Holzweiss, P. C., Joyner, S. A., Fuller, M. B., Henderson, S., & Young, R. (2014). Online graduate students’ perceptions of best learning experiences. Distance Education35(3), 311-323.

In the Holzweiss, Joyner, Fuller, Henderson & Young study, the researchers sampled graduate students.  Please read the entire study with a focus on the sample and the sampling practices. Consider the study from two perspectives.

First, analyze the study itself as it was conducted. Consider the information in Chapter 5 regarding sampling and apply that information to an analysis of the sample in the Holzweiss study. This is a qualitative study, so be sure to consider the issues related to sampling in qualitative research as you analyze this sampling procedure.

Second, after you have discussed the sampling procedures, consider what sampling procedure you might use if you were to design this study as a quantitative study. What choices would you make regarding your population; what would be your target population? How would you select your sample? What size sample would you want to identify? How would you avoid sampling error and bias?

As a student of research, it is very important that you understand independent and dependent variables.

Consider the following research question:  Are there differences between rural and urban children’s attitudes regarding diversity?

If you were to be analyzing this question for a research study, you would need to consider the following:

The dependent variable is attitudes regarding diversity.

The independent variable is type of children and it has two levels, rural and urban.

In this example several variables need to be operationalized.  Let’s start with the dependent variable.  Attitudes regarding diversity could be racial or ethnic diversity, it could be diversity related to being from elsewhere, or living differently.  To develop this topic diversity would have to be operationally defined.

In this example we also need to operationalize rural and urban. This might be done with population statistics.

Children would also need to be operationalized.  A small child’s attitude regarding diversity versus a middle-school child’s, or a teenager’s might be very different constructs.

Please carefully read Chapter 6 so that you understand independent and dependent variables.

Then please

· write a research question such as the one above;

· identify your independent and dependent variables related to that research question;

· provide operational definitions of your variables


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