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  • Applications of Transferability and Generalizability: Case Study
    through qualitative means interviews observations etc Data is usually analyzed either holistically or by coding methods Assumptions In research involving case studies a researcher typically assumes that the results will be transferable Generalizing is difficult or impossible because one person or small group cannot represent all similar groups or situations For example one group of beginning writing students in a particular classroom cannot represent all beginning student writers Also conclusions drawn in case studies are only about the participants being observed With rare exceptions case studies are not meant to establish cause effect relationships between variables The results of a case study are transferable in that researchers suggest further questions hypotheses and future implications and present the results as directions and questions Lauer Asher 32 Example In order to illustrate the writing skills of beginning college writers a researcher completing a case study might single out one or more students in a composition classroom and set about talking to them about how they judge their own writing as well as reading actual papers setting up criteria for judgment and reviewing paper grades teacher interpretation Results of a Study In presenting the results of the previous example a researcher should define

    Original URL path: http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/page.cfm?pageid=1379&guideid=65 (2015-10-15)
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  • Applications of Transferability and Generalizability: Ethnography
    Ethnographies study groups and or cultures over a period of time The goal of this type of research is to comprehend the particular group culture through observer immersion into the culture or group Research is completed through various methods which are similar to those of case studies but since the researcher is immersed within the group for an extended period of time more detailed information is usually collected during the research Jonathon Kozol s There Are No Children Here is a good example of this Assumptions As with case studies findings of ethnographies are also considered to be transferable The main goals of an ethnography are to identify operationally define and interrelate variables within a particular context which ultimately produce detailed accounts or thick descriptions Lauer Asher 39 Unlike a case study the researcher here discovers many more details Results of ethnographies should suggest variables for further investigation and not generalize beyond the participants of a study Lauer Asher 43 Also since analysts completing this type of research tend to rely on multiple methods to collect information a practice also referred to as triangulation their results typically help create a detailed description of human behavior within a particular environment Example The Iowa Writing Program has a widespread reputation for producing excellent writers In order to begin to understand their training an ethnographer might observe students throughout their degree program During this time the ethnographer could examine the curriculum follow the writing processes of individual writers and become acquainted with the writers and their work By the end of a two year study the researcher would have a much deeper understanding of the unique and effective features of the program Results of a Study Obviously the Iowa Writing Program is unique so generalizing any results to another writing program would be

    Original URL path: http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/page.cfm?pageid=1380&guideid=65 (2015-10-15)
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  • Applications of Transferability and Generalizability: Experimental Research
    environment in which to observe and interpret the results of a research question A key element in experimental research is that participants in a study are randomly assigned to groups In an attempt to create a causal model i e to discover the causal origin of a particular phenomenon groups are treated differently and measurements are conducted to determine if different treatments appear to lead to different effects Assumptions Experimental research is usually thought to be generalizable This methodology explores cause effect relationships through comparisons among groups Lauer Asher 152 Since participants are randomly assigned to groups and since most experiments involve enough individuals to reasonably approximate the populations from which individual participants are drawn generalization is justified because over a large number of allocations all the groups of subjects will be expected to be identical on all variables 155 Example A simplified example Six composition classrooms are randomly chosen as are the students and instructors in which three instructors incorporate the use of electronic mail as a class activity and three do not When students in the first three classes begin discussing their papers through e mail and as a result make better revisions to their papers than students in the other three classes a researcher is likely to conclude that incorporating e mail within a writing classroom improves the quality of students writing Results of a Study Although experimental research is based on cause effect relationships certainty can never be obtained but rather results are probabilistic Lauer and Asher 161 Depending on how the researcher has presented the results they are generalizable in that the students were selected randomly Since the quality of writing improved with the use of e mail within all three classrooms it is probable that e mail is the cause of the improvement Readers

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  • Applications of Transferability and Generalizability: Survey
    false questions agree disagree or Likert questions rankings ratings and so on Results are typically used to understand the attitudes beliefs or knowledge of a particular group Assumptions Assuming that care has been taken in the development of the survey items and selection of the survey sample and that adequate response rates have been achieved surveys results are generalizable Note however that results from surveys should be generalized only to the population from which the survey results were drawn Example For instance a survey of Colorado State University English graduate students undertaken to determine how well French philosopher critic Jacques Derrida is understood before and after students take a course in critical literary theory might inform professors that overall Derrida s concepts are understood and that CSU s literary theory class E615 has helped students grasp Derrida s ideas Results of a Study The generalizability of surveys depends on several factors Whether distributed to a mass of people or a select few surveys are of a personal nature and subject to distortion Survey respondents may or may not understand the questions being asked of them Depending on whether or not the survey designer is nearby respondents may or may not have the opportunity to clarify their misunderstandings It is also important to keep in mind that errors can occur at the development and processing levels A researcher may inadequately pose questions that is not ask the right questions for the information being sought disrupt the data collection surveying certain people and not others and distort the results during the processing misreading responses and not being able to question the participant etc One way to avoid these kinds of errors is for researchers to examine other studies of a similar nature and compare their results with results that have been obtained

    Original URL path: http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/page.cfm?pageid=1382&guideid=65 (2015-10-15)
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  • The Qualitative versus Quantitative Debate
    in it These basic underlying assumptions of both methodologies guide and sequence the types of data collection methods employed Although there are clear differences between qualitative and quantitative approaches some researchers maintain that the choice between using qualitative or quantitative approaches actually has less to do with methodologies than it does with positioning oneself within a particular discipline or research tradition The difficulty of choosing a method is compounded by the fact that research is often affiliated with universities and other institutions The findings of research projects often guide important decisions about specific practices and policies The choice of which approach to use may reflect the interests of those conducting or benefitting from the research and the purposes for which the findings will be applied Decisions about which kind of research method to use may also be based on the researcher s own experience and preference the population being researched the proposed audience for findings time money and other resources available Hathaway 1995 Some researchers believe that qualitative and quantitative methodologies cannot be combined because the assumptions underlying each tradition are so vastly different Other researchers think they can be used in combination only by alternating between methods qualitative research is appropriate to answer certain kinds of questions in certain conditions and quantitative is right for others And some researchers think that both qualitative and quantitative methods can be used simultaneously to answer a research question To a certain extent researchers on all sides of the debate are correct each approach has its drawbacks Quantitative research often forces responses or people into categories that might not fit in order to make meaning Qualitative research on the other hand sometimes focuses too closely on individual results and fails to make connections to larger situations or possible causes of the results Rather

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  • Annotated Bibliography
    judge authentic assessments Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association Atlanta GA Contrasts the foundational assumptions of the constructivist approach to traditional research and the positivist approach to authentic assessment in relation to generalizability and other research issues Howe Kenneth Eisenhart Margaret 1990 Standards for qualitative and quantitative research A prolegomenon Educational Researcher 19 4 2 9 Huang Chi yu et al 1995 April A generalizability theory approach to examining teaching evaluation instruments completed by students Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association San Francisco CA Presents the results of a study that used generalizability theory to investigate the reasons for variability in a teacher and course evaluation mechanism Hungerford Harold R et al 1992 Investigating and Evaluating Environmental Issues and Actions Skill Development Modules A guide designed to teach students how to investigate and evaluate environmental issues and actions The guide is presented in six modules including information collecting and surveys questionnaires and opinionnaires Jackson Philip W 1990 The functions of educational research Educational Researcher 19 7 3 9 Johnson Randell G 1993 April A validity generalization study of the multiple assessment and program services test Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association Atlanta GA Presents results of study of validity reports of the Multiple Assessment and Program Services Test using quantitative analysis to determine the generalizability of the results Jones Elizabeth A Ratcliff Gary 1993 Critical thinking skills for college students National Center on Postsecondary Teaching Learning and Asessment University Park PA Reviews research literature exploring the nature of critical thinking discusses the extent to which critical thinking is generalizable across disciplines Karpinski Jakub 1990 Causality in Sociological Research Boston Kluwer Academic Publishers Discusses causality and causal analysis in terms of sociological research Provides equations and explanations Kirsch Irwin S Jungeblut Ann 1995 Using large scale assessment results to identify and evaluate generalizable indicators of literacy National Center on Adult Literacy Publication No TR94 19 Philadelphia PA Reports analysis of data collected during an extensive literacy survey in order to help understand the different variables involved in literacy proficiency Finds that literacy skills can be predicted across large heterogeneous populations but not as effectively across homogeneous populations Lauer Janice M Asher J William 1988 Composition research empirical designs New York Oxford Press Explains the selection of subjects formulation of hypotheses or questions data collection data analysis and variable identification through discussion of each design LeCompte Margaret Goetz Judith Preissle 1982 Problems of reliability and validity in ethnographic research Review of Educational Research 52 1 31 60 Concentrates on educational research and ethnography and shows how to better take reliability and validity into account when doing ethnographic research Marcoulides George Simkin Mark G 1991 Evaluating student papers the case for peer review Journal of Education for Business 67 2 80 83 A preprinted evaluation form and generalizability theory are used to judge the reliability of student grading of their papers Maxwell Joseph A 1992

    Original URL path: http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/page.cfm?pageid=1384&guideid=65 (2015-10-15)
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  • Writing for the Web
    resources is designed to support and help writers who want to design and code Web sites as well as understand how to write effective and interesting content for them Writing for the Web Category Generating Ideas Show Descriptions Writing Guides Choosing and Refining Topics Writing Activities Brainstorming Exploring Interests Exploring Your Topic Freewriting Tweet HELP SITE INDEX ABOUT THIS SITE CONTACT Writing CSU is an open access educational Web site

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  • Definition of Finding Significance
    Discourse Writing with a Purpose Illustrating by Use of Example Observing from Purpose and Process Print Friendly Page Authors Contributors Definition of Finding Significance Finding significance involves recognizing the significance of personal experience and narrowing down that experience to a revealing moment for focus and clarity In the case of the Literacy Narrative Essay for example the personal experience the writer must focus on is one in which she learned

    Original URL path: http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/teaching/signif/pop2a.cfm (2015-10-15)
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