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Research Methods in Education I

Dr. Zairul Nor Deana Md Desa
Section: 3
Mondays, 4:30 7:00
C13 - 112
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Class Outline

Conceptual & theoretical framework

Internal and external validity

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Different kinds of variables
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An attribute of a person/object being studied with different
levels or values
E.g. Gender, SES, educational level, math/sc achievement,
positive affect and etc.
Independent Variable (IV)
Differing conditions on the subjects (e.g. treatments vs
placebo/control, novice vs expertise)
Characteristics of the subjects in the research (e.g.
demographic characters)
Also known as predictor variables because they predict
Dependent Variable (DV)
The response or outcome variable.
Different kinds of variables
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Other terms for IV and DV
Predictor-criterion, Stimulus-response, Task-performance,
Control variable
A variable that is related to the DV (the influence that need to
be removed/controlled)
A variable that is related to the DV or IV that is not part of
experiment (threatening variable)
Mediator and Moderator
Mediator: A variable that is related to the DV or IV, and explains
the relationship between variables.
Moderator: A variable that is related to the DV or IV and has an
impact on the DV (interacting variable, e.g. gender, race, level
of income) and will change the strength of an effect between
Different kinds of variables
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Continuous, discrete and dichotomous data
Continuous interval, scale or quantitative
E.g. Time, temperature, age, distance, GPA
Dichotomous or discrete nominal, categorical,
E.g. Race, type of school, gender

Scale of Measurement for Variable
Labeling system devised by S. S. Stevens to classify
measurement. Different scales of measurement allow
different statistical data analysis.
Nominal, Ordinal, Interval, Ratio
Different kinds of variables
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Nominal: Value denotes group membership, but no
information about quantity.
Gender (1 = male, 2 = female), race, religion, experimental
condition, etc.
Ordinal: Value denotes rank order. Distance between values
is not necessarily equal.
Order of finish in a race, questionnaire scale (1 = very happy, 2 =
satisfied, 3 = unhappy), etc.
Interval: Numbers denote magnitude of differences among
Difference between 30 and 50 degrees is exactly the same as
between 100 and 120 degrees.
No logical zero; zero no more meaningful than any other value.
Ratio: The same as interval, but with a logical zero point. Zero
means absence of.
Height, weight, speed, etc.
Theoretical & Conceptual Framework
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What is framework?
A fundamental, basis or abstract structure of meaning
from a written work or literature.
It can be derived from theories and concepts.
What is theory
A set of rules, procedures, principles and assumptions
used to produce a result.
An ideal or hypothetical situation.
What is concept
The highest level of abstraction that convey general
Theories and concepts help to stimulate research
and to extent knowledge.
Theoretical & Conceptual Framework
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Theory Concept
Theoretical Framework
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Consists of rules, procedures, principles and

They are explained within a logical and sequential

To provide a map for interpreting the findings of the

From a loosely-structured framework to something
meaningful and scientifically sound.

It consists of theories and concepts that seem to be
interrelated and systematically viewed.

Conceptual Framework
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Consists of constructs or terms for an issue or

Is a structure of concepts and/or theories which are
pulled together as a map for a study.

To establish connection between facts and

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Graduate Student Career Readiness Program
Theoretical or Conceptual?
Theories on Self-
(Author, Year)
(Author, Year)
Theories on
Graduate Program
and Career
(Author, Year)
(Author, Year)
Studies on Student
Age, gender, program
mode, type of study,
citizenship, etc.
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Validity is the degree to which a study accurately
reflects or assesses the specific concept that the
researcher is attempting to measure.

A test may be valid for one purpose and not for other

Internal validity and external validity.
Face validity
Internal and External validity
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Internal Validity
Refers to causal relationship between variables in the

Refers to quality of the experiment which results are used
to manipulated independent variables.

The strength of relationship between IV and DV.

External Validity
External validity refers to the extent to which the results of
a study are generalizable.
How well the results can be generalized in different
setting, times and persons?

Threats to Internal validity
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A study on a period of time cannot control for events, which occur
during the time, that might influence the DV.
Changes caused by biological or psychological forces.
When the selection is not random but systematic that can induce
Pre-tests can affect the performance on measures of the DV.
Lack of reliably measures, administration technique, scaling or
scoring problem.
For a follow-up study when participants are difficult to find (i.e.
drop-out or refuse to participate) that change the nature of the

Threats to External validity
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Multiple Treatment Interference
When the unintentional treatment interacts with the
intended treatment.
Reactive Arrangements
Subjects behave differently due to the action they receive
from researcher.
Hawthorne Effect: Special attention is given from the
John Henry Effect: Control group tries harder.
Experimenter Effects
Experimenter may sometimes unintentionally influence
the performance of participants in a study.
Rosenthal or Pygmalion Effect: subjects perform in
accordance with researchers expectations.

Basic Principles of Ethical Research
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Protection from Harm
Subjects must be prevented from physical and psychological

Maintenance of Privacy
Being anonymous within a research context.
Only the principle investigator can match participant confidential
data to the research findings.
Subjects IDs (i.e. name, IC #, ect) must be kept in a secure
place out of the public eye.

Subject should not be forced for whatever reason to participate
in a study.

Basic Principles of Ethical Research
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Informed Consent
The goal is to inform the participant.
Informed consent form/letter must be read and signed by each
participant or the person granting participation (e.g. parent,
principal, etc.)
To ensure the participant will not be placed in any danger or
To explain potential benefits to the project as well as to society.
To assure that the results will be kept in strictest confidence.
A brief explanation on how the subject can get a copy of the
results and how can they ask questions.
Records cannot be linked with participants identity.
Data is kept in a controlled situation.
Minimize the number of people who see or handle the data.

Next Class
Methodology: population and sampling

Quiz 1 (Week 1 Week 3 Lectures):
MCQ Format
10 15 questions in 15-20 minutes.
In-class, paper-and-pencil test.
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