Do students who work longer and harder learn more in college? Does joining a fraternity with a more academic flavor enhance a student’s academic performance? When are the results from an innovation that is tried on one campus applicable to other campuses? How many students and faculty members must participate in a research project before findings are valid? Do students learn best when they study alone or in small groups?
These are just some more than fifty examples that Richard Light, Judith Singer, and John Willett explore in By Design, a lively nontechnical sourcebook for learning about colleges and universities. These authors believe that careful design of research on college effectiveness is the single most important step toward producing useful and valid findings. In that spirit, By Design is a pathbreaking textbook of modern research methods that both practitioners and students will find useful.