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Week Three: Interpreting Educational Research

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Rita Menendez

on 4 March 2016

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Transcript of Week Three: Interpreting Educational Research

Week Three:
Interpreting Educational Research

Interpreting educational research; review criteria for critically reviewing a journal article
Reviewing and synthesizing the literature [Your Article and the Ape research example]
Crafting a review of literature
3-2-1 Log
Tackling a topic; narrowing your focus; expanding by exploring related topics
Let's take a moment to complete this exercise in our Mertler & Charler text, p. 59:
Interpreting and summarizing published research
Annotated References:

Creating an annotated bibliography calls for the application of a variety of intellectual skills: concise exposition, succinct analysis, and informed library research.

First, locate and record citations to books, periodicals, and documents that may contain useful information and ideas on your topic. Briefly examine and review the actual items. Then choose those works that provide a variety of perspectives on your topic.

Cite the book, article, or document using the appropriate style.

Write a concise annotation that summarizes the central theme and scope of the book or article. Include one or more sentences that (a) evaluate the authority or background of the author, (b) comment on the intended audience, (c) compare or contrast this work with another you have cited, or (d) explain how this work illuminates your bibliography topic.

Topic and Purpose
Type of Report
Findings and Conclusions
Look at:


Abstracts are the purely descriptive summaries often found at the beginning of scholarly journal articles or in periodical indexes. Annotations are descriptive and critical; they expose the author's point of view, clarity and appropriateness of expression, and authority.

Qualitative data typically cannot be generalized!!!

These may include:
ethnographic research
historical research
action research
Look for subheadings such as:
If these are not present the last few paragraphs are typically a summary of the article.
Research Study
Describe the research question/s that guided the study.
What does previous research indicate about the problem described above?
Who are the participants in the study? Where did the research take place?
Give an overview of the procedures used for conducting the study.
What kinds of data were collected?
What do the authors report as general findings or conclusions?
Do the authors suggest further research or limitations of the current research?
Read (on your own)
pgs. 86-87
in our
Mertler & Charles
Complete a
3-2-1 Log
by listing:
3 important components to writing a literature review.
2 things you learned.
1 question you still have about writing a literature review.
Status reports
provide descriptions of current or previous conditions. (Mertler & Charles, p. 84)

Comparison reports
typically involve application of inferential statistics in evaluation, casual-comparative, and experimental research.(Mertler & Charles, p. 88)
Status reports can be qualitative or quantitative in nature. We will review some common terms found in quantitative status reports momentarily...
Descriptive Statistics found in status reports:

Raw Scores -Scores made or numbers involved

Mean(M) -The arithmetic average.

Median (Mdn or Md)- The midpoint between the highest and lowest in an array of scores.

Mode (Mo)- The most frequently occurring score or measure in an array.

Standard Deviation (SD) - Indicator of the dispersion from the mean for a set of scores.

Grade Equivalents- The average scores made by students at particular grade levels.

Age Equivalents - The average scores made by students at particular age levels.

Percentile Rank (%ile)- Indicator of a given score's standing, relative to others made on the same test or measurement.

Stanines- Nine bands, showing relative position within which all scores are distributed.

(Mertler & Charles, p. 88)
Comparison Reports and a few statistical procedures commonly used:

Chi-square- A procedure for determining the significance of differences when data are categorical in nature.

Difference between means using the t Test - Assessment that uses the t-test, a procedure for determining the significance of a difference between means obtained from two different group or participants or from the same group measured twice.

Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) -A procedure for determining the significance of differences among means obtained from two or more groups of participants; also used to explore interactions among several variables.

(Mertler & Charles, pp. 90-91)
Professional Article
What is the main idea/central focus/key argument of the piece?
Is the author presenting mostly a personal stance on the issue or presenting existing research to support the main point or focus?
How is the information presented? Compare/contrast? Rebuttal? Overview/introduction to a topic? Summary of research?
Is there a historical perspective or does the article report only current information?
What is the author’s purpose in writing the piece?
General guidelines while you read the

Pay attention to the various sections of the article. (probably: introduction/background of the problem; review of literature; participants; setting; procedures; method; findings; results; conclusions)

Make note of “academic phrases” used to sum up, to introduce a new idea, to compare/contrast, to draw conclusions, etc.

Pay close attention to how the author/s incorporate research articles in their writing. Notice how they DO NOT enumerate or merely list the outside research they have included in the article. The authors weave the various research pieces together.

General guidelines while you read the

Think about the tone of the article and how it is organized. Does it present two sides of an argument? Is it a reaction to another published piece? Is it a summary of previous research? Does it highlight some aspects of previous research? Is it an opinion piece written to persuade?

What is the main theme/idea/argument of the piece?

Determine if the piece addresses a current issue, or gives a historical overview of one.

Make note of how outside research is used to support the main points or arguments.
Guiding Questions for Assignment 1:

Read the two articles and decide which one is a research study and which one is a research-based article.
Overview of a Literature Review

Parent Involvement
Mathematics-Word Problem Solving (Secondary Mathematics Education)
Achievement Gap
Response to Intervention
Primary Mathematics and High Level Concepts
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