You are on page 1of 26

Research Methodology

Research Defined and Described

“Research is the systematic approach to obtaining and

confirming new and reliable knowledge”
– Systematic and orderly (following a series of steps)
– Purpose is new knowledge, which must be reliable

This is a general definition which applies to all

Research is…
1. Searching for explanation of events, phenomena, relationships
and causes
–What, how and why things occur
–Are there interactions?
2. A process
– Planned and managed – to make the information generated
– The process is creative
– It is circular – always leads to more questions

•All well designed and conducted research has potential
•Failure to see applications can be due to:
–Users not trained or experienced in the specialized
methods of economic research and reasoning
–Researchers often do not provide adequate
interpretations and guidance on applications of the
• Researchers are responsible to help users understand
research implications
(How?) 4
The Process of Research
•The process is initiated with a question or problem (step 1)
•Next, goals and objectives are formulated to deal with the
question or problem (step 2)
•Then the research design is developed to achieve the
objectives (step 3)
•Results are generated by conducting the research (step 4)
•Interpretation and analysis of results follow (step 5)

Why Study Educational Research?

To become "research literate."

Because we live in a society that's driven by research

To improve your critical thinking skills

To learn how to critically evaluate published research.

To learn how to conduct research in case the need arises

one day.


 Objectives of Educational Research
 There are five major objectives of educational research.

 Exploration. This is done when you are trying to generate ideas about
 Description. This is done when you want to describe the characteristics
of something or some phenomenon.
 Explanation. This is done when you want to show how and why a
phenomenon operates as it does. If you are interested in causality, you
are usually interested in explanation.
 Prediction. This is your objective when your primary interest is in making
accurate predictions. Note that the advanced sciences make much
more accurate predictions than the newer social and behavioral
 Influence. This objective is a little different. It involves the application of
research results to impact the world. A demonstration program is an
example of this.

Categories of research

Quantitative Qualitative

Purpose Study relationship, Understand social

cause and effect phenomena
Design Developed prior to the Evolves during study
Approach Deductive, test theory Inductive, generate theory

Tools Standardized and Face-to-face interaction

objective instrument
Sample Fairly large Small

Analysis Statistical analysis of Narrative description and

numeric data interpretation
Which category of research to choose?

 Nature of questions or problems being studied not

preference for methods
(some suitable for quantitative and some suitable for

 Suggestions: may use both to verify he findings of the

other; as a groundwork for the other; explore different
aspects of the same research questions


Experimental Non-experimental
Descriptive research
Pre-experiment Ex post facto
True experiment Correlation research
Quasi-experiment Survey research
[many designs]

Experimental research
 The most rigorous

 Actually establish different treatment and study the effect

 Result clear cut interpretation

 Example: a history teacher may want to know how can

he teach important concepts to his students?

 He may compare two different approaches to teaching


Correlation research
 To establish relationship between two or more

 Concurrent correlation studies

Relationship is drawn from the same point in study.
Example: relationship between ….

 Predictive correlation studies

Using one characteristics to predict the other. Example:
use SPM grade to predict CGPA

Ex post facto
 Also known as causal-comparative study

 To determine the cause of the difference

between two group of people when experimental
research is not possible

 Example to determine if family structure (single-

two parent family) cause poor performance in
Survey research

Purpose to explore and describe

Do not investigate relationship
Large sample
Slice of time

Developmental study

Trend study
Cohort study
Panel study
Data are gathered at several points in time


Ethnography: an in-depth study of natural occurring behavior

within a culture or social group
Case Studies in-depth study of a single unit (an individual, a
group, a program, an organization etc.)
Document or Analyzing or interpreting recorded materials
content analysis within its own contact
Naturalistic Unconstructive observation. People being
Observation observed are aware of the observation
Focused Unstructured and open-ended format to draw
interview subject response on a topic of interest
Historical Analyze documents and artifacts to what has
Research happened in the past.

Questions that educational researchers ask

Theoretical Practical
[focus on developing theories or [aim at solving specific problem]
testing theories]
What is intelligence? How effective is peer tutoring?

How does the child learn? What is the relative effectiveness

of method a compared with
method B?
Why does one forget? How does teaching…. Affect….?

More commonly done is to test the

existing theory

Basic and Applied Research

Basic Applied
Aimed at obtaining empirical data Aimed at solving immediate
to formulate and expand theory. problems

Aim is to expand the frontiers of Not aimed at generalization

knowledge without regard to [a study on the effectiveness of a
practical application teaching method on…]

 Action Research

 Focuses on solving practitioner’s local problems.

 It is generally conducted by the practitioners after they
have learned about the methods of research and
research concepts that are discussed in your textbook.
 It is important to understand that action research is also
a state of mind; for example, teachers who are action
researchers are constantly observing their students for
patterns and thinking about ways to improve instruction,
classroom management, and so forth.


Select a problem
Review literature
Design the research
Collect data
Analyze data
Interpret the findings
Report results

Case study

 Involve small sample

 Purpose similar to survey and trend studies
 More depth
 Direct observation or interviews
 Single subject, a club, a school, a teenage gang
 Also known as a type of qualitative research

Creativity in the Research Process
• Research is a creative process
• “…research includes far more than mere logic
… It includes insight, genius, groping,
pondering – ‘sense’ … The logic we can teach;
the art we cannot” (p 30)
• Research requires (or at least works best) with
imagination, initiative, intuition, and curiosity.
• There are different types of creativity,
characteristic of different situations – “applied”
and “theoretical” most closely associate with
economic research
Fostering Creativity (Ladd 1987)
A. Gather and use previously developed
B. Exchange ideas
C. Apply deductive logic
D. Look at things alternate ways
E. Question or challenge assumptions
F. Search for patterns or relationships
G. Take risks
H. Cultivate tolerance for uncertainty 24
Fostering Creativity … cont.
I. Allow curiosity to grow
J. Set problems aside … and come back to them
K. Write down your thoughts
“… frequently I don’t know what I think until I write it”
L. Freedom from distraction … some time to think.

Creativity may provide the difference between

satisfactory and outstanding research.