CAFS Study Notes – Research Methodology Methodologies: Quantitative research Collects numerical data that can be quantified. Research with numbers. Focus on measuring, collecting and drawing relationships through statistical analysis and experimentation. E. g. : questionnaires, interviews and experiments. Benefits: Objective and reliable, less subject to bias of researcher. Qualitative research Collecting Information not involving numbers. Focus on small numbers of people and produce and large amount of information about them. E. g. : Observations, Case Studies, interviews documents and questionnaires.
Benefits: Assess individual opinions and feelings, able to obtain more detailed information about beliefs, values, feelings and attitudes. Disadvantages: Time consuming, more subjective and open to bias. conducting research formulating a research proposal Outlines what is to be done, how it will be done and when it will be done. Components: Introduction -why topic is chosen -hypothesis -research methods Data needed -Info needed to answer question -statistics -descriptions/definitions -literature to be reviewed Research Methods -what methods you will use -secondary sources -how you will conduct your research
Timeline -how long you will spend on each aspect of the report Research Methodology -survey – process of conducting a study. Uses interviews or questionnaires. Can be few or many people. A wide amount of responses are possible. Can be easy to collate. Questions can be misinterpreted. -interview – talk to people (phone/person) usually one on one but can have a focus group of 3 -8. Answers are recorded. Can be structured or unstructured. Structured is formal and uses predetermined questions. Often brief. Benefits involve being easy to compare answers and shorter amount of time needed.
Disadvantages include the lack of room for elaboration by the interviewee, bias and time consuming compared to a survey. Unstructured are informal and use questions as guidelines. Advantages include flexibility, and more open or honest answers. Disadvantages are they are very time consuming, can get irrelevant information and they are harder to compare. -questionnaire – gather information with a planned set of questions. Can be oral or written. Questions can be closed or open. Oral – ask questions and recorded on a tally sheet. Written – respondents record their own answers. Closed – response is limited (multiple choice).
Open – can express opinions and make comments. Advantages they are quick and can collect many, they are easy to compare and non threatening. Disadvantage, they are not flexible. – case study – detailed investigation on one issue. Uses a range of methodologies to assemble the range of information needed. Advantages – allows deep understanding, good at how and why, flexible. Disadvantages – require supporting research, subjective, time consuming and easy to be side-tracked. -observation – watching and recording what is seen. Can be participant or non-participant. Participant involves taking part in a group activity and observing from within.
This gains more knowledge and disclosure, but researcher is subject to bias, presence may influence group dynamics and is time consuming. Non – participant involves observing a group from outside. It is more objective and easier to record. Members know they are being observed and are influenced, also time consuming. -literature review – involves researching secondary sources that contain material about an issue. Aim to produce background information so the discussion of results makes more sense. planning -develop a timeline -keep a diary collecting and recording data -conducting primary research -conducting secondary research to support nalysing and interpreting data -makes sense of and gives meaning to raw data -analysing involves clarifying data and highlighting important points, trends, common elements, unexpected outcomes and relationships between results. -establish and mean, median and mode range -interpreting involves explaining the principles of data and how they occur, validity and reliability of the data -explaining inconsistencies discovered-implications and limitations of research conduct research by Hairy Hypothesis Men Methodologies Play Planning
Cards Collecting Regularly Recording In Interpreting Autumn Analysing – develop a suitable question – select appropriate methodologies – consider bias and sampling – plan use of resources – collect and record data (primary/secondary) – analyse and interpret data – bibliography and appendix – ethical procedures presenting data graphs, tables, presenting key data – Tables are useful in showing relationships and making comparisons. They should have title, row, column headings, population, source and explanations. Graphs show trends or relationships between two variables. They should be numbered and titled. Line Graphs – change over time. Pie Graphs – compare portions of a whole. Histograms – show trends or compare factors. Pyramid Graphs- comparing sets of data. report writing and presentation Report should be written in a clear logical sequence. They should include: – Title Page – Contents – Abstract – Acknowledgements – Body – Introduction – Literature review – Methodology – Results – Analysis and Discussion – Summary and Conclusion – Bibliography – Appendix bibliography – include all sources looked at or referred to. – Harvard referencing system sometimes annotated bibliography (how useful the source was) appendix – end of report – contain material relevant to the report but not appropriate for the body eg too long. sources of data Where can you collect information? People/Individuals eg teacher, family or experts, specialists. Electronic Sources eg internet, email. Organisations/Groups eg charities, government services or professional organisations. Print Sources eg books, magazines or newspapers. Libraries eg local school, university or state library. Each Source, however, has its limitations. eg show a narrow viewpoint, bias, unreliable or unethical.
The researcher must asses their value by checking sources qualifications and experience and comparing with other sources. research terminology bias Research is always influenced by personal values. The researcher must remain as objective as possible. It occurs when factors unduly influence and therefore distort the outcome of results. Researcher must not have predetermined views and must interpret the results as they appear not as the want them to be. hypothesis/question A research problem. Positive statement of what the researcher wants to find out or idea they want to test. Aim to prove or disprove. reliability
A method that if used by other researchers will lead to the same or similar results. To achieve this the researcher must be organised. when achieved an accurate representation of the population is given. validity How well research measures what it is meant to measure. Increased when a variety of methods is used. Dependant of factual data, data reliability and accurate data interpretation. The research must have background knowledge to make informed generalisations and assumptions rather than relying on value judgements or biased views. sampling Selecting the representative range of people for the study.
Usually random sampling gives the best results (selecting a sample so that all member of a group have equal chance of selection). The larger the sample the better. It also applies to selecting a representative range of sites and times for observations and interviews. relationship between sampling and reliable research outcomes If the sample taken is not appropriate to the study the outcomes will not be reliable. Effective and fair samples result in reliable results. Eg is all the people in your sample do not drink alcohol you survey or alcohol consumption will not give accurate results of the population.
Other sampling methods Stratified -research candidates are divided into groups then candidates are selected from each group. Cluster -candidates are divided into groups and then specific groups are selected. ethics in research privacy The subject has a right to confidentiality. Raw data and names should not be presented. Permission should be requested when carrying out primary research. Data should be stored and disposed of safely. respect for the subjects of research Subjects have rights as individuals, they must give voluntary consent. They have the right to withdraw. There should be no physical or mental risk to heir well-being. Questions should be worded careful so as not to upset, offend or be too personal. Offer them a copy of the final report. integrity of the researcher They must be honest an report objectively without bias. Must check validity and reliability of data integrity of data The source of all secondary data should be acknowledged. All primary data should be presented without bias or distortion. HSC regulations The IRP should – be the students own work – relate to the course content – include referenced primary and secondary data – include a plan, diary and final report – be carried out ethically