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Revision Notes

1. What is research? What are the research concepts?


Research is defined as a careful consideration of study regarding a particular concern
or a problem using scientific methods. Research is a systematic inquiry to describe,
explain, predict and control the observed phenomenon. Research involves inductive
and deductive methods.

Inductive research methods are used to analyse the observed phenomenon and are
associated with qualitative research whereas deductive methods are used to verify the
observed phenomenon and are more commonly associated with quantitative
research.

Characteristics of Research:
i. A systematic approach is followed in research. Rules and procedures are an
integral part of research that set the objective of a research process.
Researchers need to practise ethics and code of conduct while making
observations or drawing conclusions.
ii. Research is based on logical reasoning and involves both inductive and
deductive methods.
iii. The data or knowledge that is derived is in real time, actual observations in the
natural settings.
iv. There is an in-depth analysis of all the data collected from research so that
there are no anomalies associated with it.
v. Research creates a path for generating new questions. More research
opportunity can be generated from existing research.
vi. Research is analytical in nature. It makes use of all the available data so that
there is no ambiguity in inference.
vii. Accuracy is one of the important characteristics of research, the information
that is obtained while conducting the research should be accurate and true to
its nature. For example, research conducted in a controlled environment like a
laboratory. Here accuracy is measured of instruments used, calibrations and
the final result of the experiment.
Describe differences between concepts and functions

Focus on skills *concepts, definitions, e.g. proposal’s sections

2. Explain the types of research


Basic Research
Mostly conducted to enhance knowledge. It covers fundamental aspects of research.
The main motivation of this research is knowledge expansion.
Applied Research
Focuses on analysing and solving real-life problems. This type of research refers to the
study that helps solve practical problems using scientific methods. This research plays
an important role in solving issues that impact the overall well-being of humans. For
example, finding a specific cure for a disease.
Problem-Oriented Research
Conducted to understand the exact nature of the problems to find out relevant
solutions. The term “problem” refers to having issues or thoughts while making any
decision.
Problem-Solving Research
Conducted by companies to understand and resolve their own problems. Use applied
research to find solutions to the existing problems.

Qualitative Research
Exploring and understanding the meaning individuals or groups ascribe to a social or
human problem. The process of research involves emerging questions and procedures,
collecting data in the participants’ settings; analysing the data inductively, building
from particulars to general themes; and making interpretations of the meaning of the
data. The final written report has a flexible writing structure.

A process that is about inquiry, that helps in depth understanding of the problems or
issues in their natural settings. This is a non statistical research method. Heavily
dependent on the experience of the researchers and the questions used to probe the
sample. The sample size is usually restricted to 6-10 people in a sample. Open-ended
questions are asked in a manner that one question leads to another. The purpose of
asking open-ended questions is to gather as much information as possible from the
sample.
Methods: One-to-one interview (qualitative interviews mean that the research
conducts face-to-face interviews with participants, interviews participants by
telephone, on the internet or engages in focus group interviews with six to eight
interviewees in each group. These interviews involve unstructured and generally
open-ended questions that are few in number and intended to elicit views and
opinions from the participants, ethnographic research (ethnography is a qualitative
strategy in which the researcher studies an intact cultural group in a natural setting
over a prolonged period of time by collecting primarily observational and interview
data, content/text analysis, case study research; it seeks to describe and understand
the behaviour of a particular social or cultural group, researcher tries to see things
from the perspective of members of the group, requires extended exposure to the
field, method: fieldwork, researcher as participant observer, observation, interviews,
field notes, documents, analysis: key themes, perspectives, events, example: study of
a group of teachers in their institutional setting over a term or a year, focusing on their
relationships with students).

Case studies are concerned with in-depth understanding of one unique instance of
something rather than trying to find general principles which apply to groups of people.
Study of a particular unit or sets of units (e.g. individuals, institutions, programmes,
events, etc.) to provide detailed (rich) description, intrinsic or instrumental, any
qualitative methods – multiple sources of information, in-depth interviews,
observations (naturalistic), etc. example: a single teacher or group of students,
exploring how the relationship develops as the latter settle into a new language school.

Qualitative observation means that the researcher takes field notes on the behaviour
and activities of individuals at the research site and records observations.
Qualitative validity: the researcher checks for the accuracy of the findings by
employing certain procedures. Validity is one of the strengths of qualitative research
and is based on determining whether the findings are accurate from the standpoint of
the researcher, the participant, or the readers of an account. Terms abound in the
qualitative literature that address validity such as trustworthiness, authenticity, and
credibility, and it is a much-discussed topic. A procedural perspective is to identify and
discuss one or more strategies available to check the accuracy of the findings.
Researchers should actively incorporate validity strategies into their proposals. The
use of multiple approaches enhance the researcher’s abilities to assess the accuracy
of findings as well as convince readers of that accuracy. There are 8 primary strategies,
organised from those used most frequently and easiest to implement to those used
occasionally and more difficult to implement:
i. Triangulate different sources: examine evidence from the sources build coherent
justification for themes established based on converging several sources of data
or perspectives from participants.
ii. Use member checking, take final report or specific descriptions or themes back to
participants and determining whether these participants feel that they are
accurate. The researcher takes back parts of the polished or semi-polished product,
such as the major findings, the themes, the case analysis, the grounded theory
(research process works from data to theory, aim of the process is to generate a
theory, the theory is derived from or discovered through data analysis, methods:
observations & interviews, diaries, documents, photographs (open to a wide
range), analysis – coding procedures to identify categories write theoretical
memos on the emergent theorising – uses this to inform further data gathering
which is the basis for further coding, theorising and data collection, a process of
refinement to articulate a core explanatory theory, example: a study of the
experience of the first few weeks at a new language school from the learner’s point
of view), the cultural description and so forth. This procedure can involve
conducting a follow-up interview with participants in the study and providing an
opportunity for them to comment on the findings.
iii. Rich and thick description to convey the findings – transport readers to the setting
and give the discussion an element of shared experiences. Offer more perspectives
about a theme, the results become more realistic and richer.
iv. Clarify the researcher bias. Self reflection creates an open and honest narrative
that will resonate well with readers. Reflexivity has already been mentioned as a
core characteristic of quality research. Good research contains comments by the
researchers about how their interpretation of the findings is shaped by their
background, such as their gender, culture, history and socioeconomic origin.
v. Negative or discrepant information that runs counter to the themes. Since real life
is composed of different perspectives that do not always coalesce, discussing
contrary information adds to the credibility of an account. Discuss evidence about
a theme. Most evidence will build a case for the theme; researchers can also
present information that contradicts the general perspective of the theme.
vi. Spend prolonged time in the field helps to develop an in-depth understanding of
the phenomenon under study & can convey detail about the site & the people that
lends credibility to the narrative account. The more experience that a researcher
has with participants in their settings, the more accurate or valid will be the
findings.
vii. Use peer debriefing: a process involves locating a person (a peer debriefer) who
reviews and asks questions about the qualitative study so that the account will
resonate with people other than the researcher. Involve an interpretation beyond
the researcher and invested in another person.
viii. Use an external auditor to review the entire project: unlike a peer debriefer who
is familiar with the researcher or the project, the auditor provides an object
assessment of the project throughout the process of research or at the conclusion
of the study. The role is similar to that of a fiscal auditor, & specific questions exist
that auditors might ask. The procedure of having an independent investigator look
over many aspects of the project (e.g. accuracy of the transcription, the
relationship between the RQs and the data, the level of data analysis from the raw
data through interpretation) enhances the overall validity.

Quantitative Research
A structured way of collecting data and analysing it to draw conclusions. Unlike
qualitative research, it uses computational, statistical and similar method to collect
and analyse data. Quantitative data is all about numbers. It involves a larger
population as more number of people means more data. In this manner, more data
can be analysed to obtain accurate results. This type of research method uses close-
ended questions because the researchers are typically looking at measuring the extent
and gathering foolproof statistical data.
Online surveys, questionnaires, and polls are preferable data collection tools used in
quantitative research. There are various methods of deploying surveys or
questionnaires. In recent times, online surveys and questionnaires have gained
popularity. Survey respondents can receive these surveys on mobile phones, emails
or can simply use the internet to access surveys or questionnaires.

Validity in quantitative research refers to whether one can draw meaningful and
useful inferences from scores on particular instruments.

Research is a careful and detailed study into a specific problem, concern or issue using
the scientific method.
Research begins with the right question, because your question must be answerable.
Questions like, how can I cure cancer? Aren’t really answerable with a study since it’s
too vague and not testable.
Quantitative approach

Survey design: sample of a population, provides quantitative or numeric description


of trends, attitudes, or opinions of a population. From the sample results, the
researcher generalises or makes claims about the population. Answer 3 types of
questions: (a) descriptive questions, (b) questions about the relationships between
variables (association, or in cases where a survey design is repeated over time in a
longitudinal study*), (c) questions about predictive relationships between variables
over time.

• *A longitudinal research design means selecting one group of participants all


within the same age range and following them up at intervals over time.
• A cross-sectional research design involves selecting a number of different age
groups of participants and studying them at the same time.
• Both research designs are aimed at discovering the nature of change with time.

Experimental design systematically manipulates one or more variables in order to


evaluate how this manipulation impacts an outcome(s) of interest. Importantly, an
experiment isolates the effects of this manipulation by holding all other variables
constant. When one group receives a treatment and the other group does not (which
is a manipulated variable of interest), the experimenter can isolate whether the
treatment and not other factors influence the outcome.

An experiment is a research technique in which an independent variable is


manipulated and the effects of this on a dependent variable are observed and
measured. Other (extraneous) variables are held constant. A true experiment is one
in which the independent variable is directly under the experimenter’s control (as in
laboratory or field experiments). In natural and quasi experiments, the independent
variable varies on its own and some would argue that because of this they are not
really experiments.

The main difference between an experiment and a correlation is that experiments


enable us to talk about cause and effect whereas correlations simply describe patterns
of linear relationship between pairs of data and do not allow us to make cause and
effect statements. In addition, an experiment is a research method but correlation is
a technique of data analysis applied to data gathered by some other means.

A survey is usually a large-scale study designed to gather information from large


numbers of people. Two key problems with survey are response bias and sampling
difficulties.

Whether a quantitative study employs a survey or experimental design, both


approaches share a common goal of helping the researcher make inferences about
relationships among variables, and how the sample results may generalize to a
broader population of interest.

Qualitative approach
Label the methods suitable for each approach e.g. experimental is for quantitative
Experimental design tests the impact of a treatment (or an intervention) on an
outcome, controlling for all other factors that might influence that outcome.
Experimental research seeks to determine if a specific treatment influences an
outcome in a study. Researchers assess this impact by providing a specific treatment
to one group and withholding it from another group and then determining how both
groups score on an outcome.

Explanatory sequential mixed methods is a mixed methods design that involves a two-
phase project in which the researcher collects quantitative data in the first phase,
analyses the results, and then uses a qualitative phase to help explain the quantitative
results.

Exploratory sequential mixed methods is a mixed methods strategy that involves a


three-phase project in which the researcher first collects qualitative data and analyses
it, then designs a quantitative feature based on the qualitative results (e.g. new
variables, an experimental intervention, a website), and finally, tests the quantitative
feature.

What are the things to be considered when designing a research (quanti and quali)?

Grouded theory is a qualitative strategy in which the researcher derives a general,


abstract theory of a process, action, or interaction grounded in the views participants
in a study.

Mixed methods research is an approach to inquiry that combines or integrates both


qualitative and quantitative forms of research. It involves philosophical assumptions,
the use of qualitative and quantitative approaches, and the mixing or integrating of
both approaches in a study.

Narrative research: a qualitative study in which the researcher studies the lives of
individuals and asks one or more individuals to provide stories about their lives. This
information is then often retold or restoried by the researcher into a narrative
chronology.
3. Research design, literature review (why?)
The basic plan for research.
Includes 4 main ideas:
Strategy
Conceptual framework
Who or what will be studied (sample)
The tools and procedures for collecting and analysing empirical materials.
Purposes of the literature review:
a. Shares the results of other studies that are related to your study
b. Relates a study to the larger ongoing dialogue in the literature
c. Fill in gaps
d. Extend prior studies
e. Provides a framework for comparing the results with other findings
f. Builds on the body of literature on a topic

❖ Define the term “Review of Literature”, and what is objectives and significance of
review of literature?
➔ A literature review is a type of review article and a scholarly paper an evaluative
report of information found in the literature related to your selected area of study.
The review should describe, summarise, evaluate and clarify this literature. It
should give a theoretical base for the research and help you (the author) determine
the nature of your research. Works which are irrelevant should be discarded and
those which are peripheral should be looked at critically. The objectives of literature
review:
o Expand understanding of the management dilemma.
o Look for ways others have addressed and/or solved problems similar to
the management dilemma.
o Gather background information on the topic to refine the research
questions.
o Identify sources for and actual sample frames that might be used in
sample design.
➔ The significance of literature review:
o Facilitates in selecting a research problem - most simple method of
formulating precisely the research problem.
o Helps in two ways: surfaces researches already done in the same field and
makes aware of the current research.
o Facilitates in formulating relevant hypotheses.
o Demarcates the boundaries of the research presently undertaken.
o Establishes the size and extent of the research to be undertaken.
o Examines the procedures and instruments for employing in research.
o Assesses the theme in better perspective in the light of several theories
and models.
o Justifies the contribution of the theme to the existing body of knowledge.
o Avoids unnecessary repetition of research already undertaken.
o Helps in building the quality of research material.
o Develops the ability of the researcher to recognize and select the relevant
materials used for research.
o Facilitates in critical understanding towards others’ research.
o Discovers inconsistencies, wrong designs and incorrect statistical
conclusions.
❖ Explain the need of review of the literature and enumerate the sources of review of
literature.
➔ The needs:
o Define the problem or questions.
o Consult encyclopedia, dictionaries, hand books, text books to identify key
terms or events relevant to the problem or questions.
o Apply these key terms or events in searching indexes, bibliographies and
the web to identify specific secondary sources.
o Locate and review specific secondary sources for relevance.
o Evaluate the value of each source and its contents.
o Summarize the writers thought in your own words.
o Helps in eliminating the danger of plagiarism, also force the researcher to
understand the information.
o In case of writing quotation, rewrite it absolutely correctly. Be careful to
spell correctly.
o Distinguish a direct quotation and a summary made by you.
o Long quotations should be Photostatted and kept for final entry into
thesis.
o Helps in saving time and eliminating unnecessary rewriting errors.
➔ They are many purposes of writing literature review. to report on knowledge and
ideas that have been established on a particular topic, including their strengths and
weaknesses while they allow you to discover the agreed academic opinion on the
topic while at the same time letting you find out the disagreements on the same
subject. So, it is very important for us to use literature review in our paper so that
it avoids incidental plagiarism and keep focus on our topic rather than straying off
course.
➔ One type of literature review is Argumentative Review. It examines literature
selectively in order to support or refute an argument, deeply imbedded assumption,
or philosophical problem already established in the literature. The purpose is to
develop a body of literature that establishes a contrarian viewpoint. This will be
very important to persuade others to join you in supporting your thesis.
➔ The sources:
o Five factors of evaluating the quality of information sources are:
▪ Purpose
▪ Scope
▪ Authority
▪ Audience
▪ Format
❖ Describe the principles and procedures of review of literature.
➔ Start with the most recent works and work back to earlier works. Recent works
lead to older works by referring to them and not the opposite.
➔ Helps in removing earlier misunderstandings and chances of accepting outdated
theories.
➔ Start with the works of recognized writers dealing with the specific theme.
➔ Start with articles, dissertations as they are well documented and show other
relevant sources.
➔ Start with the reading of an abstract or summary of a book or article to know its
relevance to the present theme (First do not read a source in its entirely).
➔ Helps in saving time and identifying relevant literature without much frustration.
➔ Go through the whole chapter or section before starting of any notes.
➔ Helps in linking the present theme with it and determines the kinds of notes to be
made.
➔ Source and relevant page number should be clearly entered.
➔ Helps in avoiding confusion at a later stage.
➔ Summarize the writers thought in your own words.
➔ Helps in eliminating the danger of plagiarism, also force the researcher to
understand the information.
➔ In case of writing quotation, rewrite it absolutely correctly. Be careful to spell
correctly.
➔ Distinguish a direct quotation and a summary made by you.
➔ Long quotations should be Photostatted and kept for final entry into thesis.
➔ Helps in saving time and eliminating unnecessary rewriting errors.
➔ Ensure that each source should be dealt with as accurately as possible.
❖ Define the term “Hypothesis” and Enumerate and characteristics of Hypothesis.
→ Hypothesis refers to a mere assumption to be proved or disproved. In research, it
is a formal question that the researcher intends to resolve.
The word hypothesis consists of two words:
Hypo + thesis = Hypothesis

Hypo’ means tentative or subject to the verification and ‘Thesis’ means statement about
solution of a problem.
➔ Should be clear and precise otherwise inferences drawn on its basis cannot be
taken as reliable.
➔ Should be capable of being tested.
➔ Should state relationship between variables, if it happens to be a relational
hypothesis.
➔ Should be limited in scope and must be specific (A narrower hypothesis is more
testable).
➔ Should be stated as far as possible in most simple terms for easy understanding by
all.
➔ Should be consistent with most known facts (must be consistent with a substantial
body of established facts).
➔ Should be possible to testing within a reasonable time.
❖ Explain the nature and functions of a hypothesis in a research process.
➔ Nature
o 1. It is conceptual in nature. Some kind of conceptual elements in the
framework are involved in a hypothesis.
o 2. It is a verbal statement in a declarative form. It is a verbal expression of
ideas and concepts, it is not merely idea but in the verbal form, the idea is
ready enough for empirical verification.
o 3. It has a forward or future reference. A hypothesis is future oriented. It
relates to the future verification not the past facts and in formations.
o 4. It is the pivot of a scientific research. All the research activities are
designed for its verification. The nature of hypothesis can be well
understood by differentiating it with other terms like assumption and
postulate
o 5. It has the empirical referent. A hypothesis contains some empirical
referent. It indicates the tentative relationship between two or more
variables.
➔ Functions
o Adequately explain all the facts connected with the hypothesis
o Enables to direct enquiry along right lines
o Determines the method of verification as well as the procedure for
enquiry
o Makes deductions possible
o Forms the starting point of investigation
o Makes observation and experiment possible
❖ Enumerate the approachable hypothesis.
➔ There are two approaches: Null Hypothesis and Alternative Hypothesis.
o Null Hypothesis: The null hypothesis is generally assumed to be true until
evidence indicates otherwise. a null hypothesis is rejected if the observed
data is significantly unlikely if the null hypothesis were true. In this case
the null hypothesis is rejected and an alternative hypothesis is accepted in
its place. If the data are consistent with the null hypothesis, then the null
hypothesis is not rejected (i.e., accepted). In neither case is the null
hypothesis or its alternative proven; the null hypothesis is tested with data
and a decision is made based on how likely or unlikely the data is. This is
analogous to a criminal trial, in which the defendant is assumed to be
innocent (null is not rejected) until proven guilty (null is rejected) beyond a
reasonable doubt (to a statistically significant degree).
o Null hypothesis in quantitative research represents the traditional approach
to writing hypotheses. It makes a prediction that, in the general
population, no relationship or no significant difference exists between
groups on a variable.

➔ Alternative Hypothesis: is the hypothesis that sample observations are influenced


by some non-random cause. For example, suppose we wanted to determine
whether a coin was fair and balanced. A null hypothesis might be that half the flips
would result in Heads and half, in Tails. The alternative hypothesis might be that
the number of Heads and Tails would be very different. Symbolically, these
hypotheses would be expressed as

H0: p = 0.5
Ha: p <> 0.5

Suppose we flipped the coin 50 times, resulting in 40 Heads and 10 Tails. Given this result, we
would be inclined to reject the null hypothesis. That is, we would conclude that the coin was
probably not fair and balanced.

It is also called nondirectional hypothesis, a prediction is made but the exact form of
differences (e.g. higher, lower, more, less) is not specified because the researcher does not
know what can be predicted from past literature. Thus, the investigator might write, “There is
a difference” between the two groups.

A directional hypothesis predicts the direction in which results will fall, e.g. the population
mean of sample A is higher than the mean of sample B or the correlation between C and D is
positive. Such hypotheses are used only when we have good reason to predict the direction
of the results, e.g. when previous research or careful reasoning suggest it. The investigator
makes a prediction about the expected outcome, basing this prediction on prior literature
and studies on the topic that suggest a potential outcome.

A one-tailed test is used with a directional hypothesis.

A two-tailed test is used with a non-directional hypothesis.

❖ What is research problem? And, explain the classification of research.


➔ A research problem is the demarcation of a problem area within a certain context
involving the WHO or WHAT, the WHERE, the WHEN and the WHY of the problem
situation.
o 1. What is your research (What)? 2. Why do you want to do this research
(Why)? 3. Who will be your participate (Who)? 4. When are you going to
research (When)? 5. Where are you going to conduct research(Where)
➔ There are 8 types of research:
o 1. Collecting primary data, which might be obtained firsthand from non-
published information sources – Primary research. Primary information
comes from – observations, surveys, interviews and experiments.
o 2. Searching through publications (books, journals, magazines, reports,
newspapers, government documents, etc.) and looking for answers to
questions – secondary research. It allows researchers to save their time
and resource.
o 3. Basic research seeks to further human knowledge. Does not necessarily
solve a specific problem. Known as “Pure” or “Fundamental” research.
o 4. Applied research is problem oriented. Seeks to solve specific problems
by providing information that will facilitate an appropriate decision.
Applied research is what business people carry out to get information for
decisions.
o 5. A reporting study provides summation of data or to generate some
statistics. It calls for knowledge and skill with information sources. Usually
requires little inference or conclusion drawing.
o 6. Descriptive Research: Attempts to find answers to questions – who,
what, when, where and how. Does not explain why an event has occurred
or why the variables interact the way they do. Involves collection of data
and observation of a single characteristic or event (research variable). May
involved the interaction of two or more variables (correlation studies). Is
quite popular in business research.
o 7. Explanatory Research: Goes beyond description. Attempts to explain the
reasons for the phenomenon (not in descriptive studies as it only
observed). Uses hypotheses to find out the causes for a certain
phenomenon.
o 8. Predictive Research: Tries to find out when and in what situation the
event will occur? Calls for a high order of inference making. In business
research, predictive research helps to evaluate specific courses of action
or to forecast current and future values.

❖ Explain the induction and deduction in research reason.


➔ Deductive reasoning works from the more general to the more specific.
Sometimes this is informally called a "top-down" approach. We might begin with
thinking up a theory about our topic of interest. We then narrow that down into
more specific hypotheses that we can test. We narrow down even further when
we collect observations to address the hypotheses. This ultimately leads us to be
able to test the hypotheses with specific data -- a confirmation (or not) of our
original theories.

4. Technique of Sampling

Population: size if can be determined, the means of identifying individuals in the


population – questions of access arise here, the researcher might refer to availability
of sampling frames – mail or published lists – of potential respondents in the
population. A population is often thought of as the total number of individuals that
would qualify to take part in a research study because they have the necessary
characteristics but when the researchers talk about populations, they are really
referring to populations of data.
A sample is a set of data selected from a population for the purposes of a research
study.
Sampling is carried out in order to ensure that the sample adequately represents the
parent population so that findings from the sample can be generalised back to the
population from which it was drawn.
Random sampling is a procedure in quantitative research for selecting participants. It
means that each individual has an equal probability of being selected from the
population, ensuring that the sample will be representative of the population.
Cluster sampling is ideal when it is impossible or impractical to compile a list of the
elements composing the population. A single-stage sampling procedure is one in
which the researcher has access to names in the population and can sample the
people or other elements directly. In clustering or multistage procedure, the
researcher first identifies clusters (groups or organizations), obtains names of
individuals within those clusters and then samples within them.

Type of sampling: draw a random sample, in which each individual in the population
has an equal probability of being selected (a systematic or probabilistic sample). But
in many cases, it may be quite difficult or impossible to get a random sample of
participants. Alternatively, a systematic sample can have precision-equivalent
random sampling. In this approach, choose a random start on a list and select every X
numbered person on the list. The X number is based on a fraction determined by the
number of people on the list and the number that are to be selected on the list (e.g. 1
out of every 80th person). Final, less desirable, but often used, is a nonprobability
sample (or convenience sample), in which respondents are chosen based on their
convenience and availability.

Stratification – stratum – specific characteristics of individuals – represented in the


sample that reflects the true proportion in the population of individuals with certain
characteristics. It ensures their representation.
Inter-observer reliability is evident when different observers record the same event in the
same way as each other. Test-retest reliability is when a test produces similar results on two
or more occasions. Alternate forms reliability is shown when two equivalent versions of the
same test produce similar results.

5. Ethics in Research
Code of ethics is the ethical rules and principles drafted by professional associations
that govern scholarly research in the disciplines.
The standard operating procedure in regards of obtaining the necessary permission
needs to be conducted prior the research. The main research objectives and the action
required will be clarified to the sample/participants/respondents through the form of
consent letters. They will also be informed regarding the significance, advantages and
effects the study may be expected for their academic development.

6. Tools and instruments of research


Instrumentation is the general term that researchers use for a measurement device
(survey, test, questionnaire, etc.). To help distinguish between instrument and
instrumentation, consider that the instrument is the device and instrumentation is the
course of action (The process of developing, testing, and using the device).

Another word for validity is relevance or appropriateness. A clumsier way of putting it is to


say that a measure is valid if it measures what it purports to measure.
Experimental validity refers to the internal ‘worth’ of the research design, i.e. is it really
measuring what it is supposed to measure or are there biases or other design problems
getting in the way?
Findings from a research study have Ecological validity if they are generalisable across
different settings (contextual validity).
Face validity means that a measure appears, on the surface of it, to measure what it purports
to measure.
Predictive validity means that a measure is a good forecast of some future measure of
performance.
Content validity means that a test contains items that are appropriate for testing whatever it
proports to test.
A pilot study is a small-scale dummy-run of a proposed research procedure. Its purpose is to
show up any deficiencies in the procedure so that they can be put right and the procedure
perfected before the full-scale study is carried out.

7. Data collection methods + dependent and independent variables


Before I start answering the questions above, I want to explain on two main types of
data that users find themselves working with and having to collect for their research
purposes.
1. Quantitative Data. These are data that deal with quantities, values or numbers,
making them measurable. Thus, they are usually expressed in numerical form, such
as length, size, amount, price, and even duration. The use of statistics to generate
and subsequently analyse this type of data add credence or credibility to it, so that
quantitative data is overall seen as more reliable and objective.
2. Qualitative Data. These data, on the other hand, deals with quality, so that they
are descriptive rather than numerical in nature. Unlike quantitative data, they are
generally not measurable, and are only gained mostly through observation.
Narratives often make use of adjectives and other descriptive words to refer to data
on appearance, colour, texture, and other qualities.
Methods of Data Collection
Quantitative Data Collection Methods
1. Survey Design/ Quantitative Surveys
Quantitative paper surveys pose closed questions, with the answer options provided.
The respondents will only have to choose their answer among the choices provided
on the questionnaire.
Survey designs help researchers answer three types of questions :
I. Descriptive questions
II. Questions about the relationships between variables
III. Questions about predicative relationships between variables over time.
In questionnaires, there are paper-pencil questionnaires and web based
questionnaires. Questionnaires often make use of Checklist and rating scales.
Examples of data :
( Questionaire )
RESPONDENT (____)
1. I enjoyed the lesson well.
2. I had fun singing the song.
3. I was able to do all the actions in the song.
4. I could sing the song clearly.
Once the data were collected, researchers can use IBM SPSS Statistics 24 to
analyse the data. This software will help the researcher to easily manage data,
select and perform analyses and share the results.
Qualitative Data Collection Methods
1. Qualitative interviews
In qualitative interviews, the researcher conducts face-to-face interviews with
participants, telephone interviews, or engages in focus group interviews with six to
eight interviewees in each group. In interviews, researchers can use structured
questions, semi-structured questions or unstructured questions.
Examples of data :
Semi-Structured Interview Questions
1. Do you like to answer question in the classroom?
2. Do you like the lesson?
3. What are the reasons for being passive in the class just now?
The conversation during the interview was transcribed verbatim. The transcribed
texts were then analysed and keywords used by respondents highlighted. Based on
the keywords used, emerging patterns were identified to find out the reasons for the
pupils being passive in the English classroom.

An independent variable is the influencing factor which a researcher manipulates in


an experiment in order to observe its effect on a dependent variable.
Dependent variable is the factor in an experiment which is influenced by changes in
the independent variable and which is observed and measured by the researcher.

A confounding variable is an influence in an experiment that is not the independent


variable yet causes changes in the dependent variable.

Extraneous variables are all other variables apart from dependent and independent
that need to be controlled in an experiment. If they are not taken care of they could
obscure the effect of the independent variable or if systematic, turn into a
confounding variable.
8. Data analysis:, Inferential: used for making predictions about the population,
inferential questions or hypotheses related variables or compare groups in terms of
variables so that inferences can be drawn from the sample to a population/descriptive
used for describing the characteristics of the population and subjects, researchers use
both types of statistics to draw general conclusions about their population and sample.
Writing questions or hypotheses based on writing descriptive questions (more like
what questions describing something) followed by inferential questions (more like
how questions) or hypotheses (drawing inferences from a sample to a population).
Both include independent and dependent variables.

9. Action research & others


To understand better some aspects of professional practice as a means of bringing
about improvement. Individual or institutional practice. Improvement of practice,
understanding of the practice by its practitioners, the situation in which the practice
takes place. Method: cycle of planning-acting and observing-reflecting-planning –
interviews, observations, documents, journals.
10. Terminology:
Abstract: in a literature review is brief review of the literature (typically in a short
paragraph) that summarises major elements to enable a reader to understand the
basic features of the article.
Coding is the process of organising the material into chunks or segments of text and
assigning a word or phrase to the segment in order to develop a general sense of it.
11. Inquiry methods- What is it? How did it come about? Is it still valid?
The differences between aim, objective and purpose:
Aim: the knowledge and understanding that you need in order to answer your research
questions. Well-designed aims create clear links between your research project and the big,
important question that motivates it. What you hope to achieve? Where are you heading with
your research?
Objective: specific research actions that you plan to carry out in your research project. They
define the structure of the research project. If you design your research carefully, it will be
clear that your research objectives will fulfil the aims defined by your research questions.
They are specific statements that define measurable outcomes. The steps or actions that you
take in order to achieve the aim.

Strong verbs: collect, construct, classify, develop, devise, measure, produce, revise, select,
synthesise
Weak verbs: appreciate, consider, enquire, learn, know, understand, be aware of, listen,
perceive
Purpose: It establishes the intent of the entire research study. It is the most important
statement in the entire study, and it needs to be clear, specific, and informative. It indicates
why you want to conduct the study and what you intend to accomplish. It can be called a
study aim or the research objective of a project. It cannot be confused with research problem
and questions. The purpose statement sets forth the intent of the study, not the problem or
issue leading to a new for the study. The purpose is also not the research questions – those
questions that the data collection will attempt to answer.
In your research problem statement: define terms, narrow down a focus from a general term.
How the objectives are related to the research questions?
Research objectives functioned as the purpose of the research and directly linked to the
research questions.
Research objectives help to narrow down the expected specific outcomes that the
researchers are looking at the end of the research.
They use Wh-Question words.

Relationship between Objectives and Research questions: RQs of each research help the
researchers achieve the research objectives which are broad while RQs specify the elements
included in the objectives. In terms of forms, research objectives are in the form of statements
while RQs are typically built in the form of questions.
Types of RQs: Yes-No questions, Wh-Questions

Descriptive: describes conditions that are happening or characteristics that exist


Causal: Attempts to determine if changing one variable in a known situation has a measurable
effect on another variable or set of variables within the same area.
Research method is defined as the tools or an instrument that is used to accomplish the goals
and attributes of conducting a research process. Think of the methodology as a systematic
process in which the tools or instruments will be employed. There is no use of a tool if it is not
being used efficiently.

The mean is the sum of scores divided by the number of scores.


The median is the central score in a list of rank-ordered scores.
The mode is the most frequently occurring value in a set of scores.
The median is preferred to the mean when the distribution of scores is skewed as a result of
there being a small number of atypical scores (either high or low), the mean is easily distorted
by such scores but the median is not affected by them.
Measures of dispersion are used to indicate the amount of variability, or spread in a sample
of scores. The standard deviation, range and variation ratio are all measures of dispersion.
A z-score (or standard score) is the number of standard deviations a particular score is away
from the sample mean.
The standard error of the mean is the standard deviation of the sampling distribution of the
mean. It tells us how much variable there is in the mean across samples from the same
population. It can be used to calculate confidence intervals for any given statistic.