Teacher Response to Homework #4: Aaaaaah!!

Grades on Blackboard.

What is all this jargon?!

If you’re anything like me, at this point in the process of this class you may feel awash in a see of jargon. Attitudinal scales. Variables. Research instruments?!

It may sound like a different language. And guess what: it is. Those of us who have been researchers for a number of years have absorbed this very alien discourse and are “fluent” in it, so to speak. But it IS foreign, and it CAN be alienating.

Which is why research can be done poorly

Several of you have commented in your homework assignments that you’re starting to see flaws in published research based on what you’re learning in this class. Remember what our guest speaker said: it’s easy to do research wrong.

As you work to understand the concepts central to research design, please remember that people disagree on these concepts all the time. What makes for a valid study? How can a study be truly replicable? How extensive does a research instrument need to be?

Questions such as these have answers, but they are not universally-agreed upon answers.

Now you’re becoming part of the conversation

To find your way in this mess of terms and complex processes, please remember that the best way to learn any language is to jump in and use it. As you become part of this conversation, remember that you don’t have to agree with everyone else’s interpretation. That’s what fuels research, actually: collegial disagreement. So, if you think a term is poorly defined in our textbook, write it down for later study. If you’re not so sure attitudinal scales are valid means of analysis, look up critiques of them.

Be a researcher of research design, first and foremost. That’s the best way to become a good researcher.

Leave a Reply