series design for longitudinal observations. A non cause-and-effect relationship requires a plain descriptive research describing about the pattern of relationships among thevariables.Let us take a look at a brief research problem as an example in selecting a type of research:
Teaching of Science and Mathematics in English creates a lot of problems amongstudents as well as teachers. The question ‘Do students actually benefited from thenew policy?’ really bothers every citizen.
Based on the above research problem many types of research could be planned dependingon the focus by a researcher. For example, let cause-and-effect relationship be the focus,i.e., the interest of every citizen would be ‘Did the new policy causes students performance to drop?’ Thus, the relevant types of research are, a pure experiment, aquasi-experiment, an ex-post-facto or a time-series design:Type 1: A pure experiment. This type enables us to manipulate an independent variable(iv) in order to see the effect on the dependent variable (dv). With regard to the aboveresearch problem, the iv is ‘implementation of new policy’ and the dv is students performance. Practically, it is not possible to manipulate the iv in the above example,therefore a true experiment is out of question.Type 2: A quasi experiment. The only difference between a quasi experiment and a trueexperiment is that, in quasi experiment there is no randomization of subjects betweenlevels of the iv, for instance between control and experimental groups. With regard to theabove research problem a quasi experiment is also out of question for similar reason asType 1.Type 3: Ex-post-facto or causal-comparative. A causal relation could also be established by causal-comparative method although not as strong as the experimental method. Themethod is suitable when iv is already available in the research setting. As for the aboveresearch problem, this type could be the closest in order to search for a cause-and-effectrelationship between the iv and the dv. The iv is already there in the research setting:‘implementation of new policy’. Our job is to search for the levels of the iv namelysubjects who are being exposed to the new policy and subjects who are not. For example:if the new policy has been carried out for last three years, the comparison in Mathematicsability could be made between end of year three pupils this year (who were taught inEnglish) and beginning of year four pupils (who were taught in Malay).Type 4: Time series design. A cause-and-effect relationship could also be establishedusing a time series design. A series of observations based on a defined duration betweenobservations are recorded for a group of subjects before and after a treatment is given. If we find that the performance of the subjects are consistently higher after the treatment,than the effect has taken place and it is caused by the treatment. As for the above research problem, probably it is not possible to carry out this research design since the treatment2