Lin Ding and
In this article we provide a brief overview of three groups of quantitative research methods commonly used in physics education research (PER): descriptive statistics, inferential statistics, and measurement instrument development and validation. These quantitative research methods are used respectively in three major types of PER, namely survey research, experimental/quasi-experimental studies, and measurement and evaluation studies. In order to highlight the importance of the close alignment between research questions and selected quantitative research methods, we review these quantitative techniques within each research type from three perspectives: data collection, data analysis, and result interpretation. We discuss the purpose, key aspects and potential issues of each quantitative technique, and where possible, specific PER studies are included as examples to illustrate how these methods fulfill specific research goals.
Published December 1, 2012
Last Modified January 29, 2013
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