Discussion: Evaluating Research Questions, Hypotheses, and Quantitative Research Designs
With a clear purpose in place, quantitative researchers have a roadmap for crafting their research questions and hypotheses that will further focus the approach they will take to investigate their topic (i.e., their study’s research design).
The selection of a research design is guided by the study’s purpose and research questions and hypotheses, and the design then links the research questions and hypotheses to the data that will be collected. You should keep in mind, however, that the research process is interactive, not necessarily proceeding in a linear fashion from one component to the next. Rather, the writing of research questions could, for example, necessitate adjustments to the study’s purpose statement. Nevertheless, when presented together, the various components of a research study should align. As you learned last week, alignment means that a research study possesses clear and logical connections among all of its various components.
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In addition to considering alignment, when researchers select a research design, they must also consider the ethical implications of their choice, including, for example, what their design selection means for participant recruitment, procedures, and privacy.
For this Discussion, you will evaluate quantitative research questions and hypotheses in assigned journal articles in your discipline and consider the alignment of theory, problem, purpose, research questions and hypotheses, and design. You will also identify the type of quantitative research design the authors used and explain how it was implemented. Quasi-experimental, casual comparative, correlational, pretest–posttest, or true experimental are examples of types of research designs used in quantitative research.
With these thoughts in mind, refer to the Journal Articles document for your assigned articles for this Discussion. If your last name starts with A through I, use Article A. If your last name starts with J through R, use Article B. If your last name starts with S through Z, use Article C.
A critique of the research study in which you:
· Evaluate the research questions and hypotheses (The Research Questions and Hypotheses Checklist can be used as a guide to facilitate your evaluation; it is not meant to be used in a Yes/No response format in writing your Discussion post.)
· Identify the type of quantitative research design used and explain how the researchers implemented the design
· Analyze alignment among the theory, problem, purpose, research questions and hypotheses, and design.
Be sure to support your Main Issue Post and Response Post with reference to the week’s Learning Resources and other scholarly evidence in APA Style.
Babbie, E. (2017). Basics of social research (7th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.
- Chapter 5, “Conceptualization, Operationalization, and Measurement”
Burkholder, G. J., Cox, K. A., & Crawford, L. M. (2016). The scholar-practitioner’s guide to research design. Baltimore, MD: Laureate Publishing.
- Chapter 4, “Quantitative Research Designs”
Canfield, M. L., Kivisalu, T. M., van der Karr, C., King, C., & Phillips, C. E. (2015). The use of course grades in the assessment of student learning outcomes for general education. Sage Open, 1–13. doi: 10.1177/2158244015615921
Research Questions and Hypotheses Checklist
Use the following criteria to evaluate an author’s research questions and/or hypotheses.
Look for indications of the following:
• Is the research question(s) a logical extension of the purpose of the study?
• Does the research question(s) reflect the best question to address the problem?
• Does the research question(s) align with the design of the study?
• Does the research question(s) align with the method identified for collecting data? If the study is qualitative, does the research question(s) do as follows?
• Relate the central question to the qualitative approach
• Begin with What or How (not Why)
• Focus on a single phenomenon
• Use exploratory verbs
• Use nondirectional language
• Use an open-ended format
• Specify the participants and research site If the study is quantitative:
• Do the descriptive questions seek to describe responses to major variables?
• Do the inferential questions seek to compare groups or relate variables?
• Do the inferential questions follow from a theory?
• Are the variables positioned consistently from independent/predictor to dependent/outcome in the inferential questions?
• Is a null and/or alternative hypothesis provided as a predictive statement?
• Is the hypothesis consistent with its respective research question?
• Does the question(s) and/or hypothesis specify the participants and research site? If the study is mixed methods, do the research questions and/or hypotheses do the following?
• Include the characteristics of a good qualitative research question (as listed above)
• Include the characteristics of a good quantitative research and/or hypothesis (as listed above)
• Indicate how the researcher will mix or integrate the two approaches of the study
• Specify the participants and research site
• Convey the overall intent of the study that calls for a mixed methods approach
Laureate Education (Producer). (2009d). Quantitative methods: An example [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.
Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 13 minutes.
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*Please use Learning Resources and Required Media