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WGU RFC 1 ch 2

Summary of Chapter 2

The first step in selecting a research topic identify a general subject that is related to your area of expertise and is of particular interest to you
Five main sources of research topics 1. Theories 2. Personal experiences 3. Previous studies that can be replicated 4. Electronic mailing lists 5. Library searches
Theories organized bodies of concepts, generalizations, & principles
Researchers often study a particular aspect of a theory to determine its applicability or generalizablity.
A researcher's personal experiences and concerns often lead to useful and personally rewarding studies
Can be rich topic sources Common questions such as "Why does this happen?" or What would happen if...?"
Existing studies common source of research topics
Replication of a study usually involves changing some feature from the original study
Electronic mailing list designed by organizations to facilitate communication among their members
Library searches generally not efficient ways to identify research topics
Cover many topics briefly are useful handbooks, encyclopedias, and yearbooks
Library resources invaluable, after you have identified a topic to study
After an initial topic is identified needs to be narrowed and focused into a manageable topic to study
Quantitative research topics usually narrowed quickly at the start of a study
Qualitative research topics not usually narrowed until the researcher has more information about the participants and their setting.
two basic characteristics of a good research topic 1. It is of interest to the researcher 2. It is researchable using the collection & analysis of data
Not researchable Topics related to philosophical and ethical issues (i.e. should questions)
A good topic has theoretical or practical significance
A good topic solution contributes in some way to improving the educational process.
A good topic for you must be a topic that can be adequately investigated given your current level or research skill, available resources, and time and other restrictions
Topic statement first item in the introduction to a research plan
Topic statement introduction to the final research project. Provides direction for the remaining aspects of both
Well written topic statement for a quantitative study generally indicates the variable of interest, the specific relations among those variables, & ideally, the characteristics of the participants.
Qualitative research topics usually are stated in general language because qualitative researchers need to become attuned to their research context before narrowing their topic.
Hypothesis researcher's prediction of the research findings
Researchers do not set out to prove a hypothesis but rather collect data that either support or do not support it.
Hypothesis in quantitative study formulated based on theory or on knowledge gained while reviewing the related literature.
Critical characteristic of a good hypothesis is that it is based on sound rationale.
A hypothesis a reasoned prediction, not a wild guess
A hypothesis is a tentative but rational explanation for the predicted outcome
A good hypothesis states clearly and concisely the expected relations or differences between variables
variables should be stated in measurable terms.
A well stated and well defined hypothesis must be testable
Inductive hypothesis generalization made from a number of observations
deductive hypothesis derived from theory and is aimed at providing evidence that supports, expands, or contradicts aspects of a given theory
Research hypothesis states the expected relation or difference between variables, which the researcher expects to test through the collection and analysis of data
A non-directional hypothesis predicts only that a relation or no difference exists
A directional hypothesis indicates the direction of the difference as well.
Null hypothesis predicts that there is no significant relation or difference between variables.
General paradigm or model for stating hypotheses for experimental studies is P who get X do better on Y than P who do not get X (or get some other X) P=participants X=treatment or independent variable Y=outcome or dependent variable
Researcher selects the sample, measuring instruments, designs, and procedures that will enable him or her to collect the data necessary to test the hypothesis
Those data are analyzed to determine whether or not the hypothesis is supported
Typically, qualitative researchers do not state formal hypotheses prior to the study
A qualitative researcher may develop guiding hypotheses for the proposed research
Qualitative researchers are likely to generate new hypotheses as a result of their studies.
Created by: Xyrarose