One-Shot Case Study



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Experimental Designs
The "One-Shot Case Study"

Treatment

Post-test

X

O

  • No control group. This design has virtually no internal or external validity.


2 Group, Post-test Comparison

Treatment

Post-test

X

O




O

  • The main advantage of this design is randomization. The post-test comparison with randomized subjects controls for the main effects of history, maturation, and pre-testing; because no pre-test is used there can be no interaction effect of pre-test and X. Another advantage of this design is that it can be extended to include more than two groups if necessary.


One group Pre-test, Post-test

Pre-test

Treatment

Post-test

O

X

O

  • Minimal Control. There is somewhat more structure, there is a single selected group under observation, with a careful measurement being done before applying the experimental treatment and then measuring after. This design has minimal internal validity, controlling only for selection of subject and experimental mortality. It has no external validity.



Two groups, Nonrandom Selection, Pre-test, Post-test


Group

Pre-test

Treatment

Post-test

Experimental group = E

O

X

O

Control Group = C

O




O

  • The main weakness of this research design is the internal validity is questioned from the interaction between such variables as selection and maturation or selection and testing. In the absence of randomization, the possibility always exists that some critical difference, not reflected in the pretest, is operating to contaminate the posttest data. For example, if the experimental group consists of volunteers, they may be more highly motivated, or if they happen to have a different experience background that affects how they interact with the experimental treatment - such factors rather than X by itself, may account for the differences.

Two groups, Random Selection, Pre-test, Post-test

Group

Pre-test

Treatment

Post-test

Experimental group = E (R)

O

X

O

Control Group =

C (R)

O




O

  • The advantage here is the randomization, so that any differences that appear in the posttest should be the result of the experimental variable rather than possible difference between the two groups to start with. This is the classical type of experimental design and has good internal validity. The external validity or generalizability of the study is limited by the possible effect of pre-testing. The Solomon Four-Group Design accounts for this.



Solomon Four-Group Design


Group

Pre-test

Treatment

Post-test

Pre-tested Experimental Group = E (R)

O

X

O

Pre-tested Control Group = C (R)

O




O

Unpre-tested Experimental Group = UE (R)




X

O

Unpre-tested Control Group = UC (R)







O

  • This design overcomes the external validity weakness in the above design caused when pre-testing affect the subjects in such a way that they become sensitized to the experimental variable and they respond differently than the unpre-tested subjects.




C. Moorhead

University of New Hampshire




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