Validity Evidence for the Perceptions of Secondary School Students of ‘What Research is’ Scale and Measurement Invariance.

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Research is a concrete action in academia which has uplifted societies’ prosperity. Although researchers have given particular attention to student perceptions about what research is in a higher education context, little attention has been given to secondary school students’ perceptions about this issue. To fill this gap, Yeoman et al. (2016) qualitatively developed an instrument measuring secondary school students’ perceptions of what research is. The present study quantitatively validates this scale using the dataset originally used to qualitatively validate it. The factor structure of the ‘what research is’ scale and measurement invariance across gender, school type, and key stage was examined. The sample is composed of 2634 secondary school students in seven schools located in East Anglia, UK. The data from this original sample showed a relatively acceptable fit to the four-factor structure after omitting some items. The result also highlighted that whilst there was evidence on configural and metric level invariance (i.e. the factor structures and the factor loadings of the scale are equivalent across gender, school type, and key stage), scalar level invariance was not met (i.e. the item intercepts of the scale are not equivalent across gender, school type, and key stage). Recommendations for future studies and future directions for research are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)684
Number of pages703
JournalInternational Journal of Assessment Tools in Education
Issue number3
Publication statusAcceptance date - 9 Jul 2021

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