Research Design: Series Introduction

Education research aims to understand how people learn and the effects of learning environments, including sociocultural factors. The ultimate goal is typically to improve learning and enable learners to achieve their goals. How researchers build this understanding and achieve this goal is called research design, which is critical to the quality and validity of the knowledge produced. Research design includes several aspects:

  • Crafting research questions that are interesting and answerable
  • Selecting research methods that are appropriate and thorough
  • Identifying or designing measurements that provide reliable and valid data
  • Conducting appropriate analysis of data based on the type of data and the research questions

Because my Ph.D. is in a social science, psychology, about half of my graduate coursework was about research design. In the computer science education community, the most requested talk in my repertoire is about research design. This interest is likely due to many people in our field not having formal training in this critical aspect of education research. Instead, they learn these skills primarily through apprenticeship. This series is designed to help those learning research design through an apprenticeship model.

I originally created this material as a primer for the CS education group I worked with while I was a graduate student at Georgia Tech. I like to think I’ve learned a lot since then, so I’m revamping the content for this series. It will focus on CS education topics in the examples, but the concepts apply to all social sciences. If you are learning about education research design or just need a refresher, this series will help you select the appropriate questions, methods, measures, and analyses for conducting education research. To do this, I’ll cover the following topics.

To guide the application of concepts to projects – Educational Research Design Worksheet

For additional, and free, information, I use the Research Methods Knowledge Base as a textbook when I research methods. It goes into depth about specific scenarios and types of validity and reliability.

I should disclaim that in my formal psychology training, qualitative and observational research was not discussed. As an education researcher, I have engaged in professional development to learn these relevant skills. However, my tendencies lean toward quantitative and experimental research. I hope to convince more skilled qualitative researchers to add their expertise to resources for the community.

15 thoughts on “Research Design: Series Introduction

  1. Pingback: Research Design: Research Questions | Lauren Margulieux

  2. Pingback: Research Design: Pre- and Post-Tests | Lauren Margulieux

  3. Pingback: Research Design: Non-Experimental and Experimental Designs | Lauren Margulieux

  4. Pingback: Research Design: Dependent and Independent Variables | Lauren Margulieux

  5. Pingback: Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Data | Lauren Margulieux

  6. Pingback: Research Design: Levels of Measurement | Lauren Margulieux

  7. Pingback: Research Design: Survey Design, Demographics, Validity, and Reliability | Lauren Margulieux

  8. Pingback: Research Design: Preparing Data for Quantitative Analysis | Lauren Margulieux

  9. Pingback: Research Design: What Statistical Significance Means | Lauren Margulieux

  10. Pingback: Research Design: Descriptive Statistics | Lauren Margulieux

  11. Pingback: Research Design: Inferential Statistics for Relational Questions | Lauren Margulieux

  12. Pingback: Research Design: Inferential Statistics for Causal Questions | Lauren Margulieux

  13. Pingback: Research Design: Interpreting and Calculating Effect Sizes | Lauren Margulieux

  14. Pingback: Additional Analyses: Interrater Reliability and Demographics | Lauren Margulieux

  15. Pingback: Research Design: Improve Your Design Before Collecting Data | Lauren Margulieux

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