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Selecting Appropriate Data Collection Methods :

Selecting Appropriate Data Collection Methods Chapter 6

Slide 2:

O'Leary, Z. (2005) RESEARCHING REAL-WORLD PROBLEMS: A Guide to Methods of Inquiry. London: Sage. Chapter 6. 2 ‘It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data.’ -Sir Arthur Conan Doyle as Sherlock Holmes

Data Collection Options:

O'Leary, Z. (2005) RESEARCHING REAL-WORLD PROBLEMS: A Guide to Methods of Inquiry. London: Sage. Chapter 6. 3 Data Collection Options Data collection possibilities are wide and varied with any one method of collection not inherently better than any other Each has pros and cons that must be weighed up in view of a rich and complex context

The Data Collection Process:

O'Leary, Z. (2005) RESEARCHING REAL-WORLD PROBLEMS: A Guide to Methods of Inquiry. London: Sage. Chapter 6. 4 The Data Collection Process All methods of collection require rigorous and systematic design and execution that includes thorough planning well considered development effective piloting weighed modification deliberate implementation and execution appropriate management and analysis

Surveys:

O'Leary, Z. (2005) RESEARCHING REAL-WORLD PROBLEMS: A Guide to Methods of Inquiry. London: Sage. Chapter 6. 5 Surveys Surveying involves gathering information from individuals using a questionnaire Surveys can reach a large number of respondents generate standardized, quantifiable, empirical data - as well as some qualitative data and offer confidentiality / anonymity Designing survey instruments capable of generating credible data, however, can be difficult

Survey Types:

O'Leary, Z. (2005) RESEARCHING REAL-WORLD PROBLEMS: A Guide to Methods of Inquiry. London: Sage. Chapter 6. 6 Survey Types Surveys can be descriptive or explanatory involve entire populations or samples of populations capture a moment or map trends can be administered in a number of ways

Survey Construction:

O'Leary, Z. (2005) RESEARCHING REAL-WORLD PROBLEMS: A Guide to Methods of Inquiry. London: Sage. Chapter 6. 7 Survey Construction Survey construction involves formulating questions and response categories writing up background information and instruction working through organization and length determining layout and design

Interviewing:

O'Leary, Z. (2005) RESEARCHING REAL-WORLD PROBLEMS: A Guide to Methods of Inquiry. London: Sage. Chapter 6. 8 Interviewing Interviewing involves asking respondents a series of open-ended questions Interviews can generate both standardized quantifiable data, and more in-depth qualitative data However, the complexities of people and the complexities of communication can create many opportunities for miscommunication and misinterpretation

Interview Types:

O'Leary, Z. (2005) RESEARCHING REAL-WORLD PROBLEMS: A Guide to Methods of Inquiry. London: Sage. Chapter 6. 9 Interview Types Interviews can range from formal to informal structured to unstructured can be one on one or involve groups

Conducting Interviews:

O'Leary, Z. (2005) RESEARCHING REAL-WORLD PROBLEMS: A Guide to Methods of Inquiry. London: Sage. Chapter 6. 10 Conducting Interviews When conducting your interviews you will need to question, prompt, and probe in ways that help you gather rich data actively listen and make sense of what is being said manage the overall process

Observation:

O'Leary, Z. (2005) RESEARCHING REAL-WORLD PROBLEMS: A Guide to Methods of Inquiry. London: Sage. Chapter 6. 11 Observation Observation relies on the researchers’ ability to gather data though their senses - and allows researchers to document actual behaviour rather than responses related to behaviour However, the observed can act differently when surveilled, and observations can be tainted by a researcher’s worldview

Observation Types:

O'Leary, Z. (2005) RESEARCHING REAL-WORLD PROBLEMS: A Guide to Methods of Inquiry. London: Sage. Chapter 6. 12 Observation Types Observation can range from non-participant to participant candid to covert from structured to unstructured

The Observation Process:

O'Leary, Z. (2005) RESEARCHING REAL-WORLD PROBLEMS: A Guide to Methods of Inquiry. London: Sage. Chapter 6. 13 The Observation Process The observation process is sometimes treated casually, but is a method that needs to be treated as rigorously as any other The process should include planning, observing, recording, reflecting, and authenticating

Unobtrusive Methods:

O'Leary, Z. (2005) RESEARCHING REAL-WORLD PROBLEMS: A Guide to Methods of Inquiry. London: Sage. Chapter 6. 14 Unobtrusive Methods Unobtrusive methods involve researchers and research processes that are removed from the researched Unobtrusive methods are ‘non-reactive’ and capitalize on existing data But researchers need to work through data not expressly generated for their proposes that may contain biases

Unobtrusive Methods:

O'Leary, Z. (2005) RESEARCHING REAL-WORLD PROBLEMS: A Guide to Methods of Inquiry. London: Sage. Chapter 6. 15 Unobtrusive Methods Unobtrusive methods include the exploration of official data and records corporate data personal records the media the arts social artefacts

The ‘Unobtrusive’ Process:

O'Leary, Z. (2005) RESEARCHING REAL-WORLD PROBLEMS: A Guide to Methods of Inquiry. London: Sage. Chapter 6. 16 The ‘Unobtrusive’ Process In order to gather data by unobtrusive means you need to know what you are looking for where you can find it whether it can be trusted what you can do with it

Experimentation:

O'Leary, Z. (2005) RESEARCHING REAL-WORLD PROBLEMS: A Guide to Methods of Inquiry. London: Sage. Chapter 6. 17 Experimentation Experimentation explores cause and effect relationships by manipulating independent variables in order to see if there is a corresponding effect on a dependent variable

Experimentation:

O'Leary, Z. (2005) RESEARCHING REAL-WORLD PROBLEMS: A Guide to Methods of Inquiry. London: Sage. Chapter 6. 18 Experimentation Pure experimentation requires both a controlled environment and the use of a randomly assigned control group This can be difficult to achieve in human centred experiments conducted in the real-world

Real-World Experiments:

O'Leary, Z. (2005) RESEARCHING REAL-WORLD PROBLEMS: A Guide to Methods of Inquiry. London: Sage. Chapter 6. 19 Real-World Experiments There are many experiments that can only be carried out in the messy uncontrolled environments of the real-world, so the search for cause and effect will require tradeoffs between real-world contexts and a controlled environment

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