3.1. Research designs in education

Loewen, S., & Philp, J. (2012). Instructed second language acquisition. In A. Mackey & S. M. Gass (Eds.), Research methods in second language acquisition: A practical guide (pp. 53–73). Wiley-Blackwell.

Interventionist designs

Summary of interventionist research designs
Summary of interventionist research designs
  • Action-research
    • Teacher = researcher → subjective, reflexive process of a practitioner trying to implement change in their teaching practice
    • Predominantly qualitative 💬
    • Focus on the process: describing the process and reception of the intervention
  • Pre-experimental: single-case pretest-posttest design
    • Predominantly quantitative 📊
    • Focus on the effectiveness of the intervention on the outcome variable (pre/posttest)
  • Experimental design
    • Predominantly quantitative 📊
    • Focus on the effectiveness of the intervention on the outcome variable (pre/posttest)
    • Requirements:
      • 2+ groups/conditions: experimental vs. control
      • (pretest-)posttest measurement of the outcome variable
      • ideally: randomized group assignment
        • but often using existing groups in education (→ quasi-experimental design)

Non-interventionist designs

Quantitative designs 📊

  • Survey (descriptive, diagnostic: 1 variable)
  • Correlational (2 variables)

Qualitative designs 💬

  • Case study
  • Ethnography
  • Conversation analysis
  • Mixed methods
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