dissertation review


This assignment has two parts. The first part is a review of dissertations to help you understand what will be expected of you as you move into the dissertation phase of your work. The second part allows you to practice with a basic correlational design.

Part 1 (3 points):

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For each of the three dissertations attached, identify in one sentence each the problem, purpose, research questions, methodology and design, and finally why the methodology and design selected are appropriate to answer the research questions presented.

Part 2 (7 points):

Now that you have reviewed several correlational designs, it is time to practice creating your own mini-correlational study. For this assignment, you will survey five people you know to practice working with quantitative data.

Think of a problem you see in your daily life (it does not have to be related to Education for this exercise) that can be addressed using correlational research. You will create a problem statement, purpose statement, research questions, and hypotheses that can best be addressed using correlational research. You will then demonstrate your ability to run a correlation with the data you collect. Keep this practice exercise very simple, as the main idea is to grasp the big picture concept of correlation rather than to create a complex study.

For example, a problem in daily life you may notice that when you or your colleagues sit too long during the day energy levels suffer in the evening. Your purpose could be to determine if sitting too long during the day is related to low energy during the evening. Your research question could be: How does the amount of time sitting during the day relate to evening energy level?

You may reach out to family members, friends, and colleagues—either through work or by posting in the ID CoP—but abstain from referring to this as data collection or research, which would then require informed consent and an IRB review.

In this example, your hypothesis might be the more hours a person spends sitting a day, the lower their reported energy level will be in the evening. Your approach would then be to survey five friends, family members, or colleagues and ask them: (x) how many hours did you sit at your desk yesterday? And (y) on a scale of 1-10, what was your energy level last night? You could then calculate Pearson’s r for your data set to determine how your variables are correlated. As a reminder, you should have a basic idea of how to calculate Pearson’s r from your prior course work; so please, refer to that information. This is also covered in chapter 3 of your textbook.

For your practice, correlational study, include the following parts:

  1. One sentence statement of the problem (1 point)
  2. One sentence statement of the purpose (1 point)
  3. Research question (1 point)
  4. Hypothesis (1 point)
  5. Calculation of Pearson’s r (1 point)
  6. One- to two-sentence summary of your findings (1 point)
  7. One-paragraph reflection on how you might use correlational designs in your future research in Education (1 point)

Length: 1 pages in total, not including title page

References: No references required, though any sources used should be cited and referenced in APA format

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