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Using Experimental Methods in Higher Education Research

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Journal of Computing in Higher Education Volume 16, Number 2, ISSN 1042-1726


Experimental methods have been used extensively for many years to conduct research in education and psychology. However, applications of experiments to investigate technology and other instructional innovations in higher education settings have been relatively limited. The present paper examines ways in which experiments can be used productively by higher education researchers to increase the quality and rigor of studies. Specific topics include types of experiments, common validity threats, advantages and disadvantages of experiments, operational procedures for designing and conducting experiments, and reporting and disseminating results. Emphasis is given to helping prospective researchers evaluate the circumstances that favor or disfavor usage of experimental designs relative to other methods.


Ross, S.M., Morrison, G.R. & Lowther, D.L. (2005). Using Experimental Methods in Higher Education Research. Journal of Computing in Higher Education, 16(2), 39-64. Retrieved January 25, 2020 from .

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