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What Research is not.
Mere information gathering
Mere transportation of facts from one location to another
Merely rummaging for information
A catchword used to get attention
a systematic process of collecting, analyzing, and interpreting information (data) to increase understanding of a phenomenon about which we are interested.
Characteristics of Research are?
- Originates with a question or problem
- Requires clear articulation of a goal Requires a specific plan for proceeding Usually divides the principal problem into manageable subproblems Is guided by the specific research problem, question, or hypothesis Accepts certain critical assumptions Requires the collection and interpretation of data Is, by its nature, cyclical or helical
- A logical supposition, a reasonable
- guess, an educated conjecture
- Provides a tentative explanation for a
- phenomenon under investigation
- May direct thinking to possible sources
- of information necessary to resolve the research problem and its subproblems
- An organized body of concepts and
- principles intended to explain a
- particular phenomenon
- Tentative explanations that new data
- either support or do not support
Apt to drive further research
- The bedrock upon which the study must
Vitally important to the quality of the study
Dictates how data are acquired
Arranges data in logical relationships
- Sets up the approach for refining and
- synthesizing data
Suggests how data will be interpreted
- Yields one or more conclusions that lead
- to expansion of knowledge
- Depends entirely on researcher’s hypotheses,
- assumptions, and logical reasoning processes
Essential to the research process
- Different minds often find different meanings
- in the same set of facts
Research Developmental Steps?
- An initial question is asked.
- The initial question is formally stated as a problem.
- The problem is divided into subproblems.
- Preliminary data are gathered.
- A tentative hypothesis is formed.
- Data are systematically collected.
- Data is processed and interpreted.
- A discovery is made—a conclusion is reached.
- The tentative hypothesis is supported or not
- The cycle is complete.
Types of Research Reports?
juried, or refereed or nonjuried or nonrefereed
Juried or Refereed Research report
research report has been judged by respected colleagues in one’s field and deemed to be of sufficient quality and importance to warrant publication.
nonjuried, or nonrefereed research report
is one that appears in a journal or on the Internet without first being screened by one or more experts. Some nonjuried reports are excellent; others are not.
1.Is the research article juried or nonjuried?
- 2.Does the article have a stated research question?
- 3.Does the article describe collection of new data?
- 4.Is the article logically organized and easy to follow?
- 5.Does the article contain a section that describes and integrates previous studies on the topic?
- 6.Are the procedures clear enough to be replicated?
- 7.Is there a clear description of how data were
- collected and organized?
- 8.Do you agree with interpretation of the results?
- 9.What are the strengths and weaknesses of the article?
Guidlines for reviewing research.
- 1.Keep a running record of helpful articles
- in a notebook or computer file; include
- bibliographic information (author, date, article title), information about the journal, keywords and phrases that capture focus of article.
- 2. When you review someone else’s work, think about how it can help you improve your own work.
- 3. Don’t read only one or two articles and think you are finished.
A specific mechanism or strategy the researcher uses to collect, manipulate, or interpret data.
The general approach the researcher takes in carrying out the research project.
The six general tools of research?
1.The library and its resources
2.The computer and its software
5.The human mind
The Library and Its Resources
As a Tool of Research
limiting the data of any phenomenon—substantial or insubstantial— so that those data may be interpreted and, ultimately, compared to a particular qualitative or quantitative standard.
Substantial measurements =
those things being measured that have physical substance.
Insubstantial measurements =
exist only as concepts, ideas, opinions, feelings, or other intangible entities.
Four scales of measurement
Nominal Scale of Measurement
(One object is different from another.)
Measures data by assigning names to them
Things can be measured nominally in an infinite number of ways
Divides data into discrete categories
- Statistical procedures = mode, percentage,
- chi-square test
Ordinal Scale of Measurement
- (One object is bigger or better or more of anything than another.)
- Think in terms of symbols (>; <)
Allows data to be rank-ordered
Statistical procedures = median, percentile rank, Spearman’s rank-order correlation
Interval Scale of Measurement
- (One object is so many units (degrees, inches) more than another.)
- Has equal units of measurement
Zero point established arbitrarily
- Rating scales, such as surveys, assumed to
- fall on interval scales
Statistical procedures = means, deviations, Pearson product moment correlations
Ration Scale of Measurement
(One object is so many times as big or bright or tall or heavy as another)
- Characterized by equal measurement units
- (similar to an interval scale)
- Has an absolute zero point (0 = total absence
- of the quality being measured)
- Can express values in terms of multiples and
- fractional parts
Ratios are true ratios (ex. Yardstick)
Relatively rare outside the physical sciences
What are the four scales of measurement?
Nominal scale: One object is different from another.
Ordinal scale: One object is bigger or better or more of anything than another.
Interval scale: One object is so many units (degrees, inches) more than another.
Ratio scale: One object is so many times as big or bright or tall or heavy as another.
the extent to which a measurement instrument measures what it is intended to measure.
the consistency with which a measurement instrument yields a cerrtain result when the entity being measured hasn’t changed.
3 statistics of tools of research
Principle Functions of Statistics:
describe the data, and draw inferences from the data
summarize the general nature of the data obtained.
help the researcher make decisions about the data.
The Human mind as a tool or research?
The Scientific Method
Critical Thinking =
evaluating arguments in terms of their accuracy and worth. May take a variety of forms: - verbal reasoning - argument analysis - decision making - critical analysis of prior research
begins with one or more premises—statements or assumptions that the researcher initially takes to be true; valuable for generating research hypotheses and testing theories.
begins with an observation of a specific event to draw conclusions about entire classes of objects or events (i.e., observe a sample and then draw conclusions about he population from which the sample has been taken).
The Scientific Method:
the means whereby insight into the unknown is sought by
- 1. identifying a problem that defines the goal of one’s quest;
- 2. positing a hypothesis that, if confirmed, resolves the problem;
- 3. gathering data relevant to the hypothesis; and
- 4. analyzing and interpreting the data to see whether they support the hypothesis and resolve the research question.
is based on facts rather than naïve beliefs and subjective impressions about the world: - involves thinking actively and intentionally about the phenomena at hand, - yields hypotheses to be tested, - tends to be a slow process, - usually involves collaboration with others.
Words enhance thinking by:
reducing the world’s complexity, allowing abstraction of the environment, enhancing the power of thought, facilitating generalization and inference drawing in new situations.
Research projects can be one of two types
Basic or applied
Basic Research is
intended to enhance basic knowledge about the physical, biological, psychological, or social world or to shed light on historical, cultural, or esthetic phenomena.
Applied Research is?
intended to address issues that have immediate relevance to current practices, procedures, and policies; intended to human decision making about practical problems; occasionally address questions in one’s immediate work environment (action research).
Criteria for Identification of a Suitable Research Problem
- The research problem should address
- an important question so that the answer
- will make a difference.
- The research problem should advance the
- frontiers of knowledge by leading to new
- ways of thinking, suggesting possible
- applications, or paving the way for further
- research in the field.
Situations to Avoid When Considering A Research Problem
Research projects should not be a use for achieving self-enlightenment.
A problem whose sole purpose is to compare two sets of data is not a suitable research problem.
Calculating a correlation coefficient between two sets of data to show a relationship between them is not acceptable as a problem for research.
Problems that result in a yes or no answer are not suitable problems for research.
Stating the Research Problem
State the problem clearly and completely.
Think through the feasibility of the project that the problem implies.
Say precisely what you mean. - Absolute honesty and integrity are the rule!
State the problem in a way that reflects an open mind about its solution.
Edit your work.
the subparts of the main problem that are an integral part of the main problem.
procedural issues that involve decisions that must be made before resolving the research problem and its subproblems.
Characteristics of Subproblems
- Each subproblem should be a completely
- researchable unit.
Each subproblem must be clearly tied to the interpretation of the data.
The subproblems must add up to the totality of the problem
Subproblems should be small in number
Delineation of the Problem
State the hypotheses and/or research questions.
Delimit the research.
Define the terms. State the assumptions
Hypotheses are essential in what kind of research?
Research questions are more common in what kind of research?
Both hypotheses and research questions provide?
guidance for the kind of data that should be collected.
Both hypotheses and research questions suggest?
how data should be analyzed and interpreted.
Hypotheses and research questions may originate where?
in the subproblems
Hypotheses and research questions provide what?
a position from which the rsearcher may initiate an exploration of the problem.
Hypotheses and research questions act as?
checkpoints against which to test the findings that the data reveal.
Delimitations of the research are statements
about what the researcher is not going to do
the researcher will not do is to become involved in data extraneous to the research problem.
What are assumptions?
basic to the research problem.
if have a material bearing on the problem should be openly and unreservedly set forth.
is necessary for others to evaluate the conclusions of the study.
reveals what the researcher may be taking for granted with respect to the problem.
Steps in writing the first steps of the proposal:
State the subproblems.
Write the hypotheses/questions.
Write the delimitations.
Write the definitions of terms.
Write the assumptions.
Describe the importance of the study.
Type the proposal
Benefits of Conducting a Literature Review
new ideas, perspectives, and approaches that may not have occurred to you.
inform you about other researchers who conduct work in the same area.
can show you how others have handled methodological and design issues in studies similar to your own.
eveal sources of data that you may not have known existed.
introduce you to measurement tools that other researchers have developed and used effectively.
reveal methods of dealing with problem situations that may be similar to difficulties you are facing.
help you interpret and make sense of your findings
bolster your confidence
the general approach to planning a research study; may be similar across disciplines.
the techniques one uses to collect and analyze data; may be specific to a particular academic discipline.
the research project should be one that might be carriedout by any competent person. The researcher is a catalyst who collects, organizes, and reports what the collected data seem to indicate
the research should be repeatable; any other competent person should be able to take the problem and, collecting data under the same circumstances and within the same parameters you haveused, achieve results comparable to yours.
the researcher must isolate, or control, factors that are central to the research problem; control is important for replication and consistency within the research design.
Data are not absolute reality but manifestations of reality.
Data are transient and ever changing.
Data is primary or secondary.
Data must meet certain criteria to be admitted to study; any data not meeting the criteria are excluded from the study.
is the layer closest to the truth.
are derived, not from the truth, but from primary data
Identifying Appropriate Measurement
We pin down data by measuring it in some way.
Measurement instruments provide a basis on which the entire research effort rests.
A research effort employing faulty measurement tools is of little value in solving the problem under investigation.
In planning the research project, the nature of the measurement instruments should be clearly identified.
Instrumentation should be described in explicit, concrete terms.
Instruments should have a reasonable degree of validity and reliability.
the extent to which an instrument looks like it’s measuring a particular characteristic; relies on subjective judgment.
the extent to which a measurement instrument is a representative sample of the content areabeing measured.
the extent to which an instrument measures a characteristic that cannot be directly observed but is assumed to exist (a construct, such as intelligence).
the extent to which the results of an assessment correlate with another, related measure.
two or more different characteristics are each measured using two or more different approaches. The two measures of the same characteristic should be highly related.
Table of specifications:
the researcher constructs a two-dimensional grid listing the specific topics and behaviors that reflect achievement in the domain.
Judgment by a panel of experts:
several experts in a particular area are asked to scrutinize an instrument to to ascertain its validity for measuring the characteristic in question.
the extent to which two or more individuals evaluating the same product or performance give identical judgments.
Internal consistency reliability:
the extent to which all of the items within a single instrument yield similar results.
Equivalent forms reliability:
the extent to which two different versions of the same instrument yield similar results.
the extent to which a single instrument yields the same results for the same people on two different occasions.
involves looking at amounts, or quantities, of one or more variables of interest. Researchers attempt to measure variables in some way.
involves looking at characteristics, or qualities, that cannot easily be reduced to numerical values. Researchers attempt to examine nuances and complexities of a particular phenomenon.
the extent to which the design and data of a research study allow the researcher to draw accurate conclusions about cause-and-effect and other relationships within the data.
the extent to which the results of a research study apply to situations beyond the study itself; the extent to which conclusions can be generalized.
Strategies to Increase Internal Validity
Conduct a controlled laboratory study
- Conduct a double-blind experiment
- Use unobtrusive measures
- Use triangulation
Strategies to Increase External Validity
Conduct the study in a real-life setting.
- Use a representative sample.
- Replicate the study in a different context.
Validity in Qualitative Research
- Spend extensive time in the field.
- Conduct a negative case analysis.
- Use thick description.
- Seek feedback from others.
Ethical Issues in Research
Honesty with professional colleagues
- Internal Review Board (IRB)
- Protection from harm
- Informed consent
- Right to privacy
- Professional code of ethics
The Research Proposal
Essential to successful research
- - clearly stated problem and subproblems
- - articulated hypotheses and/or questions
- - precise definitions of terms
- - carefully spelled out delimitations
- - explanation of the purpose of the study
- - specific details about all aspects of data collection and interpretation
The key that unlocks the door to the research endeavor
Also called prospectus, plan, outline, statement, draft