EDUC Y520: Strategies for Educational Inquiry



Selecting and defining a research plan




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  1. According to the textbook, the first step in selecting a topic is

      Identifying a general topic or problem of interest to you.
      Going to the library to conduct a hand search of recent articles.
      Generating a research hypothesis statement.
      Identifying the variables you will examine in the study.

  2. Which is an important characteristic of a good research topic? The topic:

      can be answered with the presentation of an opinion.
      can be investigated within a year.
      contributes to theory or practice.
      requires a measure of student teaching.

  3. The textbook names three main sources for identifying research topics. Which of the following is NOT one of the sources stressed in the text?

      Theories.
      Library search.
      Personal experiences.
      Replications.

  4. Which of the following is the best example of a good topic?

      Should teachers rely on ability grouping in classrooms for reading instruction?
      Of all the ways children learn in school, do they best learn through observation?
      Do students involved in the peer-tutoring program exhibit improved math performance?
      Should parents read to their children prior to school enrollment so that they become better readers?
      None of the preceding is a good topic.

  5. Jessica needs a research topic for her thesis. She visits the library and persuses all the journals searching for ideas. Evaluate Jessica's strategy for finding a research topic. This strategy will likely:

      work well because she will be familiar with current research.
      not work because she will find too narrow a topic.
      not work because libraries are better used after the topic is identified.
      work well because she will find something in which she is both interesed and skilled.


    Use the following research topic to answer questions 6-8: Does a significant difference in achievement exist between sixth graders taught via overheads and those taught via Powerpoint slides, as measured by classroom tests?


  6. Which of the following is the best statement of the null hypothesis:

      There is a significant difference in student achievement between the two groups.
      No difference exists in achievement between those taught using overheads and those taught using slides.
      Students taught with slides will outperform students taught using overheads.

  7. The non-directional hypothesis is

      There is a significant difference in student achievement between the two groups.
      No difference exists in achievement between those taught using overheads and those taught using slides.
      Students taught with slides will outperform students taught using overheads.

  8. The directional hypothesis is.

      There is a significant difference in student achievement between the two groups.
      No difference exists in achievement between those taught using overheads and those taught using slides.
      Students taught with slides will outperform students taught using overheads.

  9. Which of the following is a primary source regarding the effects of attention on learning?

      A research report published in the Elementary School Journal.
      A summary of a study that appears in Willingham's (2001) Cognition textbook.
      A review article published in Educational Psychology Review.
      A website that summarizes the findings from attention studies conducted in the last three years.

  10. Given the following hypothesis, which alternative contains the independent variable? Graduate students who study statistics concepts with computer-generated simulations perform better on application problems than do students who learn statistics with textbook based examples.

      Statistics concepts.
      Application problems.
      Graduate students.
      Instructional method.

  11. Jethro, a special educator, read recently a research study about a behavior modification strategy used to decrease eating speed in a normal functioning adult. He decides to conduct a study to see if the intervention might be used successfully with one of his students, a mentally retarded middle school student. Jethro's research topic is best described as a study that:

      Tests theory.
      Is a replication.
      Is developed through a library research.
      Comes from questions we generally ask ourselves.

  12. Which of the following is a researchable survey research topic regarding standardized testing?

      Should standardized tests be administered?
      What is the relationship between scores on two different standardized tests?
      What strategies do teachers use to decrease parent anxiety over standardized test scores?
      How do learning outcomes, such as course grades, relate to standardized test scores?

  13. Which is likely a qualitative research topic about academic achievement?

      The purpose of the study is to compare properties of two motivational inventories.
      An examination of differences in academic motivation based upon SES.
      Description of the motivation of several students in an advanced placement high school history class.
      Research study of the relationship between motivation and standardized test scores.

  14. Paul is conducting a literature search on instructional methods for teaching mathermatics concepts to rural high school students. Which is likely the best search term(s) for Paul to use for an electronic database search?

      Mathematics instruction and high school.
      Instructional methods.
      High school students or mathematics instruction.
      Students and rural education.

  15. Rachel's teacher suggested that she start with secondary sources to obtain an impression of the existing literature for her research topic. Which is likely a secondary source?

      A previous student's dissertation.
      An article in Review of Research and Instruction.
      A paper that describes a study that was presented at a national conference.
      An article in American Educational Research Journal.

  16. After conducting a literature search in ERIC, Russ found three studies that seemed related directly to his topic. One of these studies had a research label of ED43180. What is one conclusion that can be drawn about the source?

      It is not a review paper.
      It is a secondary source.
      It is not a journal article.
      It is a peer-reviewed source.

  17. When organizing a research manuscript, the references most directly related to your study

      Appear near the beginning of the manuscript.
      Appear at the end of the manuscript.
      Are interspersed with other related literature.
      Appear primarily in the interpretation of your findings.

  18. Esther handed in her research topic and her instructor returned it and asked her to do the assignment again. Given Esther's topic, My study will address differences in children's learning from varying types of instructional materials, the reason the instructor returned it was likely:

      The topic is not researchable.
      The topic is not relevant to educational research or theory.
      Esther's research procedure is unclear.
      Her variables are not operationally defined.

  19. Thomas proposed to study whether there are differences between standardized test scores in fifth-grade children who were taught mathematics in same-gender versus mixed-gender mathematics classrooms. Which of the following best describes this research topic?

      Experimental.
      Correlational.
      Qualitative.
      Quantitative.

  20. Referring to Thomas' study in the preceding question, which of the following is the non-directional hypothesis?

      The will be no differences in standardized mathematics scores between fifth grade children in same-gender versus mixed-gender classrooms.
      There will be a difference in standardized mathematics scores between fifth grade children in the same-gender versus mixed-gender classrooms.
      Fifth grade learners in same-gender mathematics classes will perform better on standardized tests than those enrolled in mixed-gender classrooms.
      Fifth grade learners in mixed-gender mathematics classes will perform better on standardized tests than those in same-gender classrooms.


    For each of the following sample research topic statements, determine whether the study is more likely to be qualitative or quanitative.

  21. The purpose of the current study is to identify if there are gender differences in self-esteem in fourth grade children.

      Qualitative.
      Quantitative.

  22. Reviews of research reveal consistently that the transition to college life is difficult. The purpose of this study is to describe the typical first year experience for women at a small liberal arts college in the Midwest.

      Qualitative.
      Quantitative.

  23. For decades researchers have questioned the effects of pictures on learning from text. Some suggest that pictures distract the reader, while others indicate that pictures assist the reader in comprehension of the text. This study compares ninth-grade readers' comprehension of science text with and without pictures.

      Qualitative.
      Quantitative.

  24. As children age and gain experiences, their ideas of future occupations changes as well. The purpose of this study is to discuss with children of varying ages their occupational interests.

      Qualitative.
      Quantitative.

  25. The purpose of this study is to compare children's motivation for reading before and after enrollment in a summer reading program designed to teach phonemic awareness to struggling readers.

      Qualitative.
      Quantitative.

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