Study Abroad Essay

905 words - 4 pages

This nonexperimental study is examining the influence on college, study abroad programs and the influence on “environmental citizenship,” (Tarrant & Lyons, 2012, p. 201) in undergraduate college students. The literature review provided adequate background and previous studies to support the purpose of this study. The literature review does lead to the clearly stated research purpose of “exploring the effect of previous study abroad experience, gender, and destination on pre- and post-levels of environmental citizenship, before and after participation in a short-term…travel program to Australia or New Zealand” (Tarrant & Lyons, p. 408). There were no research questions or hypotheses explicitly stated but can be easily inferred from the research purpose. There was no theory used to frame this study.
The demographics from this study identified these 651 participants from United States undergraduate colleges. The sample consisted of 68.3% females and 31.7% males. The researchers also further clarified percentages of students traveling to Australia (64.8%) and first time participating in a study abroad program (92.2%). There was no indication of ethnicity or nationality of students. There was also no indication of the geographic location of the participating 10 colleges. A convenience sample, utilizing volunteers was appropriate for the purpose of this study. There were enough participants in this study. Two-thirds of the sample were students traveling to Australia; that left the remaining participants traveling to New Zealand which was approximately 228 students. The research instruments differed both pre- and posttest. The pretest was a “7-item scale developed by Stern et al.” (p. 409) while the posttest was a Likert scale. There is no indication these instruments are either reliable or valid, as the researchers did not elaborate on the development of these measures. There was no random assignment to these studies and no manipulation of the independent variables. There are elements that may have biased this research and caused a threat to internal validity. In regards to selection threat, there was no random selection or random assignment. Students chose to travel and chose their destination. There is also a threat to instrumentation, as two different surveys were used to measure student perceptions. A final threat to internal validity may be in the area of history. Students may have different experiences during their one-month abroad. Threats to validity were minimal in regards to attrition (no indication students dropped out; but even so there was a large number of students included in the survey), statistical regression (students not grouped by extremes or specific characteristics), or maturation (participants to be perceived as having same physical and mental development). Extraneous variables such as socioeconomic status, perceived study abroad experience, previous travel experience, attitudes towards surveys, and...

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