Show students that the "right" measure depends on the problem

Describe (or have students find) three measures of the same concept. Then, present several research situations and have students determine which measure would be best for that particular study. (Using handout 6.1 will facilitate discussion).

Start off giving students problems where there is an obviously correct answer and then progressively increase the number of tradeoffs that have to be made. We find this works best as a small group activity. Indeed, some of the best learning seems to occur when the groups arrive at different choices.

Note: With some classes, you may have to guide them through the process by

first making them list the comparative strengths and weaknesses of each measure;
then making them list, in order of importance, the desirable characteristics of a measuring device for the particular research problem;
then finally choosing the appropriate measure for the situation.


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