Sample Methodology Paper on Experimental Research

Methodology

A common research technique is an experiment whereby a researcher focuses on manipulating the level of some independent variable and proceeding to measure the outcome. Experiments are known to stand out when it comes to the evaluation of cause-and-effect relationships. Two basic types of the experimental research design are true experiments and quasi-experiments. The true experimental design is regarded as the most accurate form of experimental research involving the random assigning of sample groups as well as the existence of a viable control group (Thompson & Panacek, 2006). Conversely, the quasi-experimental design refers to an experiential study intended for evaluating an intervention’s contributing effect on the target population with the absence of the contribution of unplanned assignment (Thompson & Panacek, 2006). However, there are several existing similarities some of which will be highlighted in this paper. The focus is on two articles, one about a true experiment and the other about a quasi-experiment with a comparison of the similarities and differences of the two from various perspectives including the research question, sample, methodology, and findings.

For the true experiment article, the 2009 study by Bakotić, Radošević-Vidaček, and Košćec (2009) article is selected. For the quasi-experiment article, the article by Back and Hwang (2005) titled “A Quasi-Experimental Research on The Educational Value of Performance Assessment” is selected. The true experiment article’s purpose was to test the hypothesis that educational leaflets have a positive effect on knowledge about sleep in adolescents. On the other hand, the hypothesis tested by the quasi-experimental research was that there are notable differences in the educational value whether performance assessment within teaching and learning activities is implemented or not. The quasi-experimental research further listed the research questions, which included whether performance assessment helps improve or advance science achievement, whether students have more sincerity and enthusiasm regarding science after the assessment of performance, and whether assessment of performance plays a role in increasing the individuality and wholeness of students. For the true experimental research, there were several research questions which included the negative effect of a big meal before bedtime on sleep, the importance of sleep in comparison with other biological needs, the impact of alcoholic beverages on sleep, and the impact on sleep of caffeinated beverages taken in the evening.

From the sampling perspective, there are significant differences between true experiments and quasi-experiments. In true experiments, for instance, there is the random assigning of participants to either the treatment or the control group. However, for the quasi-experimental design, there is no random assignment of participants (Thompson & Panacek, 2006). This difference is evident in the selected articles about the true experiment and quasi-experiment designs. The study by Bakotić et al. (2009), which is a true experiment research, included students of between the ages of 15 and 18, who were from 12 high schools. Total of 1209 participants accounting for 85 percent of the eligible study population was involved in this study. Multistage sampling was used in this study and the schools selected were then assigned randomly to intervention and control groups. The study by Back and Hwang (2005), did not involve random sampling. Instead, pre-tests were administered, and the participants were selected and classified into an experimental and control group based on the pre-test results.

From the methodological perspective, there are significant similarities between true experiments and quasi-experiments. One of the similarities is that the participants in the studies are subjected to a type of condition or treatment (Thompson & Panacek, 2006). Second, for both experimental designs, there is some outcome of interested being measured. Despite the similarities, there are differences between the two studies from the pre-experimental versus experimental perspective. In the study by Bakotić et al. (2009), the selected schools were assigned to intervention and control groups with the intervention groups receiving educational booklets whereas the control groups did not receive booklets. Pre-testing of knowledge was done in one of the intervention groups and one of the control groups. For the study by Back & Hwang (2005), the participants were subjected to a type of treatment. Four classes were selected and further divided into an experimental group and a control group with one teacher teaching all students with the aim of controlling teacher variability. Unlike the true experimental research above whereby there was an assessment of the intervention and control group, this study saw only the students forming part of the experimental groups allowed to participate in the performance assessment based on teaching-learning activities.

There were significant findings in the two studies. For the study by Back & Hwang (2005), there were three key findings. First, it was found that the performance assessment had a positive effect on science achievement of students. Second, it was found that with the performance assessment, there was an increase in the students’ sincerity and enthusiasm when it came to learning science. Third, the study found that, with the performance assessment, there was a significant improvement of students’ individuality and wholeness. Overall, the study found that performance assessment based teaching-learning activities had more value than those not based on performance assessment. The study by Bakotić et al. (2009) found that educational leaflets were an effective step in educating adolescents about healthy sleep.

In a nutshell, the selected articles give insight into the similarities and differences between true experiments and quasi-experiments. Some of the notable similarities between the two are that participants are subjected to some condition or treatment in both and that there is some outcome of interest measured. A notable difference between the two experimental designs is that there is random assigning of participants to the treatment or control group for the true experiment whereas the quasi-experiment does not involve random assigning of participants to either the treatment or control group.

 

References

Back, S. G., & Hwang, E. H. (2005). A quasi-experimental research on the educational value of performance assessment. Asia Pacific Education Review6(2), 179-190. Retrieved November 15, 2017, from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ728839.pdf

Bakotić, M., Radošević-Vidaček, B., & Košćec, A. (2009). Educating adolescents about healthy sleep: Experimental study of effectiveness of educational leaflet. Croatian Medical Journal50(2), 174-181. Retrieved November 15, 2017, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2681062/pdf/CroatMedJ_50_0174.pdf

Thompson, C. B., & Panacek, E. A. (2006). Research study designs: Experimental and quasi-experimental. Air Medical Journal25(6), 242-246. Retrieved November 16, 2017, from http://www.airmedicaljournal.com/article/S1067-991X(06)00286-0/pdf