Researchers are seeking ways to motivate and get students actively involved in discussions. This online course is required by all students studying psychology by three different instructors. The independent variable in this study is the intervention such as any incentives or changes that may come due to gaining a response from the responses. The dependent variable is the number of responses that are received as posts by students. The null hypothesis is offering an incentive to students would have no effect on getting students actively involved in the discussion post. Step one in the scientific method is observation. Students are lacking the motivation to participate in class discussions. Any student who is studying psychology would be required to take this course. Step two is the question. The question is “What is needed to get students involved in actively participating in class discussions? The hypothesis (which is step three) is ‘if nothing is done to motivate students in the class discussion, are the students actually learning. Step four is the experiment and what was conducted. The information was limited as far as details of what the instructors asked their class to post but it was asked to be no more than 2 lines long. The results would be discussed at a later date as the course goes on. Instructors decided to begin gathering data after week 4 of the course.
Skidmore’s (2008) article discussed 3 different experimental designs and the one that best works for this study is ‘Pretest-Post test control group design’. Skidmore (2008) stated “This research design meets the characteristics of a true experiment because participants are randomly assigned (denoted by an R) to either the experimental or control group. There is an intervention or treatment (denoted by an X) given to one group, the experimental group, and no intervention (or alternate intervention) given to the other group, the control group. Finally, there is some form of post-intervention measurement (denoted by an O).” Internal validity could possibly be if students are motivated to actively participate in discussions they may not give truthful answers to the researchers. The external validity could possibly be a context-dependent mediation. Students may be currently enrolled in other courses that are harder and require more studying and this can lead to them slacking in the current online course. To mitigate internal and external validity researchers could offer multiple-choice questions and offer a section at the end for personal feedback or suggestion. The ethical standard would be 8.15 Reviewers, “Psychologists who review material submitted for presentation, publication, grant, or research proposal review respect the confidentiality of and the proprietary rights in such information of those who submitted it (American Psychological Association, 2017). When researchers review the information from each instructional class they are required to continue to maintain the same level of confidentiality as previously given.

Sallyann Duhaney

Week 2 Discussion

Apply the scientific method to the information included within the scenario and develop a null and a research hypothesis based on it.

Null Hypothesis: “Offering incentives such as digital badges will have no impact on student motivation to actively participate and post in discussions” – In this null hypothesis, the incentive will not affect student motivation one way or the other. Therefore, the independent variable and dependent variables have no impact on each other.

Research Hypothesis: “Students who are offered incentives such as a digital badge will have an improvement in motivation to actively participate and post in discussions compared to students who are not offered an incentive” – With this hypothesis, the independent variable will have an impact on the dependent variable.

Using the hypotheses you have developed, compare the characteristics of the different experimental research designs discussed in the Skidmore (2008) article and choose the one that is most appropriate to adequately test your hypotheses.

Pretest-Posttest Control-Group Design – in this design method, there is a random (R) selection of participants to each group, there is a control group that does not receive any treatment, and there is an experimental group that does receive treatment (X). After the interventions/tests are completed, there is also a posttest (O) given to measure the interventions that were completed. A pretest (O) to check the validity of each group to ensure the balance of variables is spread out as equally as possible is done.

Posttest-Only Control Group Design – the only difference noted in this method from the last is that it does not use a pre-intervention measurement that would check for equality in the groups. Every other aspect of this test is carried out like the first method with a control group, an experimental group, and a posttest.

Solomon Four-Group Design – according to Skidmore (2008), this method is more intricate in a way than the others in that it uses a pretest and also compares findings from other control and experimental groups that were pretested before and not pretested before. Furthermore, a larger number of participants are required for the numerical values that would be compared and tested with this method. This method would not be used with a small group of participants.

Due to the nature of each test and its intricacies, I would most likely use the pretest-posttest control-group design method to test my hypothesis. Not only am I able to randomly assign participants to a group, but I would be able to check on the validity of my control and experimental group to ensure there are enough variables in both.

Identify potential internal threats to validity and explain how you might mitigate these threats.

An internal threat to validity might be maturation as the number of graduate hours already completed might interfere with motivation and whether or not the incentives provided would be appreciated or not. Even age might play a role in this as with age, some people might not like change and might even find the challenge of this experiment unnecessary. To mitigate this threat I would most likely try to ensure that the tests being carried out have a range that would intrigue a person from any age group and would not become boring. While incentives are good, there might be a range to what is offered when it comes to the badges; maybe different colors, sayings, or historical relevance. Knowing that people are different and have different backgrounds and attitudes towards things helps to illuminate the mind as to how to keep a person’s attention and not make them feel as if they are not valued as an individual (Henrich et al., 2010). The instrumentation might affect the experiment in that if anything is changed throughout the time that the experiment is being carried out, how will that affect both control and experimental groups? Will this drastically affect the conclusions that were being seen, or not. To limit such a thing from happening, I would try to make sure that what the experiment starts with, it ends with. There would be no drastic change halfway through and no change that would significantly affect the outcome of what was already being seen (Skidmore, 2008).

Apply ethical principles to the proposed research and describe the implications of this type of research in terms of the population(s) and cultural consideration(s) represented in the sample(s) within the scenario.

Ethically speaking, consents would have to be signed for anyone wishing to participate in this research. Explanations must be given to the participants about the research and what to expect. The right for anyone to stop participating and what that means must be explained. Approval must be sought from the right authorities that would ensure that the experiment being done is ethical and will bring no harm to anyone. Everyone must be treated humanely and culturally, each person must be treated as an individual. No two people should be expected to react the same way to what is being experienced in the research. If they do, then that might be good or bad for the experiment, but no one should be pressured to act a certain way (American Psychological Association, 2017).

You will respond to there post I’m looking at their setup I’m not sure if mines were done right

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Researchers are seeking ways to motivate and get students actively involved in discussions.


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