Educational Measurement, Evaluation and Research

1. Gentle but brief introduction to your research question(s). Provide enough context so that I’ll understand

where this study is coming from and what the GAP is in the literature (What do we know and what don’t we know?).

2. Clear statement of research question(s). These questions should contain the population of interest and the
variables you are focusing on. The questions should be able to stand alone. I should know exactly what you are
studying without having to read other sections of the proposal.

3. Describe in a paragraph or two why this question is important to study. Consider the significance of the
study in terms of: (a) practice, (b) policy, (c) theory. Your study does not need to make contributions in all areas
but you should at least address each area and discuss why you study does or does not contribute to each area.

Review of the Literature

4. Locate and read at least 7 primary empirical research studies that relate to your research question(s).

– Briefly summarize the findings of these 7 empirical studies (I’m more interested in your critique of how the
studies were conducted; can we trust the findings?)

– Describe the type of design used in the study (e.g., correlational design, case study)

– Discuss strengths and limitations of these studies; some issues to consider:

– Method – An important question is “Have the authors presented sufficient details about how the study was
conducted and that you could replicate the study?”

– Do the authors discuss the quality of their data (measurement issues of reliability and validity)?

– Is the sample appropriate (sampling, number of cases)

– Discuss how your proposed study differs or is an extension of previous research studies.

Your Proposed Method

5. Describe the type of research design/approach (e.g., qualitative, true experiment, quasi-experiment,
correlational, causal comparative) that you would use to examine your question (s). Explain why this design is
appropriate for addressing your research question(s).

6. Describe the number and types of research participants that you plan to use in your study.

– Discuss how you will handle issues of diversity in your research plan (e.g., questionnaires are written in
English but the sample consists of many individuals where English is not the 1st language).

– Discuss how you will insure the ethical treatment of your participants.

7. Identify the variables in your study and describe how you plan to measure these variables (e.g., self-concept
will be measured using the Coopersmith Self-Esteem Inventory). Provide support for the quality of your data
collection procedures (e.g., inter-rater reliability is planned)