Quantitative Methods in Educational Research
Classes: (i) video lectures will be posted, (ii) practice items with answers will be posted, (iii) Zoom tutorials Q&A session will be arranged during the class lecture time (will tentatively use the time slots 230-430pm on 10, 12 August; keep 11, 13 as reserved if change is needed), zoom links will be provided on blackboard
Attention is drawn to University policy and regulations on honesty in academic work, and to the disciplinary guidelines and procedures applicable to breaches of such policy and regulations. Details may be found at http://www.cuhk.edu.hk/policy/academichonesty/
Students have to submit their assignment through the Veriguide engine.
This course is designed to introduce students to research methods, which approach educational phenomena from empirical and positivistic perspectives. The course will begin with the basic logic of conceptualization, operationalization and measurement in quantifying educational phenomena. It will explicate basic principles of research designs in quantitative methods. These may include experimental and quasi-experimental designs and sampling designs in survey methods. It will also familiarize students with basic operations of descriptive and inferential statistical analyses in educational research. The course content will be illustrated with cases of quantitative research in Hong Kong educational settings.
The present course will concentrate on basic knowledge in quantitative studies. More advanced quantitative methods will be covered in PEDU6403, PEDU6404, PEDU6405.
(PEDU6405 for students doing PhD and with very strong statistics/maths background ONLY, see web course and information in www.fed.cuhk.edu.hk/~kthau)
- The following textbook will be extensively referred to during the course, but you should be able to find a lot of other introductory textbooks on educational research in our libraries.
- Pedhazur, E. J., & Schmelkin, L. P. (1991). Measurement, design, and analysis: An integrated approach. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
- It is assumed students have basic knowledge of HKDSE mathematics such as: normal distribution, mean, standard deviation. Students planning to conduct a quantitative research project (collecting questionnaires, etc.) should strengthen their statistical knowledge by taking or sitting in the courses PEDU6403, PEDU6404, and PEDU6405, as well as reading more relevant materials at their own time. They may also consult: Wiersma, W. & Jurs, S. G. (2005). Research methods in education: An introduction. Allyn & Bacon. or other introductory references for more fundamental topics in research methodology.
In view of the brevity of the course, we will discuss basic topics relevant to most students. They will include (approximately one lesson for each unit) :
- Measurement (chapters 2,3,4,5) (pp.17-24,26-28; 30-47, 56-62,73-77,81-84,88-92)
- Scales (categorical, ordinal and ratio)
- Research Problems, Variables, hypothesis (Chapter 8,9)(pp.172-179; 180-194)
- Types of variables
- Hypothesis Testing
- Basic Statistics (supplementary notes)
- Central Tendency (mean, mode, median)
- Variability (Spread and dispersion, standard deviation)
- Standard score
- Correlation, chi-square test, t-test, analysis of variance
- Basic Research Design (Chapter 9, 10)(pp.194-203; 206-207; 211-218; 223-233)
- An overview of designs
- Validity issues in research
- Distinctions between and examples of experiments and quasi experiments
- Statistical hypotheses: Null and alternative hypothesis
- Control and randomization
- Nonexperimental Designs, Sampling and Survey (Chapters 14,15)
- Nonexperimental Designs
- Simple Random, Stratified Sampling
- Sample Size
- Students will demonstrate knowledge of the basic concepts, theoretical perspectives, and debates about quantitative research methodology.
- Students will demonstrate mastery of the procedures involved in various aspects of quantitative research.
- Students will be able to identify defining features of various research designs, and the pros and cons of each.
- Students will be able to recognize main threats to external and internal validity, and devise solutions to overcome these problems in research design.
- Students will be able to critically evaluate published research reports and design their own small research projects.
Learning Activities and Class format
Students will study lecture notes with reference to the textbook and/or other easily available materials on the web. They will have to complete exercise to check their understanding of the materials.
|Nature of Learning Activities
|Study lecture video/notes
|Study relevant course materials
We will draw extensively on actual studies or published research reports to evaluate critically their research designs and analyses. Students will be required to comment on various research designs in the exercise.
Originally this course has been conducted using e-learning mode with flip (see articles on flip on www.fed.cuhk.edu.hk/~kthau the left most column);
- in brief, students will watch class-lectures,
- they will then complete the exercise with answers to check their progress;
- specifically, for Lessons 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, students have to view several short videos (see table below);
- due to the special health advice under COVID-19, we will not have class meetings, instead students will do the exercise sheets after each lesson, then they will read the extended explanation of the exercise to check their understanding.
- We will communicate through the Learning Management System
- If you have registered the course in CUSIS, you can go into the platform by directly login with your CUHK email and OnePass password : https://blackboard.cuhk.edu.hk
- Visit cuhk.edu.hk/eLearning for further information.
- For each of the topic (Lesson), instead of attending 3-hour lectures, you watch short video clips which total to slightly more than 3 hours for the whole course. We strongly recommend that you briefly read over the lecture notes before watching the video, and have the lecture notes in front of you when you watch the video.
- Then complete the respective exercise for each lesson. Check your progress using the answers provided.
- The lecture notes are in great details and can serve as a textbook in most cases. You can also check out relevant topics on general/ introductory textbooks in the library or on the internet. Please be aware that our library has a lot of e-books.
- On-line video clips are very useful because you can now “pause”, “stop”, “re-wind” the lecture if you are unclear about any part of the lesson.
- We have structured the video clips and the 7 topics into 4 groups, each with less than 1 hour of video. We have also provided a fast and normal play mode, please select the one you prefer.
- We have also provided a (broken破爛) Putonghua version of the videos.
(fast play, min)
|Time (normal play, min)
(fast play, min)
45 min total
44 min total
55 min total
50 min total
- We will arrange brief tutorials for students who think they need further explanation of some topics. Tentatively we have prepared two sessions. We will arrange more if so needed.
- You are most welcome to ask/answer questions and share in this platform on topics, articles, newspaper reports, research findings or anything you think related to this course.
- Other newspaper articles are posted in www.fed.cuhk.edu.hk/~kthau
- Write TWO separate reports to critically evaluate two research reports or a set of related reports in a TOTAL of about 2500 to 4000 words in Chinese (or 2000-4000 words in English)(this is the word count for 2 reports added together) and submit them as ONE WORD /pdf file (i) on/before 23:59, 31 August 2020 (Course code “S”), (ii) on/before 23:59, 20 August 2020 (Course code “G”), (iii) 12:00noon, 14 August 2020 (final year student graduating this summer) (100% of course grade).
- The Educational Journal (CUHK), the Hong Kong Educational Research Journal, the Primary Education Journal (CUHK), the New Horizon and other international journals are good sources to locate relevant studies. (currently New Horizon is on the web, while the others are not.) Comment on their research design or analytical methods as well as on the validity of their conclusions. You can include both critical (negative) comments as well as positive appraisal (describing the strength or appropriateness of the design/analyses). Provide concrete suggestions on how the research can be improved.
- You have to submit the WORD/PDF file of your assignment through Blackboard. You have to send your work to be verified through the Veriguide engine. You can either post the Veriguide report to the Blackboard, or print the report and put in my mailbox in Ho Tim, G/F.
- If you want to get my comments, on/before the deadline, (i) please put (or mail) a hard copy (in addition to the softcopy through Blackboard) and (ii) include a self-addressed and stamped envelope (large envelop to return the whole assignment and enough postage). Put it in Kit-Tai HAU’s mailbox outside the Faculty of Education general office, G/F, Ho Tim Building. At the same time, also post your file to the Blackboard.
- Irrespective of whether you use (b) or (c) above, to safeguard against loss, ALWAYS keep a photocopy (or WORD softcopy) of your assignment until you get the course grade.
- If you are referring to articles from journals outside the above local journal list, please attach a copy of the article that you are commenting. This copy of the targeted article can either (i) be posted in Blackboard (as PDF or other scan form), or (ii) print as hard copy and leave at my mailbox on the G/F Ho Tim.
- Try to organize your ideas systematically and write in paragraph form (rather than as point form). Read sample comment articles in top class journals (e.g., J of Educational Psychology; or Educational Research Journal, 1995, 10, 94-98) (Search in ERIC for articles with title containing “… Comment on …”
||Outstanding performance on all learning outcomes
||Substantial performance on all learning outcomes, or high performance on some learning outcomes which compensates for less satisfactory performance on others, resulting in overall substantial performance
||Satisfactory performance on the majority of learning outcomes, possibly with a few weaknesses
||Barely satisfactory performance on a number of learning outcomes
||Unsatisfactory performance on most of learning outcomes, or failure to meet specified assessment requirements
Feedback for evaluation
Feedback from students will be collected through email exchanges and course-end evaluation.