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Research Methodology: Part 3 - Research Design & Plan

Research Methodology: Part 3 - Research Design & Plan

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Published by M S Sridhar
This presentation material in PowerPoint is the third of an eleven-part package designed and used regularly for teaching research methodology to post-graduate students and research scholars. This part deals with planning the strategy or overall design of the study. Research design is a tentative outline of proposed research work. If research is a journey with definite points of departure and arrival, then the design of it must project and predict in between sequences of activities like target, geography, resources, means, plan, synopsis, time schedule and final plan to share the experience with others. Proper research design provides firm foundation and allows smooth and efficient sailing of project yielding maximum information and reliability of results, helps organising ones ideas, gives chance to foresee flaws and inadequacies, incorporates by learning from others critical comments and evaluations. The meaning and steps in research design, preparation of synopsis and contents of research plan are explained. Design is a decision making process. Research design, as strategy, has to be comprehensive, flexible, appropriate, efficient, and economical. The process involves a series of steps including identification and delimiting of variables. There will always be a trade off of resources, cost, time and reliability of results with fruits expected of the study. If the design is for an experimental study which is proof oriented and requires substantial resources in terms of efforts and costs the results are likely to be more decisive. On the other hand, if the design is for an exploratory study which is often insight-oriented with flexibility and is relatively cheaper and smaller, it may not lead to any definite conclusions. In research design one has to choose appropriate combinations of methods and techniques based on objectives, implications of results, environmental factors, resources, kind of data required, etc. What goes on in the design is creating the conceptual structure and blue print for collection, measurement and analysis of data. In other words, decisions regarding what, where, when, how much, by what means concerning research are made in the design. Qualities of good research design together with how research design is related to choice of topic, methods and data collection tools are explained. Broadly, there are three types of research designs. They are: (i) formulatory and exploratory design (ii) descriptive and diagnostic design and (iii) experimental design or hypothesis testing. The first two are discussed in this part and the third is presented in Part 4. It is important to note that librarianship has rarely adopted experimental design which has several advantages over the other designs. In designing research one has to be doubly cautious about the relation between two variables as well as differences between cause and effect.
This presentation material in PowerPoint is the third of an eleven-part package designed and used regularly for teaching research methodology to post-graduate students and research scholars. This part deals with planning the strategy or overall design of the study. Research design is a tentative outline of proposed research work. If research is a journey with definite points of departure and arrival, then the design of it must project and predict in between sequences of activities like target, geography, resources, means, plan, synopsis, time schedule and final plan to share the experience with others. Proper research design provides firm foundation and allows smooth and efficient sailing of project yielding maximum information and reliability of results, helps organising ones ideas, gives chance to foresee flaws and inadequacies, incorporates by learning from others critical comments and evaluations. The meaning and steps in research design, preparation of synopsis and contents of research plan are explained. Design is a decision making process. Research design, as strategy, has to be comprehensive, flexible, appropriate, efficient, and economical. The process involves a series of steps including identification and delimiting of variables. There will always be a trade off of resources, cost, time and reliability of results with fruits expected of the study. If the design is for an experimental study which is proof oriented and requires substantial resources in terms of efforts and costs the results are likely to be more decisive. On the other hand, if the design is for an exploratory study which is often insight-oriented with flexibility and is relatively cheaper and smaller, it may not lead to any definite conclusions. In research design one has to choose appropriate combinations of methods and techniques based on objectives, implications of results, environmental factors, resources, kind of data required, etc. What goes on in the design is creating the conceptual structure and blue print for collection, measurement and analysis of data. In other words, decisions regarding what, where, when, how much, by what means concerning research are made in the design. Qualities of good research design together with how research design is related to choice of topic, methods and data collection tools are explained. Broadly, there are three types of research designs. They are: (i) formulatory and exploratory design (ii) descriptive and diagnostic design and (iii) experimental design or hypothesis testing. The first two are discussed in this part and the third is presented in Part 4. It is important to note that librarianship has rarely adopted experimental design which has several advantages over the other designs. In designing research one has to be doubly cautious about the relation between two variables as well as differences between cause and effect.

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Published by: M S Sridhar on Jan 14, 2008
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