Week 2
  1. What are the tradeoffs in working in the different traditions discussed by Crotty & Firestone?
  2. How do the traditions fit with your research topic and personal beliefs?
  3. What assumptions does each tradition make and what implications will this have for your research?
  4. What kinds of research questions related to your research problem will each tradition allow you to ask?


Week 3
  1. Erickan & Roth point out that all natural and cultural phenomena have both qualitative and quantitative aspects. What are the quantitative aspects of the phenomenon your group is investigating? What are the qualitative aspects?
  2. What *kinds* of research questions will you be asking in your study (“Does…”, “How…”, “How can…”)? What is the justification for asking these kinds of questions?
  3. What kinds of data will be useful in answering these questions? Make sure to consider all the ideas you had from Question 1 and consider how both qualitative and quantitative elements will play into each.
  4. What kind of logic will you use to draw inferences from your data to answer your research questions? Does this logic match with your research approach?
  5. What potential ethical issues do you expect may arise in the course of your project?


Week 5
  1. What are the big issues to worry about in collecting survey data? (Think about issues connected to collecting quantitative data, qualitative data, and sampling)
  2. How do each of these concerns apply to you project (how will you address them in your research design)?
  3. How can a mixed methods approach contribute to your study?


Week 6
For all:
  • What is the overall issue that the concepts of reliability & validity or trustiworthiness are concerned with? Why are these issues critical to research?
  • How does the idea of evaluating the plausibility of rival hypothesis occur in the naturalistic paradigm? How does it occur in the rationalistic paradigm?

For groups taking an objectivist stance: (Important Note: Guba’s article talks about the concept of validity in rationalistic studies, this includes the validity of the instruments used in the study (discussed by Thorndike) but also other concerns like the validity of the experimental design. The following questions refer to Thorndike’s discussion of the validity of instrumentation in a study.)
  • What is the relationship between reliability & validity? Can you have reliability without validity? Can you have validity without reliability? Explain why or why not.
  • Why can’t we talk about the reliability of an instrument in general? Why can’t we talk about the validity of an instrument in general? (note that the answers to these questions are different)
  • Why don’t the concepts of reliability and validity “make sense” for researchers coming from a constructionist or subjectivist stance?
  • How will you document reliability & validity in your study?


For Week 7: Outer Limits Task List

1. Things we need/want to change in our research procedure;

2. Things we want to edit for the final project report;

3. Things we have questions about / want further guidance on
(if there is nothing on this list, that is okay).

Also provide:

4. A status report on where we are in the project
5. The current data collection plan
6. Working version of our instruments
7. Ethics consent form

8. Explain how the data collection plan / instruments will help ensure the validity (trustworthiness) of the study

9. Any questions we may be having about your project.


Week 10
  1. Types of scales (Nominal, Ordinal, Interval & Ratio) - What are the differences between them and why do they matter?
  2. Measures of central tendency (Mode, Median & Mean) - What are the differences between them and why do they matter?
  3. Histogram / Frequency Distributions - What are they and why are they useful?
  4. What are “skweness” & “variability” (kurtosis) and how to they show up in a histogram?
  5. Standard deviation – What is it a measure of? What is it used for?
  6. Standard (z) score – How is it different from a raw score? Why is it useful?
  7. Correlation – What is it a measure of?


Week 11
  1. In hypothesis testing, what is the “big decision” that needs to be made? Why is this important and what does it mean? What are the dangers we worry about in making this decision?
  2. What is the difference between directional and non-directional hypotheses? How does this choice affect the statistics (conceptually?) Based on this, which is a better kind of hypothesis to use?
  3. What is the difference between statistical significance (think of a t-test) and practical significance (think of effect size)? What kinds of claims does each one let you make? Which one do you think is more important and why?