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The Measurement Zone: A Lecture/Activity Exploring Validity, Precision, Reliability and Accuracy
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Keywords

accuracy
measurement
operationalization
precision
reliability
research methods
validity

How to Cite

Linneman, Judith. 2021. “The Measurement Zone: A Lecture/Activity Exploring Validity, Precision, Reliability and Accuracy”. TRAILS: Teaching Resources and Innovations Library for Sociology, April. Washington DC: American Sociological Association. https://trails.asanet.org/article/view/the-measurement-zone-a-lectureactivity-exploring.

Abstract

This entertaining and engaging lecture/activity takes students along on their flu-stricken instructor’s fever-induced nightmare visit to “The Measurement Zone.” The instructor needs to test his/her/their body temperature for fever, and then take a dose of fever-reducing medication based on body weight, but in “The Zone,” taking measures such as body...

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Details

Subject Area(s):
Research Methods
Resource Type(s):
Class Activity
Class Level(s):
Any Level
Class Size(s):
Medium

Usage Notes

The ability to develop good measures of concepts and evaluate the quality of existing ones is a key research methods skill for students. This entertaining and engaging lecture/activity takes students along on their flu-stricken instructor’s fever-induced nightmare to a surreal “Measurement Zone” where taking simple measurements is turned on its head. In...

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Learning Goals and Assessments

Learning Goal(s):

  1. Students will be able to explain the importance of using high-quality measures in research.
  2. Students will be able to describe face validity, precision, reliability and accuracy as they are used in research.
  3. Students will be able to identify invalid, imprecise, and unreliable measures of specific concepts.

Goal Assessment(s):

  1. In a “one-minute paper” classroom assessment technique, short answer, or essay test item, ask students this question:

    In your own words, explain why measurement quality is important in research.
  2. In an ungraded quiz or “one-minute paper” classroom assessment technique, short answer or essay test item, ask students this question:

    Describe each of the following as it applies in research: face validity, precision, reliability and accuracy.
  3. Using a student response system, show of hands, or test item, ask the following:

    Which of these is an invalid, an imprecise, and an unreliable measure of . Each is used once.

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