Research is defined as the creation of new knowledge and/or the use of existing knowledge in a new and creative way so as to generate new concepts, methodologies and understandings. This could include synthesis and analysis of previous research to the extent that it leads to new and creative outcomes.
This definition of research is consistent with a broad notion of research and experimental development (R&D) as comprising of creative work undertaken on a systematic basis in order to increase the stock of knowledge, including knowledge of humanity, culture and society, and the use of this stock of knowledge to devise new applications (OECD definition).
This definition of research encompasses pure and strategic basic research, applied research and experimental development. Applied research is original investigation undertaken to acquire new knowledge but directed towards a specific, practical aim or objective (including a client-driven purpose).
Research is an ORGANIZED and SYSTEMATIC way of FINDING ANSWERS to QUESTIONS.
| SYSTEMATIC because there is a definite set of procedures and steps which you will follow. There are certain things in the research process which are always done in order to get the most accurate results. ORGANIZED in that there is a structure or method in going about doing research. It is a planned procedure, not a spontaneous one. It is focused and limited to a specific scope. FINDING ANSWERS is the end of all research. Whether it is the answer to a hypothesis or even a simple question, research is successful when we find answers. Sometimes the answer is no, but it is still an answer. QUESTIONS are central to research. If there is no question, then the answer is of no use. Research is focused on relevant, useful, and important questions. Without a question, research has no focus, drive, or purpose.
The research methodology defines what constitutes a research activity. It utilizes or is applicable to a model, and therefore specifies concepts and related statements. The methodology identifies what methods to apply, how to measure progress and what constitutes success. It also specifies how to communicate about an area of research activity. TYPES OF RESEARCH METHODS
1. Historical-Qualitative – it is the systematic and objective location, evaluation and synthesis of evidence in order to establish facts and draw conclusions about past events. 2. Comparative-Qualitative – often used together with historical research to compare people’s experience of different societies, either between times in the past or in parallel situations in the present. It is conducted at a macro level or at a micro level. 3. Descriptive-Qualitative (Ethnography/Case Study) – this is a detailed description of specific situations using interviews, observations, document review. There is a description of things as they are. This works best for questions like How do people implement a program? What challenges do people face? What are the people’s perceptions? 4. Descriptive-Quantitative – This is a numerical description like frequency and average. We measure things as they are. Questions for this include How many people are participating in the program? What are the characteristics of the people in this program? How well did participants in this program do? 5. Correlational/Regression Analyses – It is a quantitative analysis of the strength of relationships between two or more variables 6. Quasi-Experimental – It involves the comparing of a group that gets a particular intervention with another group that is similar in characteristics but did not receive the intervention. 7. Experimental – this is the use of random assignment to assign participants to an experimental or treatment group and a control or comparison group. 8. Meta-analysis – This is a synthesis of results from multiple studies to determine the average impact of a similar intervention across...
References: Babbie, E. (2001). The Practice of Social Research: 9th Edition. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Thomson.
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