Interviews enable face to face discussion with human subjects. If you decide to interview you will need to draw up an interview schedule of questions which can be either closed or open questions, or a mixture of these. Closed questions tend to be used for asking for and receiving answers about fixed facts such as name, numbers, and so on. They do not require speculation and they tend to produce short answers.
With closed questions you could even give your interviewees a small selection of possible answers from which to choose. If you do this you will be able to manage the data and quantify the responses quite easily. The Household Survey and Census ask closed questions, and often market researchers who stop you in the street do too.
The problem with closed questions is that they limit the response the interviewee can give and do not enable them to think deeply or test their real feelings or values.
This would give you a very good idea of the variety of ideas and feelings people have, it would enable them to think and talk for longer and so show their feelings and views more fully. But it is very difficult to quantify these results. You will find that you will need to read all the comments through and to categorise them after you have received them, or merely report them in their diversity and make general statements, or pick out particular comments if they seem to fit your purpose.
If you decide to use interviews:. Questionnaires often seem a logical and easy option as a way of collecting information from people. They are actually rather difficult to design and because of the frequency of their use in all contexts in the modern world, the response rate is nearly always going to be a problem low unless you have ways of making people complete them and hand them in on the spot and this of course limits your sample, how long the questionnaire can be and the kinds of questions asked.
As with interviews, you can decide to use closed or open questions, and can also offer respondents multiple choice questions from which to choose the statement which most nearly describes their response to a statement or item.
Their layout is an art form in itself because in poorly laid out questionnaires respondents tend, for example, to repeat their ticking of boxes in the same pattern. If given a choice of response on a scale , they will usually opt for the middle point, and often tend to miss out subsections to questions.
Student working on laptop while lying on grass field. Identify Your Research Paradigm Specify whether you used a quantitative approach to measure data, a qualitative approach to describe phenomenon or both methods to frame your study. Describe Data Collection Procedures Indicate how you collected original data or retrieved archival information. Discuss Data Analysis Summarize the strategies used to analyze empirical data or make meaning out of subjective reports gathered during the course of the study.
Note Potential Limitations Disclose any weaknesses in the study that might have confounded the results. About the Author Mary Dowd is a dean of students who holds a doctorate in educational leadership from Minnesota State Mankato. Accessed 14 September How to Write a Research Methodology.
Depending on which text editor you're pasting into, you might have to add the italics to the site name. Methodology Used for PhD Research. How to Write Limitations in a Report. Types of Observation in the Scientific Method. The Tuskegee Syphilis Study was a prime example of experimental research that was fixated on results, and failed to take into account moral considerations.
In other fields of study, which do not always have the luxury of definable and quantifiable variables - you need to use different research methods. These should attempt to fit all of the definitions of repeatability or falsifiability , although this is not always feasible. Opinion based research methods generally involve designing an experiment and collecting quantitative data.
For this type of research, the measurements are usually arbitrary, following the ordinal or interval type. Questionnaires are an effective way of quantifying data from a sample group, and testing emotions or preferences.
This method is very cheap and easy, where budget is a problem, and gives an element of scale to opinion and emotion. These figures are arbitrary, but at least give a directional method of measuring intensity.
By definition, this experiment method must be used where emotions or behaviors are measured, as there is no other way of defining the variables. Whilst not as robust as experimental research , the methods can be replicated and the results falsified. Observational research is a group of different research methods where researchers try to observe a phenomenon without interfering too much.
Observational research methods, such as the case study , are probably the furthest removed from the established scientific method. Observational research tends to use nominal or ordinal scales of measurement.
Observational research often has no clearly defined research problem , and questions may arise during the course of the study. Observation is heavily used in social sciences, behavioral studies and anthropology, as a way of studying a group without affecting their behavior.
Whilst the experiment cannot be replicated or falsified , it still offers unique insights, and will advance human knowledge. Case studies are often used as a pre-cursor to more rigorous methods, and avoid the problem of the experiment environment affecting the behavior of an organism. Observational research methods are useful when ethics are a problem.
In an ideal world, experimental research methods would be used for every type of research, fulfilling all of the requirements of falsifiability and generalization.
However, ethics , time and budget are major factors, so any experimental design must make compromises.
Observational research methods, such as the case study, are probably the furthest removed from the established scientific method. This type is looked down upon, by many scientists, as ‘quasi-experimental’ research, although this is usually an unfair criticism. Observational research tends to use nominal or ordinal scales of measurement.
Your research will dictate the kinds of research methodologies you use to underpin your work and methods you use in order to collect data. If you wish to collect quantitative data you are probably measuring variables and verifying existing theories or hypotheses or questioning them.
Properly used, "mixed methods" research is a design methodology, a paradigm, and not just an arbitrary mix of qualitative and quantitative techniques. This article examines what the term means, why it has come into favour, its advantages and disadvantages, and some aspects of the execution of a mixed method . Often recognized as how a research is to be done scientifically, research methodology involves the learning of the various techniques we can use in the conduct of research such as the conduct of tests, experiments, surveys and critical studies.
Research Methodology is a way to find out the result of a given problem on a specific matter or problem that is also referred as research problem. In Methodology, researcher uses different criteria for solving/searching the given research problem. The methods section describes actions to be taken to investigate a research problem and the rationale for the application of specific procedures or techniques used to identify, select, process, and analyze information applied to understanding the problem, thereby, allowing the reader to critically evaluate a study’s overall validity and reliability.