Space to Grow: Research Methodology

A multiple-baseline, multiple-probe design with repeated measures will be used to investigate the impacts on students and teachers of using the Faulkes Telescopes to conduct real science investigations.  Data sources will include quantative and qualitive approaches to garner a broad data spectrum and to develop case studies (specifically teacher/student activities).  The multiple baseline approach involves phased implementation with the schools from the three sectors assigned proportionally at random to one of three groups. 


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Completion of the student and teacher pre and post SSSQ and ADT surveys is a vital component of the Research Methodology in discovering how students and teachers view science, as they form the 'baseline' data from which all other comparisons are made.  Refer to the relevant links on our Questionnaires page. 

Sources of student data:

• science performance (School Certificate results, standardised performance tests, HSC half yearly examinations, HSC trial examinations and HSC examination results)

• repeated attitudinal student questionnaires towards science and its delivery, in all schools in Years 9/10-12 (pre- and post-occasion Secondary School Science Questionnaire Student Version)

• data from Faulkes Telescopes observations and students’ reports, taxonomy of learner engagement with Faulkes Telecopes

• students’ intentions to take science subjects in year 11 and beyond, repeated at regular intervals

• semi-structured interviews conducted with a sample of students at each school each year to ascertain their thoughts about science and its teaching, where applicable how the intervention has impacted them and to probe more deeply their intentions as far as further science study is concerned.

Sources of teacher data:

• demographic data (training, experience) (pre- and post-occasion Secondary School Science Questionnaire Teacher Version)

• attitudes towards science

• document analysis of teachers’ programmes and resources

• interviews probing: 1) reactions to materials developed, 2) pedagogy changes 3) student reactions.

Other sources:

• historical data for each school related to student performance in School Certificate and HSC examinations will provide a baseline of performance data against which to compare outcomes from the intervention for the Group-I schools and allow comparisons across groups of schools

• online activity using automated monitoring applications including data transfer between schools, the remote telescope and partner organisations, and screen capture programmes to collect data on students’ decision making as they decide on courses of action

• a `help-desk’ will also be available and its use monitored.

NB. Analysis of the longitudinal data will be able to determine impact of the intervention on students’ performance, motivations and attitudes. 

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