The experimental method , also known as scientific-experimental, is characterized by allowing the researcher to manipulate and control the variables of an investigation as much as possible, in order to study the relationships between them with the bases of the scientific method.
It is a process used to investigate phenomena, acquire new knowledge, or correct and integrate previous knowledge. It is used in scientific research and is based on systematic observation, measurement, experimentation, test formulation and hypothesis modification.
This general method is carried out in the different branches of science; biology, chemistry, physics, geology, astronomy, medicine, etc. The main characteristic of the experimental method involves the manipulation of variables. Thanks to this, it is possible to observe and record the behaviors of these variables in order to anticipate results and explain behaviors or circumstances.
The experimental method seeks to obtain as accurate and unambiguous information as possible. This is achieved thanks to the application of operations and control procedures; through them, it can be said that a given variable influences another in such a way.
Characteristics of the experimental method
– In the experimental method, the researcher has absolute control over the variables.
– It is based on the scientific method.
– The objective of the experimental method is to study and/or anticipate the relationships that are generated between the variables considered in the research.
– Seeks to collect data as accurate as possible.
– The variables considered in the experimental method can be manipulated according to the needs of the researchers.
– The measuring instruments used must have a high level of accuracy and precision.
– The manipulation of the variables allows the researcher to create the ideal scenario that allows observing the desired interactions.
– As the researcher produces the conditions he needs when he demands them, he will always be ready to observe them effectively.
– In the experimental method, conditions are fully controlled. Therefore, the researcher can replicate the experiment to confirm his hypothesis and also promote verification by other independent researchers.
– The experimental method can be applied in studies of an exploratory nature or that seek to confirm previous studies.
Experimental method steps
Next, we will detail nine steps that a researcher must go through when applying the experimental method in a research work:
State the problem and remarks
It consists of the description of the main reason why an investigation is carried out. There may be unknown information that you want to know. It must be a problem or situation that can be solved and whose variables can be accurately measured.
The problem arises from observations, which must be objective, not subjective. In other words, the observations must be verifiable by other scientists. Subjective observations, based on personal opinions and beliefs, are not part of the field of science.
- Objective statement: in this room the temperature is 20 ° C.
- Subjective statement: It’s cool in this room.
state the hypothesis
The hypothesis is the possible explanation that can be given before an unknown phenomenon. This explanation seeks to relate the variables to each other and anticipate what kind of relationship they have.
Hypotheses often have similar structures using a conditional mode. For example, “if X (…), then Y (…)”.
Set the variables
In the problem statement, the main variables that will be taken into account are already considered. When defining the variables, the objective is to characterize them as accurately as possible, in order to be able to study them efficiently.
It is very important that there are no ambiguities in the definition of variables and that they can be operationalized; that is, they can be measured.
At this point, it is very important to also consider all external variables that can directly influence those that will be considered in the study.
You must have absolute control of the variables to be observed; otherwise, the results generated by experimentation will not be completely reliable.
Define an experimental design
At this stage of the experimental method, the researcher must define the way in which he will carry out his experiment.
The objective is to describe in detail what will be the steps for the researcher to reach the objective of the study.
Perform the procedure and collect the corresponding data
This phase corresponds to carrying out the investigation as such. At that moment, the researcher must carry out concrete actions by which he can observe and record the behavior of the variables, as well as the relationships that are generated between them.
The entire investigation process must be properly described and recorded; In this way, the researcher will have an accurate record that will allow him to have much more precision in the execution, in addition to a better understanding of the final results.
Analyze the data
The information obtained thanks to the experimental method must be analyzed statistically. This will allow the veracity of the results to be verified and will give important signals about the importance of the data obtained.
This phase can be very important in determining how important the results of a particular study can be. Through generalization, the information obtained can be extrapolated and extended to larger populations or scenarios.
The scope of the generalization will depend on the description that has been made of the observed variables and how representative they are with respect to a specific set.
With the results obtained, it is possible to make a prediction that tries to state what a similar situation would be like, but which has not yet been studied.
This phase can accommodate new research work focused on a different approach to the same problem developed in the present study.
Present the final conclusions
After analyzing the data, making the case generalizations, and considering the corresponding predictions, it’s time to capture the investigation’s conclusions.
As the experimental method focuses on obtaining accurate results, conclusions should be described in as much detail as possible, emphasizing the implications of the data collected. The conclusions must confirm or deny the hypothesis originally proposed.
– The problem statement that was observed is as follows: some children feel little motivation to learn in the classroom. On the other hand, it was determined that, in general, children are motivated to interact with technology.
– The research hypothesis is that the incorporation of technology into the education system will increase the motivation of children aged between 5 and 7 years to learn in the classroom.
– The variables to consider are a group of children between 5 and 7 years of age from a particular educational institution, an educational program that includes the use of technology in all subjects taught and the teachers who will implement said program.
– The experimental design can be described as follows: the teachers will apply the chosen program to the children during the school year. Each session includes an activity that seeks to measure the level of motivation and understanding that each child has. Data will be collected and analyzed later.
– The data obtained indicate that the children increased their levels of motivation in relation to the period before the application of the technological program.
– Given these results, it is possible to project that a technological program can increase the motivation of children between 5 and 7 years of age from other educational institutions.
– Likewise, it can be foreseen that the mentioned program will also have positive results if applied to older children and even teenagers.
– Thanks to the study carried out, it can be concluded that the application of a technology program promotes the motivation of children between 5 and 7 years old to learn in the classroom.