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From: "H. Williford" <hwilliford@edla.aum.edu> Save Address - Block Sender
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Subject: comps
Date: Wed, 9 Feb 2000 09:08:00 -0600
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The following is information that may help you with studying for comps.

If you will be taking comps you should be familiar with how to develop a
research project.

The following are some areas that you must be familiar with.

Define a research topic in your area.  You may be given a topic  or you may
be asked to develop your own topic.

State the research problem.

How would you conduct your review of literature?  Discuss ERIC and other
techniques for a literature review.  What sources would you use? Provide
step by step information how you would conduct the review.

Different types of research.  Experimental vs. non-experimental.  What
approach would you use:  correlation, experimental, causal comparative, etc.
Make sure that the design that you select matches your hypothesis.

What are the independent and dependent variables.  Define the variables.
How will they be measured? You must know independent and dependent
variables.

What is the hypothesis.  State the hypothesis. State a null hypothesis and
identify the probability level P < 0.05. You may have more than one
hypothesis.Make sure the hypothesis matches your variables and review of
literature.

Identify your population and sample. Be specific. What design are you going
to use to select your sample.  How many subjects and what are their
characteristics (age, grade, etc)?

What is the research method.  Are you going to use a pre- post - test
design, correlation, other? Make sure the method matches the hypothesis.

Step by step how are you going to collect the data? If you are going to have
a new program to evaluate you must identify step by step how you will
initiate the program.

What measuring instruments are you going to use.  How valid are these
instruments.  Why did you select these instruments? Explain how they will be
administered.  Discuss validity and reliability.

How are you going to analyze the data?  What statistical technique would you
propose?

Will you reject or accept the null hypothesis? Explain the process.

Identify your reference sources?  Discuss an appropriate reference page.
Discuss that you will use APA format.

What materials would you include in the appendix.


If you know how to answer the above questions in your area you should be in
good shape. Review your research proposal and the steps that went into
developing the proposal.

For practice you can try the following question:

You want to develop a research project in your area of study.  You want to
research whether students who use a new technology approach will improve
their performance skills to a greater extent than those in the traditional
classroom.  You may want to include the following in your answer:  (not
specifically in the following order)

You will have to make the above statement fit your area in terms of
technology and what type performance you are trying to improve.

Include the following: statement of problem, hypothesis, research design,
review of literature, sample selection, population, sample, use of human
subjects, research method, research design, measuring instruments,
independent and dependent variables, references, appendix, statistical
analysis, probability level,  results, conclusions, reject or accept the
null hypothesis, etc.

Generally the students who perform poorly on the comps are those who know
the answer but have difficulty putting their answer on paper.  Practice
organizing your thoughts and putting your answer on paper.  You will have
about 45 min to answer this one question.

Good luck!
H. N. Williford, Ed.D., FACSM
Human Performance Laboratory
PO Box 244023
Auburn University Montgomery
Montgomery, AL 36124
Fax:  334 244 3472
Pone 334 244 3548



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