Conduct a simple interview. This is a task that many students do without realizing the true value of the interview. As you proceed with your interview, consider which components are irrelevant or ineffective in soliciting the type of information you are intending to gather. Sometimes the simplest of tasks proves to be the most challenging. For many researchers, the interview is such a task.Below is the lesson. Data CollectionUsing Teacher Records and Observational DataThis part of the unit discusses the data that teachers typically have available at their fingertips. As you read Sagor, Chapter 7, consider the following questions:How can teachers use the data that they regularly collect to help them in the research process?How can some data be organized more efficiently to be useful in the research process?How can observations be utilized for research purposes?Creating Instruments to Answer Research QuestionsThis part of the unit discusses techniques that require more planning and instrumentation than the techniques mentioned last week. As you read Sagor, Chapter 8, consider the following questions:How can I use shadowing without corrupting the data I am trying to collect?What useful information can I gather from student work?How do tests, surveys, and interviews work in the research picture?What types of data will I have access to in the educational setting?Building a Valid and Reliable Data Collection PlanSagor suggests that there are three fundamental reasons why you should hold yourself to the highest quality standards possible as a researcher:Your obligation to students.The need for personal and collective efficacy.The need to add to the professional knowledge base.Sagor also suggests that the two quality criteria for research are validity and reliability. Validity is described as the truthfulness of the research and reliability is described as the accuracy of the research.As you read Chapter 9 of the Sagor text, ask yourself:How can I create validity and reliability in the research I conduct?How does triangulation help in the process of creating validity and reliability?Why is creating a timeline for data collection so important?Altrichter (chapter 4) goes into detail about what pieces of information represent data for research purposes. Chapter 5 also discusses methods of data collection. Some of the ideas in the Sagor text are also covered in the Altrichter text. Specifically, pay attention to the details about triangulation. Why do practitioners sometimes view triangulation in a negative light?
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