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INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATIONS UNIVERSITY

SCHOOL OF HUMANITIES

Course name: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

An assignment submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for


the BA Degree in PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION

Assignment No.1

Student details
Student SIN: 1603305704
Lecturer’s Name: Dr. Davies Siwila
Date of submission: 15th November,2017
Year: 2017
RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

Question answered five (5)

The logical order of questions answered

Question 1. Briefly explain the following concepts,

(i) structure enquiry


(ii) scientific methodology
(iii) pure research ( with examples)
(iv) applied research (with examples)
(v) reliability
(vi) validity

Question 5. Briefly outline and explain the key steps involved in the research process (they must
be presented in the logical order).

Question 18. What is literature review? State the benefit of literature review and explain the
key focus areas to consider when doing literature review

Question 19. Discuss the major data collection methods used in social research highlighting
both advantages and disadvantages

(Question 20) what is the difference between a population census and survey. What are the
advantages and disadvantages of each one of them?
(QUESTION 1). Briefly explain the following concepts,

(vii) structure enquiry


(viii) scientific methodology
(ix) pure research ( with examples)
(x) applied research (with examples)
(xi) reliability
(xii) validity

(i) Structured enquiry


In other words, structured inquiries provide students with common learning
experiences that can be used in guided or open inquiry. Guided Inquiry. The teacher
provides the problem for investigation as well as the necessary materials. Students are
expected to devise their own procedure to solve the problem.
Inquiry-based learning is also enquiry-based learning is a form of active learning that
starts by posing questions, problems or scenarios rather than simply presenting
established facts or portraying a smooth path to knowledge. The process is often
assisted by a facilitator. Inquirers will identify and research issues and questions to
develop their knowledge or solutions. Inquiry-based learning includes problem-based
learning, and is generally used in small scale investigations and projects, as well
as research. The inquiry-based instruction is principally very closely related to the
development and practice of thinking skills. The teacher provides the initial question
and an outline of the procedure. Students are to formulate explanations of their
findings through evaluating and analyzing the data that they collect.
(ii) Scientific methodology
The process of extending knowledge by forming a hypothesis based on observations
which is then tested on a subset of the total population, then generalizing the results to
the appropriate populationthrough the process of inductive logic. Before implementat
ion of the hypotheses they should be tested by studiesplanned on the basis that the hy
pothesis will be proved or denied.The way of approaching a problem by drawing up a
hypothesis based on a series ofobservations, and then testing the hypothesis by mean
s of experiments designed in such a way as to support or invalidatethe hypothesis. On
the basis of the experimental evidence a theory is proposed to account for the initial o
bservations. Ifsubsequently the theory is found to be wanting in some respect, new hy
potheses are sought and tested experimentally, sothe process is a successive refineme
nt which in science never leads to an absolute truth, but to a more reliable knowledge
(iii) Pure research
Basic research, also called pure research or fundamental research, is scientific
research aimed to improve scientific theories for improved understanding or
prediction of natural or other phenomena. Applied research, in turn, uses scientific
theories to develop technology or techniques to intervene and alter natural or other
phenomena. Though often driven by curiosity basic research fuels applied science's
innovations. The two aims are often coordinated in research and development. Basic
research advances fundamental knowledge about the world. It focuses on refuting or
supporting theories that explain observed phenomena. Pure research is the source of
most new scientific ideas and ways of thinking about the world. It can
be exploratory, descriptive, or explanatory; however, explanatory research is the most
common. Basic research generates new ideas, principles, and theories, which may not
be immediately utilized but nonetheless form the basis of progress and development
in different fields. Today's computers, for example, could not exist without research
in pure mathematics conducted over a century ago, for which there was no known
practical application at the time. Basic research rarely helps practitioners directly with
their everyday concerns, nevertheless, it stimulates new ways of thinking that have
the potential to revolutionize and dramatically improve how practitioners deal with a
problem in the future.
(iv) Applied research
Applied research is a methodology used to solve a specific, practical problem of an
individual or group. The study and research is used in business, medicine and
education in order to find solutions that may cure diseases, solve scientific problems
or develop technology. Applied research refers to scientific study and research that
seeks to solve practical problems. Applied research is used to find solutions to
everyday problems, cure illness, and develop innovative technologies.

Applied research clear examples concerns much solving human being welfares and life rights
such of knowing the root courses and how they can be solved. Issues like of how would the
legalization of some drugs affect various groups within society, What type of anti-smoking
campaigns can reduce smoking among youth or adults, How can obesity be prevented, What
effect does fast food have on overall health, How can social anxiety be overcome, How does
social media change individual’s perception of society and themselves and Does marriage
prevent certain mental or physical illnesses. Even other many more.

(v) Reliability research


Reliability in research. Reliability, like validity, is a way of assessing the quality of
the measurement procedure used to collect data in a dissertation. In order for the
results from a study to be considered valid, the measurement procedure must first
bereliable. Reliability, like validity, is a way of assessing the quality of
the measurement procedure used to collect data in a dissertation. In order for the
results from a study to be considered valid, the measurement procedure must first
be reliable. (a) explain what reliability is, providing examples, (b) highlight some of
the more common threats to reliability in research,(c)briefly discuss each of the main
types of reliability you may use in your dissertation, and the situations where they are
appropriate and (d) point to the various articles on the Dissertation website where we
discuss each of these types of reliability in more detail, including articles explaining
how to run these reliability tests in the statistics package, as well as interpret and
write up the results of such tests.
(vi) Validity research
In general validity is an indication of how sound your research is. More
specifically, validity applies to both the design and the methods of your research.
Validity in data collection means that your findings truly represent the phenomenon
you are claiming to measure. In another way Validity is described as the degree to
which a research study measures what it intends to measure. There are two main
types of validity, internal and external. Internal validity refers to the validity of the
measurement and test itself, whereas external validity refers to the ability to
generalise the findings to the target population.
(Question 5). Briefly outline and explain the key steps involved in the research process (they
must be presented in the logical order).

Research process contains a series of closely related activities which has to carry out by a
researcher. Research process requires patients. There is no measure that shows your research is
the best. It is an art rather than a science. Research process has many steps and different ways,
but what important is that at the end it must give you a proper and well consolidated research.
Following are the main steps in social or business research process.

Step 1. Selection of Research Problem


The selection of topic for research is a difficult job. When we select a title or research statement,
then other activities would be easy to perform. So, for the understanding thoroughly the problem
it must have to discuss with colleagues, friend, experts and teachers. The research topic or
problem should be practical, relatively important, feasible, ethically and politically acceptable.
Step 2. Literature Review or Extensive Literature Survey
After the selection of research problem, the second step is that of literature mostly connected
with the topics. The availability of the literature may bring ease in the research. For this purpose
academic journals, conference and govt. reports and library must be studied.
Step 3. Making Hypothesis
The development of hypothesis is a technical work depends on the researcher experience. The
hypothesis is to draw the positive & negative cause and effect aspects of a problem. Hypothesis
narrows down the area of a research and keep a researcher on the right path.
Step 4. Preparing the Research Design
After the formulation of the problem and creating hypothesis for it, research Design is to prepare
by the researcher. It may draw the conceptual structure of the problem. Any type of research
design may be made, depend on the nature and purpose of the study. Daring R. Design the
information about sources, skill, time and finance is taken into consideration.
Step 5. Sampling
The researcher must design a sample. It is a plan for taking its respondents from a specific areas
or universe. The sample may be of two types
(i) Probability Sampling
(ii) Non-probability Sampling
Step 6. Data collection
Data collection is the most important work to a researcher. The collection of information must be
containing on facts which is from the following two types of researcher.
(i) Primary Data Collection - Primary data may be from the Experiment, Questionnaire,
Observation and Interview
(ii) Secondary data collection - it has the following categories of review of literature,
official and non-official report and library approach.
Step 8. Data Analysis
When data is collected it is forwarded for analysis which is the most technical job. Data analysis
may be divided into two main categories.
(i) Data Processing - it is sub-divided into the following Data editing, Data coding, Data
classification, Data tabulation, Data presentation and Data measurement
(ii) Data exposition which indicates date exposition has the following subcategories such
of
- description,
- explanation, narration,
- conclusion/findings and
- recommendations/suggestions
Step 9. Hypothesis Testing
Research data is then forwarded to test the hypothesis. Do the hypothesis are related to the facts
or not? To find the answer the process of testing hypothesis is undertaken which may result in
accepting or rejecting the hypothesis.
Step 10. Generalization and Interpretation
The acceptable hypothesis is possible for researcher to arrival at the process of generalization or
to make and theory. Some types of research has no hypothesis for which researcher depends
upon on theory which is known as interpretation.
Step 11. Preparation of Report
A researcher should prepare a report for which he has done is his work.
Step 12. Report Design in Primary Stages
The report should carry a title, brief introduction of the problem and background followed by
acknowledgement. There should be a table of contents, grapes and charts.
Step 13. Main Text of the Report
It should contain objectives, hypothesis, explanations and methodology of the research. It must
be divided into chapters and every chapter explains separate title in which summary of the
findings should be enlisted. The last section would be clearly of conclusions to show the main
theme of the study.
Step 14. Closing the Report
After the preparation of report, the last step in business research process contains of
bibliography, references, appendices, index and maps or charts for illustration. For this purpose
the information should more clearer.

(Question 18). What is literature review? State the benefit of literature review and explain the
key focus areas to consider when doing literature review.

A literature review is a text of a scholarly paper which includes the current knowledge including
substantive findings as well as theoretical and methodological contributions to a particular topic.
Literature reviews are secondary sources and do not report new or original experimental work.
Most often associated with academic oriented literature such reviews are found in academic
journals and are not to be confused with book reviews that may also appear in the same
publication. Literature reviews are a basis for research in nearly every academic field. A narrow
scope literature review may be included as part of a peer reviewed journal article presenting new
research, serving to situate the current study within the body of the relevant literature and to
provide context for the reader. In such a case, the review usually precedes the methodology and
results sections of the work. Producing a literature review may also be part of graduate and post-
graduate student work, including in the preparation of a thesis, dissertation or a journal article.
Literature reviews are also common in a research proposal or prospectus which is the document
that is approved before a student formally begins a dissertation or thesis. A good literature
review is usually 15 to 30 pages and could be longer
Benefit of Literature Review
A comprehensive review of the literature is important for provides an up to date understanding of
the subject and its significance to the practice. Identifies the methods used in previous research
on the topics and provides comparisons for your own research findings.

(i) Assessment of the current state of research on a topic is probably the most obvious
value of the literature review. Once a researcher has determined an area to work with
for a research project, a search of relevant information sources will help determine
what is already known about the topic and how extensively the topic has already been
researched.
(ii) Identification of the experts on a particular topic benefits derived from doing the
literature review is that it will reveal which researchers have written the most on a
particular topic and are, therefore, probably the experts on the topic. Someone who
has written twenty articles on a topic or on related topics is more than likely more
knowledgeable than someone who has written a single article.
(iii) Helps the researcher discover new angles that need further exploration by reviewing
what has already been written on a topic
(iv) Determination of methodologies used in the past studies of the same similar topics. It
is often useful to review the types of studies that previous researchers have launched
as a means of determining what approaches might be of most benefit in further
developing a topic. By the same token, a review of previously conducted studies
might lend itself to researchers determining a new angle for approaching research
Key focus to consider when doing the literature review
(i) Define a topic and audience
(ii) Search and Re-search the Literature
(iii) Take notes while reading
(iv) Choose the type of review you wish to write on
(v) Keep review focused, but make it of broad interest
(vi) Be critical and consistent
(vii) Make use of the feedback
(viii) find the logical structure
(ix) Include your own relevant research, but be objective
(x) be up to date do not forget old studies
(xi) acknowledgements
(Question 19). Discuss the major data collection methods used in social research highlighting
both advantages and disadvantages.

Both qualitative and quantitative research are used in studies throughout many disciplines,
including science and the social sciences. This two are the very major methods in any research
used to collect data.

 Qualitative research is concerned with complete and detailed descriptions of events,


 quantitative research creates statistical models to explain events

Advantages of Qualitative Research

(ii) Provides deeper and detailed information than analysing ranks and counts by recording
attitudes, feelings and behaviours
(iii)Creates openness and encouraging people to expand on their responses can open up new
topic areas not initially considered
(iv) Simulates people's individual experiences to detailed picture can be built up about why
people act in certain ways and their feelings about these actions
(v) Attempts to avoid pre-judgements if used alongside quantitative data collection, it can
explain why a particular response was given

Disadvantages of qualitative research

(i) Usually fewer people studied collection of qualitative data is generally more time
consuming that quantitative data collection and therefore unless time, staff and budget
allows it is generally necessary to include a smaller sample size.
(ii) Less easy to generalise because fewer people are generally studied it is not possible to
generalise results to that of the population. Usually exact numbers are reported rather
than percentages.
(iii) Difficult to make systematic comparisons if people give widely differing responses
that are highly subjective.
(iv) Dependent on skills of the researcher particularly in the case of conducting
interviews, focus groups and observation.

Advantages of Quantitative Research

(i) This type of research allows the researcher to measure and analyse data
(ii) The researcher becomes more objectives about the findings of the research can be
(iii) This type of research is used even to test hypothesis in experiments of its ability to
measure data using statistics.

Disadvantages of Quantitative Research

(i) This type of research is the context of the study or experiment is ignored
(ii) The research does not study things in a natural setting or discuss the meaning of
things have for different people as to qualitative research.
(iii) It is with the notion of that a large sample of the population must be studied, the
larger the sample of people researched, the more statistically accurate the results will
be.

(Question 20) what is the difference between a population census and survey. What are the
advantages and disadvantages of each one of them?

POPULATION CENSUS
A population census is the total process of collecting, compiling, evaluating, analysing and
publishing or otherwise disseminating demographic, economic and social data pertaining, at a
specified time, to all persons in a country or in a well delimited part of a country. The aim of the
population census is to count the homes and the population living in country and to determine
their main characteristics such as gender, age, activity, professions, and characteristics of the
households, size and type of housing, modes of transport, daily travel. The information collected
is of interest to the local authorities, the State departments but also enterprises, sociologists, town
planners. Such information helps to define on the national level, the social policies and
infrastructures to be implemented on the local level, the urban policies for transport, housing,
cultural and sports facilities, school infrastructures and the installation of facilities for young
people and senior citizens. For private stakeholders, the census is used for projects for the
location of enterprises, shops and services.
ADVANTAGES OF A POPULATION CENSUS
(i) Helps the government to know the number of people living in the country
anf the structure of the population
(ii) Helps to determination of taxable adults so as to know the amount of
revenue expected from that sector
(iii) It enables the country to forecast future her future economic need.
(iv) Census provides government with statistics to determine the level of
unemployment in the country.
(v) To know the statistical number of immigrants in the country
(vi) To assist the government to know in the distribution of resources in all parts
of the country
(vii) Census gives the government an idea of the different population in various
parts of the country
(viii) Helps government in the provision set up of social amenities like housing,
water, electricity, roads, schools and hospitals.
Disadvantages of a population census
(i) High level of illiteracy becomes difficult to conduct a successful population census as
these people do not give relevant, accurate and useful statistics
(ii) High cost of money is required to conduct population census
(iii) Geographical barriers in most communities are inaccessible due to mountains,
valleys, hills and rivers surrounding them. Such makes the census difficult.
(iv) Religious beliefs is also a major problem in some areas during census. Such as
Muslims whose women are covered faces cannot be seen by men therefore, they may
be counted.
SURVEY
Surveys are a good way of gathering a large amount of data, providing a broad perspective.
Surveys can be administered electronically, by telephone, by mail or face to face. Mail and
electronically administered surveys have a wide reach, are relatively cheap to administer,
information is standardised and privacy can be maintained. Questions within the survey can be
asked in several ways and include: closed questions, open-ended and scaled questions, and
multiple choice questions. Closed questions are usually in the format of yes/no or true/false
options. Open-ended questions on the other hand leave the answer entirely up to the respondent
and therefore provide a greater range of responses. Additionally, the use of scales is useful when
assessing participants’ attitudes. A multiple choice question may ask respondents to indicate
their favorite topic covered in the program, or most preferred activity. Other considerations when
developing a survey instrument includes question sequence, layout and appearance, length,
language, and an introduction and cover letter. Sensitive questions should be placed near the end
of a survey rather than at the beginning.
Advantages of survey
(i) surveys are self-reported by participants
(ii) Surveys used are designed and tested for validity and reliability with the target groups
who will be completing the surveys.
(iii) use of an already designed and validated survey instrument will ensure that the data
being collected is accurate
(iv) The survey instrument is measuring what it intends to measure and is appropriate for
the target group.
(v) require that the target group is literate and do not allow for any observation
Disadvantages of survey
(i) They do, however, have a low response rate, are unable to investigate issues to any
great deep
(ii) There is a possibility that responses may be biased particularly if the issues involved
are sensitive or require some measure of disclosure on trust by the participant. It is
therefore vital that Careful attention must be given to the design of the survey. If you
design your own survey
(iii) it is necessary to pilot test the survey on a sample of your target group
Questions within the survey can be asked in several ways and includes closed questions, open-
ended and scaled questions, and multiple choice questions. Closed questions are usually in the
format of yes or no and true or false options. Open ended questions on the other hand leave the
answer entirely up to the respondent and therefore provide a greater range of responses.
Additionally, the use of scales is useful when assessing participants’ attitudes. A multiple choice
question may ask respondents to indicate their favorite topic covered in the program or most
preferred activity. Other considerations when developing a survey instrument includes question
sequence, layout and appearance, length, language, and an introduction and cover
letter. Sensitive questions should be placed near the end of a survey rather than at the beginning.
It is even conducted electronically, while population census is face to face, house to house and
need physical present to verify even the information being with the proof.