ERIC Number: ED339721
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990
Reference Count: N/A
The Current Conflict between Case Study and Experimental Research: A Breakthrough Study Derives Benefits from Both.
Walsh, S. M.
There is a natural tension between experimentally designed studies and case studies, which differ in that they are not concerned with the interaction of variables in the quantitative and statistical sense. This paper describes a study that was not experimentally designed, but its major findings were generalizable to the overall population of writers in college freshman composition classes. The study was not a case study, but it provided insights into the attitudes and feelings of small clusters of student writers. The study used analysis of variance to determine whether or not a relationship existed among three factors: (1) writing apprehension; (2) inclination to write voluntarily; and (3) quality of composition. There was no control group; the study was correlational, and because of the number of subjects (255 college freshman) and the scrupulous consistency of statistical treatment procedures, it was generalizable. A series of factorial analyses was made of student responses to open-ended questions, and a subsequent analysis was made of specific expressions within the response categories on tally sheets constructed from subject responses. With these definitions, seven uniquely discernible levels of writing apprehension emerged, made more definite by inclusion of an additional response category. The study illustrates the importance of quantitative and case study analyses. It is concluded that researchers can benefit from using both approaches. Four tables present study data. There is an 18-item list of references. (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Empirical Research; Open Ended Questions