This is the method that reveals casual relationship existing between variables. It relates the subject in question to already available data provided by the management. The approach of this study involves analyzing the effect of the problem and then determining the cause of the problem or of that effect. Therefore, the approach of casual comparative study begins with the cause of the effect and then investigates the effects of that cause on some variables that are involved in the study. This type of study is commonly used in research institutions for educational purposes (Gay et al, 2008). The availability of management in this design helps in providing sufficient information for the study. However, in some instances in-depth study on independent variables is required so as to develop necessary test differences between groups.
Example is a research study done on the causes of death amongst the newborn babies, the researcher selects the record on actual cases of babies who have died within the first month of life and then record the ‘controls’ who are the babies who survives their first month of life. The researcher then interviews the nurses to compare the history of these two groups in order to determine the prevailing risk factors that might have caused the deaths as opposed to survival (Gay et al, 2008).
Casual comparative study has the weakness that a researcher cannot to make predictions but can only compare the distinct characteristics in each item (LaFountain & Bartos, 2002). The variables used in this study cannot be manipulated, hence making this method desirable. This is quite different from other study methods like correlation. The study tries to “highlight the cause of the effect” making implementation easier (Resenthal and Rosnow, 1999, p. 190). Also compared to other study types like quasi experimental study, casual-comparative does not provide “an actual or accurate data to the researcher” (Resenthal and Rosnow, 1999, p.222).
This study examines the results through comparison of subjects that receive program activities and the results of such similar group that do not receive program activities. The results before and after group’s participation are compared. The advantage of this type of experiment is that it has the ability to reveal causes and effects. Its disadvantage is that it cannot establish relationship between the results (Creswell, 2008).Quasi experiment can be very valuable in providing important information such as; detailed information about the population under study, information that identifies the expected changes and results, detailed data on the level of change that occurs over a period of time, it also provides information on the changing outcomes and those that do not change (Bogdan and Biklen, 2007).
This is the method where the variables defining one or more phenomena can be adjusted to suite the definition of other variables. This is a type of study where researchers are involved in some sort of hypothesis and competing methods. An experimental study is done to either existing theories which are to be proved wrong or right or the use of hypothesis. This type of study involves many methods which are used in solving a certain problem. An experimental study involves two features that are control and natural experiments. In a controlled experiment normally shows the effect of a certain treatment on a subject and its effects (Harrison, 2004).
One of the advantages is that it allows for direct manipulation and control of the independent variable. It limits any other explanations and allows direct casual relationship between variables. One of the limitations is that it requires a laboratory for the experiment to be undertaken; this affects the outcome since the results are artificially generated. There is minimal control of variables and this may sometimes make the experiments difficult to undertake (Creswell, 2008).
Case Study I
In this case the independent variable include teaching, this is because other factors such as new technology, student’s attitude might not change the meaning. Student’s attitude will be the dependent variable. Student’s attitude is subject to change depending on the interest towards the subject and the teacher involved. Technology is subject to change depending on people’s ideas and its level of effectiveness. Professor is subject to change depending on how he/she adjusts to the new technology. The student’s are also subject to change depending on how involving the new technology is, they might improve on their study performance or not. This is non-experimental research since there are many independent variables that cannot be manipulated. The statistical method to be used in this study is means, frequency, and then the paired t-test since in both groups students and teachers are independent of each other while the teaching process remains continuous (Creswell, 1994). Sample size (n= 56) representing only one group, sample mean u= 28 STD deviation = 31.113 Variance = 968.01.
Case Study II
The independent variables are the rein forcers with three levels (i.e. food, money and token) since they can easily be manipulated by the experimenter (Hart, 1998). In this case a 2×3 ANOVA will be used such that food, money and token will provide the three variables of measurement. This is an experimental research since the independent variables can be manipulated.
Case Study III
In this case independent variable is the student achievement since it can be controlled and adjusted. While the dependent variable is their Scholastic Aptitude Test since it cannot be controlled it is natural. This is non experimental since the researcher cannot manipulate the results (Stake, 1995). Correlation analysis is suited for the analysis of this case; this is because the study tends to examine the strength of correlation between two variables that is SAT and scores (Gay, Mills, Geoffrey, Airasian, 2008).
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