touted as the "gold standard" for causal inferences in educational settings, this should not
necessarily be so (Cook, 2002). Cook states that:
Random assignment prioritizes on unbiased answers to descriptive causal questions. But
few educational evaluators share this priority and most believe that it compromises more
important research goals. Cronbach (1982) rejects the assertion that internal validity is
the sine qua non of experimentation (Campbell & Stanley, 1963) because of the neglect
this implies for external validity. Experiments are clearly limited in time and space, and
nationwide experiments are very rare. (p. 187)
In the current study the only randomization of the population was due to the students' self-
selection into the researcher's classes. McMillan and Schumacher (1997) assert that the
nonequivalent groups pretest-posttest design employed in this study is quite frequently utilized
and beneficial in education.
The design involved two intact, intermediate-level Spanish classes, each with 30 students,
taught by the researcher, one as control and the other as experimental. The classes wrote their
first composition as the pretest, the grammar practice was the treatment and the final
composition as the posttest. Group characteristics such as gender, majors/minors, comfort with
writing, experience with technology, and pretest scores on compositions were compared to note
any significant differences between groups. A repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA)
where the treatment (weekly grammar practice in the lab vs. no weekly grammar practice in the
lab) was the between subjects factor and composition results were the within subjects factor was
used to determine measures of improvement on compositions for the experimental group with
comparison to the control.
Oxford, Raquel Malia Nitta. Effects of Technology-Enhanced Language Learning on Second Language Composition of University-Level Intermediate Spanish Students. Denton, Texas. UNT Digital Library. http://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4688/. Accessed April 17, 2014.