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Assessment Objective Two

Aims and Objectives


Analyse a range of different research methods

How will the assessment take place? Completion of six worksheets. One for each of the following methods of research: 1. Experiments 2. Surveys 3. Case Studies 4. Observations- (participant / non participant) 5. Questionnaires using rating systems e.g. Likert scale 6. Interviews- Formal and informal For each method of research you will comment on: o Overview of the method o Advantages and disadvantages o Examples of when it can be used in public services o Provide evidence of its use.
Grading Pass Candidates identify different types of research methods and provide a simple analysis of each. They demonstrate a limited understanding of the relevant methodology, its key concepts and its usage. Merit Candidates identify different types of research methods and provide a clear analysis of each. They demonstrate a good understanding of the relevant methodology, its key concepts and its usage. Distinction Candidates identify different types of research methods and provide a detailed analysis of each. They demonstrate an excellent understanding of the relevant methodology, its key concepts and its usage

Example
Overview: Find a definition and reference its source (Wikipedia not accepted). Give a general description of the research method. What are the key principles of the method? How would you go about doing this method? How is the data presented?

Advantages: Why might this method be used? What type of data is it good at analysing? How easy is it to collect the data?

Disadvantages: What are its limitations? When would it not be good to use?

Usage: When in the public services would it be good to use this method and why?

Example of use: Find an example of when it has been used. Describe how the method was used. Justify why that particular method was used.

Experiments
Overview: Definition: A test under controlled conditions that is made to demonstrate a known truth, examine the validity of a hypothesis, or determine the efficacy of something previously untried. Source: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/experiment You can use experiments for a range of things, you can use a small range of people, specific people (male, female etc.) a good experiment could be finding out who is quicker over 400 metres, men aged between 18 22 or men aged between 26 30. You can use as many people as you want or as little as you want.

Advantages: Used to determine what is best for population. Can be combined with other research methods. Researcher can have control over variables. Can use DNA to convict murderers, rapists etc.

Disadvantages: Human error. Groups may not be comparable. Human response can be difficult to measure. Can cost a lot of money in some cases (forensic science)

Usage: Finding better ways to extract DNA from a crime scene in the forensic department. Making sure the public services are quicker and more efficient to call outs, are the police cars, ambulances, fire trucks quick enough? Finding out how the public feel about the public services, were the public service quick and efficient? Were you treated correctly? Were they helpful with your enquires (police)?

Example of use: In 1966, the psychiatrist Charles K. Hofling conducted a field experiment on obedience in the nurse-physician relationship. A doctor unknown to a nurse would call her by telephone with orders to administer 20 mg of a fictional drug named "Astroten" to a patient and that he/she will sign for the medication later. The bottle had been surreptitiously placed in the drug cabinet, but the "drug" was not on the approved list. It was clearly labelled that 10 mg was the maximum daily dose. The experimental protocol was explained to a group of nurses and nursing students, who were asked to predict how many nurses would give the drug to the patient. Of the twelve nurses, ten said they would not do it. All twenty-one nursing students said they would refuse to administer the drug.

Surveys
Overview: Definition: A detailed study of a market or geographical area to gather data on attitudes, impressions, opinions, satisfaction level, etc., by polling a section of the population. Source: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/survey.html Surveys are a good way of finding out what people want, what people prefer. You can ask specific questions or a range of questions about anything.

Advantages: Surveys are useful in describing the characteristics of a large population. No other method of observation can provide this general capability. They can be administered from remote locations using mail, email or telephone. Many questions can be asked about a given topic giving considerable flexibility to the analysis.

Disadvantages: The researcher must ensure that a large number of the selected sample will reply. It may be hard for participants to recall information or to tell the truth about a controversial question.

Usage: You can ask the public how they feel the public services are being treated by the government; you can ask questions like do you feel public services are being paid enough for what they do? Do you think the public services cut backs are right?

Example of use: http://www.surveyshare.com/templates/surveyquestions.html This survey has good open questions, asking a range of different questions but about the same thing. Also each question has a different range of answers, yes or no, strongly agree strongly disagree, drop down answers and your own opinions.

Case Studies
Overview: Definition: A detailed analysis of a person or group, especially as a model of medical, psychiatric, psychological, or social phenomena. Source: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/case+study

Advantages: Includes primary and secondary sources. Lots of information. Insight into an event. Informative. Learn lessons. All the information in one place.

Disadvantages: Time to compile. Lots of sources some maybe unreliable or contradict if based on opinion.

Usage: Police crimes lots of information are gathered from the investigation and the police will review the case and reach an outcome on what they think happened. Armed forces friendly fire If friendly fire occurred then there would be a huge investigation, witness statements from soldiers etc. Forensic science service they work with the police extracting DNA from the crime scene, all of this will be put into the case study information and will help when the police review it at the end of the investigation.

Example of use: The FSSs specialist DNA unit used DNA Low Copy Number to obtain the profile of Geraldine Palks suspected killer from a plastic tube used to store the medical swabs taken from her body a decade earlier. All other evidence in the case was apparently used up in previous tests undertaken in 1991, so scientists decided in 2001 to try and examine the plastic sleeve that the swab had been kept in. They hoped material from the cotton wool swab had been left on the inside of the tube when the swab was placed inside. The tip of the wooden swab stick was also tested in case genetic material from the original cotton wool swab had soaked through. Remarkably, a full DNA profile was obtained and, when it was searched against the National DNA Database, it matched with Mark Hampson, whose profile had been put on the database after his arrest for another crime. Hampson was found guilty of murder at Bristol Crown Court in November 2002 and jailed for life. Dr Jonathan Whitaker, from the specialist DNA unit, said: We approach each case on its own merits and in this instance we were able to plan out a forensic strategy with South Wales Police to evaluate the potential for DNA testing of remaining items with the DNA technologies of today.

Observations
Overview: Definition: 1.The action or process of observing something or someone carefully or in order to gain information. Source: http://www.google.co.uk/#hl=en&q=observation+definition&oq=observation+d e&aq=0&aqi=g10&aql=&gs_sm=e&gs_upl=5656l11656l0l13093l18l17l1l2l3l1l 281l2859l0.6.8l14l0&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.,cf.osb&fp=7f93f02b55b6dafa&bi w=1280&bih=862

Advantages: Primary - Primary source is a term used in a number of disciplines to describe source material that is closest to the person, information, period, or idea being studied. Reliable - Capable of being relied on; dependable. Overview - A summary or review. Response - A reply or an answer.

Disadvantages: Time and cost May require back up if things happen. False judgement.

Usage: Police tracking people on 24 hour watch, they may be a suspect in a crime, so the police will have people watching his or hers every footsteps. Seeing if they do anything suspicious. Armed forces use drones to seek the enemy, reporting back to headquarters to the generals. And forwarding that information to the ground troops, the ground troops will use that information to exploit the enemy.

MI5 tracking and countering terrorists. Stopping them from getting into our country, tracking them in our country to stop them from making bombs etc. Fire service. Coastguard. Example of use: Police in 2005 were tracking this man believed to be a terrorist, when the man spotted police he ran down into a London tube station wearing a ruck sack, police ran after the man fearing he was going to blow the tube station up killing hundreds of people. They eventually caught up with the man and asked him to stop but the man was scared and carried on running. Police shot the man 7 times and he died instantly. The man was running because he thought they were after him because his visa had ran out. It was proven that he was not a terrorist either.

Questionnaires
Overview: Definition: List of a research or survey questions asked to respondents, and designed to extract specific information. Source: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/questionnaire.html

Advantages: Large amounts of information can be collected from a large number of people in a short period of time and in a relatively cost effective way. Can be carried out by the researcher or by any number of people with limited affect to its validity and reliability. Can be analysed more 'scientifically' and objectively than other forms of research.

Disadvantages: Is argued to be inadequate to understand some forms of information - i.e. changes of emotions, behaviour, feelings etc. Lacks validity. There is no way to tell how truthful a respondent is being. There is no way of telling how much thought a respondent has put in.

Usage: Asking the public to fill out questionnaire forms and see what their overall perspective of certain information is. Or you can ask a group of people such as a work force to find out what changes could be made or how everyone feels about working their. Overall questionnaires are a good way of finding out information about the certain thing.

Example of use: http://www.restore.ac.uk/orm/timingform/ - this is an example of a good questionnaire because offers you to express your opinion, yes or no questions and formative questions.

Interviews
Overview: Definition: A formal meeting in person, especially one arranged for the assessment of the qualifications of an applicant. Source: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/interview

Advantages: If you can cope with pressure then its easy. Asked opinionated and factual question, finding out a range of information. Dynamic, flexible, responsive, adaptive. Follow up questions, more depths.

Disadvantages: Pressure Forget information. May not know answer. Could get annoyed with interviewer. Collecting information is tricky.

Usage: Job interview When going for a job you will be interviewed by the boss or someone from that work place. Army debrief When soldiers come back from Afghanistan they are interviewed by a high ranking officer about how they feel and can cope better next time they are deployed. Sporting interview Interviewing a player or manager after the match or prior to the match.

Example of use: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/15831951.stm - this is an interview of a football manager talking about how he felt about the victory and how his players performed.