Quantitative Research Critique

Length: 10 Pages 2377 Words

Introduction Fairly commenting on an investigator’s research endeavor is a task that must be taken seriously. Although it is quite easy to have an opinion of another’s research, it is something quite different to be able to evaluate the research activity in terms of topic specificity and soundness, intent or purpose, data analysis, and informational importance. When embarking upon a critical analysis of another’s work the reviewer must, at all times, adhere to the basic principle of prudent evaluation; namely, evaluating the structure of the research upon which scientific conclusion are drawn. More specifically, the function of a research article is to inform readers about the problem being investigated, the methods used to solve the problem, the results of the investigation, and the conclusions being inferred from the results. The printed manuscript is to inform the reader, as expeditiously as possible, what was done, the outcome of the doing, and the investigator’s conclusion. In addition to the above, research reports must be succinct, objective, and crystalline. The ultimate test of an excellent research report is in its ability to be replicated by those who read it. If this criterion cannot be met, then the report i Continue...


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In the introduction Burns and Mason should have advised the reader that the study was one of a quasi-experimental design; and the independent and dependent variables should have been explicitly identified and defined. The closest they came to actually expressing any concern in the study's parameters was when they discussed the sample. Such support comes in the form of informing the reader that previous studies have been conducted but failed to encompass the variables of the current research endeavor or by alerting the reader that the current study is so unique that no previous research exists in the chosen topic area. Even though Burns and Mason (2002) stated in their research question , to test for the effects of classroom composition on achievement levels of elementary school children, was an "effect study, they failed to follow though with the required null hypotheses in terms of clearly stating the chosen statistical tool for data analysis in order to arrive at effect conclusions. The two pretest student instruments selected by Burns and Mason (2002) were identified as the Letter Series Test and the Student Survey. With respect to internal validity the investigator must employ valid procedures to obtain the needed information. , quasi-experimental causality investigation) their independent variable was classroom composition and their measurement or independent variable was student achievement. Volumes could have been written here, however, that which is important to state is that using a "t Test of determine the effects of an independent variable on an outcomemeasurement variable is totally inappropriate. With respect to best fit research protocol Burns and Mason (2002) adequately stated their research questions (3) and, as such were in support of the intended research purpose. A "t test is reserved for determining differences between independent or paired sample on the basis of the operationally defined dependent variables. In addition to what has been stated above with respect to the hypothesis statement, the purpose of the null hypothesis in any quantitative investigation is to clearly inform the reader as to the type of study being conducted, namely effects difference or relationship. Further, as the study did not contain a statement as to the study's method of sampling (but determined to be non-random) any conclusion resulting in gerneralization to a larger population of composition classroom students and single classroom students and achievement level cannot be made. Stating the type of study informs the reader as to the type of statistical data analysis technique necessary to fail to accept or fail to reject the stated null hypothesis or hypothesis. In addition, the stated null hypothesis or hypotheses must contain the variables being examined, the type of measurement instrument employed to gather the numeric data that will be statistically analyzed, and the confidence level upon which there will be failure to accept or failure to reject the stated hypothesis or hypotheses.

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