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Specifying a Purpose and Research Questions or Hypotheses

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Presentation on theme: "Specifying a Purpose and Research Questions or Hypotheses"— Presentation transcript:

1 Specifying a Purpose and Research Questions or Hypotheses
Chapter 5 Specifying a Purpose and Research Questions or Hypotheses Power Point Slides by Ronald J. Shope in collaboration with John W. Creswell

2 Educational Research 2e: Creswell
Key Ideas The difference between purpose statements, hypotheses, and research questions Variables in quantitative research Quantitative purpose statements, questions, hypotheses Qualitative purpose statements, questions, hypotheses Educational Research 2e: Creswell

3 Educational Research 2e: Creswell
What are Purpose Statements, Research Questions, Hypotheses, and Objectives? Purpose Statement Research Questions Hypotheses Research Objectives Overall Direction Intent Form Use Placement One or more sentences Quantitative and Qualitative Research End of Introduction Raise questions to be answered questions End of the introduction, after the literature review, or in a separate section of the study Make predictions about expectations One or More Objectives Typically State Goals Educational Research 2e: Creswell

4 Why are these statements and questions important?
Represent major signposts Help identify appropriate methods Help link intent with the results Educational Research 2e: Creswell

5 Educational Research 2e: Creswell
What We Need to Know to Design Quantitative Purpose Statements, Research Questions, and Hypotheses What is a variable? What is a theory? What elements go into these statements and questions? Educational Research 2e: Creswell

6 (A Characteristic or Attribute)
What is a Variable? A Variable (A Characteristic or Attribute) That can be Measured and Varies (Can be assessed on an instrument and recorded on an instrument) (Can assume different values or scores for different individuals) Educational Research 2e: Creswell

7 Examples of variables and non-variables
• Leadership style Organizational control Autism Almost impossible to measure variables Subconscious thoughts World poverty Stereotypes Difficult but possibly measurable variables Socialization Imagination Intuition Discrimination Educational Research 2e: Creswell

8 Categorical and Continuous measures of variables
A categorical measure is a value of a variable assigned by the researcher into a small number of categories. (e.g. Gender) A continuous measure is the value of a variable assigned by the researcher to a point along a continuum of scores, from low to high. (e.g. Age) Educational Research 2e: Creswell

9 Variables and Constructs
A Variable is an attribute or characteristic stated in a specific or applied way A Construct is an attribute or characteristic expressed in an abstract, general way. Construct Student Achievement Variable Grade Point Average Educational Research 2e: Creswell

10 The Family of Variables in Quantitative Studies
Probable Cause (X) Effect Independent Variables Treatment Measured Intervening Dependent Control Moderating Confounding (Y) (Z) Educational Research 2e: Creswell

11 Educational Research 2e: Creswell
Families of Variables Dependent Variables: An attribute or characteristic influenced by the independent variable. Educational Research 2e: Creswell

12 Educational Research 2e: Creswell
Families of Variables Independent Variable: An attribute or characteristic that influences or effects an outcome or dependent variable. Treatment Variable Measured Variable Control Variable Moderating Variable Educational Research 2e: Creswell

13 Intervening Variables
Intervening Variables (Mediating Variables): An attribute or characteristic that “stands between” the dependent and independent variables. Educational Research 2e: Creswell

14 Example of an Intervening Variable
Independent Variable Intervening Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Dependent Example Convenient office hours for students Student seeks help from faculty Student becomes willing to take risks Independent Variable Educational Research 2e: Creswell

15 Educational Research 2e: Creswell
Families of Variables Confounding Variables (Spurious Variables): Attributes or characteristics that the researcher cannot directly measure because their effects cannot be easily separated from the other variables, even though they may influence the relationship between the independent and the dependent variable. Educational Research 2e: Creswell

16 Theories as Bridges Between Independent and Dependent Variables
Educational Research 2e: Creswell

17 Different Types of Explanations in quantitative research
Broad Abstractions Extensive Tests by other researchers As a formal theory that is expressed by connected hypotheses and variables identified by authors As a conceptual framework often expressed as a visual model by other authors for relationship As a theoretical rationale posed by other authors based on studies for relationship As explanation posed by the author as a hunch for why the independent variable relates to the dependent variable Narrow Application No Test Educational Research 2e: Creswell

18 Elements of quantitative purpose statement
Single sentence “The purpose of this study . . .” Theory Quantitative words (e.g. “Relate,” “Compare,” “Describe”) Educational Research 2e: Creswell

19 Elements of quantitative purpose statement
Variables Independent Variable (1st position in sentence) Dependent Variable (2nd position in sentence) Control and/or mediating variable (3rd position in sentence) Research site Participants Educational Research 2e: Creswell

20 Quantitative Research Questions
3 types: Describe results to your variables Compare two or more groups on the independent variable in terms of the dependent variable Relate two or more variables Educational Research 2e: Creswell

21 Educational Research 2e: Creswell
Research Hypotheses Three types: Null hypothesis Directional alternative hypothesis Non-directional alternative hypothesis Educational Research 2e: Creswell

22 Educational Research 2e: Creswell
How do You Design Qualitative Purpose Statements and Research Questions? Understand how these statements and questions differ from quantitative research Understand the role of a central phenomenon in qualitative research Understand qualitative research as an emerging process Educational Research 2e: Creswell

23 Quantitative - more closed Qualitative - more open-ended
Differences between quantitative and qualitative purpose statements and research questions Quantitative - more closed Probable Cause/Effect (“Why did it happen?”) 2. Use of theories (Why did it happen in view of an explanation or theory?”) 3. Assessing differences and magnitude “How much happened?” “How many times did it happen?” “What were the differences among groups in what happened?” Qualitative - more open-ended 1. Descriptive (“What happened?”) 2. Interpretive (“What was the meaning to people of what happened?”) 3. Process-oriented (“What happened over time?”) Educational Research 2e: Creswell

24 Educational Research 2e: Creswell
Explaining or predicting variables versus exploring or understanding a Central Phenomenon Qualitative Understanding or exploring a Central Phenomenon Quantitative Explaining or Predicting Variables X Y Y In-depth understanding of Y; external forces shape and are shaped by Y The independent variable (X) influences a dependent variable (Y) Educational Research 2e: Creswell

25 Two qualitative research considerations
The focus of the research is around a Central Phenomenon which is an issue or a process the researcher would like to study. Qualitative research is built on an emerging design Educational Research 2e: Creswell

26 Elements of qualitative purpose statement
Single sentence “The purpose of this study ” Central Phenomenon State qualitative type of design Qualitative words (e.g. “explore,” “understand,” “discover”) Participants Research site Educational Research 2e: Creswell

27 Two Types of qualitative Research Questions:
Central question Sub-questions Differences between research questions and questions asked during data collection Educational Research 2e: Creswell

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