Quantitative tools gather numerical and statistical data using experiments, measurements, fixed-response questionnaires, test scoring, et cetera. The approach is underpinned by 'scientific' world views of cause and effect, belief in the objectivity of the researcher and the search for truth. Quantitative methods used in library assessment include web server statistics, electronic counters and surveys. These surveys are usually questionnaire-based and, at their best, are grounded in extensive and on-going piloting which uses qualitative methods such as focus groups and individual interviews to establish that the questions are meaningful to the user community. They often employ empirical testing, which targets specific groups and topics while also fulfilling the scientific 'trinity of validity, generalisability, and reliability' (Janesick, 2000, p393) (Haynes, 2004)
Characteristics of A Quantitative Problem Statement
The statement of the problem must first be expressed with the utmost precision; it should then be divided into more manageable subproblems. Such an approach clarifies the goals and directions of the entire research effort. (Leedy and Omrod, 2010)
Formulation of Quantitative Research Questions and Hypotheses The process of forming and testing a hypothesis (i.e., a theory) is as follows: 1. Determine an appropriate expected outcome based on theory and experience. This is generally referred to in inferential statistics as a “research hypothesis.” 2. Formulate a pair of testable hypotheses related to the research hypothesis: a “null hypothesis” and an “alternative (research) hypothesis.” The testable hypotheses must be mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive. The hypothesis testing goal is to falsify or reject the statement of truth implied by the null hypothesis, leaving the research hypothesis as the only reasonable alternative. 3. Formulate a conclusion that falsifies (or fails to falsify) the null hypothesis.(Wolverton, 2009)...
References: Gelo, O., Braakmann, D., & Benetka, G. (2008). Quantitative and Qualitative Research: Beyond the Debate. Integrative Psychological & Behavioral Science, 42(3), 266-290. doi:10.1007/s12124-008-9078-3.
Haynes, A. (August 2004). Bridging the gulf: mixed methods and library service evaluation. The Australian Library Journal, 53, 3. p.285(22). Retrieved February 15, 2010, from General OneFile via Gale:
Leedy, P. D. & Ormrod, J. E. (2010). Practical research: Planning and design (9th ed.). UpperSaddle River NJ: Pearson
Wolverton, M. (2009). Research Design, Hypothesis Testing, and Sampling. Appraisal Journal, 77(4), 370. Retrieved from MasterFILE Premier database.
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