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Using Backward Design in Education Research: A Research Methods Essay

    Authors: Jamie L. Jensen1, Elizabeth G. Bailey2, Tyler A. Kummer1, K. Scott Weber3
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    Affiliations: 1: Department of Biology, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602; 2: Department of Biology, Georgetown University, Washington, DC 20057; 3: Department of Microbiology and Molecular Biology, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602
    AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION
    • Received 08 June 2017 Accepted 29 July 2017 Published 05 October 2017
    • ©2017 Author(s). Published by the American Society for Microbiology
    • [open-access] This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/ and https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/legalcode), which grants the public the nonexclusive right to copy, distribute, or display the published work.

    • Supplemental materials available at http://asmscience.org/jmbe
    • *Corresponding author. Mailing address: 4102 LSB, Department of Biology, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602. Phone: 801-422-6896. Fax: 801-422-0090. E-mail: [email protected].
    Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. October 2017 vol. 18 no. 3 doi:10.1128/jmbe.v18i3.1367
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    Abstract:

    Education research within the STEM disciplines applies a scholarly approach to teaching and learning, with the intent of better understanding how people learn and of improving pedagogy at the undergraduate level. Most of the professionals practicing in this field have ‘crossed over’ from other disciplinary fields and thus have faced challenges in becoming experts in a new discipline. In this article, we offer a novel framework for approaching education research design called Backward Design in Education Research. It is patterned on backward curricular design and provides a three-step, systematic approach to designing education projects: 1) Define a research question that leads to a testable causal hypothesis based on a theoretical rationale; 2) Choose or design the assessment instruments to test the research hypothesis; and 3) Develop an experimental protocol that will be effective in testing the research hypothesis. This approach provides a systematic method to develop and carry out evidence-based research design.

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References & Citations

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/content/journal/jmbe/10.1128/jmbe.v18i3.1367
2017-10-05
2019-03-22

Abstract:

Education research within the STEM disciplines applies a scholarly approach to teaching and learning, with the intent of better understanding how people learn and of improving pedagogy at the undergraduate level. Most of the professionals practicing in this field have ‘crossed over’ from other disciplinary fields and thus have faced challenges in becoming experts in a new discipline. In this article, we offer a novel framework for approaching education research design called Backward Design in Education Research. It is patterned on backward curricular design and provides a three-step, systematic approach to designing education projects: 1) Define a research question that leads to a testable causal hypothesis based on a theoretical rationale; 2) Choose or design the assessment instruments to test the research hypothesis; and 3) Develop an experimental protocol that will be effective in testing the research hypothesis. This approach provides a systematic method to develop and carry out evidence-based research design.

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