Mini-Correlational Design Proposal

Books and Resources for this Week:

1. Correlational research. By: Dziak, Mark, Salem Press Encyclopedia, 2020

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This is an important overview of correlation in easy-to-understand terms.


Correlational research is a method by which people study how two or more variables are related. These variables may be statistics, behaviors, or other measurable or observable factors. Scientists use correlational research to determine whether variables increase or decrease at the same time; one variable increase while the other decreases; or the variables seem to have no relationship. The effects of this research can help to answer a variety of scientific questions; however, such research cannot prove with certainty whether one variable causes another variable. Correlational research may be performed in different ways but is mainly accomplished through surveys or observation.

2. Quantitative research in education: A primer.

Hoy, W., & Adams, C. (2016). Quantitative research in education: A primer. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

Read Chapter 3, which is a review of basic statistics used in quantitative research including correlation.

3. Vazire, S. (Academic). (2016). Simine Vazire defines correlational research [Video file]. SAGE Video.

This is an instructional video (0:41) on the use of correlational research.

4. Edwards, C. T. (2017). A correlational study on interactive technology use and student persistence in eLearning classes at an online university

Locate and review the following sections in each NCU dissertation: Introduction, Problem, Purpose, Research Questions and Hypotheses, and Methodology and Design. These sections are important because they will be used in your weekly assignments. If a link does not work for you, try copying the title of the dissertation into the search bar on the library homepage.

5. Tucker, A. (2018). A quantitative study of the relationship between pre-service and in-service teacher violence training to reduce stress…

6. Walker, A. C. (2017). A correlation study of PK12 teacher experience, education level, turnover, and student achievement

Week 2 – Assignment: Create a Mini-Correlational Design Proposal

This assignment has two parts. The first part is a review of NCU dissertations to help you understand what will be expected of you as you move into the dissertation phase of your work. The second part allows you to practice with a basic correlational design.

Part 1

For each of the three NCU dissertations listed in the Resources for this week, identify in one sentence each the problem, purpose, research questions, methodology and design, and finally why the methodology and design selected are appropriate to answer the research questions presented.

Part 2

Now that you have reviewed several correlational designs, it is time to practice creating your own mini-correlational study. For this assignment, you will survey five people you know to practice working with quantitative data.

Think of a problem you see in your daily life (it does not have to be related to Education for this exercise) that can be addressed using correlational research. You will create a problem statement, purpose statement, research questions, and hypotheses that can best be addressed using correlational research. You will then demonstrate your ability to run a correlation with the data you collect. Keep this practice exercise very simple, as the main idea is to grasp the big picture concept of correlation rather than to create a complex study.

For example, a problem in daily life you may notice that when you or your colleagues sit too long during the day energy levels suffer in the evening. Your purpose could be to determine if sitting too long during the day is related to low energy during the evening. Your research question could be: How does the amount of time sitting during the day relate to evening energy level?

You may reach out to family members, friends, and colleagues—either through work or by posting in the ID CoP—but abstain from referring to this as data collection or research, which would then require informed consent and an IRB review.

In this example, your hypothesis might be the more hours a person spends sitting a day, the lower their reported energy level will be in the evening. Your approach would then be to survey five friends, family members, or colleagues and ask them: (x) how many hours did you sit at your desk yesterday? And (y) on a scale of 1-10, what was your energy level last night? You could then calculate Pearson’s r for your data set to determine how your variables are correlated. As a reminder, you should have a basic idea of how to calculate Pearson’s r from your prior course work; so please, refer to that information. This is also covered in chapter 3 of your textbook.

For your practice, correlational study, include the following parts:

One sentence statement of the problem (1 point)

One sentence statement of the purpose (1 point)

Research question (1 point)

Hypothesis (1 point)

Calculation of Pearson’s r (1 point)

One- to two-sentence summary of your findings (1 point)

One-paragraph reflection on how you might use correlational designs in your future research in Education (1 point)

Length: 1 -2 pages in total, not including title page

References: No references required, though any sources used should be cited and referenced in APA format

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