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Chapter 3 Preparing and Evaluating a Research Plan Gay and Airasian

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1 Chapter 3 Preparing and Evaluating a Research Plan Gay and Airasian
Educational Research Chapter 3 Preparing and Evaluating a Research Plan Gay and Airasian

2 Topics Discussed in this Chapter
Characteristics of a research plan General considerations in developing a research plan Components of a research plan Evaluation of a research plan

3 Characteristics of a Research Plan
A research plan is a detailed description of the procedures that will be used to investigate your topic or problem

4 Characteristics of a Research Plan
General components of a research plan Justification for the hypotheses or exploration of the research problem Detailed presentation of the steps to be followed in conducting the study

5 Characteristics of a Research Plan
A quantitative plan will… state the hypothesis, determine the participants, select measuring instruments, choose a specific research design, specify procedures to conduct the study, and stipulate the statistical techniques.

6 Characteristics of a Research Plan
A qualitative plan will… identify the general research issue, explain how the researcher intends to gain entry to the research site, identify the participants, estimate the time that will be spent in the field, determine the best ways to collect data, and identify appropriate ways to analyze the data.

7 Characteristics of a Research Plan
Purposes of a written research plan Forces the researcher to think through every aspect of the study Facilitates the evaluation of the proposed study Provides detailed procedures to guide the conduct of the study

8 General Considerations
Three general issues to consider when developing a research plan Ethics of research Legal restrictions Co-operation from participants

9 General Considerations
Ethics of research Six ethical principles Competence Integrity Professional and scientific responsibility Respect for people’s rights and dignity Concern for other’s welfare Social responsibility

10 General Considerations
Ethics of research Additional ethical issues in qualitative research Unique emerging nature of qualitative designs increase the likelihood of unanticipated and unreviewed ethical issues Unique personal involvement and engagement of the researcher with the research context and participants raise issues related to the objective collection and interpretation of data as well as the possibility of observing potentially illegal or unprofessional behavior

11 General Considerations
Legal restrictions National Research Act of 1974 Protects participants Protection from harm Informed consent Stipulates that proposed research activities involving human subjects must be reviewed and approved by an authorized group Internal Review Boards and Committees on Human Subjects

12 General Considerations
Legal restrictions Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 Protects student’s privacy Access to student’s records Need for written permission to use data identifying students Known as the Buckley Amendment

13 General Considerations
Deception Situations in which complete information related to the study is not given to participants Focus is on the likelihood that such information would influence or change participant’s responses Some research studies can be negatively affected by informing participants of certain details Use of deceptive practices must be undertaken very, very carefully

14 General Considerations
Cooperation of participants Gaining entry to the research site Approval needed at several levels Site Administrators Teachers Students Approval is not cooperation

15 General Considerations
Cooperation from participants Strategies to enhance cooperation Clearly explain the benefits of the study Afford stakeholders the opportunity to review drafts of the report for their approval Brief stakeholders on the findings Provide professional development sessions for stakeholders

16 Components of a Research Plan
Five major components Introduction Method Data analysis Time Schedule Budget

17 Components of a Research Plan
Introduction Three sections Statement of the topic Review of the literature Statement of hypotheses The topic is identified with a discussion of the background and rationale Quantitative topics are stated at the beginning of the research plan while qualitative statements emerge as the research is conducted

18 Components of a Research Plan
Introduction (continued) Review of the literature Provides an overview of the topic and positions the study in the context of what is known, and more importantly what is not known, about the topic Quantitative reviews are done in the beginning of the study while qualitative reviews are ongoing as issues are identified

19 Components of a Research Plan
Introduction (continued) Statement of hypotheses A formal statement specifying the hypothesis, support for specific expected relationships between variables, and operational definitions of all variables Quantitative statements reflect deductively reasoned hypotheses while qualitative studies do not usually discuss hypotheses

20 Components of a Research Plan
Method Five sections Participants Instruments Materials/apparatus Design Procedures Identifies the number, source, characteristics of the population and sample, and sampling procedures Quantitative studies identify large samples and probability sampling techniques while qualitative studies identify small samples and non-probability sampling techniques

21 Components of a Research Plan
Method (continued) Instruments Descriptions of the specific measures of each variable, the technical characteristics of the instruments, and the administration and scoring of the instruments Quantitative studies describe non-interactive instruments (e.g., tests, questionnaires, surveys, etc,) while qualitative studies describe interactive techniques (e.g., interviews and unstructured observations)

22 Components of a Research Plan
Method (continued) Materials/apparatus Descriptions of specific material such as manuals, computer programs, etc.) Design Descriptions of the basic structure of the study and the specific research design chosen Quantitative studies describe structured, static designs while qualitative studies describe flexible, emergent designs

23 Components of a Research Plan
Method (continued) Procedures Detailed descriptions of all the major steps that will be followed in conducting the study, assumptions of the study, and limitations of the study Quantitative and qualitative studies differ in terms of the emphasis placed on different steps, but they do not differ in terms of the steps discussed

24 Components of a Research Plan
Data analysis Descriptions of the techniques used to analyze the data Quantitative studies focus on the selection and application of appropriate statistical procedures to analyze numerical data while qualitative studies use appropriate procedures to interpret narrative data

25 Components of a Research Plan
Time schedule Description of the major activities and corresponding anticipated completion dates Budget Descriptions of anticipated costs that are likely to be incurred

26 Evaluation of a Research Plan
Informal assessment Critiques by the researcher, advisors, peers and colleagues, etc. Critiques by experienced researchers Formal assessment Field tests Pilot studies Modifications based on the results of both informal and formal evaluations

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