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Assignment No.

1
Q.1 Explain briefly each source of knowledge and discuss which source is most important
and why?
Human body needs nutritious food for its healthy existence. Human mind also need nutritious food
for their healthy and brilliant functioning. Hence Knowledge is considered as the food of mind. The
definition of knowledge is ongoing debate among the philosophers in the field of epistemology.
According to Plato Knowledge is justified true belief. Knowledge can be defined as a familiarity
awareness or understanding of someone or something such as facts, information, descriptions or
skills, which is acquired through experiences or education by perceiving, discovering or learning.
Any new information acquired by an organism through formal, informal or non formal way of
inquiry can be termed as knowledge. Knowledge make individuals more strength and confident in
their activity. The activity of research builds new knowledge, theory or formulates generalization.
Ways/Source of Acquiring Knowledge
Curious to know about new things is the main motivating factor for searching new knowledge.
When a person feel disequilibrium regarding any matter of content, s/he start search for reaching
valid conclusion regarding the matter of doubt. The process of clarification leads them to
equilibration in their cognition. For the purpose of getting new information the human beings are
using following ways to accumulate new knowledge.
Sensory Perception
Senses are the gate ways of knowledge. Five senses help an individual to get primary information
regarding any object, individual or events and so forth. For example, students can see an experiment
conducted by the teacher, hear the explanation, touch the object or product, smell the output, taste
the product etc. Through this five activity (five sense organs) or any one activity (single sense organ)
students are able to construct and verify information regarding the experiment conducted. Hence
sensory perceptions are the one important source or means of acquiring knowledge. In the case of
a researcher, the sensory perceptions are important to them to collect information and verify the
authenticity and originality of acquired knowledge.
Logical Reasoning
Logical reasoning is another way of acquiring Knowledge. It is related to brainy functioning.
Ignorance and blind believes made man as a sleeping brains, later, curiosity and search for cause
and effect relationship paved the way of unfolding natural truths and facts. People become modern
and developed by the way they approached the matters through logical reasoning. Deductive as well
as inductive reasoning are emerged by the time as methods of logical reasoning. Individuals may
infer things through deductive reasoning, abstract thinking, finding relationship between events and
variables and so forth. For example a competent person can make valid conclusion regarding the
nature and consequences of certain events by observing behavior of individuals or analyzing chain
of events, statement and attitude of national leaders and so forth. Through the logical reasoning a
researcher can deduct and infer information regarding the research problem.
Deductive Reasoning
It is the earlier philosophical method of Logical Reasoning. Categorical syllogism is considered as
the old systematic method of logical reasoning. The famous philosopher Aristotle developed it as
Deductive method of problem solving. Moving from General assumptions to specific application,
that means the general to particular principle (DGP). It can be understood by the explanation of
categorical syllogism given below.
Categorical Syllogism
Syllogistic reasoning is a kind of logical argument that applies deductive reasoning for drawing a
valid conclusion based on two or more propositions. Categorical syllogism consists of three
components; such as Major premise, Minor Premise, Conclusion. It establishes a logical
relationship between them.
Major Premise: it is a self evident assumption, previously established by metaphysical truth or
dogmas. For example all men are mortal
Minor Premise: it is a particular case related to the major premise. For example, Socrates is a man
Conclusion: based on both premises conclusion and inference could be surly possible. For example
Socrates is mortal
Form the above example we can observe the general assumption in major premise; that is all men
are mortal. Then leads to particular observation in minor premise that Socrates is a man and
concludes that that’s why he is a mortal.
Inductive Reasoning
Later much creative criticism had been raised regarding the process drawing conclusion from
general phenomenon. Because of the reason that there might be some dogmas and myths, baseless
beliefs which had not been empirically proved but believed that, they are true and as well as had
impacted the conclusion. So it leads to creating unreliable and error information to the people.
Hence many centuries later Francis bacon advocated the inductive method of reasoning or problem
solving which had kicked back the limitation of the deductive method. It is the process of specific
observations of phenomenon which leads to generalization. Here individuals arrive to conclusions
after the empirical verification of many individual observations of a common phenomenon. Hence
there is no possibility to adopt any dogmas or myth as a foundation of knowledge. Here the problem
solver ensures the mortality of the human beings or any organism in particular case. For example a
person analyzing the life history of great personalities, such as Mahathma Gandhi, Nehru, Maulana
Abul kalam azad, Abrahaam Lincon and so forth. S/he could be reach a conclusion that even though
these personalities had a strong back up of the political power they could not overcome the death.
And there is no organism can be found on earth alive after a reasonable length of period. Hence it
is concluded that every organism with soul or life should breathe its last after a while.
Authority
There are several occasions where a researcher needs authoritative knowledge. All official
information can be termed as authoritative knowledge. One can get information from concern
authority regarding their concerned. Right to information act is a good example for the same. If any
individual need authentic information regarding any authority s/he can file a query regarding his
information concerned through RTI to concerned authority. This process ensures an information
seeker to get authentic knowledge from authority. For example if a researcher needs information
regarding the enrollment, dropout rate, literacy rate, budget allocation to different educational
sector, s/he can be collect information from the concern authority regarding the above. The
information provided by the concerned authority would be the knowledge from authority or
authoritative knowledge.
Traditions
Traditions are another important source of knowledge. Much social related knowledge are
preserved and transmitted through traditions. For example social skills, values, social functions are
entirely routed in traditions of the society. Traditions have local as well as national impact. A
researcher can get information regarding the indigenous treatment system, folklore arts, skilled
based traditional social class are available from social traditions. There much information which is
largely depends on traditions.
Experience
Personal as well as professional experience of an individual contributes much in his knowledge.
Personal experience in family, society, and neighborhood taught humans many lessons regarding
the behavior, adjustment, social dealings, patience and so forth. Professional experiences make an
individual perfectly professional. Knowledge of matters regarding to be performed or not to be do
in personal as well as professional situation create through experiences. Learning by doing is also
come under this category.
Naturalistic Inquiry
Thirst for knowledge is the uniqueness of human being. When s/he wants to solve a certain problem
or confront a curious situation. S/he starts searching for the solution of the problem in naturalistic
way. The final solution will be found out by getting new information regarding the problem through
the inquiry. For example a researcher felt a problem of why the students of backward areas are less
enrolled in higher education. The researcher may formulate possible reasons and possibilities of the
problem. Empirically collect information from the original sources, s/he may go to the community
location and approach the concerned subject of the study and their social situation. Through this
inquiry process the researcher get much valuable information and thereby infer the solution of the
problem. The knowledge construction through this process can be termed as naturalistic Inquiry.
Trial and Error
Trial and error is one of the ways of acquiring new knowledge. The term trial and error is
contributed by famous psychologist E.L. Thorndike. Individuals learn more things through trial and
error process. Knowledge related to practical, professional, skilled and semi skilled professions are
largely depends on this source of knowledge. For example knowledge of use of computer, smart
phone, driving, playing cricket, football, teaching etc can be acquired through trial and error.
Scientific approach
Knowledge can be created or accumulated through various means. Scientific approach is very
important means of knowledge acquisition. Scientific approach ensures the reliability and
rationality of the information or knowledge acquired. The knowledge constructed through scientific
approach has following features.
1. Body of Knowledge
2. Universal application
3. Empirically proved
4. Experimental
5. Measurable
6. Observable
7. Trustworthiness
8. Objectivity
9. Validity
10. Reliability
11. Predictability
Scientific Method in Developing Knowledge
Scientific method ensures the reliability and validity of the knowledge constructed through its
process. The adoption of the scientific method eliminates the biasness as well as the fake
information regarding the matter of concern. John Dewey (1938) identified the following steps for
scientific method which constitute the elements of deductive and inductive reasoning.
1. Identification and definition of problems
2. Formulation of hypotheses
3. Collection, organization and Analysis of data
4. Formulation of conclusion
5. Verification, Rejection, or Modification of hypotheses
Intuition
Knowledge revealed from insight is another means of knowledge acquisition. Archimedes’
Principles, Lord Buddha are the living examples of acquired knowledge through intuitions. Many
of the life situations we also had experienced intuitive knowledge to solve our life problems.
Intuitive knowledge can be acquired through following process.
1. Preparation
In this step all available information regarding the problem to be solved must be assembled and
analyzed in depth. Continuous attempts are made to found out solutions and the process is set aside.
2. Incubation
No intentional attempt mad e to solve the problem. It come to mind while playing, cooking or at
bathroom and so forth.
3. Illumination
Illumination is the process of intuiting many ideas in the mind of the problem solver unexpectedly.
It may be the result of preparation as well as the relaxed mood of incubation period. The script
writers, poets, writers, scientist are getting ideas or knowledge in this manner.
4. Verification
After receiving the idea the problem solver should verify or test the validity and reliability of the
information empirically. The level of attaining knowledge through intuition must be depends on the
motivation as well as the intelligence level of problem solver.
Learning
Learning from the original sources is another method of acquiring knowledge. In modern era Lot
of information are available at finger tips. Learning can be done through online as well as off line
mode. One can depend the formal classroom as well as non-formal way of learning for acquiring
knowledge. Stream wise systematic knowledge are disseminating in formal classrooms. For
example, the subjects like engineering, medicine, education, psychology, statistics and so forth are
studying in formal classrooms. If an individual is not able to attend the regular classroom for his
educational purpose he can avail knowledge through distance learning. However there are many
doors are opens for accessing knowledge throughout the world. Learner can search primary sources
or secondary sources of information for accumulating knowledge. Learning can be done selectively
as per the requirements of the knowledge seeker.
Q.2 Define research. Explain the important characteristics of research.
A careful consideration of study regarding a particular concern or problem using scientific
methods. According to the American sociologist Earl Robert Babbie, “Research is a systematic
inquiry to describe, explain, predict, and control the observed phenomenon. Research involves
inductive and deductive methods.”
Inductive research methods are used to analyze an observed event. Deductive methods are used to
verify the observed event. Inductive approaches are associated with qualitative research and
deductive methods are more commonly associated with quantitative research.
Research is conducted with a purpose to understand:
• What do organizations or businesses really want to find out?
• What are the processes that need to be followed to chase the idea?
• What are the arguments that need to be built around a concept?
• What is the evidence that will be required for people to believe in the idea or concept?
Characteristics of research
1. A systematic approach must be followed for accurate data. Rules and procedures are an integral
part of the process that set the objective. Researchers need to practice ethics and a code of
conduct while making observations or drawing conclusions.
2. Research is based on logical reasoning and involves both inductive and deductive methods.
3. The data or knowledge that is derived is in real time from actual observations in natural settings.
4. There is an in-depth analysis of all data collected so that there are no anomalies associated with
it.
5. Research creates a path for generating new questions. Existing data helps create more
opportunities for research.
6. Research is analytical in nature. It makes use of all the available data so that there is no
ambiguity in inference.
7. Accuracy is one of the most important aspects of research. The information that is obtained
should be accurate and true to its nature. For example, laboratories provide a controlled
environment to collect data. Accuracy is measured in the instruments used, the calibrations of
instruments or tools, and the final result of the experiment.
Following are the types of research methods:
Basic research: A basic research definition is data collected to enhance knowledge. The main
motivation is knowledge expansion. It is a non-commercial research that doesn’t facilitate in
creating or inventing anything. For example: an experiment to determine a simple fact.
Applied research: Applied research focuses on analyzing and solving real-life problems. This type
refers to the study that helps solve practical problems using scientific methods. Studies play an
important role in solving issues that impact the overall well-being of humans. For example: finding
a specific cure for a disease.
Problem oriented research: As the name suggests, problem-oriented research is conducted to
understand the exact nature of a problem to find out relevant solutions. The term “problem” refers
to multiple choices or issues when analyzing a situation.
For example, revenue of a car company has decreased by 12% in the last year. The following could
be the probable causes: there is no optimum production, poor quality of a product, no advertising,
or economic conditions.
Problem solving research: This type of research is conducted by companies to understand and
resolve their own problems. The problem-solving method uses applied research to find solutions
to the existing problems.
Qualitative research: Qualitative research is a process that is about inquiry. It helps create in-
depth understanding of problems or issues in their natural settings. This is a non-statistical method.
Qualitative research is heavily dependent on the experience of the researchers and the questions
used to probe the sample. The sample size is usually restricted to 6-10 people. Open-ended
questions are asked in a manner that encourages answers that lead to another question or group of
questions. The purpose of asking open-ended questions is to gather as much information as
possible from the sample.
The following are the methods used for qualitative research:
1. One-to-one interview
2. Focus groups
3. Ethnographic research
4. Content/Text Analysis
5. Case study research
Quantitative research: Qualitative research is a structured way of collecting data and analyzing it
to draw conclusions. Unlike qualitative methods, this method uses a computational and statistical
process to collect and analyze data. Quantitative data is all about numbers. Quantitative research
involves a larger population — more people means more data. With more data to analyze, you can
obtain more accurate results. This method uses close-ended questions because the researchers are
typically looking to gather statistical data. Online surveys, questionnaires, and polls are preferable
data collection tools used in quantitative research. There are various methods of deploying surveys
or questionnaires. Online surveys allow survey creators to reach large amounts of people or smaller
focus groups for different types of research that meet different goals. Survey respondents can
receive surveys on mobile phones, in emails, or can simply use the internet to access surveys.
There are three purposes of research:
1. Exploratory: As the name suggests, exploratory research is conducted to explore a group of
questions. The answers and analytics may not offer a final conclusion to the perceived problem.
It is conducted to handle new problem areas which haven’t been explored before. This
exploratory process lays the foundation for more conclusive research and data collection.
2. Descriptive: Descriptive research focuses on expanding knowledge on current issues through a
process of data collection. Descriptive studies are used to describe the behavior of a sample
population. In a descriptive study, only one variable is required to conduct the study. The three
main purposes of descriptive research are describing, explaining, and validating the findings.
For example, a study conducted to know if top-level management leaders in the 21st century
possess the moral right to receive a huge sum of money from the company profit.
3. Explanatory: Explanatory research or causal research is conducted to understand the impact of
certain changes in existing standard procedures. Conducting experiments is the most popular
form of casual research. For example, a study conducted to understand the effect of rebranding
on customer loyalty.
To understand the characteristic of research design using research purpose here is a comparative
analysis:
Exploratory Research Descriptive Research Explanatory Research
Research approach
Unstructured Structured Highly structured
used
Research conducted Asking research Asking research By using research
through questions questions hypotheses.
When is it Early stages of Later stages of Later stages of
conducted? decision making decision making decision making
Qualitative Methods
Qualitative research is a method that collects data using conversational methods. Participants are
asked open-ended questions. The responses collected are essentially non-numerical. This method
not only helps a researcher understand what participants think but also why they think in a
particular way.
Types of qualitative methods include:
• One-to-one Interview: This interview is conducted with one participant at a given point in time.
One-to-one interviews need a researcher to prepare questions in advance. The researcher asks
only the most important questions to the participant. This type of interview lasts anywhere
between 20 minutes to half an hour. During this time the researcher collects as many meaningful
answers as possible from the participants to draw inferences.
• Focus Groups: Focus groups are small groups comprising of around 6-10 participants who are
usually experts in the subject matter. A moderator is assigned to a focus group who facilitates
the discussion amongst the group members. A moderator’s experience in conducting the focus
group plays an important role. An experienced moderator can probe the participants by asking
the correct questions that will help them collect a sizable amount of information related to the
research.
• Ethnographic Research: Ethnographic research is an in-depth form of research where people
are observed in their natural environment without this method is demanding due to the necessity
of a researcher entering a natural environment of other people. Geographic locations can be a
constraint as well. Instead of conducting interviews, a researcher experiences the normal setting
and daily life of a group of people.
• Text Analysis: Text analysis is a little different from other qualitative methods as it is used to
analyze social constructs by decoding words through any available form of documentation. The
researcher studies and understands the context in which the documents are written and then tries
to draw meaningful inferences from it. Researchers today follow activities on a social media
platform to try and understand patterns of thoughts.
• Case Study: Case study research is used to study an organization or an entity. This method is
one of the most valuable options for modern this type of research is used in fields like the
education sector, philosophical studies, and psychological studies. This method involves a deep
dive into ongoing research and collecting data.
Q.3 how can educational research be used to improve the system of education? Support your
answer with arguments.
Since the time of the Revolution, education has been an important part of the American ethos.
When Europeans claimed that the social fabric would disintegrate without a king, the founders of
the Republic argued that an educated citizenry would hold the polity together. A century later, as
waves of newcomers filled the land, schooling was promoted as the way to make them Americans,
to knit together a nation of immigrants. Now, two centuries later, the United States is in the midst
of fundamental transitions: it can no longer dominate the world politically or economically as it
did in the 35 years after World War II; industrial production is migrating overseas, changing the
nature—and the intellectual and technical demands—of the contemporary workplace; the
concentration of poverty and disadvantage that characterizes large cities has become an
intransigent problem. Once again, education is at the top of the national political agenda. Every
state has mandated reforms and countless local programs and alliances have initiated efforts for
improvements. Because education holds so central a place in the nation, education reform efforts
in the United States have been almost continuous. These efforts have been based on passion,
conviction, and, occasionally, research. Almost all have been declared a success by at least some
people. And indisputable progress has been made in terms of school attendance, years of schooling,
levels of literacy, and the quality of classrooms and equipment. Yet, as the twentieth century ends,
few people are fully satisfied with the condition of education in the United States. Many
individuals and institutions have been involved in school reform. From the great education
reformers of the nineteenth century—Horace Mann in the 1840s, John Dewey in the 1890s—to
the major philanthropies in the twentieth century—the Carnegie, Spencer, and Ford Foundations
and the Julius Rosenwald Fund (which built schools all over the South) the idea of improving
education in order to improve society has been a powerful force. Since the 1850s, when the
principle of state-supported schools for all children triumphed in most parts of the country, state
and local governments have played a central role in the governance of what rapidly became "school
systems." In successive waves of reformist sentiment, schools have been used as the instrument
for shaping a rural populace into an increasingly urban and industrial one. Each reform attempt is
an exercise in optimism and creativity. Reform efforts require considerable energy and
commitment. They also require financial resources and longtime horizons. The dynamism and
ferment that characterize education reform efforts in the United States have led to significant
change and progress on many fronts. But the country has undergone even greater change, with the
consequence that public frustration with the quality of education in the United States has been as
constant as reform efforts. Research is one of the most important tools society has for ensuring
that government policies and practices are thoughtful and effective. Research has, for example,
been a potent force for improved public health: because of advances in biomedical research that
produced the polio vaccine, public health officials could confidently inoculate the entire youth
population with a live virus. So axiomatic is the profitability of research in agriculture that one of
the nation's foremost seed companies was willing to invest 40 years of effort in the development
of a seedless watermelon. In education, however, the potential of research has not been realized.
The sheer complexity of the enterprise has been a factor, as have underinvestment, lack of focus,
and the difficulties of translating research results for practical ends.
Complexity
Education in the United States is an extraordinarily complex, dynamic system, which has to
continually adapt to changes in the society. More centralized systems or more traditional societies,
or simply smaller countries, present more manageable challenges for designing education research,
but in any setting it must deal with the behavior and development of individual students, group
dynamics of the classroom, and institutional change of school systems—all in the context of the
evolving needs of the society. Research in education examines an ever-changing process, without
end and without final answers. Yet good research can often make the difference between
adaptations that improve the educational process and those that don't.
Underinvestment
The federal government has made major investments in research in many fields in the last half
century. As a result, medical treatment, defense, agriculture, space exploration, technology, and
other social goods have made important progress. Although between 60 and 75 percent of support
for education research comes from the federal government; that represents less than 1 percent of
federal spending on education. And the dollar amount pales when compared with federal support
of medical, defense, or even agricultural research. From another view, although education for
kindergarten through grade 12 (K-12) costs close to $340 billion per year (U.S. Department of
Education, 1997), virtually no state funding supports education research. In short, the nation has
made an enormous social investment in education with relatively little reflection, scientific rigor,
or quality control.
Lack of Focus
Past investments in education research can only be described as diffuse. K-12 schooling in the
United States is such a vast enterprise and takes place in such diverse settings that letting ''a
thousand flowers bloom'' in education research appeared to
be a sensible, responsive approach. The federal bodies that set priorities for education research
have tended to frame their agendas very broadly. The foundations and agencies that fund research
have encouraged and supported an extremely wide spectrum of research and development
activities. This approach has resulted in innovative studies, fascinating findings, and isolated
success stories, but it has not had the widespread effects on student learning that would create
demand for the fruits of research. The National Research Council's recent assessment of the federal
role in supporting education research concluded that the agencies responsible for education
research have spread their limited resources "so thinly that mediocrity was almost assured.
Difficulties of Translating Research
Because educational practice in the United States is controlled at the local, indeed, the classroom
level, the challenge of incorporating even the strongest research findings into over a million
classrooms is daunting. It is not that most people who are involved in helping children learn do
not want to do a better job. Parents and teachers want their children to succeed. Policy makers and
administrators want to improve the performance of their schools. Curriculum developers and
entrepreneurs want to develop new ideas and provide new products. But few of these people have
access to research findings, and there is no centralized system (such as exists in Japan or France)
to convey the most important research knowledge and to systematically train practitioners in its
application. Furthermore, the language of researchers is not the language of practitioners; there is
a cultural divide that hampers accessibility, and the incentive structures in research universities
tend not to reward researcher-practitioner interface. As a consequence, improvement efforts, no
matter how conscientious or well intentioned, are—and are likely to remain—hit-or-miss attempts.
Q.4 Differentiate among basic, applied and action research and discuss in detail the need and
use of action research.
Difference Between Basic Research and Action Research

Criteria Basic Research Action Research

Develop and test educational theory To find solutions to problems in a


Objectives
and derive generalizations. specific context.

Intensive training is needed in


Training Limited training is needed.
Research Methodology.

Participating teacher identify


Selection of a A wide range of methods are used to
problems during the teaching-
problem select a problem.
learning processes.
Highly specific hypotheses are Specific statement of the problem
Hypothesis
developed. serves as hypotheses.

Review of An exhaustive and thorough review No such thorough review of


Literature of literature is required. literature is needed.

Considerably large sample size is Students studying in the class of a


Sample
required. teacher forms sample.

Well thought experimental design is


Experimental developed to maintain comparable Procedures are planned only in
Design conditions and reducing error and general terms.
bias.

Analysis of Simple analysis procedures are


Complex analysis is often called for.
Data usually sufficient.

Conclusions may be in the form of


Conclusions generalizations and developing Findings are local specific.
theories.

Findings are used immediately in


Application of The generalizations have broad the classroom situations by
results applicability participating teachers to improve
their own practices

Action research is different because:


1. It is not the usual thing teachers do when think about their teaching. Action research is
more systematic and collaborative in collecting evidence on which to base rigorous group
reflection.
2. It is not simply problem solving. Action research involves problem –solving, not just
problem solving. It motivated by a quest to improve and understand the word by changing
it and learning how to improve it from the effects of changes made.
3. It is not research done on other people. Action research is research by particular people on
their own work, to help them improve what they do, including how they work with and for
others. Action research treats people as autonomous, responsible agents who participate
actively in making their own practices to be more effective. It does not treat people as
objects for research, but encourages people to work together as knowing subjects and
agents of change and improvement.
4. It is not ‘the scientific method’ applied to teaching. Action research is not just about
hypotheses-testing or about using data to come to conclusions. Action research is not just
about hypotheses-testing or about using data to come to conclusions. Action research is
concerned with changing situations, not just interpreting them like in historical sciences.
Action research is systematically evolving, a living process changing both the researcher
and the situations in which he/she acts; neither the natural sciences nor the historical
sciences have their double aim.
Educational action research can be engaged in by a single teacher, by a group of colleagues who
share an interest in a common problem, or by the entire faculty of a school. Whatever the scenario,
action research always involves the same seven-step process. These seven steps, which become an
endless cycle for the inquiring teacher, are the following:
1. Selecting a focus
2. Clarifying theories
3. Identifying research questions
4. Collecting data
5. Analyzing data
6. Reporting results
7. Taking informed action
Step 1—Selecting a Focus
The action research process begins with serious reflection directed toward identifying a topic or
topics worthy of a busy teacher's time. Considering the incredible demands on today's classroom
teachers, no activity is worth doing unless it promises to make the central part of a teacher's work
more successful and satisfying. Thus, selecting a focus, the first step in the process, is vitally
important. Selecting a focus begins with the teacher researcher or the team of action researchers
asking:
Step 2—Clarifying Theories
The second step involves identifying the values, beliefs, and theoretical perspectives the
researchers hold relating to their focus. For example, if teachers are concerned about increasing
responsible classroom behavior, it will be helpful for them to begin by clarifying which
approach—using punishments and rewards, allowing students to experience the natural
consequences of their behaviors, or some other strategy—they feel will work best in helping
students acquire responsible classroom behavior habits.
Step 3—Identifying Research Questions
Once a focus area has been selected and the researcher's perspectives and beliefs about that focus
have been clarified, the next step is to generate a set of personally meaningful research questions
to guide the inquiry.
Step 4—Collecting Data
Professional educators always want their instructional decisions to be based on the best possible
data. Action researchers can accomplish this by making sure that the data used to justify their
actions are valid (meaning the information represents what the researchers say it does)
and reliable (meaning the researchers are confident about the accuracy of their data). Lastly, before
data are used to make teaching decisions, teachers must be confident that the lessons drawn from
the data align with any unique characteristics of their classroom or school. To ensure reasonable
validity and reliability, action researchers should avoid relying on any single source of data. Most
teacher researchers use a process called triangulation to enhance the validity and reliability of their
findings. Basically, triangulation means using multiple independent sources of data to answer one's
questions. Triangulation is like studying an object located inside a box by viewing it through
various windows cut into the sides of the box. Observing a phenomenon through multiple
“windows” can help a single researcher compare and contrast what is being seen through a variety
of lenses. When planning instruction, teachers want the techniques they choose to be appropriate
for the unique qualities of their students. All teachers have had the experience of implementing a
“research-proven” strategy only to have it fail with their students. The desire of teachers to use
approaches that “fit” their particular students is not dissimilar to a doctor's concern that the specific
medicine being prescribed be the correct one for the individual patient. The ability of the action
research process to satisfy an educator's need for “fit” may be its most powerful attribute. Because
the data being collected come from the very students and teachers who are engaged with the
treatment, the relevance of the findings is assured. For the harried and overworked teacher, “data
collection” can appear to be the most intimidating aspect of the entire seven-step action research
process. The question I am repeatedly asked, “Where will I find the time and expertise to develop
valid and reliable instruments for data collection?”, gives voice to a realistic fear regarding time
management. Fortunately, classrooms and schools are, by their nature, data-rich environments.
Each day a child is in class, he or she is producing or not producing work, is interacting
productively with classmates or experiencing difficulties in social situations, and is completing
assignments proficiently or poorly. Teachers not only see these events transpiring before their eyes,
they generally record these events in their grade books. The key to managing triangulated data
collection is, first, to be effective and efficient in collecting the material that is already swirling
around the classroom, and, second, to identify other sources of data that might be effectively
surfaced with tests, classroom discussions, or questionnaires.
Step 5—Analyzing Data
Although data analysis often brings to mind the use of complex statistical calculations, this is rarely
the case for the action researcher. A number of relatively user-friendly procedures can help a
practitioner identify the trends and patterns in action research data. During this portion of the
seven-step process, teacher researchers will methodically sort, sift, rank, and examine their data to
answer two generic questions:
• What is the story told by these data?
• Why did the story play itself out this way?
Step 6—Reporting Results
It is often said that teaching is a lonely endeavor. It is doubly sad that so many teachers are left
alone in their classrooms to reinvent the wheel on a daily basis. The loneliness of teaching is
unfortunate not only because of its inefficiency, but also because when dealing with complex
problems the wisdom of several minds is inevitably better than one. The sad history of teacher
isolation may explain why the very act of reporting on their action research has proven so powerful
for both the researchers and their colleagues. The reporting of action research most often occurs
in informal settings that are far less intimidating than the venues where scholarly research has
traditionally been shared. Faculty meetings, brown bag lunch seminars, and teacher conferences
are among the most common venues for sharing action research with peers. However, each year
more and more teacher researchers are writing up their work for publication or to help fulfill
requirements in graduate programs. Regardless of which venue or technique educators select for
reporting on research, the simple knowledge that they are making a contribution to a collective
knowledge base regarding teaching and learning frequently proves to be among the most rewarding
aspects of this work.
Step 7—Taking Informed Action
Taking informed action, or “action planning,” the last step in the action research process, is very
familiar to most teachers. When teachers write lesson plans or develop academic programs, they
are engaged in the action planning process. What makes action planning particularly satisfying for
the teacher researcher is that with each piece of data uncovered (about teaching or student learning)
the educator will feel greater confidence in the wisdom of the next steps. Although all teaching
can be classified as trial and error, action researchers find that the research process liberates them
from continuously repeating their past mistakes. More important, with each refinement of practice,
action researchers gain valid and reliable data on their developing virtuosity.
Three Purposes for Action Research
As stated earlier, action research can be engaged in by an individual teacher, a collaborative group
of colleagues sharing a common concern, or an entire school faculty. These three different
approaches to organizing for research serve three compatible, yet distinct, purposes:
• Building the reflective practitioner
• Making progress on school wide priorities
• Building professional cultures
Building the Reflective Practitioner
When individual teachers make a personal commitment to systematically collect data on their
work, they are embarking on a process that will foster continuous growth and development. When
each lesson is looked on as an empirical investigation into factors affecting teaching and learning
and when reflections on the findings from each day's work inform the next day's instruction,
teachers can't help but develop greater mastery of the art and science of teaching. In this way, the
individual teachers conducting action research are making continuous progress in developing their
strengths as reflective practitioners.
Making Progress on School wide Priorities
Increasingly, schools are focusing on strengthening themselves and their programs through the
development of common focuses and a strong sense of esprit de corps. Peters and Waterman (1982)
in their landmark book, In Search of Excellence, called the achievement of focus “sticking to the
knitting.” When a faculty shares a commitment to achieving excellence with a specific focus—for
example, the development of higher-order thinking, positive social behavior, or higher
standardized test scores—then collaboratively studying their practice will not only contribute to
the achievement of the shared goal but would have a powerful impact on team building and
program development. Focusing the combined time, energy, and creativity of a group of
committed professionals on a single pedagogical issue will inevitably lead to program
improvements, as well as to the school becoming a “center of excellence.” As a result, when a
faculty chooses to focus on one issue and all the teachers elect to enthusiastically participate in
action research on that issue, significant progress on the school wide priorities cannot help but
occur.
Building Professional Cultures
Often an entire faculty will share a commitment to student development, yet the group finds itself
unable to adopt a single common focus for action research. This should not be viewed as indicative
of a problem. Just as the medical practitioners working at a “quality” medical center will hold a
shared vision of a healthy adult, it is common for all the faculty members at a school to share a
similar perspective on what constitutes a well-educated student. However, like the doctors at the
medical center, the teachers in a “quality” school may well differ on which specific aspects of the
shared vision they are most motivated to pursue at any point in time.
Schools whose faculties cannot agree on a single research focus can still use action research as a
tool to help transform themselves into a learning organization. They accomplish this in the same
manner as do the physicians at the medical center. It is common practice in a quality medical center
for physicians to engage in independent, even idiosyncratic, research agendas. However, it is also
common for medical researchers to share the findings obtained from their research with colleagues
(even those engaged in other specialties).
Q.5 Differentiate between historical and experimental research and discuss the process of
experimental research.
The major feature that distinguishes experimental research from other types of research is that the
researcher manipulates the independent variable. There are a number of experimental group
designs in experimental research. Some of these qualify as experimental research, others do not.

• In true experimental research, the researcher not only manipulates the independent
variable, he or she also randomly assigned individuals to the various treatment categories
(i.e., control and treatment).
• In quasi experimental research, the researcher does not randomly assign subjects to
treatment and control groups. In other words, the treatment is not distributed among
participants randomly. In some cases, a researcher may randomly assigns one whole group
to treatment and one whole group to control. In this case, quasi-experimental research
involves using intact groups in an experiment, rather than assigning individuals at random
to research conditions. (Some researchers define this latter situation differently. For our
course, we will allow this definition).
• In causal comparative (ex post facto) research, the groups are already formed. It does not
meet the standards of an experiment because the independent variable in not manipulated.
The statistics by themselves have no meaning. They only take on meaning within the design of
your study. If we just examine stats, bread can be deadly. The term validity is used three ways in
research.

1. In the sampling unit, we learn about external validity (generalizability).


2. In the survey unit, we learn about instrument validity.
3. In this unit, we learn about internal validity and external validity. Internal validity means
that the differences that we were found between groups on the dependent variable in an
experiment were directly related to what the researcher did to the independent variable, and
not due to some other unintended variable (confounding variable). Simply stated, the
question addressed by internal validity is “Was the study done well?” Once the researcher
is satisfied that the study was done well and the independent variable caused the dependent
variable (internal validity), then the research examines external validity (under what
conditions [ecological] and with whom [population] can these results be replicated [Will I
get the same results with a different group of people or under different circumstances?]).
If a study is not internally valid, then considering external validity is a moot point (If the
independent did not cause the dependent, then there is no point in applying the results
[generalizing the results] to other situations.). Interestingly, as one tightens a study to
control for treats to internal validity, one decreases the generalizability of the study (to
whom and under what conditions one can generalize the results).
There are several common threats to internal validity in experimental research. They are described
in our text.

• Subject Characteristics (Selection Bias/Differential Selection) — the groups may have


been different from the start. If you were testing instructional strategies to improve reading
and one group enjoyed reading more than the other group, they may improve more in their
reading because they enjoy it, rather than the instructional strategy you used.
• Loss of Subjects (Mortality) — all of the high or low scoring subject may have dropped
out or were missing from one of the groups. If we collected posttest data on a day when
the honor society was on field trip at the treatment school, the mean for the treatment group
would probably be much lower than it really should have been.
• Location — perhaps one group was at a disadvantage because of their location. The city
may have been demolishing a building next to one of the schools in our study and there are
constant distractions which interferes with our treatment.
• Instrumentation Instrument Decay — the testing instruments may not be scores similarly.
Perhaps the person grading the posttest is fatigued and pays less attention to the last set of
papers reviewed. It may be that those papers are from one of our groups and will received
different scores than the earlier group’s papers
• Data Collector Characteristics — the subjects of one group may react differently to the data
collector than the other group. A male interviewing males and females about their attitudes
toward a type of math instruction may not receive the same responses from females as a
female interviewing females would.
• Data Collector Bias — the person collecting data my favors one group, or some
characteristic some subject possess, over another. A principal who favors strict classroom
management may rate students’ attention under different teaching conditions with a bias
toward one of the teaching conditions.
• Testing — the act of taking a pretest or posttest may influence the results of the experiment.
Suppose we were conducting a unit to increase student sensitivity to prejudice. As a pretest
we have the control and treatment groups watch Shindler’s List and write a reaction essay.
The pretest may have actually increased both groups’ sensitivity and we find that our
treatment groups didn’t score any higher on a posttest given later than the control group
did. If we hadn’t given the pretest, we might have seen differences in the groups at the end
of the study.
• History — something may happen at one site during our study that influences the results.
Perhaps a classmate dies in a car accident at the control site for a study teaching children
bike safety. The control group may actually demonstrate more concern about bike safety
than the treatment group.
• Maturation –There may be natural changes in the subjects that can account for the changes
found in a study. A critical thinking unit may appear more effective if it taught during a
time when children are developing abstract reasoning.
• Hawthorne Effect — the subjects may respond differently just because they are being
studied. The name comes from a classic study in which researchers were studying the effect
of lighting on worker productivity. As the intensity of the factor lights increased, so did the
work productivity. One researcher suggested that they reverse the treatment and lower the
lights. The productivity of the workers continued to increase. It appears that being observed
by the researchers was increasing productivity, not the intensity of the lights.
• John Henry Effect — One group may view that it is competition with the other group and
may work harder than than they would under normal circumstances. This generally is
applied to the control group “taking on” the treatment group. The terms refers to the classic
story of John Henry laying railroad track.
• Resentful Demoralization of the Control Group — the control group may become
discouraged because it is not receiving the special attention that is given to the treatment
group. They may perform lower than usual because of this.
• Regression (Statistical Regression) — a class that scores particularly low can be expected
to score slightly higher just by chance. Likewise, a class that scores particularly high, will
have a tendency to score slightly lower by chance. The change in these scores may have
nothing to do with the treatment.
• Implementation –The treatment may not be implemented as intended. A study where
teachers are asked to use student modeling techniques may not show positive results, not
because modeling techniques don’t work, but because the teacher didn’t implement them
or didn’t implement them as they were designed.
• Compensatory Equalization of Treatment — someone may feel sorry for the control group
because they are not receiving much attention and give them special treatment. For
example, a researcher could be studying the effect of laptop computers on students’
attitudes toward math. The teacher feels sorry for the class that doesn’t have computers and
sponsors a popcorn party during math class. The control group begins to develop a more
positive attitude about mathematics.
• Experimental Treatment Diffusion — Sometimes the control group actually implements
the treatment. If two different techniques are being tested in two different third grades in
the same building, the teachers may share what they are doing. Unconsciously, the control
may use of the techniques she or he learned from the treatment teacher.
When planning a study, it is important to consider the threats to interval validity as we finalize the
study design. After we complete our study, we should reconsider each of the threats to internal
validity as we review our data and draw conclusions.
Assignment No. 2
Q.1 critically examine the important steps involved in scientific method. What problems are
involved in its use? Elaborate.
The scientific method is a process for experimentation that is used to explore observations and
answer questions. Does this mean all scientists follow exactly this process? No. Some areas of
science can be more easily tested than others. For example, scientists studying how stars change
as they age or how dinosaurs digested their food cannot fast-forward a star's life by a million years
or run medical exams on feeding dinosaurs to test their hypotheses. When direct experimentation
is not possible, scientists modify the scientific method. In fact, there are probably as many versions
of the scientific method as there are scientists! But even when modified, the goal remains the same:
to discover cause and effect relationships by asking questions, carefully gathering and examining
the evidence, and seeing if all the available information can be combined in to a logical answer.
Even though we show the scientific method as a series of steps, keep in mind that new information
or thinking might cause a scientist to back up and repeat steps at any point during the process. A
process like the scientific method that involves such backing up and repeating is called an iterative
process. Whether you are doing a science fair project, a classroom science activity, independent
research, or any other hands-on science inquiry understanding the steps of the scientific method
will help you focus your scientific question and work through your observations and data to answer
the question as well as possible.
Steps of the Scientific Method
1. Ask a Question
The scientific method starts when you ask a question about something that you observe: How,
What, When, Who, Which, Why, or Where?
For a science fair project some teachers require that the question be something you can measure,
preferably with a number.
For detailed help with this step, use these resources:
• Your Question
• Laboratory Notebook
2. Do Background Research
Rather than starting from scratch in putting together a plan for answering your question, you
want to be a savvy scientist using library and Internet research to help you find the best way to
do things and ensure that you don't repeat mistakes from the past.
For detailed help with this step, use these resources:
• Background Research Plan
• Finding Information
• Bibliography
• Research Paper
3. Construct a Hypothesis
A hypothesis is an educated guess about how things work. It is an attempt to answer your
question with an explanation that can be tested. A good hypothesis allows you to then make a
prediction:
"If _____[I do this] _____, then _____[this]_____ will happen."
State both your hypothesis and the resulting prediction you will be testing. Predictions must be
easy to measure.
For detailed help with this step, use these resources:
• Variables
• Variables for Beginners
• Hypothesis
4. Test Your Hypothesis by Doing an Experiment
Your experiment tests whether your prediction is accurate and thus your hypothesis is supported
or not. It is important for your experiment to be a fair test. You conduct a fair test by making sure
that you change only one factor at a time while keeping all other conditions the same.
You should also repeat your experiments several times to make sure that the first results weren't
just an accident.
For detailed help with this step, use these resources:
• Experimental Procedure
• Materials List
• Conducting an Experiment
5. Analyze Your Data and Draw a Conclusion
Once your experiment is complete, you collect your measurements and analyze them to see if
they support your hypothesis or not.
Scientists often find that their predictions were not accurate and their hypothesis was not
supported, and in such cases they will communicate the results of their experiment and then go
back and construct a new hypothesis and prediction based on the information they learned during
their experiment. This starts much of the process of the scientific method over again. Even if
they find that their hypothesis was supported, they may want to test it again in a new way.
For detailed help with this step, use these resources:
• Data Analysis & Graphs
• Conclusions
6. Communicate Your Results
To complete your science fair project you will communicate your results to others in a final
report and/or a display board. Professional scientists do almost exactly the same thing by
publishing their final report in a scientific journal or by presenting their results on a poster or
during a talk at a scientific meeting. In a science fair, judges are interested in your findings
regardless of whether or not they support your original hypothesis.
For detailed help with this step, use these resources:
• Final Report
• Abstract
• Display Board
• Science Fair Judging
Q.2 Describe the various elements of an effective research proposal.
Writing a good proposal will help you manage your time so that you can complete the quarter with
three papers that meet your objectives. The specific format and content of these elements may
vary; they may not always appear as separate sections or in the order listed here.
1. Background of the study
2. Problem Statement
3. Objectives of the study
4. Significance of the study
5. Limitation of the study
6. Definition of terms
7. Literature Review
8. Methodology
Background of the study
The main idea of the background of study is to establish the area of research in which your work
belongs, and to provide a context for the research problem. It also provides information to the
research topic.
In an introduction, the writer should create:
Reader interest in the topic,
Lay the broad foundation for the problem that leads to the study.
Statement of the problem
When you start a research, you have a question that you wish to seek answer for. The question
leads to a problem that needs to be solved by the research. Begin the research with a description
of the problem or a thesis statement.
Objectives of the study
States what your research hopes to accomplish.
Significance of the study
Why your research is important and what contributions will it give to the field. It is also advised
to state how your findings can make a difference and why is it important that the research be
carried out.
Limitation of the study
It is not possible to include ALL aspects of a particular problem. State what is not
included. Specify the boundaries of you research. A too wide area of investigation is impractical
and will lead to problems.
Definition of terms
Terms or concepts that you use should be defined and explained unless they are familiar or
obvious. You should refer to authoritative sources for definitions.
Literature Review
This section need not be lengthy but it should reflect your understanding of relevant bodies of
literature. List all pertinent papers or reports that you have consulted in preparing the proposal;
include conversations with faculty, peers or other experts. A well-written review provides a sense
of critical issues which form the background for your own work this quarter.
By doing this it shows that you are aware of the literature study that is required in your research
area. Your review a substantial amount of reading materials before writing your proposal. It shows
that you have sufficient theoretical knowledge in your chosen research area.
By reviewing related literature at this stage, it will make you:
Aware of other similar work which has been done.
Expose methodologies that have been adopted and which you may use or adapt.
Provide sources of information that you do not have yet.
By reviewing related literature at this stage, it will inform you:
If a chosen area has already been researched extensively.
Approaches that you do not know of before
Methodology
This section is the heart of the proposal because it provides insight into your perspective as well
as details on how you plan to carry out the project. How will you accomplish your objective(s)?
What theories or concepts will guide the study? How do they or might they suggest the specific
hypotheses or research questions? Where might you run into obstacles? Explain the specifics of
what you want present in your project (statistical data, comparisons of historical and recent data,
the evolution of a paradigm, etc.). One way to do this is by developing a rough outline of the
major topics and sub-topics that you will investigate. Your timeline and a very rough scope (past
– current – future) has been pre-determined. If outside organizations involved, explain how you
are going to get hold of the data. Indicate why the methodology is used. If existing methodology
is not to be used, explain why you need to use an adapted methodology.
A final note about good proposals
Quality writing is critical. The proposal should be clear, concise, and free of jargon. There should
be no spelling or grammatical errors, and the proposal should be easy to read.
Start early and share ideas with peers! Incorporate feedback; gain ideas from reading other student
work.
Q.3 Computer search is one of the best sources of data collection. Discuss with reference to
distant learners.
Data collection methods in educational research are used to gather information that is then
analyzed and interpreted. As such, data collection is a very important step in conducting research
and can influence results significantly. Once the research question and sources of data are
identified, appropriate methods of data collection are determined. Data collection includes a broad
range of more specific techniques. Historically, much of the data collection performed in
educational research depended on methods developed for studies in the field of psychology, a
discipline which took what is termed a “quantitative” approach. This involves using instruments,
scales, Tests, and structured observation and interviewing. By the mid- to late twentieth centuries,
other disciplines such as anthropology and sociology began to influence educational researchers.
Forms of data collection broadened to include what is now called “qualitative” methods, with an
emphasis on narratives, participant perspectives, and less structured observation and interviewing.
As contemporary educational researchers also draw from fields such as business, political science,
and medicine, data collection in education has become a multidisciplinary phenomenon. Because
data collection is such a broad topic, General Overviews that attempt to cover all or most
techniques tend to offer introductory treatments. Few texts, however, provide comprehensive
coverage of every data collection technique. Instead, some cover techniques appropriate for either
quantitative or qualitative research approaches. Even more focus on one or two data collection
methods within those two research contexts. Consequently, after presenting general overviews,
this entry is categorized by data collection appropriate for quantitative and Qualitative Data
Collection. These sections, in turn, are subdivided into the major types of quantitative and
qualitative data collection techniques. While there are some data collection techniques specific to
mixed method research design, which implies a combination of qualitative and quantitative
research methodologies, these specific procedures are not emphasized in the present article—
readers are referred to the Oxford Bibliography article Mixed Methods Research by Nancy Leech
for a comprehensive treatment of mixed method data collection techniques. To locate sources for
this article, extensive searches were performed using general-use Internet search engines and
educational, psychological, and social science research databases. These searches included
keywords around data collection and research methods, as well as specific data collection
techniques such as surveys, Tests, Focus Groups, and observation. Frequently cited texts and
articles, most recent editions at the time, and sources specific to educational research were given
priority. Once these sources were identified, their suggested readings and reference lists were
mined for other potential sources. Works or scholars found in multiple reference lists were
investigated. When applicable, book reviews in peer-reviewed journals were located and taken
into account when curating sources. Sources that demonstrated a high level of impact or offered
unique coverage of the topic were included. General educational research overviews typically
include several chapters on data collection, organized into qualitative and quantitative approaches.
As a rule they are updated frequently so that they offer timely discussions of methodological
trends. Most of them are introductory in nature, written for student researchers. Because of the
influence of psychology and other social sciences on the development of data collection in
educational research, representative works of psychology (Trochim 2006) and of general social
sciences (Robson 2011) are included. Available online, Trochim 2006 is a reader-friendly
introduction that provides succinct explanations of most quantitative and qualitative
approaches. Olsen 2012 is helpful in showing how data collection techniques used in other
disciplines have implications for educational studies. Specific to education, Gall, et al. 2007 is a
frequently cited text that contains most educational data collection techniques, although it tends to
emphasize more traditional quantitative approaches. Johnson and Christensen 2014 offers a more
balanced treatment meant for novice researchers and educational research consumers. Cohen, et
al. 2011 also provides a balanced approach, but from a British perspective. Fielding, et al.
2008 offer practical advice on recently developed forms of online data collection, with special
attention given to the ethical ramifications of Internet-based data collection. Finally, Arthur, et al.
2012 is unique in this section in that it is an edited work offering short overviews of data collection
techniques authored by contemporary leading experts.
Q.4 Write down the characteristics of different tools of research.
Primary Data Collection
Primary data collection by definition is the gathering of raw data collected at the source. It is a
process of collecting the original data collected by a researcher for a specific research purpose. It
could be further analyzed into two segments; qualitative research and quantitative data collection
methods.
Qualitative Research Method
The qualitative research methods of data collection does not involve the collection of data that
involves numbers or a need to be deduced through a mathematical calculation, rather it is based
on the non-quantifiable elements like the feeling or emotion of the researcher. An example of such
a method is an open-ended questionnaire.
Quantitative Method
Quantitative methods are presented in numbers and require a mathematical calculation to deduce.
An example would be the use of a questionnaire with close-ended questions to arrive at figures to
be calculated mathematically. Also, methods of correlation and regression, mean, mode and
median.
Secondary Data Collection
Secondary data collection, on the other hand, is referred to as the gathering of second-hand data
collected by an individual who is not the original user. It is the process of collecting data that is
already existing, be it already published books, journals and/or online portals. In terms of ease, it
is much less expensive and easier to collect.
Your choice between Primary data collection and secondary data collection depend on the nature,
scope and area of your research as well as its aims and objectives.
IMPORTANCE OF DATA COLLECTION
There are a bunch of underlying reasons for collecting data, especially for a researcher. Walking
you through them, here are a few reasons;
• Integrity of The Research
A key reason for collecting data, be it through quantitative or qualitative methods is to ensure that
the integrity of the research question is indeed maintained.
• Reduce the likelihood of errors
The correct use of appropriate data collection of methods reduces the likelihood of errors consistent
with the results.
• Decision Making
To minimize the risk of errors in decision making, it is important that accurate data is collected so
that the researcher doesn't make uninformed decisions.
• Save Cost and Time
Data collection saves the researcher time and funds that would otherwise be misspent without a
deeper understanding of the topic or subject matter.
• To support a need for a new idea, change and/or innovation
To prove the need for a change in the norm or the introduction of new information that will be
widely accepted, it is important to collect data as evidence to support these claims.
Data collection tools refer to the devices/instruments used to collect data, such as a paper
questionnaire or computer-assisted interviewing system. Case Studies, Checklists, Interviews,
Observation sometimes, and Surveys or Questionnaires are all tools used to collect data.
It is important to decide the tools for data collection because research is carried out in different
ways and for different purposes. The objective behind data collection is to capture quality evidence
that allows analysis to lead to the formulation of convincing and credible answers to the questions
that have been posed.
The Form plus’ online data collection tool is perfect for gathering primary data, i.e. raw data
collected from the source. You can easily get data with at least three data collection methods with
our online and offline data gathering tool. I.e. Online Questionnaires, Focus Groups and
Reporting.
In our previous articles, we’ve explained why quantitative research methods are more effective
than qualitative methods. However, with Form plus data collection tool, you can gather all types
of primary data for academic, opinion or product research.
Q.5 Write a detailed note on the main divisions of which points to consider while writing a
research report. Elaborate
The six components of a research report are as follows:
An abstract, introduction, methodology, results, discussion, and references.
The Abstract
The abstract is an overview of the research study and is typically two to four paragraphs in
length. Think of it as an executive summary that distills the key elements of the remaining sections
into a few sentences.
Introduction
The introduction provides the key question that the researcher is attempting to answer and a review
of any literature that is relevant. In addition, the researcher will provide a rationale for why the
research is important and will present a hypothesis that attempts to answer the key
question. Lastly, the introduction should summarize the state of the key question following the
completion of the research. For example, are there any important issues or questions still open?
Methodology
The methodology section of the research report is arguably the most important for two
reasons. First it allows readers to evaluate the quality of the research and second, it provides the
details by which another researcher may replicate and validate the findings.
(1) Typically the information in the methodology section is arranged in chronological order with
the most important information at the top of each section.
(2) Ideally the description of the methodology doesn’t force you to refer to other documents;
however if the author is relying on existing methods, they will be referenced.
Results
In longer research papers, the results section contains the data and perhaps a short
introduction. Typically the interpretation of the data and the analysis is reserved for the discussion
section.
Discussion
The discussion section is where the results of the study are interpreted and evaluated against
the existing body or research literature. In addition, should there be any anomalies found in the
results, this is where the authors will point them out. Lastly the discussion section will attempt to
connect the results to the bigger picture and show how the results might be applied.
References
This section provides a list of each author and paper cited in the research report. Any fact, idea,
or direct quotation used in the report should be cited and referenced.
Types of Research Studies
Research can be classified into two categories:
Basic research, which is done in a lab or a clinical setting and applied research, which is done
with real subjects in real-world situations. And from these categories of research, we have the
following general types of studies:
Animal Study: An animal or in vivo study is a study in which animals are used as subjects. A
common use of an animal study is with a clinical trial (see below) and as a precursor to evaluating
a medical intervention on humans. However, it is critical to recognize that results from animal
studies should not be extrapolated to draw conclusions on what WILL happen in humans.
Case Study: A case study provides significant and detailed information about a single participant
or a small group of participants. “Case studies are often referred to interchangeably with
ethnography, field study, and participant observation.” Unlike other studies which rely heavily on
statistical analysis, the case study is often undertaken to identify areas for additional research and
exploration.
Clinical Trial Study: A clinical trial study is often used in the areas of health and medical
treatments that will presumably yield a positive effect. Typically a small group of people or
animals are selected based upon the presence of a specific medical condition. This group is used
to evaluate the effectiveness of a new medication or treatment, differing dosages, new applications
of existing treatments. Due to the risk involved with many new medical treatments, the initial
subjects in a clinical trial may be animals and not humans. After positive outcomes are obtained,
research then can proceed to a human study where the treatment is compared against results from
the existing standard of care.
Correlational Study: Correlational studies evaluate the relationship between variables and
determine if there is a positive correlation, a negative correlation, or no correlation. Please note,
a positive correlation does not mean one thing causes another. Correlational studies are typically
used in naturalistic observations, surveys, and with archival research.
Cross-sectional Survey: Also known as the synchronic study, a cross-sectional survey collects
data at a single point in time but the questions asked of a participant may be about current and past
experiences. They are often done to evaluate some aspect of public health policy.
Epidemiological Study: Epidemiological studies evaluate the factors and associations linked to
diseases. Types of epidemiological studies include case series studies, case control studies, cohort
studies, longitudinal studies, and outbreak investigations.
Epidemiological studies are often beneficial in identifying areas for a more control research
evaluation; however all to often, readers of epidemiological research miscategorize links and
associations as causes. In addition, a common problem with epidemiological studies is that they
rely on memory recall which can be quite unreliable.
Experimental Study: In an experimental study, specific treatments are applied to a sample or
group and the results are observed.
Literature Review: A literature review is an exhaustive search of all of the relevant literature
related to a specific research topic.
Longitudinal Study: A specific type of epidemiological study, the longitudinal study follows
subjects over a long period of time, asking a specific research question with repeated samples of
data gathered across the duration of the study. These studies are often used as the basis for specific
experimental studies. For example, the Framingham Heart Study has evaluated people from the
town of Framingham, Massachusetts since 1948 looking for patterns in heart disease.
Meta-analysis: A meta-analysis is a statistical process in which the results of multiple studies
evaluating a similar research objective are collected and pooled together. They are often used to
determine the effectiveness of healthcare interventions and experiments.