Research Method & Ethical Issues

Topics: Research, Scientific method, Research methods Pages: 5 (1598 words) Published: January 10, 2011
1. Research methodology definition
Research methodology is the philosophy or the general principle which will guide the research (Dawson C. , 2007). 2. Decide the research methods
1) Thinking about purpose
You need to think about the purpose of your research as this will help point to the most appropriate methods to use. 2) Qualitative research and quantitative research
Qualitative research explores attitudes, behavior and experiences through such methods as interviews or focus groups (Dawson C. , 2007). Quantitative research generates statistics through the use of large-scale survey research. This type of research reaches many more people, but the contact with those people is much quicker than it is in qualitative research (Dawson C. , 2007). On the other hand, qualitative research is concerned with collecting and analyzing information in as many forms, chiefly non-numeric, as possible (Blaxter L, 2006) 3. Questionnaire

1) There are three basic types of questionnaire: closed-ended, open-ended or a combination of both. a) Closed-ended questionnaires
Closed-ended questionnaires are probably the type with which you are most familiar. Most people have experience of lengthy consumer surveys which ask about your shopping habits and promise entry into a prize draw. This type of questionnaire is used to generate statistics in quantitative research. As these questionnaires follow a set format, and as most can be scanned straight into a computer for ease of analysis, greater numbers can be produced. b) Open-ended questionnaires

Open-ended questionnaires are used in qualitative research, although some researchers will quantify the answers during the analysis stage. c) Combination of both
Many researchers tend to use a combination of both open and closed questions. That way, it is possible to find out how many people use a service and what they think about that service on the same form. Many questionnaires begin with a series of closed questions, with boxes to tick or scales to rank, and then finish with a section of open-questions for more detailed response. (Dawson C., 2007)

2) The advantage and disadvantage about questionnaire method a) Advantages of questionnaires
Firstly, the responses are gathered in a standardized way, so questionnaires are more objective, certainly more so than interviews. Secondly, generally it is relatively quick to collect information using a questionnaire. However in some situation they can take a long time not only to design but also to apply and analyze. Thirdly, potentially information can be collected from a large portion of a group. This potential is not often realized, as returns from questionnaires are usually low. However, return rates can be dramatically improved if the questionnaire is delivered and responded to in class time. (Institute for Computer Based Learning, 2007)

Fourthly, the permit respondents time to consider their responses carefully without interference from, for example, an interviewer. Fifthly, questionnaires can address a large number of issues and questions of concern in a relatively efficient way, with the possibility of a high response rate. Sixthly, questionnaires are designed so that answers to questions are scored and scores summed to obtain an overall measure of the attitudes and opinions of the respondent. Eventually, they permit anonymity. It is usually argued that anonymity increases the rate of response and may increase the likelihood that responses reflect genuinely held opinions. (University of Bristol, 2010)

b) Disadvantage of questionnaires
Firstly, questionnaires, like many evaluation methods occur after the event, so participants may forget important issues. Secondly, questionnaires are standardized so it is not possible to explain any points in the questions that participants might misinterpret. Thirdly, respondents may answer superficially especially if the questionnaire takes a long time to complete. The common...
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