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MEANING OF RESEARCH DESIGN

Research design is an outline or blueprint of what the researcher will do. A research design is the arrangement of conditions for collections and analysis of data in a manner that aims to combine relevance to the research purpose with economy in procedure. It consists of four basic parts. These include Sample design, observation design (conditions under which observations are to be made), statistical design & the operational design (techniques needed for rest three designs). It is a systematic plan of what is to be done, how it will be done and how the data will be analyzed. Research design basically shows what the major topics in the research are and their details. It provides an outline of how the research will be carried out and the methods that will be used. It includes an abstract of the research study, descriptors of the research design, dependent and independent variables, the assumptions and limitations of the research, research question hierarchy, sampling design and a format for the dummy data showing how data will be presented. Research design must contain a strategy for interpreting the analysis of our data in order to provide us with findings and conclusions from our research, and which may allow us to advance recommendations or implications based on our investigation. The research design will also contain a theoretical and conceptual framework that helps clarify the questions, problems and purposes we are concerned with, tells us what is already known about these matters, and helps us understand how particular concepts and elements of theory might be useful for our own inquiry. Guided by careful analysis of our research questions and problems, by our conceptual and theoretical framework, and by our reading of the research literature, our research design will also contain a strategy for collecting and organizing data that is relevant to our research problem(s) and/or question(s). This will be a strategy that enables us to collect the right kind of data for addressing our research focus, for collecting good quality data of an appropriate kind, and for collecting an appropriate amount of data for investigating our research problem and question in a rigorous and illuminating way. To be more precise, our research design will contain as one of its key components a data collection design. On the basis of this

data collection design, and in accord with the various resources of time, money, energy, etc., available to us, we will eventually develop a data collection plan. In addition to a strategy for collecting and organizing our data we also need a strategy for analyzing our data. This may be thought of as a research analysis design. The most important thing about our data analysis strategy or design is that it must cohere withor be consistent withour research purposes (our research question/problem and our aims and objectives), as well as with our theoretical and conceptual framework and the kinds and amount of data we collect. For example, if we want to collect and analyze a large amount of data we will need to use forms of data analysis that can handle large amounts of data and give us the kinds of findings we seek. Otherwise we will not be able to complete the research. On the other hand, if we want to concentrate on less data but analyze it in great depth, we need to use forms of data analysis that will give us the kind of depth and detail we seek. Finally, our research design must contain a strategy for interpreting the analysis of our data in order to provide us with findings and conclusions from our research, and which may allow us to advance recommendations or implications based on our investigation.

Major components of research design and the relationships between them

Literature

Problem Questions Aims

Data collection Data analysis Interpretation

Conclusions Results Recommendations

Theoretical framework Conceptual framework Ideas, examples, clues, models, etc. to use

SIGNIFICANCE OF RESEARCH DESIGN


Research design offers smooth & efficient sailing. This is because it sets boundaries & prevents blind research. It yields maximum information by avoiding collection of unnecessary data. It costs least in terms of time, money & effort. Proving firm foundation to the endeavor, it maximizes reliability of results. Giving chance to foresee flaws & inadequacies, it helps organizing ideas by averting misleading conclusion & thoughtless futile exercise. Most importantly, it is incorporated by learning from others critical comments & evaluations.

Like a successful journey, research design broadens the mind. It gives an exciting & fascinating experience. It gives an insight into world around us by providing opportunity to meet people. It gives fun & reward, though being tedious & monotonous at times. A good research work demands unique research design. Thus a good research design is half the battle won.