Generalizability and Transferability

Annotated Bibliography

Babbie, Earl R. (1979). The practice of social research. Belmont: Wadsworth Publishing Company, Inc.

A comprehensive review of social scientific research, including techniques for research. The logic behind social scientific research is discussed.

Berkenkotter, C., Huckin, T.N., & Ackerman, J. (1988). Conventions, conversations, and the writer: Case study of a student in a rhetoric Ph.D. program. Research in the Teaching of English 22 (1), 9-44.

Describes a case study of a beginning student in a Ph.D. program. Looks at the process of his entry into an academic discourse community.

Black, Susan. (1996). Redefining the teacher's role. Executive Educator,18 (8), 23-26.

Discusses the value of well-trained teacher-researchers performing research in their classrooms. Notes that teacher-research focuses on the particular; it does not look for broad, generalizable principles.

Blank, Steven C. (1984). Practical business research methods. Westport: AVI Publishing Company, Inc.

A comprehensive book of how to set up a research project, collect data, and reach and report conclusions.

Blank, Steven C. (1984). Practical business research methods. Westport: AVI Publishing Company, Inc.

A comprehensive book of how to set up a research project, collect data, and reach and report conclusions.

Bridges, David. (1993). Transferable Skills: A Philosophical Perspective. Studies in Higher Education 18 (1), 43-51.

Transferability of skills in learning is discussed, focusing on the notions of cross-disciplinary, generic, core, and transferable skills and their role in the college curriculum.

Brookhart, Susan M. & Rusnak, Timothy G. (1993). A pedagogy of enrichment, not poverty: Successful lessons of exemplary urban teachers. Journal of Teacher Education, 44 (1), 17-27.

Reports the results of a study that explored the characteristics of effective urban teachers in Pittsburgh. Suggests that the results may be transferable to urban educators in other contexts.

Bryman, Alan. (1988).Quantity and quality in social research. Boston: Unwin Hyman Ltd.

Butcher, Jude. (1994, July). Cohort and case study components in teacher education research. Paper presented at the annual conference of the Australian Teacher Education Association, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

Argues that studies of teacher development will be more generalizable if a broad set of methods are used to collect data, if the data collected is both extensive and intensive, and if the methods used take into account the differences in people and situations being studied.

Carter, Duncan. (1993). Critical thinking for writers: Transferable skills or discipline-specific strategies? Composition Studies/Freshman English News, 21 (1), 86-93.

Questions the context-dependency of critical thinking, and whether critical thinking skills are transferable to writing tasks.

Carter, Kathy. (1993). The place of story in the study of teaching and teacher education. Educational Researcher, 22(1), 5-12.

Discusses the advantages of story-telling in teaching and teacher education, but cautions instructors, who are currently unfamiliar with story-telling in current pedagogical structures, to be careful in implementing this method in their teaching.

Clonts, Jean G. (1992, January). The concept of reliability as it pertains to data from qualitative studies. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Southwest Educational Research Association, Houston, TX.

Presents a review of literature on reliability in qualitative studies and defines reliability as the extent to which studies can be replicated by using the same methods and getting the same results. Strategies to enhance reliability through study design, data collection, and data analysis are suggested. Generalizability as an estimate of reliability is also explored.

Connelly, Michael F. & Clandinin D. Jean. (1990). Stories of experience and narrative inquiry. Educational Researcher, 19.(5), 2-14.

Describes narrative as a site of inquiry and a qualitative research methodology in which experiences of observer and observed interact. This form of research necessitates the development of new criteria, which may include apparency, verisimilitude, and transferability (7).

Crocker, Linda & Algina, James. (1986). Introduction to classical & modern test theory. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.

Discusses test theory and its application to psychometrics. Chapters range from general overview of major issues to statistical methods and application.

Cronbach, Lee J. et al. (1967). The dependability of behavioral measurements: multifaceted studies of generalizability. Stanford: Stanford UP.

A technical research report that includes statistical methodology in order to contrast multifaceted generalizability with classical reliability.

Cziko, Gary A. (1992). Purposeful behavior as the control of perception: implications for educational research. Educational Researcher, 21 (9), 10-18. El-Hassan, Karma. (1995). Students' Rating of Instruction: Generalizability of Findings. Studies in Educational Research 21 (4), 411-29.

Issues of dimensionality, validity, reliability, and generalizability of students' ratings of instruction are discussed in relation to a study in which 610 college students who evaluated their instructors on the Teacher Effectiveness Scale.

Feingold, Alan. (1994). Gender differences in variability in intellectual abilities: a cross-cultural perspective. Sex Roles: A Journal of Research 20 (1-2), 81-93.

Feingold conducts a cross-cultural quantitative review of contemporary findings of gender differences in variability in verbal, mathematical, and spatial abilities to assess the generalizability of U.S. findings that males are more variable than females in mathematical and spatial abilities, and the sexes are equally variable in verbal ability.

Firestone,William A. (1993). Alternative arguments for generalizing from data as applied to qualitative research. Educational Researcher, 22(4), 16-22.

Focuses on generalization in three areas of qualitative research: sample to population extrapolation, analytic generalization, and case-to-case transfer (16). Explains underlying principles, related theories, and criteria for each approach.

Fyans, Leslie J. (Ed.). (1983). Generalizability theory: Inferences and practical applications. In New Directions for Testing and Measurement: Vol. 18. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

A collection of articles on generalizability theory. The goal of the book is to present different aspects and applications of generalizability theory in a way that allows the reader to apply the theory.

Hammersley, Martyn. (Ed.). (1993). Social research: Philosophy, politics and practice. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications.

A collection of articles that provide an overview of positivism; includes an article on increasing the generalizability of qualitative research by Janet Ward Schofield.

Hathaway, R. (1995). Assumptions underlying quantitative and qualitative research: Implications for institutional research. Research in higher education, 36 (5), 535-562.

Hathaway says that the choice between using qualitative or quantitative approaches is less about methodology and more about aligning oneself with particular theoretical and academic traditions. He concluded that the two approaches address questions in very different ways, each one having its own advantages and drawbacks.

Heck, Ronald H., Marcoulides, George A. (1996). . Research in the Teaching of English 22 (1), 9-44.

Describes a case study of a beginning student in a Ph.D. program. Looks at the process of his entry into an academic discourse community.

Hipps, Jerome A. (1993). Trustworthiness and authenticity: Alternate ways to judge authentic assessments. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Atlanta, GA.

Contrasts the foundational assumptions of the constructivist approach to traditional research and the positivist approach to authentic assessment in relation to generalizability and other research issues.

Howe, Kenneth & Eisenhart, Margaret. (1990). Standards for qualitative (and quantitative) research: A prolegomenon. Educational Researcher, 19(4), 2-9.

Huang, Chi-yu, et al. (1995, April). A generalizability theory approach to examining teaching evaluation instruments completed by students. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Francisco, CA.

Presents the results of a study that used generalizability theory to investigate the reasons for variability in a teacher and course evaluation mechanism.

Hungerford, Harold R. et al. (1992). Investigating and Evaluating Environmental Issues and Actions: Skill Development Modules.

A guide designed to teach students how to investigate and evaluate environmental issues and actions. The guide is presented in six modules including information collecting and surveys, questionnaires, and opinionnaires.

Jackson, Philip W. (1990). The functions of educational research. Educational Researcher 19(7), 3-9. Johnson, Randell G. (1993, April). A validity generalization study of the multiple assessment and program services test. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Atlanta, GA.

Presents results of study of validity reports of the Multiple Assessment and Program Services Test using quantitative analysis to determine the generalizability of the results.

Jones, Elizabeth A & Ratcliff, Gary. (1993). Critical thinking skills for college students. (National Center on Postsecondary Teaching, Learning, and Asessment). University Park, PA.

Reviews research literature exploring the nature of critical thinking; discusses the extent to which critical thinking is generalizable across disciplines.

Karpinski, Jakub. (1990). Causality in Sociological Research. Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Discusses causality and causal analysis in terms of sociological research. Provides equations and explanations.

Kirsch, Irwin S. & Jungeblut, Ann. (1995). Using large-scale assessment results to identify and evaluate generalizable indicators of literacy. (National Center on Adult Literacy, Publication No. TR94-19). Philadelphia, PA.

Reports analysis of data collected during an extensive literacy survey in order to help understand the different variables involved in literacy proficiency. Finds that literacy skills can be predicted across large, heterogeneous populations, but not as effectively across homogeneous populations.

Lauer, Janice M. & Asher, J. William. (1988).Composition research: empirical designs. New York: Oxford Press.

Explains the selection of subjects, formulation of hypotheses or questions, data collection, data analysis, and variable identification through discussion of each design.

LeCompte, Margaret & Goetz, Judith Preissle. (1982). Problems of reliability and validity in ethnographic research. Review of Educational Research, 52(1), 31-60.

Concentrates on educational research and ethnography and shows how to better take reliability and validity into account when doing ethnographic research.

Marcoulides, George; Simkin, Mark G. (1991). Evaluating student papers: the case for peer review. Journal of Education for Business 67 (2), 80-83.

A preprinted evaluation form and generalizability theory are used to judge the reliability of student grading of their papers.

Maxwell, Joseph A. (1992). Understanding and validity in qualitative research. Harvard Educational Review, 62 (3), 279-300.

Explores the five types of validity used in qualitative research, including generalizable validity, and examines possible threats to research validity.

McCarthy, Christine L. (1996, Spring). What is "critical thinking"? Is it generalizable? Educational Theory, 46 217-239.

Reviews, compares and contrasts a selection of essays from Stephen P. Norris' book The Generalizability of Critical Thinking: Multiple Perspectives on an Education Ideal in order to explore the diversity of the topic of critical thinking.

Miles, Matthew B. & Huberman, A. Michael. (1994). Qualitative data analysis.Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.

A comprehensive review of data analysis. Subjects range from collecting data to producing an actual report.

Minium, Edward W. & King, M. Bruce, & Bear, Gordon. (1993). Statistical reasoning in psychology and education. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

A textbook designed to teach students about statistical data and theory.

Moss, Pamela A. (1992). Shifting conceptions of validity in educational measurement: Implications for performance assessment. Review of Educational Research, 62(3), 229-258. Nachmias, David & Nachmias, Chava . (1981). Research methods in the social sciences. New York: St. Martin's Press.

Discusses the foundations of empirical research, data collection, data processing and analysis, inferential methods, and the ethics of social science research.

Nagy, Philip; Jarchow, Elaine McNally. (1981). Estimating variance components of essay ratings in a complex design. Speech/Conference Paper.

This paper discusses variables influencing written composition quality and how they can be best controlled to improve the reliability assessment of writing ability.

Nagy, William E., Herman, Patricia A., & Anderson, Richard C. (1985). Learning word meanings from context: How broadly generalizable? (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Center for the Study of Reading, Technical Report No. 347). Cambridge, MA: Bolt, Beranek and Newman.

Reports the results of a study that investigated how students learn word meanings while reading from context. Claims that the study was designed to be generalized.

Naizer, Gilbert. (1992, January). Basic concepts in generalizability theory: A more powerful approach to evaluating reliability. Presented at the annual meeting of the Southwest Educational Research Association, Houston, TX.

Discusses how a measurement approach called generalizability theory (G-theory) is an important alternative to the more classical measurement theory that yields less useful coefficients. G-theory is about the dependability of behavioral measurements that allows the simultaneous estimation of multiple sources of error variance.

Newman, Isadore & Macdonald, Suzanne. (1993, May). Interpreting qualitative data: A methodological inquiry. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Ohio Academy of Science, Youngstown, OH.

Issues of consistency, triangulation, and generalizability are discussed in relation to a qualitative study involving graduate student participants. The authors refute Polkinghorne's views of the generalizability of qualitative research, arguing that quantitative research is more suitable for generalizability.

Norris, Stephen P. (Ed.). (1992). The generalizability of critical thinking: multiple perspectives on an education ideal. New York: Teachers College Press. A set of essays from a variety of disciplines presenting different perspectives on the topic of the generalizability of critical thinking. The authors refer and respond to each other. Peshkin, Alan. (1993). The goodness of qualitative research. Educational Researcher, 22(2), 23-29.

Discusses how effective qualitative research can be in obtaining desired results and concludes that it is an important tool scholars can use in their explorations. The four categories of qualitative research--description, interpretation, verification, and evaluation--are examined.

Rafilson, Fred. (1991, July). The case for validity generalization.

Describes generalization as a quantitative process. Briefly discusses theory, method, examples, and applications of validity generalization, emphasizing unseen local methodological problems.

Rhodebeck, Laurie A. The structure of men's and women's feminist orientations: feminist identity and feminist opinion. Gender & Society 10 (4), 386-404.

This study considers two problems: the extent to which feminist opinions are distinct from feminist identity and the generalizability of these separate constructs across gender and time.

Runkel, Philip J. & McGrath, E. Joseph. (1972). Research on human behavior: A systematic guide to method. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc.

Discusses how researchers can utilize their experiences of human behavior and apply them to research in a systematic and explicit fashion.

Salomon, Gavriel. (1991). Transcending the qualitative-quantitative debate: The analytic and systemic approaches to educational research. Educational Researcher, 20 (6), 10-18.

Examines the complex issues/variables involved in studies. Two types of approaches are explored: an Analytic Approach, which assumes internal and external issues, and a Systematic Approach, in which each component affects the whole. Also discusses how a study can never fully measure how much x affects y because there are so many inter-relations. Knowledge is applied differently within each approach.

Schrag, Francis. (1992). In defense of positivist research paradigms. Educational Researcher, 21(5), 5-8.

Positivist critics Elliot Eisner, Fredrick Erikson, Henry Giroux, and Thomas Popkewitz are logically committed to propositions that can be tested only by means of positivist research paradigms. A definition of positivism is gathered through example. Overall, it is concluded that educational research need not aspire to be practical.

Sekaran, Uma. (1984). Research methods for managers: A skill-building approach.New York: John Wiley and Sons.

Discusses managerial approaches to conducting research in organizations. Provides understandable definitions and explanations of such methods as sampling and data analysis and interpretation.

Shadish, William R. (1995). The logic of generalization: five principles common to experiments and ethnographies. American Journal of Community Psychology 23 (3), 419-29.

Both experiments and ethnographies are highly localized, so they are often criticized for lack of generalizability. This article describes a logic of generalization that may help solve such problems.

Shavelson, Richard J. & Webb, Noreen M. (1991). Generalizability theory: A primer. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications.

Snyder, I. (1995). Multiple perspectives in literacy research: Integrating the quantitative and qualitative. Language and Education, 9 (1), 45-59.

This article explains a study in which the author employed quantitative and qualitative methods simultaneously to compare computer composition classrooms and traditional classrooms. Although there were some problems with integrating both approaches, Snyder says they can be used together if researchers plan carefully and use their methods thoughtfully.

Stallings, William M. (1995). Confessions of a quantitative educational researcher trying to teach qualitative research. Educational Researcher, 24(3), 31-32.

Discusses the trials and tribulations of teaching a qualitative research course to graduate students. The author describes the successes and failings he encounters and asks colleagues for suggestions of readings for his syllabus.

Wagner, Ellen D. (1993, January). Evaluating distance learning projects: An approach for cross-project comparisons. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Association for educational Communication and Technology, New Orleans, LA.

Describes a methodology developed to evaluate distance learning projects in a way that takes into account specific institutional issues while producing generalizable, valid and reliable results that allow for discussion among different institutions.

Yin, Robert K. (1989). Case Study Research: Design and Methods. London: Sage Publications.

A small section on the application of generalizability in regards to case studies.
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