EDGZ921 Assessment Task 3: Take-Home Quiz

EDGZ921 Assessment Task 3: Take-Home Quiz

This assessment adopts a ‘take home’ quiz format, yet provided early in the subject to
allow consideration of these questions as you work through the subject material. You
may use any reference material that you consider relevant, but your writing should be
properly referenced.
This quiz consists of six short answer questions. Each question will be marked out of
10. All questions must be responded to in 300 words. Given this length, clear and
concise communication of ideas will be essential (an important skill for educational
researchers).
1. An educational researcher is interested in determining the long-term effects of
cyber-bullying on students’ social, emotional and cognitive development. Despite
the fact that a true experimental design would give the strongest evidence of this
(because, when well designed, it can establish cause and effect), why would it be
unethical to adopt this design for this research? Discuss this with reference to the
characteristics of an experimental design and core ethical principles. What other
quantitative design might be more appropriate (while maintaining the aim of the
research) and how would it circumvent these ethical issues?
2. A qualitative researcher aims to investigate how students at a comprehensive girls
school who are identified as having ‘additional educational needs’ perceive their
prospects of academic and professional success. To explore this, they propose to
conduct one-on-one unstructured interviews and focus groups with students and
teachers, collect student work samples, analyse school policy documents, observe
in-class and out-of-class behaviours, analyse images depicting school contexts
and administer a year-long free-writing journal. The researcher also plans to take
an ethnographic approach to this study. Given the research question and design
are each of the data sources necessary and appropriate? If so, describe the unique
contributions and utility of each, making reference to the research aims. If not,
indicate which you would retain, the unique contributions and utility of each kept
and why the rejected data sources were discarded.
3. Although often overlooked, it is recommended that additional considerations are
integrated in the design of survey-based research, in order to take into account the
unique nature and limitations of questionnaire data. Identify these considerations,
indicate why they are important and, for the following questionnaire, indicate the
extent to which you believe they considered these aspects (using evidence from
the questionnaire to support your claims).
4. After hearing about the potential strength of mixed methods designs (yielding
generalisable evidence of statistically significant effects, while also suggesting
how and why these effects occur) a researcher decides to adopt a mixed methods
design to investigate the effectiveness of iPads for fostering student interaction
and learning. A quasi-experimental study was conducted to identify whether: (a)
students using iPads collaborated more than those without iPads; and (b) students
using iPads achieved higher grades than those without iPads. Throughout this
study, students were also asked to write personal logs about their impressions and
experiences, while the researcher made detailed notes on their observations of
how iPads were being used. Student work samples were also analysed. For this
study: (1) identify which form of mixed method research was used; and then (2)
evaluate what the quantitative data adds in response to the research aim, (3)
evaluate what the qualitative data adds in response to the research aim and (4)
evaluate and justify whether mixed methods was the ideal approach (compared to
qualitative or quantitative alone).
5. A researcher sets out to answer the following: How does the introduction of play
in the primary classroom influence students’ outcomes? Based on their reading,
the researcher hypothesises that imaginative play, when appropriately designed,
will improve student outcomes. To investigate this possibility, the researcher
adopts a narrative design. They recruit 100 students to complete a paper-based
survey asking them to rate their perceptions of how the newly introduced play
influenced their motivation, concentration and cognitive abilities. Clearly there is
a mismatch between the research question, design and methods. Explain why this
proposal is problematic. Assuming the research aim is investigating the relation
between play and student academic outcomes: (1) how could the study be altered
to be a qualitative investigation?; and (2) how could the study be modified to be a
quantitative investigation?
6. Cobern et al. (2010) sought to investigate the comparative effectiveness of direct
and indirect science instruction primary school. To achieve this, they conducted
an experiment with 180 either grade students from a range of demographic areas
(feel free to read the source article for additional detail about the study). The
authors interpret their results (no statistically significant differences between the
two modes of instruction) as indicating “inquiry-based instruction potentially
offers significant advantages for science instruction” (p. 93). Given the research
question, design and methods, evaluate and justify: (1) the limitations of the
study; (2) the extent to which the results are generalisable; and (3) what the key
implications and applications of this study are for educational theory, research,
policy and/or practice (i.e., what can and cannot be concluded – note: it is rarely
that a study makes no contributions, so work hard to evaluate the contributions of
this study).
Cobern, W. W., Schuster, D., Adams, B., Applegate, B., Skjold, A. U., Loving,
C. C., & Gobert, J. D. (2010). Experimental comparison of inquiry and direct
instruction in science. Research in Science & Technological Education,
28(1), 81–96.

Recommended Readings
This is not an exhaustive list. Students are encouraged to use the UOW Library catalogue and databases to locate additional resources.
Cohen, L., &Manion, L. (2001). Research methods in education.New York, NY: Routledge
Cresswell, J.W. (2005). Educational research. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
Lankshear, C., &Knobel, M. (2004). A handbook for teacher research: From design to implementation. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
McMillan, J.H. (2004). Educational research: Fundamentals for the consumer. Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.
Mertens, D.M. (2005). Research and evaluation in education and psychology: Integrating diversity with quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Punch, G. (2005). Introduction to social research: Quantitative and qualitative approaches. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.