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Overview of Research Designsby Lucell Larawan : 

Overview of Research Designsby Lucell Larawan

Research Design : 

Research Design There are many definitions of research design but no single definition imparts the complete aspects. Schema that maps out the sources of data, the type of data to be collected, how the data will be collected, and the methods to be used in data analysis.

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Essentials of research design: an activity-based and time-based plan a plan always based on the research question a guide for selecting sources and types of information a framework for specifying the relationships among the study variables a procedural outline for every research activity

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Classification of designs The following classifies research designs according to eight descriptors:

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Cont…

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Exploratory—tend toward loose structures with the objective of discovering; immediate purpose is to develop hypotheses or research questions Formal study—begins where the exploration leaves off—it begins with a hypothesis or research question and involves precise procedures and data source specifications Monitoring—includes studies in which the researcher inspects the activities of a subject without attempting to to elicit responses from anyone Communication study—the researcher questions the subjects and collects their responses by personal or impersonal means Experiment—the researcher attempts to control and/or manipulate the variables in the study Ex post facto—investigators have no control over the variables in the sense of being able to manipulate them

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Reporting—provides a summation of data to achieve a deeper understanding or to generate statistics for comparison. Descriptive—concerned with finding out who, what, where, when, or how much Causal-explanatory—tries to explain relationships among variables Causal-predictive– attempts to predict an effect of one variable by manipulating another variable while holding all other variables constant Cross-sectional studies—carried out once and represent a snapshot of one point in time Longitudinal studies—observations are repeated over an extended period Statistical studies—designed for breadth rather than depth; attempt to capture a population’s characteristics by makign inferences from a sample’s characteristics

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Case studies—place more emphasis on a full contextual analysis of fewer events or conditions and their interrelations Field study—occur under actual environmental conditions Laboratory study—under staged or manipulated conditions Comparative research—undertaken to confirm if two or more variables reveal similar or different patterns of characteristics when compared using a set of variables as standard bases Evaluative research—is conducted to assess performance outcome or impact of a set of variables on another one

Figure 3.8 Tasks Involved in a Research Design : 

Define the Information Needed Design the Exploratory, Descriptive, and/or Causal Phases of the Research Specify the Measurement and Scaling Procedures Construct a Questionnaire Specify the Sampling Process and the Sample Size Develop a Plan of Data Analysis Tasks Involved In a Research Design Figure 3.8 Tasks Involved in a Research Design Today’s Topic

Exploratory Research : 

Exploratory Research Usually conducted during the initial stage of the research process Purposes To narrow the scope of the research topic, and To transform ambiguous problems into well-defined ones

Exploratory Research Techniques : 

Exploratory Research Techniques Secondary Data Analysis Secondary data are data previously collected & assembled for some project other than the one at hand Pilot Studies A collective term for any small-scale exploratory research technique that uses sampling but does not apply rigorous standards Includes Focus Group Interviews Unstructured, free-flowing interview with a small group of people Projective Techniques Indirect means of questioning that enables a respondent to project beliefs and feelings onto a third party or an inanimate object Word association tests, sentence completion tests, role playing

Exploratory Research Techniques : 

Exploratory Research Techniques Case Studies Intensively investigate one or a few situations similar to the problem situation Experience Surveys Individuals who are knowledge about a particular research problem are questioned

Figure 3.6 Cross Sectional vs. Longitudinal Designs : 

Sample Surveyed at T1 Sample Surveyed at T1 Same Sample also Surveyed at T2 Cross Sectional Design Longitudinal Design Time Cross Sectional vs. Longitudinal Designs Figure 3.6 Cross Sectional vs. Longitudinal Designs

Cross-Sectional vs. Longitudinal Designs : 

Cross-Sectional vs. Longitudinal Designs

Common Characteristics of Causal Studies : 

Common Characteristics of Causal Studies Logical Time Sequence For causality to exist, the cause must either precede or occur simultaneously with the effect Concomitant Variation Extent to which the cause and effect vary together as hypothesized Control for Other Possible Causal Factors

How Descriptive & Causal Designs Differ : 

How Descriptive & Causal Designs Differ Relationship between the variables Descriptive designs determine degree of association Causal designs infer whether one or more variables influence another variable Degree of environmental control Descriptive designs enjoy lesser degrees of control Order of the variables In descriptive designs, variables are not logically ordered

Comparison of Research Designs : 

Comparison of Research Designs

Which is the “Best” Research Design & Method? : 

Which is the “Best” Research Design & Method? “You cannot put the same shoe on every foot.” Publilius Syrus It depends on the problem of interest, level of information needed, resources, researcher’s experience, etc.

What is Descriptive Research? : 

What is Descriptive Research? Can involve collecting quantitative information Can describe categories of qualitative information such as patterns of interaction when using technology in the classroom. Does not fit neatly into either category

What isDescriptive Research? : 

What isDescriptive Research? Involves gathering data that describe events and then organizes, tabulates, depicts, and describes the data. Uses description as a tool to organize data into patterns that emerge during analysis. Often uses visual aids such as graphs and charts to aid the reader

Descriptive Research Advantages : 

Descriptive Research Advantages Educational research and experiences may contain many variables that cannot be realistically controlled. Educational research may require observations of life experiences Data collection may be spread over a large number of people over a large geographic area

Data Collection Methods : 

Data Collection Methods

Descriptive Research1. Surveys : 

Descriptive Research1. Surveys May be used to reveal summary statistics by showing responses to all possible questionnaire items. Often provide leads in identifying needed changes May be used to explore relationships between 2 or more variables.

Descriptive ResearchCritical Components : 

Descriptive ResearchCritical Components

Descriptive ResearchSurvey Forms : 

Descriptive ResearchSurvey Forms Written questionnaires Personal interviews Telephone interviews Factors to be considered Sampling Type of population Question Form Question Content Response rates Costs Available facilities Length of data collection Computer assisted techniques for data collection

Descriptive Research2. Survey Form - Interviews : 

Descriptive Research2. Survey Form - Interviews More time efficient Allow the researcher to establish a rapport with the respondent Allow the acquisition of more in-depth information Allow for interviewer observation Allow the interviewer to obtain visual cues May be personal or telephone interviews

Descriptive ResearchSurvey Form – Personal Interviews : 

Descriptive ResearchSurvey Form – Personal Interviews Disadvantages Require more staff time Require more travel time

Descriptive ResearchSurvey Form – Telephone Interview : 

Descriptive ResearchSurvey Form – Telephone Interview Advantages Less expensive Less time-consuming Disadvantages Limited telephone access Lack of interviewer’s ability to observe the respondent and obtain visual cues

Descriptive ResearchSurvey Form – Mailed Questionnaires : 

Descriptive ResearchSurvey Form – Mailed Questionnaires Advantages Ability to reach large number of people across a wide geographic area Ease and low cost of distribution Minimal amount of staff required Allows respondents to respond in their time frame Disadvantages Lower response rate Need to design a survey instrument with a simple format

Descriptive ResearchSurvey Form – Mailed Questionnaires : 

Descriptive ResearchSurvey Form – Mailed Questionnaires A letter of transmittal should accompany mailed questionnaires. Should state purpose and importance of research Should state importance of responding Should give a time frame to respond Should include a confidentiality statement Should include an offer to share results Should include a thank-you note to the respondent

Descriptive ResearchCharacteristics of a Good Survey : 

Descriptive ResearchCharacteristics of a Good Survey Good questioning techniques Use complete sentences Offer a limited set of answers Interesting Worded so that questions mean the same to all Provide definitions for confusing terms Uses the “I don’t know” answer very carefully

Descriptive Research3. Observational Research Methods : 

Descriptive Research3. Observational Research Methods Naturally occurring behaviors observed in natural contexts Contexts that are contrived to be realistic

Descriptive ResearchObservational Research Methods : 

Descriptive ResearchObservational Research Methods Require direct observation of behavior Data gathered without intermediary instruments Can yield a wealth of invaluable information Can be a complicated process

Descriptive ResearchObservational Research Methods : 

Descriptive ResearchObservational Research Methods Can be employed productively to support many purposes in educational technology Can be used to determine how people interact with technology in various stages of design and implementation

Descriptive ResearchObservation Research Methods : 

Descriptive ResearchObservation Research Methods How do learners interact with a specific program? How do learners interact with a new hardware system? Observation makes it possible to explore the implementation of a particular technological innovation and assess the instructional outcomes.

Descriptive ResearchObservational Research Methods : 

Descriptive ResearchObservational Research Methods 2 Forms of Observational Research Structured Unstructured

Descriptive ResearchObservational Research Methods : 

Descriptive ResearchObservational Research Methods Structured Observations Rigid and controlled Predetermined methods Unstructured Observations Used to determine unselective, detailed, continuous description of behavior. Detects unintended effects More time consuming because of time and labor required to collect and analyze sets of extensive observations

Correlational Design : 

Correlational Design Correlational research examines the relationship between two or more non manipulated variables. What is the relationship between: Height and weight? Birth order and years of education? Cigarettes smoked per day and health care costs? How close to the front you sit in a classroom and your grade in a class?

What can correlational research tell us? : 

What can correlational research tell us? Imagine that researchers find an association between sitting in the front of the classroom and receiving good grades You promptly move to the front of the classroom, and expect your grade will improve Don’t bet money on it…

Correlation and Causality : 

Correlation and Causality With correlational research designs, causality cannot be inferred Example: Researchers want to investigate the link between religious affiliation and alcohol consumption* They measure the number of bars and churches in randomly-selected towns # of Bars # of Churches ?

Pitfalls of correlational research designs : 

Pitfalls of correlational research designs The researchers find that towns with more bars also have more churches Therefore, religious persons tend to drink more, or perhaps alcohol consumption is a reason people attend church …what is wrong with these conclusions?

We cannot infer causation! : 

We cannot infer causation! Larger towns tend to have more bars and more churches. Therefore, a third (and more likely) explanation: Town Population # of Bars # of Churches

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