TOOLS OF RESEARCH
Tools are mechanisms for accomplishing tasks. We should be careful not to equate the tools of research with the methodology of research. * A Research tool is a specific mechanism or strategy the researcher uses to collect , manipulate, or interpret data. * The Research methodology is the general approach the researcher takes in carrying out the research project. This research methodology dictates the particular tools the researcher selects.
THE GENERAL TOOLS OF RESEARCH:
1. Library and its resources
2. Computer and its software
3. Techniques of measurement
5. Human mind
We should not confuse the use of these 5 tools with research. * One may go to the library, take some kind of measurements, make use of statistics or the computer, and have certain language abilities. * Doing so does not mean that person is doing research; it means that person is only using the tools. * These tools must be used in a research context for them to be used appropriately. FUNCTIONS OF THE GENERAL TOOLS OF RESEARCH:
1. LIBRARY AND ITS RESOURCES:
a) Libraries and change:
* In the past libraries functioned very well as repositories of books and manuscripts. * The knowledge explosion of this century forced them to realize they cannot hold all information within their walls. * Libraries are scrambling to make adjustments electronically, via CD-ROMs, etc.
b) The electronic library and CD-ROMs are more efficient: * More accessible information.
* Faster in accessing information.
* Faster speed allows greater depth in search
* The beauty is that you can research from the lab, or you own room, eventually going to the library to pick up the materials.
c) How to access info quickly and efficiently
* Go through Library catalogs.
* Take Reference from Librarian.
* Browsing the library shelves.
* Dewey decimal classification system and Library of Congress system. 2. COMPUTER TECHNOLOGY:
a) It is a great, versatile tool that allows research to be done more quickly. b) Computer are the main source with which we can take advantage of the Internet. ---WWW, E-mail, News. c) But being a tool, it cannot do your research for you. d) It can however be a fast and faithful Assistance.
We can use the computer as a Research Assistant for :
A. Planning the Study :
* Project Management,
B. Literature Review :
* Background Literature Identification (CD-ROM, Online DB), * Telecommunication (E-mail, WWW),
C. Study Implementation and Data Gathering :
* Experimental Control Assistance,
* Survey Distribution (DB to specify target),
* Material Production,
* Data Collection.
D. Analysis and Interpretation :
* Conceptual (Findings),
E. Reporting :
* Writing & Editing,
3. MEASUREMENT AS A TOOL OF RESEARCH:
* What is measurement?
Most of us think of measurement in terms of such objects as rulers, scales, gauges, and thermometers. * In research : Measurement is limiting the data of any phenomenon- substantial or insubstantial- so that those data may be interpreted and, ultimately, compared to an acceptable qualitative or quantitative standard.
* Classical Measurements of research:
* The nominal level of measurement is measuring by“naming,” or grouping of data according to comparative characteristics. * The ordinal level of measurement is measuring of data according to a numerical system--greater than/less than--scale * The interval level of measurement is measuring data according to preset, arbitrary intervals. * The ratio level of measurement is measuring data in terms of multiples and fractions of the parts--X is 3:1 times as big as Y.
* Validity and...
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