Research & Issues in Outdoor Education

Research & Issues in Outdoor Education

Research & Issues in Outdoor Education

EnEd 5560

Article Critique Format

Respond to each item below with a yes/no answer accompanied by a brief explanation for your response (e.g. List the Problem Statement). Please submit these in typed, single space format.

When reading your article, first, strive to follow these guidelines (AEE, Journal Advisory Committee, 2009,

“The Big Picture
… take both a big picture and a detailed view of the manuscript. When reading the article from a big picture perspective, consider what the article contributes to the field:
First, the topic should be relevant to experiential education in the broadest sense;
Second, the topic should be timely;
Third, the author should utilize a theoretical framework throughout the manuscript and relate the findings back to the literature, particularly in the discussion/implications section;
Fourth, and most important, the manuscript should make a significant contribution to the knowledge and/or development of theory, new information, substantiation, or contradiction of previous findings, reorganization of information to present new insights, application of new or improved research techniques and/or practice, new directions in experiential education or operational policy, among others.:

  1. What type of research most accurately describes this study?
  2. State the primary data collection (qualitative, quantitative, mixed-methods).
  3. What is the design of the study?
  4. Is this study exploratory, survey, comparative, relational, or causal

II.The Problem - State the research question(s) or problem statement

  1. Was the problem clearly defined? What is it?
  2. Were null hypotheses, research questions, or objectives formulated? (Which of the three was presented)?
  3. Was the problem logically deduced from some theory?
  4. What is (are) the independent (treatment) (x) variable(s), if appropriate?
  5. What is (are) the dependent (response) (y) variable(s), if appropriate?
  1. The Design
  2. Was an appropriate research design used to answer the problem?
  3. Was the population studied clearly identified?
  4. Were the sampling methods clearly identified?
  5. Was a control or comparison group chosen in the same manner and from the same population as the sample?
  6. Were the treatments randomly assigned to the groups?
  7. Was the alpha level (reliability) specified a priori?
  8. How was face and content validity determined?(This is for the instrument or measure).
  9. The Procedure
  10. Were the treatments and data collecting methods described so that you could replicate the study?
  11. Were the size and characteristics of the sample adequately described?
  12. Were the treatments administered so that extraneous sources of error were either held constant for all treatments and control groups or randomized among subjects within all groups? (Refer to the design to address internal validity threats).
  1. The Analysis (only refer to these 3 items. I do not expect you to evaluate the statistics).
  2. Was the criterion of evaluation (dependent variable (y)) appropriate to the study?
  3. Was any evidence of the reliability of the instrument given?
  4. Was any evidence of the validity of the instrument given?
  1. The Interpretation
  2. Were the conclusions consistent with the obtained results?
  3. Were the generalizations confined to the population from which the sample was drawn?
  1. General
  2. Was this a significant study? Why (your opinion)? – See the above comments by AEE.


Adapted from:

Farquahr, W. and Krumholtz, J. (1959). A check list evaluating experimental research in psychology and education. Journal of Education Research. LII (May). P 353-354.