The independent reader was trained by me in the method of recursive coding. After we each had had an opportunity to read through the transcripts and to identify themes in the data independently, we met to discuss and compare the codes to determine the degree of agreement. The comparison resulted in an inter-rater reliability of ninety-two percent agreement based on the codes that were generated by both my research assistant and me. Student Demographics A total of 144 high school students completed the quantitative survey (see appendix 1). Students from each of the three different strands of English Language Arts offered, in a western Canadian high school, were represented on the survey. It should be noted that the English Language Arts class that was checked off on the survey was the course in which the students were enrolled when the surveys were filled out. Some of the students indicated verbally that they had taken more than one English Language Arts course in write my essay website grade 1 1 and grade 12.
UNIVERSITY AND HIGH SCHOOL ARE JUST VERY DIFFERENT Reliability and Validity Creswell and Plano Clark (2007) describe coursework info the way in which researchers determine the reliability and validity of a survey instrument. They suggest that researchers formulate a questionnaire using data from focus groups in a pilot study format to verify validity of the research instrument. The focus group members are then asked to evaluate the clarity of the questions to measure reliability. If necessary, the questions are modified to improve clarity and the resulting questionnaire is used in another pilot study with new participants.
In this study, I developed a survey instrument based on the research studies of high school writing environments.
The questions were generated from studies by Applebee (1981) and Hillocks (1986) who both independently studied high write my paper please school writing. Reference to previous studies of high school students was appropriate because that was the focus of this study. The original pilot study was carried coursework info out with four students who had volunteered to take part in the study. They completed the original survey and I then conducted a focus group with the members. We discussed the questions and I asked if there were any other questions that they thought I needed to ask. They suggested another fifteen questions which I outlined at the beginning of this chapter. The survey instrument was adapted to take into account the new questions. A different focus group consisting of ten students was surveyed using the new survey instrument. The survey content was checked for inter-item reliability between the two focus groups. The distribution of answers from the one hundred and forty-four participants who filled out the survey was consistent among students, and across schools, thus indicating the reliability of the survey instrument. External validity was established by employing the survey instrument in four different high schools to ensure a greater breadth of representation of the population.
In addition, the transcripts from the individual interviews were returned to participants for member-checking in an effort to ensure that the transcripts were an accurate reflection of their experiences.
Methodological triangulation was employed for validity by utilizing an explanatory design coursework info by which quantitative data was verified by the qualitative data. Triangulation using both quantitative and qualitative methods was used to increase the likelihood that the limitations of one method would be compensated for by the other. Data source triangulation was also employed to measure the internal validity of the qualitative data. This was accomplished by comparing the identified themes from each individual participant to the identified themes across all participants. Reliability of the quantitative survey was established by ensuring that the participants were given the same instructions for completing the survey, that they all received the same amount of time for completion, and that definitions were provided on the survey for any words that might have been problematic. Students were also instructed to ask for clarification of any terms or questions of which they were unsure. This study sought to maintain qualitative reliability through the use of an independent coder who coded the transcripts for themes and met with me to determine whether we had assigned the same codes to the interviews. UNIVERSITY AND HIGH SCHOOL ARE JUST VERY DIFFERENT Chapter Summary The purpose of my study was to investigate the challenges faced by first-year students as they negotiated the transition from the writing environment of high school to the writing environment of university. In order to do that, it was important that I had the opportunity to interview the same students about their perceptions of both the high school writing environment and the first- year university writing environment, and allow them to report on the coursework info similarities and differences between the two. When planning my study, coursework info it was important to think about the research questions and to determine the best way to collect data to answer those questions. I wanted to have a large sample group and believed that the use of a survey instrument provided the greatest opportunity to do that. It was also important, however, that I had the opportunity to talk to some of the participants to further explore some of the findings from the quantitative data. The use of only one source 99 of data collection would have been limiting. The following questions provided the framework and purpose of the research: 1. The quantitative data and the qualitative data were both broken down according to major themes. In the final analysis, the themes from the quantitative data and qualitative data were collapsed and are discussed together.
Four UNIVERSITY AND HIGH SCHOOL ARE JUST VERY DIFFERENT 103 major themes were identified.
Within those major themes, a number of subthemes were identified, some were taken from the survey, and some emerged from the high school interviews. The second stage, phase 3, of the data analysis will discuss the differences between the high school writing environment and the first-year university writing environment.