ERIC Number: ED443834
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2000-Apr-25
Integration of the Rival Hypotheses Tool into Research Methodology Courses: Issues and Strategies To Support Its Use and Sustainability.
Onwuegbuzie, Anthony J.
This paper provides a rationale for using and sustaining rival hypotheses Web-based tools to promote students' understanding of the concepts of internal and external validity. Five major concerns are identified. The first is that, in their present form, the Web sites subsume the discussion of threats to validity under experimental designs, giving the impression to some students that such threats are not an issue for other types of quantitative research. The second concern is the fact that the illustrative vignettes are presented in multiple-choice formats, giving the impression that each research study has only one threat to internal or external validity, which is an unrealistic assumption. In receiving immediate feedback (i.e., solutions), some students may not reflect deeply enough about the scenarios, preferring to select a response hastily to obtain early validation. In such cases, the critical thinking process involved in the rival hypothesis reasoning will be stunted. Fourth, although analyzing vignettes is an extremely useful exercise, it should be remembered that these vignettes represent mere isolated fragments of information, typically devoid of any theoretical framework. Finally, providing only Web-based tools for teaching the concept of validity with respect to empirical studies may give graduate students and researchers alike the false impression that validity is not an issue in qualitative designs. Recommendations are provided in light of these concerns. (Contains 25 references.) (Author/SLD)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New Orleans, LA, April 24-28, 2000).