Using quantitative data

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The intention of this chapter is to demystify quantitative research and give readers clear, straightforward information about collecting and analysing quantitative data. It does this by clarifying key concepts and terms and illustrating these with examples taken from the author’s own research and other investigations. The chapter first explains the concepts of independent, dependent and other variables and why controlling them is important. Three types of quantitative design are then considered: experiments, quasi-experiments and non-experiments, together with notions of internal and external validity. The purposes and limitations of randomized control trials (RCTs) are examined, again with critical reference to real research. In discussing data analysis, readers are introduced to important concepts, including descriptive statistics, central tendency and standard deviation, as well as inferential statistics, statistical significance, effect size, correlation and factor analysis. To conclude, the author recommends that improving understanding of quantitative data can help all researchers to assess quantitative investigations more critically and to integrate use into their own research projects.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPractical Research Methods in Education
Subtitle of host publicationAn Early Researcher's Critical Guide
EditorsMike Lambert
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)9780815393566
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2019


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