Week 5: Quantitative Research Designs
Returning to the Grand Canyon panorama, a few questions come to mind as you prepare to leave for your next trip: How should you go about pinpointing the exact spot from which to photograph? Will changes in the lighting make integrating new pictures into your panorama difficult? In any case, you now have a purpose for your trip, can state your intentions, and can identify key questions that invite a search for answers and focus your approach to your next trip.
You are now at a similar point in your understanding of the research process, such that an overall framework, including philosophical orientation, theory, literature, problem, and purpose, is falling into place. This week, you will continue to expand your understanding of this framework by analyzing and evaluating research questions and hypotheses in quantitative studies. You will also learn about various quantitative research designs that researchers use to answer their research questions. You will also continue to analyze the interrelated elements of a research study, making the connection among theory, problem, purpose and, now, research questions, hypotheses, and design.
- Evaluate quantitative research questions and hypotheses in research studies published in peer-reviewed journals
- Identify quantitative designs in research studies published in peer-reviewed journals
- Explain use of quantitative designs in research studies published in peer-reviewed journals
- Analyze alignment among theory, problem, purpose, research questions and hypotheses, and design in quantitative research studies published in peer-reviewed journals
- Apply APA Style to writing
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”
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.
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.
Post 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