The required reading, Understanding and Describing Quantitative Data (Lewin, 2011) lays out the variety of quantitative methods of research as well as the details in making the research both valid and reliable. Of course, all research aims to evaluate what the researcher is focused on (the validity) and that the results can be replicated by others independently (the reliability). The difficulty lies in the details. Does the data point to one factor, or are there other possible reasons for the results? Was there an inherent bias in the process? Were the results statistically significant? Many problems may arise regarding the validity of the study’s design. As for reliability, how many participants were used? Were they representative of a bigger group? With a different group, could this be replicated? Are the experimental and control groups equal? To ensure a study is both valid and reliable, the researcher must work hard to eliminate as many reasons for discounting the results as possible.
In reading the article, “Closing the gaps Improving literacy and mathematics by ict-enhanced collaboration” (Genlott and Gronlund, 2016), the qualitative research applies, because they have a very specific comparison and measurement. The hypotheses arose from a method of learning to read and write developed by Arne Trageton called Write to Learn (WTL), and to see whether this method, using ICT (Information and Communication Technologies), results in better scores on a national test of math and literacy. The three main groups in the study were: a group with ICT and the Write to Learn program; another that did not use WTL or ICT; and the last group used ICT, but not WTL.
The results showed that those students who were in the first group (WTL and ICT) scored higher than the other two groups, as well as the control groups. The obvious question that arises is a comparison of strategies other than WTL for literacy and numeracy improvement.