A variable is something that can vary or change with time. There are two types of variables, independent and dependent variables. Independent variables can be controlled by the person performing an experiment while dependent variables are variables that are measured by the person performing an experiment. This paper will discuss about the proposed dependent and independent variables and a description of the pan to find instruments for the variables.
Proposed dependent and independent variables
The research study aims finding out the effects of work experience on the performance of college students. The study will be conducted by comparing the grades of students who have worked prior to joining college to those who have not worked prior to joining college. In this case, college grades are the dependent variable since these college grades depend on the work experience. The independent variable in this case is work experience. This is because work experience can lead to generation of two independent groups namely, college students with work experience and college students with no work experience (Delta Education (Firm) and Lawrence Hall of science, 2001).
The instruments to be used for the proposed dependent and independent variables are questionnaires that will be filled by college students indicating the number of years of experience they had prior to joining college. This will enable us identify college students with work experience and college students without work experience. Therefore, it will enable us measure the independent variable which is the work experience. We will also need about 100 college student volunteers who will fill the questionnaires (Cohen, Manion and Morrison, 2007).
Test exams papers will be used to obtain the dependent variable which is the college grades. The students volunteers will take an exam test to measure their level of intelligence and the grades obtained will be used as dependent variables. The grades obtained depend on the level of the students’ work experience (Cohen, 2007).
Since a test will be used as a measuring device for data collection, it is essential for the test to be valid and reliable. In this case, the test is aimed at measuring the level of intelligence or performance of college students. The test question should test the knowledge of what is learnt in class for instance a question on a given course topic. A good example of a way that can be used to measure validity is using a Scholastic Assessment Test and then the use of a correlation coefficient to compare the grades scored by college students in the Scholastic Assessment Test (Litwin, 1995).
Testing reliability on the other hand will be used to determine whether the exam test is consistent. The best statistic that will be used to test reliability is the reliability coefficient. An example of a method that can be used to test reliability will be to give the same exam test to two groups of students at different times. To know if the test is reliable both groups will score almost similar grades in both occasions (Litwin, 1995).
Every research study should strive to be a solid research study and solidity can be achieved by having knowledge of how to manipulate both dependent and independent variables and controlling aspects that can affect the validity of the experiment.
Cohen, L., Manion, L., & Morrison, K. R. (2007) Research Methods in Education (6th Ed.). Routledge.
Delta Education (Firm), & Lawrence Hall of science (2001) Variables. Delta Education.
Litwin, M. S. (1995) How to measure survey reliability and validity (3rd Ed.). SAGE.