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VIEWS: 6 PAGES: 12

									A Critical Eye to Finding High
       Quality Research

                Ronald Dietel




      UCLA Graduate School of Education
           & Information Studies

    National Center for Research on Evaluation,
     Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST)
          Communicating in the Emerging Knowledge
         Utilization Era-NEKIA Communicators Institute
                          June 2-3, 2005
                                                         1
Why It Is Hard to Find High Quality
Research That Improves Learning

 Primary influence on achievement are
  non-school factors
 Difficulty in successfully implementing
  reform and change
 Difficulty in transferring reform to new
  settings
 Even if well done, perception of bias
  frequently exists


                                             2
       Research Problems
 Topics of little relevance or reinforce
  common sense
 Flawed research designs
 Poor measurement methods
 Failure to make the right comparisons
 Contradictory findings
 Political influence



                                            3
       What to Look For In
      High Quality Research
 First things-a clear title
   Title-Developing an approach to understanding
     the intellectual components and psychometric
     properties of simulation-based curricula
   Title- Policymakers’ Views of Student
     Assessment

 Report authors
   Reputation

   How many authors?

   Published in a peer-reviewed journal?

                                                    4
What a Good Abstract Should Do

  Points to a relevant problem or need
  States a research question or questions
  Describes methods
  Lists a key finding or two
  Concise




                                             5
  A Good Literature Review


 Builds the need for the study
 Shows breadth of research on this topic
 Quality of references
 Avoids over-citation of the author or
  authors




                                            6
  Good Research Questions


 Build from the literature review
 Address important need or needs
 Are a reasonable number
 Can be measured
 Are answered at the end




                                     7
            Good Design


 Provides data that helps answer the
  research questions
 Probably uses an experimental design
 Sufficient sample size
 Reflects the population from which the
  sample is taken
 States the limits of the study


                                           8
        Analysis/Findings


 Restates research questions, then helps to
  answer them
 Discuss statistical significance
 Discuss effect size
 Discuss transfer of findings to the
  population
 Tables and figures increase understanding


                                               9
What the Conclusions Should Do

  Answer or help answer the research
   questions
  Be supported from the data
  Reinforce study limitations
  Suggest next steps




                                        10
     A Few More Thoughts


 Appendices can be helpful especially if
  they include instruments
 Develop a review checklist
 Evaluate-Is the research useful to your
  audience?




                                            11
What to Do When The Research
     Doesn’t Measure Up

 Get at least one other opinion

 Inform key people

 Become a better research user
  yourself

 Remember “It all depends!”


                                   12

								
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