What is Research
Overview of the final Research Project Process
What is the difference between research methodologies and methods?
Quantitativeand qualitative –what do they mean?
Choosing a methodology
Sample research questions
Ethical considerations of research design
summery, top tips, and Q&A
3. What is Research
• Research is “creative” and systematic work undertaken to increase the stock of knowledge.
Contribute to knowledge, learn more about the world
• Collection, organization, and analysis of information to increase understandingof a topic or
• Skills often taught ( Smart, analytic, critical communication, organized)
• Skills not often said ( patience and discipline, emotional maturity to deal with frustration and
• Knowledge (subject matter area of research, (theoretical/ practical), information literacy and
• Intellectual ability (critical thinking, analyzing synthesizing, problem solving)
• Creativity (inquiring mind intellectual insight, innovation, open mindedness
Types of research:
• Basic research: Discovery, interpretation, content analyzing and development of methods and
systems for the advancement of human knowledge
• Applied research: the use of existing scientific knowledge to practical goals, like technology or
4. • Identify a gap in the literature; select topic of interest
• Choose methodology and method
• The proposal and ethical approval
• Research and analysis of findings
• Write up result
• Editing and revising
• Final touches and submit the project
• A Thesis is a written record of the work that has been undertaken by a candidate
guided by supervisors
• A long piece of writing based on your own ideas and research that you do as
part of a university degree, especially for a higher degree; Master & PhD
5. Methodology and method- what’s the difference?
Methodology is the rational behind your research and the lens through which you will analysis your results. Some
Phenomenology: describes the “ lived experience” of a phenomenon
Ethnography: looks at culture and the social norms and behaviors of a grope
Action research: research systematically looks at a problem and tries various solutions to see how effective they are
Methods: are the tools you will use to carry out your research, Example:
A survey or questionnaire
A focus group
A case study
A controlled experiment
In summary, the methodology is How you will answer your research question and the method is WHAT you do
to collect your data
6. Qualitative research questionsusually aim to explore a question with no set hypothesis beforehand.
A qualitative approach is more about gaining in-depth insight than it is about empirical generalization that can be
applied to a population.
The design of qualitativestudies is:
Naturalistic: looks at real-world situations as they unfold naturally and there is a lack of pre-set limitations on
Emergent: the research is open to adjusting her research question and methods to pursue new lines of inquiry as they
Quantitative researchquestionsusually contain a hypothesis and/ or try to predict something.
Descriptive: How much? How often?
Comparative: what is the difference between?
Relationship-based: what is the relationship between?
Quantitative studies are characterized by tools that are carefully designed before data is collected, larger sample
sizes, and the ability to be replicated
Qualitative and Quantitative- what do you mean?
7. Which approach is right for me?
Before you decide which paradigm will best fit your research question, think about what you want
to know and the nature of your research question, how you want to collect your data, and who
you are as a researcher.
More quantitative in nature……………………….More qualitative in nature
Positivist paradigm………………………………. Interpretivist paradigm
Focus on facts…………………………………………..focus on meanings
Look for causality and fundamental laws……………..Try to understand what is happing
Reduce phenomena to simplest elements……………..look at the totality of each situation
Formulate hypotheses and test them........................Develop ideas through induction from the data
Operationalize concept so that they can be measured…..use multiple methods to establish different
views of phenomena
Take large samples…. ………………..Small samples investigated in depth over time
Drawn from Maclntosh & O’Gorman(2015)
8. Choosing a methodology: start with the
Think about your research question and what information you need to address it.
Consider the following:
• What kinds of data would help you answer this question
• How would you want to present your results?
If it is a more exploratory approach you are after, such as working to understand a phenomenon
or the behaviors and experiences of a group of people, a qualitative paradigm might give the best
If you want to look for correlations, comparisons, relationships,or trends, a quantitative
paradigm might work better.
9. Qualitative and quantitative research questions
What are uk university students experiences trying to eat healthy on campus?
How can expressive writing improve the mental health of incarcerated women in the
What are uk secondary school students perceptions about gender differences in
Descriptive: How regularly do UK online postgraduate students use optical
academic support services?
Comparative: what is the difference in daily calorie intake between men and women
Relationship-based: What is the relationship between job satisfaction and salary
amongst expatriate workers?
10. Qualitative Research
• "produces findings not arrived at by means of statistical procedures or other means of
quantification" (Strauss and Corbin, 1990, p. 17) and instead, the kind of research that produces
findings arrived from real-world settings where the "phenomenon of interest unfold naturally"
(Patton, 2001, p. 39).
• The data is expressed in detailed descriptions, words or images and is concerned with the quality
of behavior of an practical experience. Data is drawn from open questions, case studies, real
• Participants give their response in words with no formal measure or quantification.
• Researcher is thought the main instrument.
• The researcher observes, takes notes, and talks to people. Creswell and Poth (2017), a good
interviewer needs the following skills: technical ability, good communication, ability to provide
attention and steering, ability to understand inner feelings of respondents, and ability to avoid
11. Qualitative Methods
• Naturistic observations where behavior is watched and recorded but not manipulated
• Case study: This is an-depth investigation of a single person, even from groups ( organization,
• Diary Study: participants record their behavior or feelings over a period of time
• Discourse analysis: This assesses the meaning of speech (written/verbal) in the social context
where it occurs
• Experiments: It mainly produce quantitative data, qualitative data is often collected too( how
participants behaved/ felt during the testing)
• Focus group: includes few respondents from within the targeted groups. Theses groups find out
answers to what , why and how questions. Observation method is primarily used to equate
quality differences ( sight, taste, hearing theses do not involve measurements or numbers but
• Ethnographic research: people in their own natural environment and is considered as in-depth
observational method. Aims to understand the cultures, challenges, motivations. Instead of
relying on interviews and discussions, first priority should give own natural sittings experience
• Content analysis: existing reliable documents and similar sources of information ( Library )
12. Qualitative methods
Individual face-to-face interviews of participants:
Moderate: 30 minutes
In-depth: 45 minutes each
Structured, semi-structured, or unstructured
Focus group discussions of 60-120 minutes
A Case study
Note: In literary criticism, the work that you are directly analyzing is called the primary
source, and any other books or articles about that work are called secondary sources.
Open-ended questions: allow someone to give a free-form answer with sentences, giving
deeper and new insights. Closed-ended questions answered with “Yes” or “No,” or they
have a limited set of possible answers.
13. Qualitative, sample techniques, analysis
• Random selection techniques are not needed for pure qualitative research since it is not based on
• Sample numbers tend to be smaller in qualitative research compared to quantitative research
Analysis qualitative data
• Put data into categories
• Content analysis: researchers would read the transcript several times to identify raw data words
or phrases that appear to be important to the respondent ( articles, theses, advertisement,
speeches by politicians)
• Allow participants in a research to assist the researcher in the research question as well as with
the data collection.
• Engaging multiple methods, observation, interviews and recordings will lead to more valid,
reliable and diverse construction of realities.
• To improve the analysis and understanding of construction of others. To involve several
investigators or peer researchers’ interpretation of the data at different time or location.
14. Qualitative research questions
Ask a broad, encompassing question.
• central questions
• associated sub-questions.
• The typical research question for a qualitative study “How do….” is typical of qualitative
questions. “How does….” “What is the experience of …..” “Why does……”. In the practice
of conducting qualitative research, the researcher will be investigating a phenomenon.
• use exploratory verbs and convey the research design. Common verb used (a)discover (e.g.
grounded theory), (b) seek to understand (e.g. ethnography); (c) explore a process (e.g. case
study); (d) describe the experiences (e.g. phenomenology); and (e) report the stories (e.g.
15. Qualitative research questions
How do freshmen students describe the experiences of living in a residence hall learning
How does the 911 tragedy survivor describe their experiences and health issues in a post-
terrorist state in the U.S.?
What is the experience of nursing staff during the interrogation following Chief Nursing
Officer separation turnover?
Why does domestic violence often occur with victims that are financially dependent on the
perpetrators for shelter?
16. Planning to take a qualitative approach? Consider:
Do you feel confident conducting interviews or focus groups? Although there are other possibilities, these
tools are an important part of a qualitative approach
Do you recognize your role as a researcher? With a qualitative approach, the researcher accepts that data-
gathering and analysis is a value-laden process
For students planning to use interviews and /or focus groups , be aware of the following:
Things can go wrong with recording equipment, so always try it out beforehand.
Make the environment as distraction-free as possible, as distractions can make interpreting your data
difficult and affect your responds
Be careful when transcribing material, as a misinterpretation can change the essence of what’s been said.
Also be aware of any colloquialisms, jargon, or slang.
Drawn from Kristen L.Easton,KL, mcComish,J.F, and Greenbeng,R(2000)
17. Reliability and Validity in Qualitative Research
• Patton (2001) validity and reliability should be concerned about while designing a study, analyzing
results and judging the quality of the study.
• “How can an inquirer persuade his or her audiences that the research findings of an inquiry are
worth paying attention to?" (Lincoln & Guba, 1985, p. 290). To answer to the question, Healy and
Perry (2000) assert that the quality of a study in each paradigm should be judged by its own
• Seale (1999), “trustworthiness of a research report lies at the heart of issues conventionally discussed
as validity and reliability” (p. 266)
• Creswell & Miller (2000) the validity is affected by the researcher’s perception of validity in the study
and his/her choice of paradigm assumption.
• The idea of discovering truth through measures of reliability and validity is replaced by the idea of
trustworthiness (Mishler, 2000), which is “defensible” (Johnson 1997, p. 282) and establishing
confidence in the findings (Lincoln & Guba, 1985).
18. Quantitative research
• Logical positivism or employ experimental methods and measurement to test hypothetical
generalizations (Hoepfl, 1997), analysis of causal relationships between variables (Denzin and
• Scientific paradigm leads us to regard the world as made up of observable, measurable facts” (Glesne
& Peshkin, 1992, p. 6) though their assumption that “social facts have an objective reality” and
“variables can be identified and relationships measured” (p. 7) is problematic.
• The mathematical process is the norm for analyzing the numeric data and the final result is expressed
in statistical terminologies (Charles, 1995).
• Researcher may prepare a list of behavior to be checked or rated by an observer using a predetermined
schedule or numbers (scales) as an instrument in his/her method of research.
• Researchers seek causal determination, prediction, and generalization of findings
• The credibility depends on instrument construction
19. Quantitative research questions
• Investigators use research questions and hypotheses to shape and focus on the purpose of the study.
Descriptive Research Questions:
• How do the students rate on critical thinking skills (independent variable)?
• What are the students’ achievement levels in science classes (dependent variable)?
Inferential Research Questions:
• Does critical thinking ability relate to student achievement (relating the independent variable and the
• The typical research question for a quantitative study for example, "To what degree….” is typical of
quantitative questions. “How much….” is another. “Is there a relationship between…. “What is the
relationship between….” “What is the difference……”
• The researcher will be measuring the relationship between the independent variable and dependent
20. Quantitative research questions
To what degree do first-year department managers subscribe to Theory X management beliefs as
measured by the Myers-Brigg Scale?
Does the rise in bad management behavior lead to employee turnover in an organization?
Do first-year department managers report adhering to an authoritative leadership style as measured by
the Myers-Brigg Scale?
Is there a relationship between autocratic management style and narcissism behaviors of first-year
department managers department as measured by the Myers-Brigg Scale?
What is the relationship between autocratic management style and narcissism behaviors of first-year
department managers department as measured by the Myers-Brigg Scale?
How much do time do first-year department managers spend mentoring and coaching during their first
What is the difference between autocratic management style and narcissism behaviors of first-year
department managers department as measured by the Myers-Brigg Scale?
21. Quantitative research hypotheses
Assumption, suspicion that researcher put to find the relationship between two or more variables
and researcher works to prove or disprove by valid and reliable data.
For better hypotheses, researchers need to be critical of their own studies and they have to be open
and transparent; they have to accept critique and let go of their hypotheses if others provide better
• empirically testable: It can be supported or contradicted by observations
• replicable: the hypothesis can be tested repeatedly
• objective: the hypothesis can be tested independently by others
• transparent: the hypothesis and results are publicly shared so they can be tested by anyone
• falsifiable: finding contradictory evidence is a possibility
• logically consistent: the hypothesis is internally consistent and the conclusion to support or
reject the hypothesis, based on the observations, is logically sound.
22. Quantitative Sampling
Sampling is to estimate a value in the population as accurately as possible.
• Probability sampling minimizes the selection threat to of a systematic bias in our selection of
• Allows us to assess the accuracy of our sample estimate.
• To determine, that with repeated sampling, in a certain percent of the samples, the sample value will
differ from the real, population value by no more than a certain margin of error
• Non-probability sampling:
• Convenience sampling: the most easily accessible for example, if I'm interested in investigating the
effectiveness of online lectures on study performance, I could recruit students in courses that I teach.
• Snowball sampling: The sample is extended by asking the initial participants to provide contact
information for possible new participants. Thus, the initially small sample can grow large very
23. Quantitative Sampling
• Consist of people who are judged to be experts, for example when research concerns opinions on
matters that require special knowledge
• Quota sampling is superficially similar to stratified random sampling.
• Participants in the sample are distinguished according to characteristics, such as gender, age,
ethnicity or educational level. The relative size of each category in the population is obtained to
calculate how many participants are needed in each category
Sampling bias: is a systematic form of error.
• Occurs when some elements have a much smaller or larger chance to be selected than was intended.
• Occur when certain elements have no chance to be selected at all.
24. Quantitative methods
A survey involving analysis of primary data collected using a structured questionnaire
• Statistical analysis of people’s health data
• Comparison between two datasets
• Analysis of population trends
However, even responses given in words can be turned into numbers and analyzed, like:
• Response on a Likert scale
• Numerical responses to surveys
25. Data analysis plan for quantitative analysis
Data must be collected from on of the following manners
Research questions or hypothesis created.
What is our objective of the study?
Based on the objective, we can create research questions and statistical
Statistical software’s software ( SPSS,STATA,SYSTAT )
• Factor Analysis
• Reliability Analysis
• Descriptive statistics
• Hypothesis Testing
• Advanced Tools
26. Planning to take a quantitative approach? Consider:
• How many responses will you need to your survey/ questionnaire to produce statistically
significant findings ?
• Do you feel confident carrying out statistically analysis?
• Will you have access to and be able to use some kinds of statistical software ( such as
Not asking enough people: too few participants makes it difficult to produce statistically
Treating raw data like validated statistics: numerical data needs to be interpreted and
verified to be meaningful.
Using open-endedquestions: these are difficulty to quantify.
A poor-designed survey:be sure that your questions are clear, free of biased or confusing
language, and account for all possible answers.
27. Reliability and Validity in quantitative research
• Results are consistent over time and an accurate representation of the total population under study
is referred to as reliability and if the results of a study can be reproduced under a similar
methodology, then the research instrument is considered to be reliable (Joppe 2000, p.1)
• Charles (1995) consistency with which questionnaire [test] items are answered or individual’s
scores remain relatively the same can be determined through the test-retest method at two different
• A high degree of stability indicates a high degree of reliability, which means the results are
• Determines whether the research truly measures which intends to measure or how truthful the
research results are. In a word, does the research instrument allow you to hit "the bull’s eye" of
your research object? Researchers generally determine validity by asking a series of questions, and
will often look for the answers in the research of others (Joppe 2000, p. 1).
• The measurement are accurate and whether they are actually measuring what they are intended to
28. Ethical considerations of your research design
• For research designing keep potential ethical concerns or conflicts of interest in mind.
• Advisor can help about the research design and guide through the ethical approval process.
• A consent form should be well-informed and signed beforehand, informing participants about the
nature of the study.
• Revealing the purpose of the study conflicts with the finding that participants can react
differently to the experiment if they are aware of the purpose of the study.
• Form of deception is necessary often to control for reactivity and demand characteristics.
• A review board decides whether this deception is necessary and does not cross ethical
1. Participant vulnerability
2. The nature of the topic
4. Confidentiality and anonymity
5. Method for collecting data
6. Researcher vulnerability
29. Summary and top tips
The goal is to make sense of your data and to relate it back to your research question and how it
address a gap in the literature.
Be flexible in how you gather information and in how you understand and interpret the data
Check that you will be able to obtain permission to access the data and to use the findings freely
Check that the analysis hasn’t already been done and reported elsewhere .
Remember that you can not collect any data until after you have ethical approval
You will likely end up with more data than you know what to do with. Avoid the temptation to
just write it all down- your analysis is crucial
Your advisor is there to help you throughout the research process
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Joppe, M. (2000). The Research Process. Retrieved February 25, 1998, from
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Golafshani, N. (2003). Understanding reliability and validity in qualitative research.
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of Scholarly Writing and Publishing, T. S. Rocco and T. Hatcher (eds.), San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Miles, D.A. (2017). Research Methods and Strategies: Developing Research Questions, Doctoral
Student Workshop; Dallas, Texas, 2017.
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