (Pretest) (Treatment)(Postest)

25 Internal Validity & Research Design If there is change, can we attribute it to our independent variable? How confident are we that the change was due to the variable that we manipulated? Enter internal validity: “the extent to which differences observed in the study can be unambiguously attributed to the experimental treatment itself, rather than other factors” (Campbell & Stanley, 1963) - they “wrote the book” Key question: “… to what extent, can we be confident that the differences we observed are caused by the independent variable per se, rather than by rival plausible explanations?” (Palys, 261). We need to consider possible “threats” to internal validity (Campbell & Stanley, 1963). What are some of these? No matter how we try to minimize the possibility, random errors will occur…

26 Typical threats to Internal Validity that offer rival explanations for change Key question: Can we be sure that the effect we observed was caused by the independent variable in our design? Uncertainty rears it’s head… why? For a host of reasons… some of these include: –History - pretest/posttest design, in the process –Maturation- biological effects, with participants changing as a function of time –Testing- sensitization to the “test”- even administration can be factor, pretest sensitization, practice effects –Statistical regression towards the mean- more apparent than real- tendency “for extreme scorers on the first testing to score closer to mean (average)… on the second [or subsequent] testing [and] the more extreme the first score, the greater the tendency” (Palys, p. 263).

27 References Images used in this presentation were sourced from the following URLs: –People on the move: –Starhawk: –Martin Luther King: Luther King, Jr jpg –Donna Haraway: –Vandana Shiva: –Michel Foucault: –Normal curve (animated): –Normal curve: Normal_distribution_and_scales.gif Normal_distribution_and_scales.gif

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