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Discussion: Experimental, Quasi-Experimental, and Correlation
In the module’s introduction, we noted that it is not possible to move students to different schools and teachers, or to deprive them of reading instruction, just to meet the need for the rigorous demands of an experimental design. Experimental research, in its purest form, is most relevant to fields that do not directly study people. Quasi-experimental and correlational studies are more common to fields such as education. In choosing to study people, particularly children, you will be sensitive to the challenges associated with conducting valid research and caring for the subjects in your studies at the same time.
For this Discussion you will examine the use of each quantitative approach to research for a special education problem.
To prepare:
Reflect on this module’s media and the reading from the Rumrill, et. al. (2020) course text. Consider the various quantitative research designs and the implications of each on special education research.
Think about a special education problem that you would address, if it were ethical, using an experimental design. Consider how you might also use a quasi-experimental or correlational design to study the problem.
By Day 7 of Week 4
Post an explanation of the special education problem you would choose to study using an experimental design if it were ethical and why. Then, explain how you would study the same problem using a quasi-experimental or correlational research approach. Finally, provide a rationale for the method you believe to be the best choice.
Support your response with specific reference to at least two peer-reviewed outside resources as well as the Learning Resources and/or personal experience.
Resources:
Florian, L. (Ed.). (2014). The SAGE handbook of special education (2nd ed.). London, England: Sage.
Chapter 22, “The Applied Science of Special Education: Quantitative Approaches, the Questions They Address, and How They Inform Practice”(pp. 369–388)
Focus on quantitative designs and why they are key for research in the field of SPED
Rumrill, P. D., Cook, B. G., & Stevenson, N. A. (2020). Research in special education: Designs, methods, and applications (3rd ed.). Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas Publisher, LTD.
Chapter 6, “Quantitative Research Designs” (pp. 113–147)
Focus on the spectrum of relationship and descriptive studies. Note correlational designs and causal comparative studies. Develop an understanding of surveys, case studies, program evaluation, archival research, longitudinal studies, empirical literature reviews, and meta-analysis.
Consult the following readings for work on your Course Project Component Assignment during this module:
O’Neill, R. E., McDonnell, J. J., Billingsley, F. F., & Jenson, W. R. (2011). Single case research designs in educational and community settings. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
C
hapter 6, “Withdrawal and Reversal Designs” (pp. 79–98)
Focus on the range of designs, beginning with the A-B and progressing to reversal designs. Pay particular to the various adaptations to reversal designs. Review approaches when comparing two or more interventions, or two or more groups.
Chapter 7, “Multiple Baseline and Multiple Probe Designs” (pp. 99–116)
Focus on approaches to design that support measuring the acquisition of new skills. Reflect on options when returning to a baseline rate may be unethical. Consider the characteristics of multiple baseline and multiple probe designs.
Aditional Resources
Although every Additional Resource is not required reading, it is highly recommended that you read all of the Additional Resources. Be sure to make note of the Additional Resources which align with the content and focus of Discussions and Assignments.
Experimental/Quasi-Experimental
Iftar, E. T., Kurt, O., & Cetin, O. (2011). A comparison of constant time delay instruction with high and low treatment integrity. Educational Sciences: Theory & Practice, 11(1), 375–381.
Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
Focus on the description of the time delay procedure. Compare procedures for comparing treatments. Review the adapted alternating treatment design.
Thurston, L. P., & Navarette, L. A. (2011). Rural, poverty-level mothers: A comparative study of those with and without children who have special needs. Rural Special Education Quarterly, 30(1), 39–46.
Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
Focus on the differences in demographics, school experience, social support, and school involvement. Review differences by marital status. Reflect on differences in retention, special needs reports, homework, and writing notes to teachers.
Wehmeyer, M. L., Shogren, K. A., Palmer, S. B., Williams-Diehm, K. L., Little, T. D., & Boulton, A. (2012). The impact of the self-determined learning model of instruction on self-determination. Exceptional Children, 78(2), 135–153.
Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
Focus on the approach to this group-randomized, modified equivalent control group design. Note the use of multiple measures. Pay specific attention to the interpretation of findings.
Wei, X., Blackorby, J., & Schiller, E. (2011). Growth in reading achievement of students with disabilities, ages 7 to 17. Exceptional Children, 78(1), 89–106.
Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
Focus on reading growth trajectories. Consider the extent to which reading achievement increased with age. Recognize the characteristics of a longitudinal study.
Correlation:
Mautone, J. A., DuPaul, G. J., Jitendra, A. K., Tresco, K. E., Junod, R. V., & Volpe, R. J. (2009). The relationship between treatment integrity and acceptability of reading interventions for children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Psychology in the Schools, 46(10), 919–931.
Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
Focus on the relationship between treatment integrity and acceptability. Note the two consultation models. Pay particular attention to the relationship between reading interventions and ADHD.
Williamson, R. L., Robertson, J. S., & Casey, L. B. (2010). Using a dynamic systems approach to investigating postsecondary education and employment outcomes for transitioning students with disabilities. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 33(2), 101–111.
Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
Focus on the interacting variables. Study the correlating characteristics. Read about the links to employment and postsecondary education.
Required Media
Walden University, LLC. (Producer). (2012). The multiple baseline design [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.
Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 6 minutes.
In this media program, Dr. Terry Falcomata explains the Multiple Baseline Design.

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