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Introduction to Research

By Dr Syed Manzoor Hussain Shah, EPPSL Department, AIOU Islamabad

Broader lay out of This session..

How do we know Steps of scientific method Educational research Research types Researches by purpose 1. Basic Research 2. Applied Research 3. Evaluation research 4. Action research Researches by method 1. Historical Research 2. Descriptive Research 3. Experimental Research Design of Action Research


Personal Experience, limited, mistakes in our observations, personal biases Tradition, advice, rules, and approaches from year to year and accepted as truth Expert Opinion Logic, Deductive and inductive method Research ( "recherche) means to travel through or survey Based on Scientific Method. research involves a systematic process of gathering, interpreting, and reporting information

How do we know

Educational research
The application of the scientific method to study educational problem Educational research is formal systematic application of scientific method for solving some educational problem Steps for conducting educational research 1. Selection of a problem 2. Use of specific research procedures to design and collect data 3. Analysis of data 4. Statement of conclusions based on the results of the data analyses


1. Recognition and definition of the problem 2. Formulation of hypotheses 3. Collection of data 4. Analysis of data 5. Stating conclusions

Research Types
Broadly researches are divided into two major categories: 1. Purpose The degree of direct applicability of research to educational practices and settings
1. 2. 3. 4. Basic Applied Evaluation Action


Method The overall strategies followed to collect and analyze data

Also called pure or fundamental research The goal is to understand and explain, to provide broad generalizations about how phenomena are related. Not concerned with immediate application of the results to practical situations Most educational research does not fall into this category! How does one learn psychomotor skills

Basic Research

Field research, The purpose is to test theories and other ideas in the context of naturally occurring educational settings. Usually focused on a problem that needs to be solved to improve educational practice. What is the effect of immediate feedback and delayed feedback on student achievement?

Applied Research

Action Research
It focus immediate problem. It is conducted in local setting. Typically done in a school setting. It involve limited sample. Action research can be done by individuals or by teams of colleagues. Can be conducted to improve teaching, address students problem or administrative problem etc.

Design of Action research

Identification of problem area Identification of specific problem Probable causes of problem Hypothesis Designing of the study Tool of research Data collection Data analysis Conclusion/acceptance-rejection of hypothesis

Historical research (what was) The purpose is to study the past in order to understand the present, and maybe to plan for the future. Involves describing and interpreting events, conditions, or situations of the past It generally relies on qualitative data such as written documents and oral histories. Research Tools structured interviews, visits to

Research by method

historical sites and buildings. archives, libraries

Descriptive research (what is) Descriptive - attempts to describe and explain conditions of the present. It relies on qualitative and quantitative data Most popular form of research in education today Research Tools, structured interviews. structured, questionnaires standardized tests.

Experimental (what can be ) attempts to explore cause and effect relationships.

It relies mostly on quantitative data such as test scores and measures of performance. Research method in which conditions are controlled and one more independent variables are manipulated to test a hypothesis about a dependent variable.