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LECTURE ONE THE NATURE OF RESEARCH

1.0 INTRODUCTION

Research takes many forms. In this lecture we introduce you to the subject of research and explain why knowledge of various types of research can be of value to researchers. Research is only one way through which we obtain knowledge; we look at several other ways of knowing. We also briefly discuss several research methodologies used in research. _____________________________________________________________________ Lecture objectives By the end of this lecture, you should be able to: Explain what is meant by the term research Explain why a knowledge of scientific research methodology can be of value to researchers Name and give four ways of knowing other than the methods used by scientific Describe briefly what is meant by critical research Explain what is meant by the term scientific method Give an example of six different types of research methodologies used by researchers Describe the difference among describe, associational, and intervention-types studies Describe briefly the basic components involved in the research process. _______________________________________________________________ 1.1 WAYS OF KNOWING There are four ways of knowing. Let us look at each one of them. 1.1.1 Sensory experience Normally we, see, hear, and smell taste touch. We gather a lot of data through our senses. However, sensory knowledge is undependable and in some cases incomplete. The data we take through our sense do not account for all (or even most) of what we seem to feel is the range of human knowing. For us to obtain reliable knowledge, therefore, we cannot rely on our senses alone, but must check what we think we know with other sources.

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1.1.2 Agreement with other The opinion of other is another source of knowledge. We can share our sensations with others and also check on the accuracy and authenticity of these sensations. The problem with such common knowledge is that it can be wrong. A majority vote in a meeting is no guarantee of the truth. Two groups of eyewitnesses to an accident may disagree as to which driver was on the wrong. Hence we would require considering additional ways to obtain reliable knowledge. 1.1.3 Expert opinion Some people can consider experts in their field because they know a great deal about what we are interested in finding out. However experts like everybody else can be mistaken. For all their study and training, what expert knows is still based on primarily on what they have learned from reading and thinking, from listening to and observing others, and from their own experience. No expert, however, has studied or experienced all there is to know in a given field, and thus even an expert can never be totally sure. 1.1.4 Logic We also get to know by logic. That is by our intellect- the capability we have to reason things out. This allows us to use sensory data to develop a new kind of knowledge. For example, All human beings are mortal Juma is a human being Therefore, Juma is mortal.

Note that the first statement (called the major premise) we need only from our experience about the majority of individuals. We have never experienced anyone who was not mortal, so we state that all human beings are mortal. The second d statement (called the minor premise) is based entirely on sensory experience. If we come in contact with Juma and classify him as human beings we then can deduce that the third statement (called the conclusion) must be true. Logics tell us it is. As long as the first two statements are true the third statement must be true. However, there is a fundamental danger in logical reason in of which we need to be

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aware. It is only when the major and minor premises of the syllogism are both true that the conclusion is guaranteed to be true. If either of the premises is false, the conclusion may or may not be true. 1.1.5 The scientific Method Science is another way of knowing. However, it is the scientific method that is important to researchers. The scientific method essentially involves the testing of ideas in the public arena. Almost all human beings are capable of making connections- of seeing relationship and associations. These connections are called facts. Facts are items of knowledge about the world in which we live. In many cases we guess or speculate about the world around us. To be sure that our guesses or speculation s are true, we need to 0[rigorously test to see if they hold up under more controlled conditions. To investigate our speculations, we can observe carefully and systematically. However such investigations do not constitutes science unless they are made public. This means that all aspects of the investigations are described in sufficient details so that the study can be repeated by any who question the results. This basically boils down to seven distinct steps. There must be a problem to be investigated. This can be something bothering us or disturbing us. It may also be an unexplained discrepancy in a researchers field of knowledge, a gap to be closed. The second step involves defining more precisely the problem or the question to be answered, to be clear about exactly what the purpose of the study is. In the third step we attempt to determine what kinds of information would solve the problem. The fourth step involves going to the field to collect the data Fifth, we must decide as far as possible, how we will organize the information that we obtain. Sixth, after the information has been collected and analyzed, it must be interpreted. Seven, we must write and present the report on our finding.

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_________________________________________________________________ In many studies, there are several possible explanations for a problem or phenomenon. These are called Hypothesis and may occur at any stager of an investigation There are two features of scientific research: freedom of thought and public procedure. At every step, it is crucial that the researcher be as open as humanly possible to alternatives- in focusing and clarifying the problem, in collecting and analysing information, and in interpreting results. The process must be as public as possible. It is not a private game to be played by a group of insiders. The value of scientific research is that it can be replicated (i.e. repeated) by anyone interested in doing so. The essence of all research originates in curiosity-a desire to find out how and why things happen, including why people do the things they do, as well as whether or not certain ways of doing things work better than other ways. A common misperception of science fosters the idea that there are fixed, once-and-all answers to particular questions, which contributes to a common, but unfortunate tendency to accept, and rigidly adhere to oversimplified solutions to very complex problems. _____________________________________________________________________ 1.2 TYPES OF RESEARCH The term research can mean any sort of careful, systematic, patient study and investigation in some field of knowledge, undertaken to discover or establish facts and principles. In scientific research, however, the emphasis is on obtaining evidence to support or refute proposed facts or principles. There are many methodologies that fit this definition. Let us now look at the various types of research. 1.2.1 Experimental research This is the most conclusive of scientific methods. The researcher has two groups: the experimental group and the control group. The researcher actually establishes different treatments and then studies their effects; results of this type are likely to lead to the clearcut interpretations. In this type of research we have the control group and the experimental group. The researcher will administer some treatment to the experimental group while denying the control group, and then he/she sees the effect. Another form of experimental research is the single-subject research which involves the intensive study of a single individual (or sometimes a single group) overtime. These designs are particularly appropriate when individuals with special characteristics are studied by means of direct observation.

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1.2.2

Correlation Research

This is a type of research that is done to determine relationships among two or more variables and to explore their implications for cause and effect. Correlation research seeks to investigate whether one or more relationships of some type exist. For example: wealth and family background; wealth and education. In this approach no manipulation or intervention on the part of the researcher other than that required administering the instrument(s) necessary to collect the data desired. In general, this type of research would be undertaken when one wants to look for and describe relationships that may exist among naturally occurring phenomena, without trying in any way to alter theses phenomena. 1.2.3 Casual comparative research This type of research is intended to determine the cause for or the consequences of different treatment between groups of people. Suppose a teacher wants to determine whether students from single parent families do more poorly in the class than students from two-parent families. To conduct this investigation, the teacher would systematically select two groups of students and then assign each a single parent or two-parent familywhich is clearly impossible (and unethical). To test this issue using a causal-comparative design, the teacher might compare two groups of students who already belong to one or the other type of family to see if they differ. However, interpretations of this type of research are limited because the researcher cannot say conclusively whether a particular factor is a cause or a result of the behaviour(s) observed. In our example above, the teacher could not be certain whether: Any perceived difference in achievement between the two groups was due to the differences in home situation. The parents status was due to the difference in achievement between the two groups (though this seems likely). Some unidentified factor was at work.

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Despite problems of interpretation, causal-comparative studies are of value in identifying possible causes of observed variations in the behaviour pattern of individuals. 1.2.4 Survey research This is a type of research used to obtain data that can help determine specific characteristics of a group. A descriptive survey involves asking questions (often in the form of a questionnaire) of a large group of individuals either by mail, by telephone or in person. When answers to a set of question are solicited in person, the research is called an Interview. The main difficulties involved in survey research are mainly: Ensuring that the questions to be answered are clear and not misleading Getting respondents to answer questions thoughtfully and honestly Getting a sufficient number of the questionnaires completed and returned so that meaningful analyses can be made.

The main advantage of survey research is that it has the potential to provide us with a lot of information obtained from quite a large sample of individuals. 1.2.5 Content Analysis research Content analysis is a method that permits researchers to study human behaviour unobtrusively- that is, without being directly involved with people or situations. Essentially it is a means of analysing the communications (intended or not) that are inevitably present in anything human being produced. All human products, therefore, offer potential materials for study. While most such studies involve an analysis of written documents, some is conducted using films, folk songs, ancient pottery etc. The method is applicable to any material that does not come pre-organized for the researchers purpose. The major task of the researcher is to locate appropriate materials and then find a way to analyze them. 1.2.6 Qualitative Research Qualitative involves obtaining a holistic picture of what goes on in a particular situation or setting. There are two categories:

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Ethnographic study: the emphasis in this type of research is on documenting or portraying the everyday experiences of individuals by observing and interviewing them and relevant others. For example, a researcher may want to study the behaviour of an elementary classroom. This can be done by observing on a regular basis, and also interviewing the teacher and the student in an attempt to describe as fully and as richly as possible what goes on in that classroom. The data could include detailed prose description by students of classroom activities, audiotapes of classroom discussions, examples of teacher lesson plans and students work, sociograms depicting power relationships in the class and flows charts illustrating the direction and frequency of certain types of comments. Case studies: this is a well-detailed study of one or a few individuals or situation. 1.2.7 Historical research In historical research, some aspects of the past are studied, either by perusing documents of the period or by interviewing individuals who lived during the time. An attempt is then made to reconstruct as accurately as possible what happened during that time to explain why it did happen.

Suggested further readings Frankfort-Nachmias and David Nachmias(1996).Research Methods in Social Sciences. 5th edition.St. Martins Press Inc. Great Britain. Chapter one pp 1-23 Frankel ,R. Jack & Norman E. Wallen (2000). How to Design and Evaluate Research in Education, 4th edition. McGraw Hill Higher Education, USA. Chapter One pp2-25.

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LECTURE TWO PHILOSOPHICAL FOUNDATION OF RESEARCH


2.1 INTRODUCTION

Research is founded on some philosophical paradigms or underpinnings. A paradigm is a way of looking at the world. It is composed of certain philosophical assumptions that guide and direct thinking and action. There are several paradigms that have come up with their philosophy of what research is. In this topic we will look at three such schools: the positivism, the constructivism and the emancipatory paradigms. _____________________________________________________________________ Lecture objectives. By the end of this lecture, you should be able to: Distinguish the three schools of thought that underpin research theory. Discuss the philosophical underpinning of each of the schools of thought Synthesise the three schools of thought. _____________________________________________________________________
2.2 THE POSITIVISM/ POST-POSITIVISM PARADIGM

The positivism and the post-positivism school of thought have guided much of the research particularly in psychology and education. Positivism is based on the rationalistic euphemistic philosophy that has originated with Aristotle, Francis Bacon, John Locke August Comte and Emmanuel Kant. The underlying assumptions of positivism are: The belief that the social world can be studied in the same way as the natural world. That is there is a method for studying the social world that is value-free and

That explanation of a casual nature can be provided.


This paradigm was in practise before the Second World War when it was replaced by post positivism.

What are their differences?

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Ontology: The positivism hold that one reality exists and that it is the researchers job to discover that reality (nave realism) Guba & Lincoln, 1994). The positivists concur that a reality does exist but it can be known only imperfectly because of the researchers human limitations (critical realism). Therefore, researchers can discover reality within certain realms of probability. However, they cannot prove a theory, but they can make a stronger case by eliminating alternative explanations (Reichardt & Ralli, 1994) Epistemology: Positivists assume that the researcher and the subject of the study were independent and that they did not influence each other (Guba & Lincoln, 1994). The post positivists modified this belief by recognizing that the theories, hypothesis and background knowledge held by the investigator can strongly influence what is observed ( Reichardt & Ralli, 1994). The positivists hold that a researcher should strive to achieve objectivity in research by remaining neutral to prevent values and biases from influencing the work by following prescribed procedures rigorously. Methodology: The positivists borrowed their experimental methods from the natural sciences. The post positivists recognized that many of the assumptions required for rigorous application of the scientific methods were not appropriate when studying people. Therefore, quasi-experimental methods were needed. In other words, many times it is difficult to randomly assign subjects to conditions (i.e. a plot of land for study of fertilizer). In this case the researcher needs to devise modifications to the experimental methods of the natural sciences in order to apply them to people.
2.2 THE INTERPRETIVE/CONSTRUCTIVISTS PARADIGM

This school of thought holds that reality is socially constructed. This paradigm grew out of the philosophy of Edmund Husserls phenomenology and white Dilthey study of interpretive understanding called hermeneutics (Eichelberger, 1989). Hermeneutics is the study of interpretive understanding or meaning. Interpretive/ constructivist researchers use the term more generally to interpret the meaning of something from a certain standpoint situation. The basic assumptions of this paradigm are: that knowledge is socially constructed by people active in the research process researchers should attempt to understand the complex world of lived experience from the point of view of those who live it( Schwandt,1994,p.118). They emphasize that research is a product of the values of researchers and cannot be independent of them.

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Ontology: They belief that reality is socially constructed. Therefore, multiple mental constructions can be apprehended, some of which conflict with each other and perceptions of reality may change throughout the process of the study. For example, the term gender is socially constructed phenomena that mean different things to different people. Epistemology: the researcher and the research itself are interlocked in an interactive process; each influences the other. This school of thought therefore opts for a more personal, interactive mode of data collection. Methodology: qualitative methods such as interviews, observations, and document reviews are predominant. These are applied in correspondence with the assumption about the social construction of reality in that research can be conducted only through interaction between ad among investigators and respondents (Guba &Lincoln, 1994). The methodological implication of having multiple realities is that the research questions cannot be definitively established before the study begins; rather, they will evolve and change as the study progresses. In addition the perceptions of a variety of types of persons must be sought.

2.3

THE EMANCIPATORY PARADGIM

This paradigm emerged because of: The dissatisfaction with the dominant research paradigms and practices and because of the realization that much of sociological and psychological theory had been developed from the white, able-bodied male perspective and was based on the study of male subjects. Gilligan (1982) notes that theories that were formerly thought to be sexually neutral in their scientific objectivity have been found to reflect a consistent observational and evaluative bias. Examples are the Freud, s theory of personality, McClellands theory of motivation Kohlbergs theory of moral development and Perry theory of college students development. The school-age population is becoming poorer and more racially and ethnic diverse. This has contributed to the increased interest in multicultural education and ways to conduct race-sensitive research Some ethnic-minority psychologists believe that white researchers who study other communities do so without an understanding or caring for the people who live there. (Mio& Iwamasa, 1993).

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That research is conducted without due consideration of the disadvantaged people like the disabled. Hence ignoring genetic and biological factors. Need for more culturally sensitive research. A need for informed practitioners to form partnerships with researchers to plan and conduct research and evaluation studies in a meaningful way. The emancipatory paradigm has four characteristics: It places central importance on the lives and experiences of the diverse groups that traditionally have been marginalized(i.e. women, minorities, and persons with disabilities) It analyses how and why inequalities based on gender, race, or ethnicity and disability are reflected in asymmetric power relationships. It examines how results of social inquiry are linked to political and social action It uses an emancipatory theory to develop the program theory and the research approach. A program theory is a set of beliefs about the way a program works or why a problem occurs.

Ontology: like the constructivists paradigm the emancipatory paradigm recognizes multiple realities. However, they stress the influence of social, cultural, economic, and ethnic, gender, and disability values in the construction of reality. It also emphasizes that which seems real may be reified structures that are taken to be real because of historical situations. Thus, what is taken to be real needs to be critically examined via an ideological critique in terms of its role in perpetuating oppressive social structures and politics. Epistemology: The relationship between the knower and the would-be known (i.e., the researcher and participant) is viewed as interactive. According to Harding (1993), the researcher should use a methodology that involves starting off thought from the lives of marginalized people. This would reveal more of the unexamined assumptions influencing science and generate more critical questions. The relationship should be empowering to those without power. Thus, the research should examine ways the research benefits or does not benefit the participants (Kelly etal., 1994). Objectivity in this paradigm is achieved by reflectively examining the influence of the values and social position of the researcher on the problems identified as appropriate for

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research, hypotheses formulated and key concepts defined. Methodology: Emancipatory researchers are pluralistic and evolving in their methodologies. The empiricists who work within the emancipatory tradition tend to use quantitative methods. However, they emphasize a need for more care and rigor in following existing methods commonly associated with positivists paradigms to avoid sexist, racist or otherwise biased results. In the emancipatory research that comes from the participatory action research tradition, it is viewed as essential to involve the people who are the research participants in the planning, conduct, analysis, interpretation, and use of the research. 2.3 ETHICS IN RESEARCH Ethics in research should be an integral part of the research planning and implementation process, not viewed as an afterthought or a burden. There should be increased consciousness of the need for strict ethical guidelines for researchers. Some of the ethical issues touch on deception and invasion of privacy. There are three main ethical principles that need to be considered: Beneficence: Maximizing good outcomes for science, humanity, and the individual research participants and minimising or avoiding unnecessary risk, harm, or wrong. Respect: Treating people with respect and courtesy, including those who are not autonomous (e.g., small children, people who have mental retardation or senility) Justice: Ensuring that those who bear the risk in the research are those who benefit from it; ensuring that the procedures are reasonable, non-exploitative, carefully considered and fairly administered. There are six norms of scientific research. They include: Use of valid research design: faulty research is not useful to anyone and it is not only a waste of time and money but cannot be conceived of as being ethical in that it does not contribute to the well-being of the participant. The researcher must be competent to conduct the research Consequences of the research must be identified: procedures must respect privacy, ensure confidentiality, maximize benefits, and minimise risks The sample selection must be appropriate for the purpose of the study, representative of the population to benefit from the study, and sufficient in number. The participants must agree to participate in the study through voluntary

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informed consent- that is, without threat or undue inducement (voluntary), knowing what a reasonable person in the same situation would want to know before giving con sent (informed), and explicitly agreeing to participate (consent). The researcher must inform the participants whether harm will be compensated.

2.4 DECEPTION IN RESEARCH Most professional associations prohibit the use of deception unless it can be justified and the effect of the deception undone after the study is completed. The undoing of deception is supposed to be accomplished by the following: Debriefing the research participants after the research study, which means that the research explains the real purpose and use of the research? Dehoaxing the research participants in which the researcher demonstrates the device that was used to deceive the participants. The researchers responsibility is to attempt to allay a sense of generalized mistrust in educational and psychological research. Guarding the privacy and confidentiality of the research participants Obtaining fully informed consent. You will note that the emancipatory paradigm emerged because of the dissatisfaction with research conducted within other paradigms that was perceived to be irrelevant to, or a misrepresentation of, the lives of people who experience oppression. There are three characteristics of the emancipatory paradigm with ethical implications for methodological choices: Traditionally silenced voices must be included to ensure that the groups marginalized in society are equally heard during the research process and the formation of the findings and recommendations. An analysis of power inequalities in terms of the social relationships involved in the planning, implementation, and reporting of the research is needed to ensure an equitable distribution of resources (conceptual and material) A mechanism should be identified to enable the research results to be linked to social action: those who are most oppressed and least powerful should be at the canter of the plans for action in order to empower them to change their own lives. When the research is cross-cultural, it is important that cross-cultural ethical standards are developed to guide researchers while conducting research in other communities.

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Cross-cultural ethical principles require collaboration between the researcher and the host community. It also requires that the researcher communicate the intended research agenda, design, activity, and reports with members of the host community. The research should be designed in such a way as to bring benefits to the host community and to foster the skills and self-sufficiency of the host community scientists. The paradigms considered here are certainly not exhaustive. New paradigms might come in the future. However, what is crucial is that researchers should be aware of their basic beliefs, their view of the world (their functional paradigm), and the way they influence their approach to research.

Suggested further readings Frankfort-Nachmias and David Nachmias (1996).Research Methods in Social Sciences. 5th edition.St. Martins Press Inc. Great Britain. Chapter one pp 1-23 Frankel, R. Jack & Norman E. Wallen (2000). How to Design and Evaluate Research in Education, 4th edition. McGraw Hill Higher Education, USA. Chapter One pp2-25.

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LECTURE THREE VARIABLES, CONCEPTS AND CONSTRUCTS


3.0 INTRODUCTION

In research the words concepts constructs or variables are very important terms and need to be understood clearly. Concepts and constructs are broad terms applied and used in academics and research. In this lecturer we are going to define and give a general understanding of the terms Concepts and Constructs from various scholars' point of view. Outlining the functions of concepts is also key to further understanding these terms in research and their relevance in research. Then we will go ahead to give the difference between conceptual and operational definitions of concepts by giving relevant and practical examples to demonstrate these two aspects. _____________________________________________________________________ Lecture Objectives. By the end of this topic, you should be able to: Explain what is meant by the term variable Distinguish between the various types of variables Explain how independent and dependent variables are related Explain what a hypothesis is and formulate them. Explain what is meant by the term scientific method Name the advantages and disadvantages of stating research questions as hypothesis Distinguish between directional and non-directional hypothesis Define the term theory and explain the role of theory in research Explain the functions of a model in research. _____________________________________________________________________ 3.2 CONCEPTS It is common knowledge that we need to notice something before explaining what it is. For example we see a dog first and then we are able to describe the dog in details. In this case we have an idea (concept) of the phenomenon before it is explained. According to Fred N. Kerlinger in his book "Foundations of Behavioural Research" the term concept and construct have similar meanings in a way. Most of the scientists use these terms interchangeably. A concept expresses an abstraction formed by generalization from particulars. He says that construct is a concept which has an added meaning of having been deliberately and consciously invented or adopted for a special scientific purpose. He

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explains saying that for example "intelligence" is a concept, an abstraction from the observation of presumably intelligent and non intelligent behaviours. But as a scientific construct "intelligence" means both more or less than it may mean as a concept. It means that scientists consciously and systematically use it in two ways. One, it enters into theoretical schemes and is related in various ways to other constructs. We say for example, that school achievement is in part a function of intelligence and motivation. Two, intelligence is so defined and specified that it can be observed and measured. We can make observations of the intelligence of children by administering some intelligence test to them or we can ask teachers to tell us the relative degrees of intelligence of their pupils. A concept from the point of view of documented Wikipedia authors is an abstract idea or a mental symbol, typically associated with a corresponding representation in language or symbology, that denotes all of the objects in a given category or class of entities, interactions, phenomena, or relationships between them. Concepts are abstract in that they omit the differences of the things in their extension, treating them as if they were identical. They are universal in that they apply equally to every thing in their extension. Concepts are also the basic elements of propositions much the same way a word is the basic semantic element of a sentence. Unlike perceptions which are particular images of individual objects concepts cannot be visualized. Because they are not, themselves, individual perceptions concepts are discursive and result from reason. They can only be thought and designated by a name. Concepts are bearers of meaning, as opposed to agents of meaning. A single concept can be expressed by any number of languages. The concept of DOG can be expressed as dog in English Hund in German as chzen in French perro in Spanish and mbwa in Kiswahili. The fact that concepts are in some sense independent of language makes translation possible - words in various languages have identical meaning, because they express one and the same concept. 3.2.1 Functions of concept Concepts serve a number of important functions in social science research. They are the foundation of communication. Without a set of agreed upon concepts, scientist could not communicate their findings or replicate each other's studies. It's important to note that concepts are abstracted from perceptions and are used to convey and transmit information. Concepts do not actually exist as empirical phenomena/ but rather are symbols of phenomena/ not phenomena themselves. Concepts introduce a perspective is a way of looking at empirical phenomena.

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As Norman Denzin (1989) puts it "Through Scientific conceptualization, the Perceptual World is given an order and coherence that could not be perceived before conceptualization". The concept therefore enables scientists to relate to some aspect of reality and identify it as a quality common to different examples of the Phenomenon in the real world. Concepts allow scientists to classify and generalize. That is, scientists structure categorizes order and generalizes their experiences and observations in terms of concepts. As John McKinney (19660 puts it, "All Phenomena are unique in their concrete occurrence, therefore no phenomena actually recur in their concrete wholeness. To introduce order with its various scientific implications, including prediction, the scientist necessarily ignores the unique, the extraneous and the non-recurring and thereby departs from perceptual experience. In a nutshell, the four functions of concepts are: Concepts provide a common language which enables scientists to communicate with one another. Concepts give scientists a perspective - a way of looking at phenomena Concepts allow scientists to classify their experiences and to generalize from them. Concepts are components of theories - they define a theory's content and attributes.

If concepts are to serve as functions of communication, sensitivity to and organization of experience, generalization and theory construction, they have to be clear, precise and agreed upon. Everyday language however, is often vague, ambiguous and imprecise. Concepts such as power, bureaucracy and satisfaction mean different things to different people and are used in different contexts to designate various things.

However, science cannot progress with ambiguous and imprecise language. Social scientists have attempted to establish a clear and precise body of concepts to characterize their subject matter. To achieve clarity and precision in the use of concepts during research, scientists employ two major types of definitions/ that is, conceptual and operational definitions.

3.3 CONCEPTUAL DEFINITION Defining a concept is not very different form from defining any word. The reason for defining a concept is to make it very clear to some audience. A good conceptual
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definition is that one that clearly distinguishes the properties or characteristics of a concept from other concepts. A conceptual definition defines a concept with other concepts. For instance/ we can define weight by saying that it is the heaviness of objects. Or we can define anxiety as subjectified fear. In this case we have substituted one concept for another. Definitions have two segments: how the concept is similar to other concepts and how it differs from them. An example is of a cat as an animal/ but unlike other animals it "meows". Better definitions are those ones that are more useful and used more often in scientific theories and in research questions. Some concepts are also distinguished from other concepts through the use of examples or analogy. Although a concepts name, such as "self-esteem" may have wide usage in everyday use, it is generally a different concept from the one that is carefully defined as technical term is scientific field. This is important because by using an accepted technical term then a concept is given a single definition. A good conceptual definition not only expresses how the phenomenon is similar and different from other concepts but also provides insight into the kind of variability one might expect to find. For example the definition of family income would suggest that income could range from low to high and could be captured in some monetary unit such as Kenya shillings and fractions thereof .It would indicate that the range is continuous. These features of conceptual definition specify the kind of relationships between categories that are envisioned that are referred to as level of measurement of the concept. 3.4 OPERATIONAL DEFINITIONS Once a concept has been defined so that it is clearly understandable to some audience, then one need to devise indicators that can be used to measure that concept. Operational definitions are specific ways of in which real cases can be classified into categories of the concept ones wants to use in research. There may be several potential indicators for any given concept. Operational definition is a description of a variable, term or object in terms of the specific process or set of validation tests used to determine its presence and quantity. Properties described in this manner must be publicly accessible so that persons other than the definer can independently measure or test for them at will. An operational definition is generally designed to model a conceptual definition. For example a weight of an object may be operationally defined in terms of specific steps of putting an object on a scale.

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The weight is whatever that results from following the measurement procedure, which can in principle be repeated by anyone. It is intentionally not defined in terms of some intrinsic or private essence. The operational definition of weight is just the result of what happens when the defined procedure is followed. In other words/ what is being defined is how to measure weight for any arbitrary object, and only incidentally the weight of a given object. Operational definitions are also used to define system states of a specific, publicly accessible process of validation testing/ which is repeatable at will. For example 100 degrees Celsius may be crudely defined by describing the process of heating water until it is observed to boil. An item like a brick may be defined in terms of how it is prepared and baked (recipe is its operational definition).

Given the usual definition of gender as the sex role with which one identifies man or a woman one could determine a person's gender by asking what gender are you and writing down the response. Usually there are many potential indicators of the same concept. For example one could observe a person's dress and grooming ask the teacher of the person class or see the what form of address the person prefers( Mr./ Ms./ Miss). Each of these indicators provides a basis for classifying the person as man or woman. But it is important to note that not all these indicators of concept gender are likely to be good measures in all situations.

One primary way in which operational definitions vary is in the extent to which they are able to capture the concept the investigator has defined. This correspondence is called validity of the operational definition as shown in the diagram above/ or the extent to which it actually measures the concept it is intended to measure. The temperature of a room is not a valid measure of the room's ceiling height but on the other hand the answer to the question "what is your gender?" is a valid measure of concept gender, assuming that the respondent also understands the question in the way that investigator expects. 3.5 VARIABLES Most research studies involve s looking fro relationships among variables. The concept of variables is one of the most important concepts in research. In this topic we look at several kinds of variables. We will also discuss the concept of hypothesis. Hypotheses express relationships between variables and they are based directly on the research questions.

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A research problem is conveyed by a set of concepts. We have already said that concepts are abstractions representing empirical phenomenon. It is important that a research moves from the conceptual to the empirical level where by the concepts are converted to variables. You will note that it is the variables that are tested in a hypothesis. Therefore, it is important for a researcher to be very clear on the variables they are interested in their study. A variable is an empirical property that can take on two or more values. Any property that can change, either in quantity or quality can be regarded as a variable. Foe example, the term student in the university is a variable because it can be differentiated into several distinct values: First year, second year, third year fourth year, postgraduate, undergraduate etc. 3.5.1 Types of variables There are several ways in which we can categorise variables. Let us look at the categories. (A) Dichotomous versus discrete variables. A dichotomous variable have only two values reflecting the presence or absence of a property. For example, a male or a female; employed or unemployed; dead or alive. On the other hand, a discrete variable is those characteristics that take only one value. That is a variable that takes only one value for example a person can have one religion say Christianity or Islam. There is no situation of having half of it. (b) Dependent versus Independent variables An independent variable (also called the predictor variable) is those variables that cause changes in the dependent variables. An independent variable is presumed to affect the dependent variable. A dependent variable is a variable whose outcome depends on the manipulation of the independent variable. For example of a research question, Does the number of hours of study (independent variable) influence a students grade (dependent variable)? This statement implies that the numbers of hours spent on studies will influence the grade the student score in the exam. The fewer the number of hours spent on study the lower the expected score and vice versa. Therefore, if a student wants to score highly he/she must spend more hours on study.

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(c) Moderating variables, extraneous variables and Intervening variables. A moderating variable is a variable that behaves like the independent variable in that it has a significant contributory or contingent effect on the relationship between the dependent and the independent variable. For example, in our example above, we can extend it to Does the number of hours of study (independent variable) influence a students grade (dependent variable) especially among the average students? In this case, there is a differential pattern of relationship between the hours of study and students grade that occurs as a result of the nature of the student (i.e., excellent student, above average student, average student, or below average student). An extraneous variable are those variable (both independent and independent) which have the capacity to affect a given relationship. In a research study, such variables are assumed or ignored; however, it is prudent for a researcher to note them. For instance, in our example above, there are other variable that might affect the students performance other than the number of hours. A student home background, type of family etc. can also have some influence in his/her academic performance. But such variables are assumed not to be very significant in predicting the students performance. An intervening variable is a variable that might affect the relationship of the dependent and independent variables but it is difficult to measure or to see the nature of their influence. For example, a students performance can be affected by the state of mind at the specific time of the exam. That is why sometimes an above average student might perform poorer in an exam that expected! But how do you measure this variable? 3.5.2 The importance of studying the relationships of variable As mentioned earlier, one important characteristic of many research questions is that they suggest a relationship of some sort to be investigated. However, not all research questions suggest relationships. Sometimes the researcher is only interested with obtaining descriptive information to find out how people think or feel or to describe how they behave in a particular situation. For example, the following questions do not indicate relationships. How do the CEOs of large companies feel about training their staff? How does Kenyans feel about their economy?

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In the two examples above, the researcher simply wants to identify the feeling of the respondents and not the relationships between the respondents feelings with anything else. The main problem with purely descriptive research questions is that answers to them do not help us understand why people feel or think or behave in a certain way. As a result our understanding of a situation, group, or phenomenon is usually limited. Scientists consider research questions that suggest relationships to be investigated, extremely important. This is because we learn to understand the world by learning to explain how parts of it are related. This is because we begin to detect patterns or connections between the parts. Understanding of a phenomenon is generally enhanced by the demonstration of relationships or their connections. It is for this reason that we favour the formation of a hypothesis that predicts the existence of a relationship. 3.6 HYPOTHESIS A hypothesis is a prediction of some sort regarding the possible outcomes of a study. An example: Research question: Does training staff in change management help staff to cope with change in their organizations? Hypothesis: Staff trained in change management copes easily with change in their organizations. This hypothesis predicts that the staffs that undergo training in change management can easily cope with changes that might occur in their organizations than perhaps the staff that have not been trained in change management. Activity: Identify the dependent and independent variables from the research question given in the research question given above. Note that we can formulate many different hypotheses from a give question.

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3.6.1 Characteristics of a good hypothesis A good hypothesis should fulfil three conditions. They are: It must be adequate for its purpose. That is, it must clearly state the conditions, size or distribution of some variable in terms of values meaningful to the research task if it a descriptive hypothesis. If it is an explanatory hypothesis, it must explain the facts that give rise to the need for explanation. Therefore, using the hypothesis, one should be able to deduce the original problem condition. It must be testable. If a hypothesis cannot be testable with the existing techniques or it defies all the known physical or psychological laws, then it is not good. It must be better than its rivals. That is it must be able to explain the phenomenon with more facts and with greater variety of facts than do others. It is a better hypothesis if it is simple and if it requires few condition or assumptions.

3.7.2 What are the advantages and disadvantages of stating hypothesis in research? The following are the advantages and disadvantages of stating hypothesis in research: Advantages A hypothesis forces us to think more deeply and specifically about the possible outcomes of a study. It enables us to understand what the question implies and exactly what variables are involved. If one is attempting to build a body of knowledge in addition to answering a specific question, then stating hypothesis is a good strategy because it enables one to make specific predictions based on prior evidence or theoretical argument. Hypothesis stating helps us to see if we are or are not investigating a relationship. Disadvantages Stating a hypothesis may lead to a bias, either consciously or unconsciously, on the part of the researcher. This is because the researcher may be tempted to arrange the procedures or manipulate the data in such a way as to bring about a desired outcome. This depends on the honesty of the researchers. Stating hypothesis may sometimes be unnecessary, or even inappropriate, in

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certain research projects of certain types i.e., descriptive or ethnographic studies. Stating hypothesis may prevent researchers from noticing other phenomena that might be important to study.

3.7.3 Directional versus Unidirectional hypothesis A directional hypothesis is one in which the specific direction (such as higher, lower, more or less) that a researcher expects to emerge in a relationship is indicated. The particular direction expected is based on what the researcher has found in the literature, from personal experience, or from the experience of others. Non-directional hypothesis on the other hand does not make a specific prediction about what direction the outcome of a study will take. 3.8 THEORY A theory is a set of systematically interrelated concepts, definitions and propositions that are advanced to explain or predict phenomenon or facts. We can also say that theories are the generalizations we make about variables and the relationship among them. We use these generalizations to make decisions and predict outcomes. 3.8.1 What is the difference between a theory and a hypothesis? It is usually difficult to distinguish a theory and a hypothesis because both involve concepts, definitions and relationships among variables. The basic differences are in the level of complexity and abstraction. Theories tend to be abstract and involve multiple variables, while hypothesis tend to be simple, two-variable propositions involving concrete instances. In research, a theory serves in various ways: It serves as an orientation. It narrows the range of facts we need to study. Any research problem may be studied in a number of ways, and theory suggests which ways are likely to yield the greatest meaning. Theory may also suggest a system for the researcher to impose on data in order to classify them in the most meaningful way. Theory also summarizes what is known about an object and states the uniformities that lie beyond the immediate observation. When this happens, the

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theory can also be used to predict further facts that should be found. 3.9 MODELS A model is defined as a representation of a system that is constructed to study some aspects of that system as a whole. 3.9.1 What is the difference between a model and a theory? Models differ from theories in that the role of a theory is to offer explanation while a models role is of representation. A model represents a structure of something. For example a researcher is expected to develop a conceptual model, which structurally describes the relationship between the variables of the study.

End of topic Exercise. Now that you have understood what hypothesis are attempt to provide some answers to the following question in respect to a research you expect to undertake. State your research questions-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Do you intend to use hypothesis to investigate these questions? Yes-----NO----

If your answer is no give reasons-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------If your answer is yes, state your hypothesis---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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If the hypothesis suggests a relationships between at least two variables. State them ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------From the hypothesis, specify which is the (a) dependent variable---------------------------------------(b) the independent variable----------------------------

Indicate whether your variables are categorical or quantitative------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Check whether there are extraneous variables that might affect your results. List them down--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Anderson, B. (1966) The Psychology Experiment: An Introduction to the Scientific Method. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. Epiet, (1996) Introductory Course: Lazereto de Mahon, Menorca, Spain. Fred C, (1989): Success in statistics George W (1997) Design of Sampling Experiments in the Social Sciences. Hunt N and Tyrrell S (2001) Coventry University Probability Sampling Techniques. Patton, M. Q. (1990) Qualitative evaluation and research methods (2nd Ed.). Newbury. Park, CA (1992): Fundamental Applications of Statistics Sage Publications. [Del Siegel, Ph.D. del.siegle@uconn.edu Snedecor, W. George (1997) Design of Sampling Experiments in the Social sciences. Valeric J and John H (2000): Statistics and Design Models

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LECTURE FOUR MEASUREMENT OF VARIABLES, VALIDITY AND RELIABILITY


4.1 INTRODUCTION

In your daily life, you carry out some measure when you use some yardstick to determine weight, height, length, and time of any other feature of an object. You also measure when you judge how well you like a person, a song, a place or an academic course. We, therefore, measure physical objects as well as abstract concepts. We need to appreciate that measurement is a relatively complex and demanding task, especially when it involves qualitative or abstract phenomena. In this lecture, we will look at the various measurement and scaling techniques a researcher can use. _____________________________________________________________________ Lecture objectives. By the end of this lecture, you should be able to: Define the term measurement as used in research Explain the various measurement scales Discuss the sources of error in measurement Define the term scaling as used in research. Discuss the various scaling techniques. Explain what is meant by the term validity in research Name the three types of validity in research Explain what is meant by the term reliability. Describe three ways to estimate the reliability of the scores obtained using a particular instrument. _____________________________________________________________________ 4.2 DEFINING THE TERM MEASUREMENT

Measurement is the process of assigning numbers to objects or observation, the level of measurement being a function of the rules under which the numbers are assigned, (Kothari, 2004). A rule specifies the procedure a researcher uses to assign numerals or numbers to objects or events. A rule might say: assign the numerals 1 to a male and numeral 2 to a female. While it is easy to assign numbers in respect of properties of some object, it is relatively difficult in respect to others. For example, measuring such things, as intelligence, love, hate is much less obvious and requires much closer attention than measuring physical properties like, length, height or width. While we can expect high accuracy in measuring physical properties like the height of a person, we would be less confidence about the accuracy of the measurements we use for abstract concepts like motivation to work.

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In measuring a property of an object, we devise some form of scale in the range (in terms of set theory) and then transform or map the property of the objects from the domain. Rules are the most significant component of the measurement procedure because they determine the quality of measurement. Poor rules make measurement meaningless. Measurement is meaningless when it is not tied to reality, when it lacks an empirical basis. The functions of rules are to tie the measurement procedure to reality. In social sciences, the researchers measure indicators of concepts. As we said earlier, abstract concepts such as motivation, love or hate cannot be observed directly; researchers must infer their presence by measuring their empirical, observable indicators. For instance motivation can be measures by some identifiable behaviour like, being punctual or being ready to take more responsibility. Therefore, we can say that indicators are specified by operational definitions. After a researcher observes the indicators, they substitute numerals or numbers for the value of the indicator and perform quantitative analyses.

4.3

LEVELS OF MEASUREMENTS (MEASUREMENT SCALES)

The term, scales is sometimes used instead of levels of measurement What is a scale? A scale may be thought of as a tool for measuring. The most widely used classification of measurement scales are; nominal, ordinal, interval and ratio. Let us discuss each of them.

4.3.1

Nominal scale

Nominal scales are the lowest level of measurement. Nominal scale is simply a system of assigning symbols to events in order to label them. The numbers assigned to an object is only a symbol. For instance, we can use numbers 1 and 2 to represent male and female respectively. As a rule, we should the categories should be exhaustive (that is, with no case that include all cases of that type) and mutually exclusive (that no case can be classified as belonging to more than one category). The numbers are just convenient labels for the particular class of events and as such have no quantitative value.

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Nominal scale is the least powerful level of measurement. It does not indicate order or distance relationship and has no arithmetic origin. It simply describes differences between things by assigning them to categories. The scale wastes all the information that may have about varying degrees of the variable. The main statistics used for nominal scale are the mode, measures of qualitative variation and appropriate measures of association. Chi-square test is the most common test of statistical significance. Fore measures of correlation the contingency coefficient can be worked out. 4.3.2 Ordinal scale.

This is a level of measurement that shows the relative importance of variables in order of magnitude, size and preferences. Ordinal scale emphasizes order, which is expressed in degree of quality. The typical relations are, higher, greater, More desired and so on. In most cases, ordinal scales indicate rank order. 4.3.3 Interval scale. An interval scale processes all the characteristics of an ordinal scale with one additional feature; the distances between the points on this scale are equal. For example the distance between a score of 70 and 80 is the same as the score between 80 and 90. This level of measurement is used where particular data and information collected has quantifiable magnitude such as population size, weight and distances, which are measured against an established criteria or standard. Examples of such measurements include year calendar, temperature, time, and test scores. 4.3.4. Ratio scales. This is the highest level of measurement that entails expressing the number of persons, and other attributes such as proportions of the total population. It is a scale that possesses an actual, or zero point. Variables such as weight, time, length, and area have natural zero points and are measured at the ratio level. 4.4 MEASUREMENT ERRORS.

Any good scientific study should be precise and unambiguous. However, some errors can occur in the process of measurements. There are four main sources of measurement errors. They are:

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Respondent: The respondents can be a source of measurement errors. This may occur if the respondent is reluctant to express strong negative feelings or it is just possible that he may have very little knowledge but may not admit his ignorance on the subject of study. Other respondent related errors may occur due to fatigue, boredom, anxiety etc. and may limit the ability of the respondent to respond accurately and fully. Situation: Situational factors may also come in the way of correct measurement. Any condition that places a strain on interview can have serious effects on the interviewer-respondent rapport. For example, if some one else is present during the interview, the respondent may feel shy to give all the information the may want to give. Measurer: The interviewer can be a source of error if they distort responses by rewording or reordering the questions. The interviewers behaviour, style, or looks may encourage or discourage certain replies from the respondents. The sources may relate to incorrect coding, faulty tabulation and/ or statistical calculations, or careless mechanical processing. Instruments: Defective measuring instruments may cause measurement errors. For example, using complex words beyond the comprehension of the respondents, ambiguous meanings, poor printing, inadequate space for replies, response choice omissions and so on. It is therefore important for the researcher to ensure that they meet all the problems listed above. 4.4.1 Scaling Techniques

Scales involve rating qualitative descriptions of a limited number of aspects or traits of a person. When using rating scales (or categorical scales), we judge an object in absolute terms against some specified criteria. for instance, we judge properties of objects without reference to other similar objects. Such ratings may be in such forms as like-dislike, above average, average below average. Note that there is no specified rule whether to use a two-point scale, three-point scale or scale with still more points.

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Types of rating scales (A) Arbitrary scales: These are scales that are developed on ad hoc basis and are designed largely through the researchers own subjective selection of items. Normally, the researcher will first collect some statements or items, which he believes are unambiguous and appropriate to a given topic. Some of these are selected for inclusion in the measuring instruments and then people are asked to check in a list the statements with which they agree. Such scales are easy to develop quickly and are relatively less expensive. They can also be designed to be highly specific and adequate. It is for this reason that such scales are widely used in practice. Their greatest disadvantage is that we do not have objective evidence that such scales measure the concepts for which they have been developed. They rely on the researchers insight and competence. (b) Differential scales (Thurstone type scales): Under this approach, the selection of items is made by a panel of judges who evaluate the items in terms of whether they are relevant to the topic area and unambiguous in implication. The procedure entails the following: The researcher gathers a large number of statements, usually twenty or more, that express various points of view towards a group, institution, idea or practice( i.e., statements belonging to the topic area). These statements are then submitted to a panel of judges, each of who arranges them in eleven groups or piles ranging from one extreme to another in position. Each of the judges is requested to place generally in the first pile the statement which he thinks are most unfavourable to the issue, in the second pile to place those statements which he thinks are next most unfavourable and he goes on doing so in this manner till in the eleventh pile he puts the statements which he considers to be the most favourable. This sorting by each judge yields a composite position for each of the items. In case of marked disagreement between the judges in assigning a position to an item, what item is discarded? Fri items that are retained, each is given its median scale value between one and eleven as established by the panel. That is the scale value of any statement is computed as the median position to which it is assigned by the

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group of judges. A final selection of statements is then made. For this purpose, a sample of statements whose median scores are spread evenly from one extreme to the other is taken. The statement so selected, constitute the final scale to be administered to respondents. The position of each statement on the scale is the same as determined by the judges. The Thurstone method has been used widely for developing differential scales which are utilised to measure attitudes towards varied issues like war, religion etc. However, they are difficult to develop and also expensive. The method is not completely objective; it involves ultimately subjective decision process.

(c) Summated scales (likert-type scales) These are scales that are developed by utilizing the item analysis approach wherein a particular item is evaluated on the basis of how well it discriminates between those persons whose total scores is high and those scores is low. Those items or statements that best meet this sort of discrimination test are included in the final instrument. Summated scales consist of a number of statements which express either a favourable or unfavourable attitude towards the given object to which the respondents is asked to react. The respondent indicates his agreement or disagreement with each statement in the instrument. Each response is given a numerical score, indicating its favourableness or unfavourableness, and the scores are totalled to measure the respondents attitude. At the end, the overall score represents the respondents position on the continuum of favourable unfavourable ness towards an issue. The most frequently used of this type of scale is the Likert Scales. 4.5 VALIDITY AND RELIABILITY OF DATA COLLECTION INSTRUMENTS We have already mentioned earlier that the conclusions made by researchers are based on the information they obtain from the instruments. Therefore, the quality of instruments used in research is very important. To achieve this, researchers ensure that the instruments are reliable and valid. Validity refers to the appropriateness, meaningfulness and usefulness of the inferences a researcher makes. Reliability refers to the consistency of scores or answers from one administration of an instrument to another, and from one set of items to another. In this lecture, we will discuss several procedures
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used by researchers to ensure that the conclusions they draw are based on collect and valid data. Let us now discuss the concepts of validity and reliability in details. 4.5.1 Validity

Before you use a research instrument you must ensure that it has some validity. Validity is the most important idea to consider when preparing or selecting an instrument for use. For example, if a project manager want to know whether the people support the project or not he or she will need an instrument to record the data and some sort of assurance that the information obtained will enable him or her to draw the correct conclusions about the peoples feelings or opinions. The process of drawing the correct conclusions based on the data obtained from an assessment is what validity is all about. Validation on the other hand, is the process of collecting evidence to support the inference made. What is important to us is to realize that validity refers to the degree to which evidence supports any inferences a researcher makes based on the data he or she collects using a particular instrument. It is important for us to note that it is the inferences about the specific uses of an instrument that are validated, and not the instrument itself. Therefore, the inferences made should be appropriate, meaningful and useful. What do we mean by appropriate inference?

An appropriate inference is one that is relevant to the purpose of the study. For example, if the purpose of a study was to determine what people know about the importance of a project, it would make no sense to make inferences about this from a test score about the most popular politician in the area. A meaningful inference: A meaningful inference is one that says something about the meaning of the information obtained through the use of the instrument. For example, if you say that a person attitude towards something is high? What exactly does a positive attitude score mean? What does such a positive attitude score allow us to say about an individual who has it? In what ways is that individual different from one who receives a negative attitude score? The important thing to remember is that the purpose of research is not merely to collect data, but to use such data to draw warranted conclusions about a people or a situation on which the data were collected. Validity, therefore, depends on the amount and type of evidence there is to support the

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interpretations the researchers wish to make concerning data they have collected. The most important question we should ask ourselves as researchers is whether the results of the assessment provided useful information about the research questions or the variables being measured. 4.5.1.1 Types of validity There are three types of validity that are of interest to us as researchers. They are: content-related evidence of validity, the criterion-related evidence of validity and the construct related evidence of validity. Let us briefly look at each one of them. i) Content-related validity: this type of validity refers to the content and format of

the instrument. The mains questions a researcher should ask are: How appropriate is the content of the instrument to the purpose of the study? How comprehensive is the content in measuring all the constructs of the variable being measured? Does the content logically get at the intended variable? How adequate does the sample of items or questions represent the content to be measured? Is the instrument format appropriate? A researcher needs to provide answers to these questions before using the instrument to collect data. ii) Criterion-related validity: this refers to the relationship between scores obtained using an instrument and scores obtained using one or more other instruments or measures. It is expressed as the coefficient of correlation between test scores and some measure of future performance or between test scores and scores on another measure of known validity. What is important is to ask ourselves how well the scores estimate present or predict future occurrences. The criterion validity must possess the following qualities: Relevance: a criterion is relevant if it is defined in terms of what we judge to be the proper measures. Freedom from bias: a criterion is said to be free from bias if it gives each subject an equal opportunity to score Reliability: a reliable criterion is stable or reproducible Availability: the information specified by the criterion must be available. iii) Construct Validity: this refers to the nature of the psychological construct or characteristic being measured. A measure is said to possess construct validity to the

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degree that it conforms to predicted correlations with other theoretical propositions. It measures the degree to which scores on a test can be accounted for by the explanatory construct of sound theory. In this case, we associate a set of other propositions with the results received from using our measurement instrument. If the measurements on our devised scale correlate in a predicated way with these other propositions, we conclude that there is some construct validity. 4.5.2 Reliability

Reliability is another important measurement in research. Reliability refers to the consistence of the scores obtained. That is how consistent the scores are for each individual from one administration of an instrument to another and from one item to another. It is important to note that reliable measuring instruments do contribute to validity, but a reliable instrument needs to be a valid instrument. For example, a measuring scale that consistently under weighs an object by one kilo is a reliable scale but it is not a valid measure of weight! Reliability has two aspects, stability and equivalency. Reliability is said to be stable if it gives consistent results with repeated measurements of the same object with the same instrument. The degree of stability is determined by comparing the results of repeated measurements. Equivalency is the measure of how much error gets introduced by different investigators or different samples of the items being studied. A good way to test for the equivalency of measurement by two researchers is to compare their observations of the same events. 4.5.2.1 How do we improve reliability? By standardising the conditions under which the measurements takes place. That is by ensuring that external sources of variation to the measure are minimised By carefully designing directions for measurement with no variation from group to group, by using trained and motivated persons to conduct the research and also by broadening the sample of items used. The aim here is to improve equivalency

Just like many situations in life, errors of measurement can occur in research. If an instrument is administered to the same group more than once, or when two different forms of an instrument are used there is bound to be variation in the test score.

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Researchers should strive to ensure that their instruments are reliable. They can do so by calculating the reliability coefficient of the instruments. A reliability coefficient expresses a relationship between scores of the same individual on the same instrument at two different times or between two parts of the same instrument. There are three best known ways to obtain a reliability coefficient. They are: the test-retest method, the equivalent-forms method; and the internal consistency methods. Let us briefly look at how they are used in research. i) Test-retest method

This method involves administering the same test twice to the same group after a certain time interval has elapsed since the previous test. A reliability coefficient is then calculated to indicate the relationship between the two sets of scores obtained. Note that this coefficient will be affected by the length of time that elapses between the two administrations of the test. The longer the time interval, the lower the reliability coefficient is likely to be since there is greater likelihood of changes in the individuals taking the test. However, the variable being tested should have some level of stability within a given period of time. ii) Equivalent Forms method

This involves giving two different but equivalent forms of an instrument to the same group of people or research object during the same time period. Although the items (questions) are different, they should sample the same content and they should be constructed separately from each other. A reliability coefficient should be calculated between the two sets of scores obtained. A high coefficient would indicate strong evidence of reliability. This would imply that the two forms are measuring the same thing. iii) Internal consistency methods

The two method so far considered (i.e., the test-retest and the equivalent methods) require two administration or testing sessions. However, there are other methods of estimating reliability which requires only a single administration of an instrument. They are; the split-half method, the Kuder- Richardson approaches and the alpha coefficient method. Let us discuss each one of them separately.

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iv)

The split- half methods

This involves scoring two-halves of a test separately for each person and then calculating a correlation coefficient for the two sets of scores. In most cases researchers will split the instrument into the odd items and the even items. The resulting coefficient indicates the degree to which the two halves of the test provide the same results, and hence describes the internal consistency of the test. The reliability coefficient is calculated using the Spearman-Brown prophecy formula as indicated here below: Reliability of scores on total test = 2 reliability for test 1+ reliability for tests. It is possible to increase reliability by increasing its length if the items added are similar to the original ones. v) Kuder- Richardson approaches:

This is the most frequently used method by researchers for determining internal consistency. It uses two formulas, the KR20 and KR 21. KR20 formula requires three types of information: the number of items in the test, the mean, and the standard deviation. It is important to note that this formula can only be used if we assume that the items are of equal difficulty. The formula is stated as follows:

As you are aware by now, this is a coefficient and that a coefficient value of .00 indicates a complete absence of a relationship and hence no reliability at all. A coefficient of 1.00 on the other hand indicates a complete relationship. For research purposes, the rule of thumb is that the reliability should be at least.70 and preferably higher. vi) The Alpha coefficient (Cronbach alpha): This is a general form KR20 formula

and it is used to calculating reliability of items that are not scored right versus wrong.

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Summary We have discussed that validity as used in research refers to the appropriateness, meaningfulness and usefulness of any inferences a researcher draws based on data obtained through the use of an instrument. There are three types of validity: the contentrelated validity, the criterion-related validity and the construct-related validity. On the other hand, reliability as used in research refers to the consistency of scores or answers provided by an instrument. There are three methods of estimating reliability: the testretest method, the equivalent forms method and the internal consistency methods. Whatever method a researcher decides to use, he or she must ensure that the results represent the true picture of the situation.

Self-Evaluation Test In each of the statements presented here below, indicate what type of evidence (Validity) would better represent the statement. Ninety five of the respondents who scored high on an attitude test. Do you think there is a relationship between reliability and validity in research? Discuss the three types of reliability and give example in what research situations you would use each of them. What are the main sources of measurement errors in research?

Activity In my research project , I will use the following existing instruments--------------------

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-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------The following is a summary of what I have learnt about validity and reliability of the scores obtained with these instruments-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------If you are not going to use an existing instrument , indicate here below the instruments you intend to use-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------. Indicate how you will ensure reliability and validity of the results obtained with these instruments------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------(a) indicate how you will collect evidence to check internal consistency of the instruments you will use --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Indicate how you will collect evidence to check reliability over time (Stability of the instrument)--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Indicate how you will collect evidence to check validity---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Anderson, B. (1966) the Psychology Experiment: An Introduction to


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the Scientific Method. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. Epiet, (1996) Introductory Course: Lazereto de Mahon, Menorca, Spain. Fred C, (1989): Success in statistics George W (1997) Design of Sampling Experiments in the Social Sciences. Hunt N and Tyrrell S (2001) Coventry University Probability Sampling Techniques. Patton, M. Q. (1990) Qualitative evaluation and research methods (2nd Ed.). Newbury. Park, CA (1992): Fundamental Applications of Statistics Sage Publications. [Del Siegel, Ph.D. del.siegle@uconn.edu Snedecor, W. George (1997) Design of Sampling Experiments in the Social sciences. Valeric J and John H (2000): Statistics and Design Models

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LECTURE FIVE
FREQUENCY DISTRIBUTION AND THE NORMAL CURVE 5.1 Introduction. In this lecture we are going to look at frequency distribution. In most case the population of study will bear some form of distribution. We are going to discuss the normal distribution and the non-normal distributions as they relate to research methods. _____________________________________________________________________ Lecture objectives. By the end of this lecture, you should be able to: Explain the meaning of frequency distribution Explain the meaning of normal curve Discuss the importance of the normal curve in research. Discuss the non-normal distributions

____________________________________________________________________ 5.2 What is a frequency distribution? A frequency distribution is an arrangement of statistical data. It can also be seen as a way of classifying statistical data that allows comparisons of the results in each category. Below is a frequency distribution table, which summarizes data for the performance of a class in an examination. Table: Examination results for a class. Interval Midpoints Frequency 0-10 10-20 20-30 30-40 40-50 50-60 60-70 70-80 80-90 90-100 5 15 25 35 45 55 65 75 85 95 20 15 18 25 44 88 222 335 218 215

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In the frequency table, the first column lists the ten intervals into which the class grades were grouped. The second column lists the midpoints of these intervals. The third column lists the number of grades in each interval that is their frequency. 5.3Types of Frequency Distribution (a) Normal distribution

What is a normal curve?

A normal curve is the symmetrical bell-shaped curve of a normal distribution. Many values (numerical quantities) normally form a normal distribution. In a normal distribution, the values cluster around an average value and fewer values are found at increasing distances from the average. A graph of the ages of a church congregation will tend to form a bell-shaped curve. A normal curve has the following five properties: i) It is symmetrical and bell-shaped ii) The mode, the median and the mean coincide at the centre of the distribution. iii) The curve is based on an infinite number of observations. Therefore the curve has no boundaries in either direction, for it never touches the base line no mater how far it is extended. It is a curve of probability and not of certainty. iv) A single mathematical formula describes how frequencies are related to the value of the variables. v) In any normal distribution, a fixed proportion of the observations lie between the mean and fixed units of standard deviations. This means that the mean of the distribution divides it exactly in half. That is 34.13 percent of the observations fall between the mean and one standard deviation to the right of the mean and that the same proportion fall between the mean and one standard deviation to the left of the mean. The total area under the normal curve may be considered to approach 100 percent probability. If you observed a typical normal curve you will realize that an area between the mean and the various standard deviations from the mean under the curve shows the relationship between these percentages.

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You should be able to note the following graphical confirmation of the characteristics of the normal curve: i) It is symmetrical- the percentage of frequencies is the same for intervals below or above the mean. ii) The terms or score cluster or crowd around the mean. iii) The curve is highest at the mean. The mean, median, and mode have the same values. iv) The curve has no boundaries. A small fraction of 1 percent of the space falls outside of 3.00 standard deviations from the mean.

It also important for us to note that the normal curve describes probabilities. For example, if weight is normally distributed for a given segment of the population, the chances are 34.13% that a person is selected at random will be between the mean and one standard deviation above the mean in weight. It also means that 34.13 % that the person selected will be between the mean and one standard deviation below the mean height. Alternatively, we can say that 68.26% probability that the selected person will be within one standard deviation (above or below) the mean in weight. We can also interpret it to mean that 68.26% of the population segment will be between the mean and one standard deviation above or below the mean in height.

Activity Assume that performance of students in an examination should be normally distributed. If the mean of the class is say 60 marks, and a standard deviation of 5 what would the mark of a student taken at random from the class be? (b) Non-normal distributions In some cases a research may find himself / herself confronted by sample distributions that are not identical or close to a normal curve. These are the distributions we refer to as non-normal distributions. We have two types of such distributions; the skewed and the bimodal. (i) Skewed distributions With skewed distributions, the majority of the scores are near the high or low end of the range, with relatively few scores at the other end. The distributions are considered skewed in the direction of the tail. Therefore, a distribution can be either positively skewed or negatively skewed. In figure you will note that distribution (i) is positively

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skewed while distribution (ii) is negatively skewed. (ii)Bimodal distributions Bimodal means having two modes of distribution. Look at figure. You will note that the distribution has is different from the normal curve distribution or the skewed distribution. This situation can occurs if the data is collected form sample populations consisting of persons from two populations. For example the height of Kenyan adults would be bimodally distributed, females clustering around a mode of about 5 feet 3 inches and males a round a mode of about 5 feet 8 inches.

5.4 How do we interpret the normal probability distribution? When researchers are dealing with scores that are normally or near normally distributed, they use the normal curve probability table. The values presented in the normal probability table are critical because they provide data for normal distributions that may be interpreted in the following ways: i) The percentage of the total space included between the mean and a given sigma distance (z) from the mean. ii) The percentage of cases, or the number when N is known, that fall between the mean and a given sigma distance (z) from the mean iii) The probability that an event will occur between the mean and a given sigma distance (z) from the mean

. The following are the characteristics that hold true for the normal distribution: The space included between the mean and + 1.00z is 0.3413 of the total are under the curve The percentage of cases that fall between the mean and + 1.00z is 0.3413. The probability of an events occurring (observation) between the mean and +1.00z is 0.3413. The distribution is divided into two equal parts; one half above the mean and the other half below the mean. Because one half of the curve is above the mean and 0.3413 of the total area is between the mean and + 1.00z, the area of the curve that is above + 1.00z is 0.1587.

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You will note that the normal probability curve is symmetrical. Therefore, the shape of the right side (above the mean) is identical to the shape of the left side (below the mean). The fact that the values for each side of the curve are identical only one set of the sigma (standard deviation) unit. 5.5 What are some practical applications of the Normal Curve? The normal curve has a number of practical applications in research. Here are some of them: To calculate the percentiles rank of scores in a normal distribution. To normalize a frequency distribution, an important process in standardizing a test. To test the significance of observed measure in experiments, relating them to the chance fluctuations an error that are inherent in the process of sampling and generalizing about populations from which the samples are drawn.

Suggestion for further readings Donald R. Cooper & C. William Emory (1995). Business Research Methods. 5th Edition. The McGraw-Hill Companies.Inc.USA. Frankfort-Nachmias and David Nachmias (1996).Research Methods in Social Sciences. 5th edition.St. Martins Press Inc.Great Britain. Frankel, R. Jack & Norman E. Wallen (2000). How to Design and Evaluate Research in Education, 4th edition. McGraw Hill Higher Education, USA. . John W. Best & James V. Kahn (1993). Research in Education. PrenticeHall of India Private limited, New Delhi Robert B. Burns (2000). Introduction to Research Methods. Fourth Edition. SAGE publications London EG2A 4PU.

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LECTURE SIX SAMPLING DESIGN


6.1 INTRODUCTION

When a researcher wants to know something about a certain group of people, they usually find a few members of the group and study them. After they have finished studying the individuals they usually come up with conclusions about a larger group. Researchers collect data in order to test hypothesis and to provide empirical support for explanations and predictions. Once the researchers have constructed their measuring instruments in order to collect sufficient data pertinent to the research problem, the subsequent explanations and predictions must be capable of being generalized to be of scientific value. Typically, generalizations are not based on data collected from all the observations, all the respondents, or all the events that are defined by the research problem. Instead, researchers use a relatively small number of cases (a sample) as the bases for making inferences about all the cases (a population), Nachmias, 1996 pp178. Many commonsense observations, in fact, are based on observations of relatively few people. In this lecture, we discuss the meaning of sampling and its purpose in research. Later in the lecture, we will discuss the various sampling techniques. _______________________________________________________________________ Lecture objectives By the end of this topic, you should be able to: Distinguish between a sample and a population Explain what is meant by the term representative sample. Explain how a target population differs from an accessible population Distinguish between the various types of sampling techniques Explain how the sample size can make a difference in terms of representativeness of the sample. _______________________________________________________________________

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What is a sample?

A sample is a group in a research study on which information is obtained. A population is the group to which the results of the study are intended to apply. In almost all research investigations, the sample is smaller than the population, since the researchers rarely have access to all the members of the population. One of the most important steps in the research process is to select the sample of individuals who will participate as part of the study. Sampling refers to the process of selecting these individuals. Researchers would prefer to study the entire population in which they are interested. However, this is difficult to do. Most populations of interest are large, diverse, and scattered over a large geographic area. Finding, let alone contacting all the members can be time- consuming and expensive. For that reason, of necessity, researchers often select a sample to study. 6.2 WHAT ARE THE AIMS OF SAMPLING?

As we stated earlier, it is often impossible, impractical or extremely expensive to collect data from all the potential units of analysis covered by the research problem. Therefore, researchers normally resort to drawing inferences on all the units based on a relatively small number of units when the subsets of the unit accurately represent the relevant attributes of the whole set. For a researcher to accurately estimate unknown parameters from the known statistics, they have to effectively deal with three major problems namely, first, the definition of the population, secondly, the sampling design and thirdly, the size of the sample. Let us now discuss each of them. 6.3 WHAT IS A POPULATION?

A population can be referred to as the entire set of relevant units of analysis, or data. It can as well be referred to as the aggregate of all cases that conform to some designated set of specifications, Isidor Chein, 1982, pp 419{ Isidor Chein, An Introduction to Sampling, in Claire Selltiz,et al., Research Methods in Social relations, 4th ed.( New

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York: Holt, Renehart and Winston,1981), p.419. Foe example, we can define a population consisting of all the people residing in Kenya. We can even narrow this down to a specific population of say university students in the University of Nairobi. A population may be either finite or infinite. A finite population contains a countable number of sampling units, for example, all registered voters in a particular constituency in a given election year. An infinite population, on the other hand, consists of an endless number of sampling units, such as an unlimited number of stars in the sky.

6.4

WHAT IS A SAMPLING UNIT?

A sampling unit is a single member of a sampling population. For example, if you are studying the University of Nairobi students, each single student becomes your sampling unit. A good sampling unit must it must be relevant to the research problem. It is important to note that a sampling unit need not be an individual. It can be an event, a city, or a situation. 6.5 WHAT IS SAMPLING FRAME?

It is very important for a researcher to draw a sampling frame for the population of the study. A sampling frame is a complete listing of the sampling units. The accuracy of a sample depends largely on the sampling frame. Indeed, every aspect of the sampling design- the population covered, the stages of sampling, and the sampling frame influences the actual selection process-. 6.6 SAMPLE DESIGN.

We have already underscored the need for a representative sample. A sample is considered to be representative if the analyses made using the researchers sampling units produce results similar to those that would be obtained had the researcher analyzed the entire population. There are several approaches that help the researchers to design a sample. Broadly, speaking, the basic distinctions are between the probability and the non-probability sampling technique. We are now going to discuss the distinction between the two approaches.

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6.6.1 Probability Sampling Techniques This provides a scientific technique of drawing samples from the population according to the laws of chance in which each unit in the universe has some definite pre-assigned probability of being selected in the sample. The selection of the sample based on the theory of probability is also known as random selection and sometimes the probability sampling is also called Random Sampling. According to Simpson and Kafka, "Random samples are characterized by the way in which they are selected. Randomness is not used in the sense of haphazard or hit or miss". When using probability sampling technique, the sampling units are selected according to some probability laws. Some of these laws are that: Each sample unit has an equal chance of being selected. Sampling units have varying probability of being selected. Probability of selection of a unit is proportional to the sample size.

With a probabilistic sample, we know the odds or probability that we have represented the population well. We are able to estimate confidence intervals for the statistic. Some of the important types of probability sampling techniques include; (i) Simple Random Sampling (ii) Stratified Random Sampling (iii) Systemic Sampling (iv) Multistage sampling (v) Quasi-Random sampling (vi) Area Sampling (vii) Simple Cluster Sampling 6.6.2 Simple random sampling technique

In statistics, a simple random sample is a group of subjects (a sample) chosen from a larger group (a population). Each subject from the population is chosen randomly and entirely by chance, such that each subject has the same probability (or chance) of being chosen at any stage during the sampling process.

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In small populations such sampling is typically done "without replacement", i.e., one deliberately avoids choosing any member of the population more than once. An unbiased random selection of subjects is important so that in the long run, the sample represents the population. However, this does not guarantee that a particular sample is a perfect representation of the population. Simple random sampling merely allows one to draw externally valid conclusions about the entire population based on the sample. Although simple random sampling can be conducted with replacement instead, this is less common and would normally be described more fully as simple random sampling with replacement. Conceptually, simple random sampling is the simplest of the probability sampling techniques. It requires a complete sampling frame, which may not be available or feasible to construct for large populations. Even if a complete frame is available, more efficient approaches may be possible if other useful information is available about the units in the population.

This type of sampling best suits situations where not much information is available about the population and data collection can be efficiently conducted on randomly distributed items. A simple random sample gives each member of the population an equal chance of being chosen. It is not a haphazard sample as some people think! One way of achieving a simple random sample is to number each element in the sampling frame (e.g. give everyone on the Electoral register a number) and then use random numbers to select the required sample. Random numbers can be obtained using your calculator, a spreadsheet, and printed tables of random numbers, or by the more traditional methods of drawing slips of paper from a hat, tossing coins or rolling dice. 6.6.3 Advantages and disadvantages of a simple random sampling technique

Advantages: It is ideal for statistical purposes. It is free of classification error. It requires minimum advance knowledge of the population

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Disadvantages 6.6.3 It is hard to achieve in practice It requires an accurate list of the whole population It is expensive to conduct as those sampled may be scattered over a wide area. The selected sample is not necessarily representative of the larger population. Stratified Random Sampling Technique

This is also referred to as proportional random sampling. It involves dividing your population into homogeneous subgroups and then taking a simple random sample in each subgroup. It falls under the random or probability sampling category. When surveys are being conducted, due to the population not being homogeneous, different problems are experienced in different parts of the population. To increase efficiency, it becomes important to treat homogenous parts of the population as populations in their own rights. Each homogenous part of the population is referred to as a stratum and simple random samples are taken from each stratum independently of each other.

When do we use stratified random sampling?

Stratified sampling techniques are generally used when the population is heterogeneous, or dissimilar or where certain homogeneous, or similar, sub-populations can be isolated (strata). Simple random sampling is most appropriate when the entire population from which the sample is taken is homogeneous. 6.6.3.1 Advantages and disadvantages of stratified sampling technique.

The following are the advantages and disadvantages of stratified sampling techniques.

Advantages It assures the researcher of representation not only for the overall population, but also key subgroups of the population, especially small minority groups. If you want to be able to talk about subgroups, this may be the only way to effectively assure you'll be able to. If the subgroup is extremely small, you can use different sampling fractions within the different strata to randomly over-sample the small group (although you'll then have to weight the within-group estimates using the sampling fraction whenever you want

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overall population estimates). When we use the same sampling fraction within strata, we are conducting proportionate stratified random sampling. When we use different sampling fractions in the strata, we call this disproportionate stratified random sampling.

Stratified random sampling will generally have more statistical precision than simple random sampling. This will only be true if the strata or groups are homogeneous. If they are, we expect that the variability within-groups are lower than the variability for the population as a whole. Administrative convenience - in this case we have field officers dealing with different parts of the population independently.

Disadvantages:

The following are the disadvantages of stratified random sample.

It can be difficult to select relevant stratification variables It is not useful when there are no homogeneous subgroups It can be expensive It requires accurate information about the population, or introduces bias. It looks randomly within specific sub headings.

6.6.4

Cluster Sampling Technique

This is a form of random sampling where the entire population is divided into groups, or clusters and a random sample of these clusters are selected. All observations in the selected clusters may be included in the sample or simple random sampling techniques may be used to pick out the individuals to be included from each cluster. When all units of the selected cluster are interviewed, this is referred to as "one-stage cluster sampling". If the subjects to be interviewed are selected randomly within the selected clusters, it is called "two-stage cluster sampling" (Caswell F 1989). Cluster sampling is a form of random sampling where the units sampled are chosen in clusters.

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This method of sampling is particularly useful where it is difficult to know the exact numbers of individuals in a population, for example in developing countries where official statistics are sparse. It is also applicable where the population is too large to carry out simple random or stratified sampling and is commonly used in geography and biology where; the survey area is covered with a grid of squares, A random sample of the squares is then used for a complete investigation either by counting some physical or manmade features in Geography or microbes, plant species etc in Biology. The results are then generalized to the rest of the grids.

Advantages and disadvantages of cluster sampling technique

Advantages

It helps to reduced field costs as a result of saving of travelling time and distance covered It is applicable where no complete list of units is available (special lists only need be formed for clusters).

Disadvantages

Units close to each other may be very similar and so less likely to represent the whole population It results in a larger sampling error than simple random sampling Clusters may not be representative of whole population but may be too alike Analysis of data is more complicated than for simple random sampling.

____________________________________________________________________

Study the following examples

Suppose that a survey is to be done in a large town and that the unit of enquiry is the individual household. Suppose further that the town contains 20,000

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households, all listed on convenient records, and a sample of 200 is needed. A simple random sample of 200 could well spread over the whole town incurring high costs and much inconvenience.

However one might decide to concentrate the sample in a few parts of the town. Suppose for simplicity the town can be divides into 400 areas with 50 households in each then one could select at random 4 areas (1/100) and include all households in these areas. Constituencies, Wards, Districts etc may be used as geographical demarcations.

Another example would be conducting interviews with doctors in a major city about their training needs. It would be difficult for the researcher to do a simple random sample of all the doctors because firstly, there may be no proper records of all the doctors practicing in that particular city, and secondly it may mean visiting most of the hospitals in that city to conduct the interviews. Therefore the researcher could decide that each hospital in the city represents one cluster, and then randomly select a small number, e.g. 20. He would then contact the doctors in these 20 hospitals for interviews. Better still he may use another random sample technique identify which doctors to interview

_________________________________________________________________

6.6.5

Multi-stage Sampling Technique.

Multi-stage sampling is like cluster sampling, but involves selecting a sample within each chosen cluster, rather than including all units in the cluster. Thus, multi-stage sampling involves selecting a sample in at least two stages.

In the first stage, large groups or clusters are selected. These clusters are designed to contain more population units than are required for the final sample. In the second stage, population units are chosen from selected clusters to derive a final sample. If more than two stages are used, the process of choosing population units within clusters continues until the final sample is achieved. If we took the national elections as an example, then a multi-stage sampling would involve, firstly, deciding on the electoral sub-divisions (clusters) to be sampled from a city or state. Secondly, blocks of houses are

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selected from within the electoral sub-divisions and, thirdly, individual houses are selected from within the selected blocks of houses.

Advantages and disadvantages of multi-stage cluster sampling technique. The following are the advantages and disadvantages of a multi-stage cluster sampling technique.

Advantages: It is convenient. It is economical. It is more efficient than the simple random, cluster random sampling techniques.

Disadvantages It has a lower accuracy due to higher sampling error.

6.6.7

Systematic sampling technique

Systematic sampling is a slight variation of the simple random sampling technique in which only the first sample unit is selected at random and the remaining units are automatically selected in a definite sequence at equal spacing from one another. This technique of drawing samples is usually recommended if there is complete and up to date list of the sampling units and that the units are arranged in some systematic order e.g.: alphabetical, chronological, geographical etc. Systematic random sample appears like a stratified random sample with one unit per stratum.

Advantages and disadvantages of systematic sampling technique

Advantages Very easy to operate and checking can also be done quickly. More efficient than simple random sampling

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Disadvantages Works well only if the complete and up to date frame is available and if the units are randomly arranged. Gives biased results if there are periodic features in the frame and the sampling interval is equal to or a multiple of the period. NON-PROBABILITY SAMPLING TECHNIQUES

6.7

In this method, a desired number of sample units is selected deliberately or purposely depending upon the object of inquiry so that only the important items representing the true characteristics of the population are included in the sample.

6.7.1

Purposive Sampling Technique

A sampling method in which elements are chosen based on purpose of the study. Purposive sampling may involve studying the entire population of some limited group (Diploma students at the University of Nairobi) or a subset of a population (Post Graduate Diploma in Project Planning & Management). Purposive sampling does not produce a sample that is representative of a larger population. It's a sample which is selected by the researcher subjectively. It is also called judgment sampling. Purposive sampling is the most popular in qualitative research and subjects are selected because of some characteristic (Patton, 1990).

Areas/Instances of application of the technique - This sampling technique can be applied in several situations. The main examples are: Validation of a test or instrument with a known population Collection of exploratory data from an unusual population (When the population for study is highly unique e.g. Parents of children with Tay Sack's disease). Use in qualitative studies to study the lived experience of a specific population. Intended to counteract the potential biases in convenience sampling When the desired population for the study is rare or very difficult to locate and recruit for a study, purposive sampling may be the only option. Where it is particularly important to explore the range of different potential impacts e.g. ensuring that the quota for women includes a selection of single

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women, very old women, and a literate woman and so on.(Epiet 1996) Advantages and disadvantages of Purposive sampling technique The following are the advantages and disadvantages of purposeful sampling technique. Advantages Easy to undertake It is sometimes possible to carry it through where randomization is not feasible. Very useful for situations where you need to reach a targeted sample quickly and where sampling for proportionality is not the primary concern. Cheaper. Used when sampling frame is not available. Useful when population is so widely dispersed that cluster sampling would not be efficient. Often used in exploratory studies, e.g. for hypothesis generation. Some research not interested in working out what proportion of population gives a particular response but rather in obtaining an idea of the range of responses on ideas that people have.

Disadvantages Results can be useless. Difficulty in determining how much of the effect (dependent variable) results from the cause (independent variable). Potential for bias/inaccuracy in the researcher's criteria and resulting sample selections Unable to generalize. One or two relevant examples/illustrations Ensuring that the quota for women includes a selection of single women, very old women, and a literate woman and so on. You are interested in studying cognitive processing speed of young adults who have suffered closed head brain injuries in automobile accidents. This would be a difficult population to find.

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6.7.2

Used in political polling - districts chosen because their pattern has in the past Quota sampling technique

Quota sampling is the non-probability equivalent of stratified sampling. In this case the population is first segmented into mutually exclusive sub-groups. This technique is one of non-probability sampling, selection of sample is non-random. Judgment is used to select the subjects or units from each segment based on a specified proportion (Anderson, 1966). There are two types of quota sampling: proportional and non proportional. In proportional quota sampling you want to represent the major characteristics of the population by sampling a proportional amount of each. For instance, if you know the population has 40% women and 60% men, and that you want a total sample size of 100, you will continue sampling until you get those percentages and then you will stop. So, if you've already got the 40 women for your sample, but not the sixty men, you will continue to sample men but even if legitimate women respondents come along, you will not sample them because you have already "met your quota." The problem here (as in much purposive sampling) is that you have to decide the specific characteristics on which you will base the quota. Will it be by gender, age, education race, religion, etc? One needs to have answers to these questions. Non proportional quota sampling is a bit less restrictive. In this method, you specify the minimum number of sampled units you want in each category. Here, you're not concerned with having numbers that match the proportions in the population. Instead, you simply want to have enough to assure that you will be able to talk about even small groups in the population. This method is the non probabilistic analogue of stratified random sampling in that it is typically used to assure that smaller groups are adequately represented in your sample.

Advantages and disadvantages of quota sampling technique

The following are the advantages and disadvantages of a quota sampling technique.

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Advantages: It reduces sampling error Relatively cheaper and easy to undertake Used when sampling frame is not available Often used in exploratory studies. Possible to carry it through where randomization is not feasible Useful for situations where you need to reach a targeted sample quickly and where sampling for proportionality is not the primary concern.

Disadvantages The problem is that these samples may be biased/ inaccurate because not everyone gets a chance of selection. Results can be useless Unable to generalize Difficulty in determining how much of the effect (dependent variable) results from the cause (independent variable).

6.7.3

Convenience Sampling Technique

As its name implies, convenience sampling refers to the collection of information from members of the population who are conveniently available to provide it. It is a nonprobability sampling method, thus the elements in the population do not have any probabilities attached to their being chosen as sample subjects. This means the findings from the study of the sample cannot be confidently generalized to the population. In other words, the researcher has no way of estimating the representativeness of convenience samples and therefore cannot estimate the population parameters.

Advantages and disadvantages of Convenience sampling technique

The following are the advantages and disadvantages of a convenience sampling

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technique.

Advantages It is very easy to conduct. It is not expensive It is less time consuming.

Disadvantages It is very biased The results obtained cannot be generalized to the population.

Areas of application: It's important to note that, convenience sampling is most used during exploratory phase of a research project i.e. during preliminary research efforts to get a gross estimate of the results. The researcher will obtain some quick information to get a feel for the phenomenon or variables of interest

Activity

In respect to your proposed research problems fill in the bank spaces in the following exercise. In my proposed research study the following will be my intended sample Subjects of the intended study---------------------------------------------------List down the specific sample and their respective numbers-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------2. Indicate the demographics (characteristics) of the sample in terms of the following: Age range-----------------------------------Sex distribution-------------------------------

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Ethnic breakdown----------------------Their geographical location---------------------------------Mention any other relevant characteristic not mentioned in the above list -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------3. Indicate, by ticking one, the type of sample from the list given here below: Simple random? ----Stratified random? -----Cluster random? -------Two-stage? ------Convenience? ----Purposive? ---4. Indicate how you will obtain your sample----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Anderson, B. (1966) The Psychology Experiment: An Introduction to the Scientific Method. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. Epiet, (1996) Introductory Course: Lazereto de Mahon, Menorca, Spain. Fred C, (1989): Success in statistics George W (1997) Design of Sampling Experiments in the Social Sciences. Hunt N and Tyrrell S (2001) Coventry University Probability Sampling Techniques. Patton, M. Q. (1990) Qualitative evaluation and research methods (2nd Ed.). Newbury. Park, CA (1992): Fundamental Applications of Statistics Sage Publications. [Del Siegel, Ph.D. del.siegle@uconn.edu Snedecor, W. George (1997) Design of Sampling Experiments in the Social sciences. Valeric J and John H (2000): Statistics and Design Models

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LECTURE SEVEN QUALITATIVE RESEARCH

7.1

INTRODUCTION

There has been much confusion over what qualitative research is. Some people think that qualitative research is non- quantitative. This is not true. First, some qualitative research results in some quantification (e.g., counting the numbers of occurrences of a particular behaviour). Second, that qualitative research is based on the phenomenological paradigm, which uses a variety of interpretive research methodologies while quantitative research is based on the logical-positive paradigm, which utilizes experimental research methodologies. Still some people believe that qualitative research uses a unitary approach, when in reality it uses a variety of alternative approaches. _____________________________________________________________________ Lecture objectives By the end of this topic you should be able to: Explain what is meant by the term qualitative research. Describe the general characteristics of qualitative research Describe at least three ways that qualitative research differs from quantitative research. Describe briefly the steps involved in qualitative research Explain how generalizing differs in qualitative research and quantitative research _____________________________________________________________________

What is qualitative research?

As Patton (1990) says, qualitative research uses different data than those used in traditional research methods. Qualitative research methods consist of three kinds of data collection: In- depth open-ended interviews; Direct observation; and Written documents.

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The data from interviews consists of direct quotations from people about their experiences, opinions, feelings and knowledge. The data from observations consists of detailed description of peoples activities, actions, and the full range excerpts, quotations, or entire passages from organizational clinical or program records; memoranda and correspondence; official publications and reports; personal diaries; open- ended written responses to questionnaires and survey 7.2 THEMES OF QUALITATIVE RESEARCH

Patton proposes ten themes, which inculcate qualitative research. These themes make the various qualitative research methods distinct from quantitative methods. Theme 1. Naturalistic inquiry How it works It involves the following: 2.Inductive analysis Studying real-world situations as they unfold naturally; It is none manipulative, unobtrusive, and none controlling; It is open to whatever emerges- it does not have predetermined constraints on outcomes The researcher focus on the details and specifics of the data to discover important categories, dimensions, and interrelationships; The research activity begins by exploring genuinely open questions rather than testing theoretically derived (deductive) hypothesis. 3.Holistic perspective 4. Qualitative data 5. Personal contact and insight The whole phenomenon under study is understood as a complex interdependencies not meaningfully reduced to a few discrete variables and linear, cause effect relationships It involves detailed, thick description; inquiry in depth; direct quotations capturing peoples personal perspectives and experiences The researcher has direct contact with and gets close to the people, situation, and phenomenon under study. The researchers personal experiences and insights are an important part of the inquiry and critical to understanding the phenomenon The researcher main attention is the research process. He/she assumes that change is constant and ongoing whether the focus

6. Dynamic systems

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is on an individual or an entire culture 7.Unique case orientation Assumes each case is special and unique; the first level of inquiry is being true to, respecting, and capturing the details of the individuals cases being studied; cross-case analysis follows from and depends on the quality of the individual case studies. It places its findings in a social, historical, and temporal context; dubious of the possibility or meaningfulness of generalization across time and space It recognizes that complete objectivity is impossible and that pure subjectivity undermines credibility. The researchers passion is understanding the world in all its complexity- not proving something, not advocating, not advancing personal agendas, but understanding. The researchers personal experiences and emphatic insight as part of the relevant data, while taking a neutral non-judgemental stance towards whatever content may emerge It is an open adapting inquiry process. The researcher understands of the phenomenon changes as the situations changes. It avoids getting locked into rigid designs that eliminates responsiveness; pursues new paths of discovery as they emerge.

8. Context sensitivity 9. Emphatic neutrality

10. Design flexibility

It is important to note that all qualitative research methods have one thing in common: The use of qualitative data, Sensitive to the context, Emphasis on researchers neutrality, and It focuses on inductive analysis.

i) Context sensitivity: qualitative data are so powerful because they are sensitive to the social, historical, and temporal context in which the data were collected. The particular importance of context sensitivity is that data are not generalized to other contexts, socially, spatially, or temporally. The logical-positivistic paradigm on the other hand, purposefully pursues research findings that can be generalised to other settings, persons, and times.

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ii) Inductive analysis enables the researcher to explore the data without prior hypotheses. This permits the researcher to discover reality without having to fit it into a preconceived theoretical perspective. This is obviously the antithesis of the logical-positivistic approaches, which insists that research be based on hypothesis generated from theory, prior research, or experience. iii) Holistic perspective taken by qualitative researchers is important for understanding the complex nature of many aspects of human and organizational behaviour. Design flexibility is critical to qualitative research. Whereas experimental research is carefully planned prior to commencing data collection with no possibility of change once started, qualitative research is open to change throughout the data collection process. This permits the researcher to adjust the direction of the inquiry based on the ongoing experience of collecting and thinking of the data. 7.3 QUANTITATIVE VERSUS QUALITATIVE RESEARCH AT A GLANCE Qualitative methodologies Preference for hypothesis that emerge as the study develops Preference Preference description for definitions for in context or as the study progresses narrative

Quantitative methodologies 1.Preference for precise hypothesis stated at the outset 2. preference for precise definition stated at the outset 3. Data reduced to numerical scores 4. Much attention to assessing and improving reliability of obtained from instruments scores

Preference for assuming that reliability of inference is adequate Assessment of validity through cross-checking sources of information( triangulation) Preference for narrative/ literacy description of procedures

5. Assessment of validity through a variety of procedures with reliance on statistical indices 6.preference for precise description of procedures 7.prefernce for design or statistical control of extraneous variables 8. Preference for specific design control for procedural bias 9. Preference for statistical summary of results

Preference reliance on researcher to deal with procedural bias Preference for narrative summary of results

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10. Preference for breaking down of complex phenomenon into specific parts for analysis 11. Willingness to manipulate aspects, situations, or conditions in studying complex phenomena

Preference for holistic description of complex phenomena Unwillingness to tamper with neutrality occurring phenomena

7.4 STEPS FOLLOWED WHEN CONDUCTING QUALITATIVE RESEARCH The steps involved in conducting a qualitative research study are not as distinct as they are in quantitative research; they often overlap and are sometimes even conducted concurrently. However, they have a starting and ending point. There are several steps that are followed in qualitative research. They are: i) Identification of the phenomenon to be studied. Before any study can begin, the researcher must identify the particular phenomenon he or she is interested in investigating ii) . iii) Identification of the participants in the study. The participants in the study constitute the sample of individuals who will be observed (interviewed, etc.). In other words, the subjects of the study. In almost all-qualitative research, the sample is a purposeful. Random sampling ordinarily is not feasible, since the researcher wants to ensure that he or she obtains a sample that is uniquely suited to the intent of the study. iv) Generalization of hypothesis. Contrary to most quantitative studies, hypotheses are not posed at the beginning of the study by the researcher. Instead, they emerge from the data as the study progresses. Some are almost immediately discarded; others are modified or replaced. New ones are formulated.

v) Data collection. There is no treatment in a qualitative study, nor is there any Manipulation of subjects. The participants in a qualitative study are not divided into groups, for example, as in experimental research, with one group being exposed to a treatment then measured in some way. Data are not collected at the end of the study; rather the collection of data is the research goes on. The researcher is continually observing people, events, and occurrences, often
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supplementing his or her observations with in-depth interviews of selected participants and the examination of various documents and records relevant to the phenomenon. vi) Data analysis. Analysing data in qualitative study essentially involves synthesizing the information the researcher obtains from various sources (e.g., observation, interviews, content analysis) into a coherent description of what he or she has observed or otherwise discovered. Hypothesis are not usually tested by means of inferential statistical procedures, as is the case with experimental or associational research, though some statistics, such as percentages may be calculated. However, data analysis in qualitative research relies heavily on description. vii) Drawing conclusions. In qualitative research conclusions are drawn continuously throughout the course of a study. Whereas quantitative researchers usually leave the drawing of the conclusions to the very end of their research, qualitative researchers tend to formulate their interpretations as they go along. As a result, one finds the researchers conclusions in a qualitative study more or less integrated with other steps in the research process. 7.5 VALIDITY AND RELIABILITY IN QUALITATIVE RESEARCH

A fundamental concern in qualitative research, in fact, revolves around the degree of confidence researchers can place in what they have seen or heard. In other words, how can researchers be sure that they are not being misled? As you are already aware, validity refers to the appropriateness, meaningfulness, and usefulness of the inferences researchers make based on the data they collect, while reliability refers to the consistency of these inferences overtime. However, in qualitative study much depends on the perspective of the researcher. Qualitative researchers use a number of techniques to check their perceptions in order to ensure that they are not being misinformed- that they are, in effect, seeing (or hearing) what they think they are. Such techniques include the following:

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a) Using a variety of instruments to collect data. When a conclusion is supported by data collected from a number of different instruments, its validity is enhanced. This kind of checking is called TRIANGULATION. b) Checking one informants descriptions of something against another informants description of the same thing. c) Learning to understand and, where appropriate, speak the vocabulary of the group being studied. d) Writing down the questions asked (in addition to the answers received). This helps the researcher to make sense at a later date out of the answers recorded earlier, and help them reduce distortions owing to selective forgetting. e) Recording personal thoughts while conducting observations and interviews. Responses that seem unusual or incorrect can be noted and checked later against other remarks or observations. f) Documenting the sources of remarks whenever possible and appropriate. This helps researchers make sense out of comments that otherwise might seem misplaced. Documenting the basis for inferences Describing the context in which questions are asked and situations are observed. Using audiotapes and videotapes when possible and appropriate. Drawing conclusions based on ones understanding of the situation being observed and then acting on these conclusions. If these conclusions are invalid, the researcher will soon find out after acting on them. Interviewing individuals more than once. Inconsistencies overtime in what the same individual reports may suggest that he or she is an unreliable informant. Observing the setting or situation of interest over a period of time. The length of an observation is extremely important in qualitative research. Consistency over time with regards to what researchers are seeing or hearing is a strong indication of reliability. Furthermore, there is much about a group that does not even begin to emerge until some time has passed, and the members of the group become familiar with, and willing to trust, the researcher. DEALING WITH GENERALIZATION IN QUALITATIVE RESEARCH

g) h) i) j)

k) l)

7.6

A generalization is usually thought of as a statement or claim of some sort that applies to more than one individual, group, object, or situation. The value of generalization is that it allows us to have expectations (and sometimes to make predictions) about the future. Although a generalization might not be true in every case, it describes. More often than not, what we would expect to find.

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Generalization in quantitative research is different from that from the qualitative research. In quantitative research, the researcher generalizes from the sample under investigation to the population of interest. Note that it is the researcher who does the generalising. He or she is likely to suggest to practitioners that the findings are of value and can (sometimes they say should) be applied in their situation. In qualitative studies, on the other hand, the researcher may also generalize, but it is much more likely that any generalization to be done will be by interested practitionersby individuals who are in situations similar to the one(s) investigated by the researcher. It is the practitioner, rather than the researcher, who judges the applicability of the researchers findings and conclusions, who determines whether the researchers findings fit his or her situation. 7.7 RESEARCH STRATEGIES (METHODOLOGIES) IN QUALITATIVE RESEARCH The choice of qualitative strategy depends on the focus of the research and the desired time frame for the study. The main and mostly used strategies are the ethnographic studies, case studies, content analysis, and field study. a) Documents or content analysis Documents are an important source of data in research. Document analysis is concerned with the explanation of the status of some phenomenon at a particular time or its development over a period of time. It serves a useful purpose in adding knowledge to fields of inquiry and in explaining certain social events. The main sources of data are: reports, printed forms, letters, autobiographies, diaries, compositions, themes or other academic work, books, periodicals, bulletins or catalogues, syllabi, court decisions, pictures, films, and cartoons. When using documentary sources, one must bear in mind that data appearing in print are not necessarily trustworthy. Documents used in descriptive research must be subjected to careful criticism. The documents must be authentic and valid. The researcher must hence establish the trustworthiness of all the data.

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b) The Case Study. The case study is a way of organising social data for the purpose of viewing social reality. It examines a social unit as a whole. The unit may be a person, a family, a social group, a social institution, or a community. The main purpose is to understand the lifecycle or an important part of the life cycle of the unit. The case study probes deeply and analyses interactions between the factors that explain present status or that influence change or growth. It is a longitudinal approach, showing development over a period of time. The focus of such a study is the typicalness rather than uniqueness. According to Bromley (1986), A case is not only about a person but also about that kind of a person. Thus the selection of the subject of the case study needs to be done carefully in order to assure that he or she is typical of those to whom we wish to generalise. There are several methods of collecting data in a case study: 1. Observations by the researcher or his or her informants of physical characteristics, social qualities, or behaviour. 2. Interviews with the subject(s), relatives, friends, teachers, counsellors, and others 3. Questionnaires, opinionnaires, psychological tests and inventories. 4. Recorded data from newspapers, schools, courts, clinics, government agencies, institution or other sources. Case studies are not confined to the study of individuals and their behavioural characteristics. They also include groups and organizations. There are several precautions that one should consider when using case study as a methodology: The method may look deceptively simple. To use it effectively, the researcher must be thoroughly familiar with existing theoretical knowledge of the field of inquiry, and skilful in isolating the significant variables from many that are irrelevant. There is tendency to select variables because of their spectacular nature rather than for their critical significance. Subjective bias is a constant threat to subjective data gathering and analysis. The danger of selecting variables relationships based upon preconceived convictions and the apparent consistency of a too limited feeling of certainty about the validity of his or her conclusions.

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Effects may be wrongly attributed to factors that are merely associated rather than cause-effect related. Ethnographic Studies.

c)

Ethnography is a method of field study observation that becomes popular in the later parts of the 19th century. It is alternatively called, cultural anthropology or naturalistic inquiry. It studies cultural features as language, marriage and family life, child-rearing practices, religious beliefs and practices, social relations and rules of conduct, political institutions, and methods of production. The data gathered consists of observation of patterns of action, verbal and nonverbal interactions between members of the tribe as well as between the subjects and the researcher and his or her informants, and the examination of whatever records or artefacts available. In most cases, the researcher is integrated into the group he or she is studying. Using the method of observation, the researcher observes, listens to, and sometimes converses with the subjects in as free and natural an atmosphere as possible. The assumption is that the most important behaviour of individuals in groups is a dynamic process of complex interactions and consists of more than a set of facts, statistics, or even discrete incidents. The strength of this kind of study lies in the observation of natural behaviour in a reallife setting, free from the constraints of more conventional research procedures. The second assumption is that human behaviour is influenced by the setting in which it occurs. The researcher must understand that setting and the nature of the social structure; its traditions, values, and norms of behaviour. This is because it is important to observe and interpret not just as an outside observer but also in terms of the subjects-how they view the situation, how they interpret their own thought, words, and activities, as well as those of others in the group. The researcher gets inside the minds of the subjects; while at the same time interpreting the behaviour from his or her own perspective. The relationship of the researcher to their subjects is based upon trust and confidence. A researcher should avoid aligning with either the authority or the subjects. He or she should take a neutral position. This will help in objective observation.

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7.8

DATA COLLECTION TECHNIQUES IN QUALITATIVE RESEARCH

There are two main techniques of collecting data in qualitative research. They are observation and interviews. i) Observations

Observation as a data collection technique in qualitative research consists of detailed notation of behaviour, events, and the contexts surrounding the events and behaviours. The detailed descriptions collected in qualitative research can be converted later to numerical data and analyzed quantitatively. According to Patton (1990), there are five dimensions to observation in qualitative research: The observers role may vary from full participation to complete outsider. The observer may conduct the observations covertly with the full knowledge of those being observed or with only some of those being observes aware of the observation Those being observed may be given full explanation, partial explanations, no explanations, or given false explanation. The observation may take place over the course of an entire duration or a brief duration Observations may vary in breadth. Some may be broad while others may be narrow.

It is important to note that the observations can be of the setting or physical environment, social interactions, physical activities, nonverbal communications, planned and unplanned activities and interactions, and unobtrusive indicators. The observer should be alert for non-occurrence- the things that should have happened but did not. ii) Interviews

Interviewing is the careful asking of relevant questions to a respondent. It has been described as the most important data-collection technique a qualitative researcher possesses. The purpose of interviewing people is to find out what is on their minds (what they think or how they feel about something).

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Interviews range from quite informal and completely open-ended to very formal with questions predetermined and asked in a standard manner (for example, the question may read to the interviewee to assure the same wording with all those being interviewed).
Types of Interviews used in qualitative research.

Structured and semi-structured interviews are verbal questionnaires. When formal, they consist of a series of questions designed to elicit specific answers on the part of respondents. Often they are used to obtain information that can later be compared and contrasted. They are conducted at the end of the study rather than at the beginning. Informal interviews are much less formal than structures or semi-structured interviews. They tend to resemble casual conversation, pursuing the interests of both the researcher and the respondents in turn. They are the most common in qualitative research. They do not involve any specific type or sequence of questions or any particular form of questioning. The primary intent of the informal interview is to find out what people think and how the views of one individual compare with those of another.

Retrospective interviews can range from structured, semi-structured, to informal. This involves the researcher trying to get the respondent to recall and then reconstruct from memory something that happened in the past. Unfortunately this type is the least likely of the four to provide accurate, reliable data for the researcher.

Interviewing strategies used in research Type interview of Characteristics Questions emerge from the immediate context and are asked in the natural course of things; there is no predetermination of question topics or wording Strength Increases the salience and relevance of questions; interviews are built on and emerge from observations; the interview can be matched to individual and circumstances Weaknesses Different information collected from different people with different questions. Less systematic and comprehensive if certain questions

Informal conversational interview

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do not arise naturally. Date organization and analysis can be quite difficult. Interview guide Topics and issues to be covered are specified in advance, in outline form; interviewers decides sequence and wording of questions in the course of the interview The outline increases the comprehensiveness of the data and makes data collection somewhat systematic for each respondent. Logical gaps in data can be anticipated and closed. Interviews remain fairly conversational and situational Important and salient topics may be inadvertently omitted. Interviewer flexibility in sequencing and wording questions can result in substantially different responses from different perspectives, thus reducing the comparability of responses Little flexibility in relating the interview to particular individuals and circumstances; standardized wording of questions may constrain and limit naturalness and relevance of questions and answers.

Standardized open-ended interview

The exact wording Respondents answer the and sequence of same questions, thus questions are increasing of determined in comparability advance. All interviewees are asked the same basic question in the same order. Questions are worded in a completely openended format responses; data are complete for each person on the topic addressed in the interview. Reduces interviewer effects and bias when several interviewers are used .permits evaluation users to see and review the instrumentation used in the evaluation. Facilitates organization

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and analysis of the data.

Closed, fixed- Questions and response responses interview categories are determined in advance. Responses are fixed; respondents chooses from among these fixed responses

Data analysis is simple; responses can be directly compared and easily aggravated; many questions can be asked in a short time

Respondents must fit their experiences and feelings into the researchers categories; may be perceived as impersonal, irrelevant, and mechanistic. Can distort what respondents really mean or have experienced by so completely limiting their response choice.

Types of interview questions Patton has identified six basic types of questions that can be asked of people. They are: i) Background or demographic questions. They are routine sorts of questions about the background characteristics of the respondents. They include questions about education, previous occupations, age, incomes, etc. ii) Knowledge questions: they are questions researchers ask to find out what factual information (as contrasted with their opinions, beliefs, and attitudes) respondents possess. iii) Experience or behaviour questions: they are questions a researcher asks to find out what a respondent is currently doing or has done in the past. Their intent is to illicit descriptions of experience, behaviour, or activities that could have been observed but were not.

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iv) Opinion or value questions: are questions researchers ask to find out what people think about some topic or issue. Answers to such questions call attention to the respondents goals, beliefs, attitudes, or values. v) Feeling questions: they are questions that a researcher asks to find out how respondents feel about things. They are directed towards the emotional responses of people to their experiences. vi) Sensory questions: They are questions a researcher asks to find out what a respondent has seen, heard, tasted, smelled, or touched. Interviewing Behaviour Fetterman has identified a number of elements common to all interviews. They are: Respect the culture of the group being studied. Respect the individual being interviewed Be natural Ask the same questions in different ways during the interview. Ask the interview to repeat an answer or statement when there is some doubt about the completeness of a remark. Learn how to wait.

Activity a) What are the strengths and weaknesses of qualitative research? b) Explain the characteristic of qualitative research c) Describe the steps followed in qualitative research d) How do you ensure validity and reliability in qualitative research e) How would you handle generalization in qualitative research f) Describe the various types of interviewing questions g) Describe the various interviewing behaviour

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Anderson, B. (1966) The Psychology Experiment: An Introduction to the Scientific Method. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. Epiet, (1996) Introductory Course: Lazereto de Mahon, Menorca, Spain. Fred C, (1989): Success in statistics George W (1997) Design of Sampling Experiments in the Social Sciences. Hunt N and Tyrrell S (2001) Coventry University Probability Sampling Techniques. Patton, M. Q. (1990) Qualitative evaluation and research methods (2nd ed.). Newbury. Park, CA (1992): Fundamental Applications of Statistics Sage Publications. [Del Siegel,Ph.D. del.siegle@uconn.edu Snedecor, W. George (1997) Design of Sampling Experiments in the Social sciences. Valeric J and John H (2000): Statistics and Design Models

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LECTURE EIGHT QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH METHODOLGY

8.1

INTRODUCTION

In the previous lecture we discussed the meaning and process of qualitative research approach. In the next series of lectures, we are going to discuss the quantitative research methodologies. Quantitative research methods are usually used in an attempt to establish general laws and principles. This kind of approach to science is often termed nomothetic. It assumes that social reality is objective and external to the individual. On the other hand, qualitative analysis regards social reality as a creation of individual consciousness, with meaning and the evaluation of events seen as a personal and subjective construction. This is a naturalistic approach to research and is termed an ideographic approach. What we should note is that each of these two perspectives on the study of human behaviour has profound implication for the way in which research is conducted. In this section, we are going to discuss the quantitative approach and its implications to the way we conduct research. _______________________________________________________________________ Lecture objectives. By the end of this lecture, you should be able to: Differentiate between descriptive statistics and inferential statistics Explain what is meant by a normal distribution and a normal curve Discuss how to develop a sampling design Discuss the levels of measurements. Explain how to design a quantitative research Describe how to test hypothesis Describe how to measure reliability and validity Describe how a researcher can make predictions using linear regression. _______________________________________________________________________

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8.2

DESCRIPTIVE VERSUS INFERENTIAL STATISTICS

Descriptive statistics consist of graphical and numerical techniques for summarizing data .It enables a researcher to reduce a large mass of data to simpler, more understandable terms. This makes it easier for an observer to understand the data. The major advantage of descriptive statistics is that they permit researchers to describe the information contained in many scores with a few indices such as the mean, median and mode. On the other hand, inferential statistics consists of procedures for making generalizations about characteristics of a population based on information obtained from a sample taken from the population. It is important for us to fully understand what we mean by the terms statistics and parameters A statistics is an index that is calculated for a sample drawn from a population. A parameter is an indices calculated from the entire population.

Let us also differentiate between quantitative data and categorical data. Quantitative data are the data obtained when the variables being studied is measured along a scale that indicates how much of the variable is present. They are reported in terms of scores. Higher scores indicate a higher presence of the variable while lower scores indicate a presence of the variable. Good examples of such scores are such as weight, height, length and academic ability. Categorical data is the data that indicate the total number of objects, individuals or events a researcher finds in a particular category. In this case, the researcher is looking for the frequency of certain characteristics in the variables.

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_____________________________________________________________________ How do researchers summarize quantitative data? There are several techniques used by researchers to summarize quantitative data. Let us look at two main techniques: the frequency distributions and the normal curve. _______________________________________________________________________ 8.3 FREQUENCY DISTRIBUTIONS

This is a tabular method of showing all the scores obtained by a group of individuals. This is done by listing in a rank order from high to low with tallies to indicate the number of subjects receiving each score. Why do researchers use frequency distribution? Frequency distribution provides researcher with a way to communicate information about their data to other people. Here is an example of a frequency distribution sowing the scores of a class of students in a test.

Table 8.1 Example of a Frequency Distribution

Raw score 64 63 61 59 56 52 51 38 36 34 31 29 27 25

Frequency 2 1 2 2 2 1 2 4 3 5 5 5 5 1

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24 21 17 15 6 3

2 2 2 1 2 1 n=50

In some cases a researcher might find it easier to present the data in a grouped frequency distribution. The researcher will then group the data into intervals. In our example above, we can group the data into intervals of five. In this case, the grouped frequency distribution will appear in table 1.2 Table 8.2 Example of a Grouped Frequency Distribution. Raw scores ( Frequency interval of five) 60-64 55-59 50-54 45-49 40-44 35-39 30-34 25-29 20-24 15-19 10-14 5-9 0-4 5 4 3 0 0 7 10 11 4 3 0 2 1 n=50 Types of Graphs used to describe frequency distributions. A researcher can use graphs to describe frequency distributions. Let us look at the various types of graphs used to describe the distributions.

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Some people find it difficult to red and understand numerical tables. For such people. A researcher may provide graphical representations as an alternative. Method of displaying the information organized in frequency distributions. This helps to create a visual impression of the data that might be more effective in communicating the information. There are three types of graphs used by researcher: the pie-chart, the bar chart and the histograph. (a) The Pie Chart. The pie chart is used to show difference in frequencies or percentages among categories of nominal or ordinal data. Such categories of data are displayed as segments of a circle. The segments are either differently shaded or differently patterned to differentiate among them and they sum up to either 100 percent or the total frequencies. Let us look at the examples in figure 1.1. Showing students attitude towards a schools spending on sports and Music festivals as indicated in table 1.3. Table 8.3 students Attitude towards a school spending on sports and music festival School sports spending Too little About right Too much Total 100% !00% 54.7% 41.0% 4.3% Music festival 23.5% 36.9% 39.6%

(b) The Bar Chart. Like the pie chart, a bar chart provides a researcher with a tool for displaying nominal or ordinal data. Bar charts are constructed by labelling the categories of the variables along the horizontal axis and drawing rectangles of equal width for each category. The height of each rectangle is proportional to the frequency or percentage of the category. Let us use the data in Table 1.3 to describe how to construct a bar chart shown in figure 1.2.

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Note that it is important to shade the rectangle representing each variable differently to facilitate comparisons. (c) The Histogram. Histograms are used by researchers to display frequency distributions of interval or ratio level data. This is a graphic representation, which consists of rectangles, of scores in a distribution. The height of each rectangle indicates the frequency of each score or group of scores. The histogram looks like a bar graph with no spaces between the rectangles. The rectangles are constructed contiguously to show that the variable is continuous and intervals rather than discreet categories are displayed across the horizontal axis. Let us use table 1.4 showing a hypothetical case of HIV infection by Age.

Table 8.4 Rates of Infection of HIV infection by Age. Age Under 13 13-29 30-39 40-49 50-59 60 and above Total Percent of HIV infections 1% 19% 45% 23% 8% 4% 100%

Anderson, B. (1966) The Psychology Experiment: An Introduction to the Scientific Method. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. Epiet, (1996) Introductory Course: Lazereto de Mahon, Menorca, Spain. Fred C, (1989): Success in statistics George W (1997) Design of Sampling Experiments in the Social Sciences. Hunt N and Tyrrell S (2001) Coventry University Probability Sampling

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Techniques. Patton, M. Q. (1990) Qualitative evaluation and research methods (2nd Ed.). Newbury. Park, CA (1992): Fundamental Applications of Statistics Sage Publications. [Del Siegel, Ph.D. del.siegle@uconn.edu Snedecor, W. George (1997) Design of Sampling Experiments in the Social sciences. Valeric J and John H (2000): Statistics and Design Models

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LECTURE NINE THE RESEARCH PROBLEM, QUESTIONS AND HYPOTHESES


9.1 INTRODUCTION

Any good research begins with a research problem. A research problem is the focus of a research investigation. A research problem is the problem the researcher wishes to investigate. In most cases, research problems are stated as research questions. In this topic we discuss the nature of research problem and describe its characteristics. _____________________________________________________________________ Lecture Objectives. By the end of this topic you should be able to: Give some example of potential research problem Formulate a research problem Distinguish between researchable and non-researchable questions Name the characteristics of a good research question _____________________________________________________________________ 9.2 A RESEARCH PROBLEM

A research problem is anything that a researcher finds unsatisfactory or unsettling, a difficulty of some sort, a state of affairs that needs to be changed, anything that is not working as well as it might. Therefore researchers involve themselves with areas of concern in terms of conditions they want to improve, difficulties they want to eliminate, and questions for which they seek answers. 9.3 RESEARCH QUESTIONS

Usually a research problem is initially posed as a question, which serves as the focus of the researchers investigation. Some example of research problem: How do parents feel about private schools? Do NGOs in Kenya have good governance guidelines? Do Kenyans support the governing party? Does an increase in salary increase a lecturers output?

One major characteristic of these questions is that we can collect data of some sort to answer them. This makes them researchable. There are some kinds of questions that
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cannot be answered by collecting and analyzing data. Here are two examples: Does God exist?

Should mathematics be included in the school curriculum? The two questions are not researchable because there is no way to collect information to answer either question. The first question is metaphysical in nature. It is beyond physical transcendental. Answers to this question lies beyond the accumulation of information. The second question is a question of value .It implies notions of right and wrong, proper and improper and therefore does not have any empirical (or observable) referents. There is no way to deal empirically with the verb should. However if we changed the question to read Do people think mathematics should be included in the school curriculum? The question would be researchable because now we can collect data to enable us answer the question. Exercise Here below are some ideas for research questions. Indicate which ones you think are researchable or unresearchable. a) b) c) d) e) Is God good? Are students happier when taught by a lecturer of the same gender? Does a firm performance influenced by the firms corporate strategy? What is the best way of motivating staff? What would be the world today without the September 11 bomb attacks in USA?

9.4

CHARACTERISTICS OF GOOD RESEARCH QUESTIONS

It is very important that a researcher evaluates whether the research questions he or she has formulated are good. To achieve this, the researcher weighs the research question against the following four characteristics. The question should be feasible (i.e., it can be investigated without an undue amount of time, energy or money. The question should be clear (i.e., most people would agree as to what the key words in the question mean)

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The question should be significant (i.e., it should be worth investigating it because it will contribute important knowledge to humanity) The question should be ethical (i.e., it will not involve physical or psychological harm or damage to human beings or, to the nature or social environment of which they are part).

9.5

OPERATIONAL AND CONCEPTUAL DEFINITIONS

It is always important to define the terms the researcher is using particularly in the research questions. This helps to give clarity to the research questions. There are essentially three ways to clarify important terms in a research question.

i) Constitutive definition: that is to use what is often referred to as the dictionary approach. ii) Conceptual definition: this involves attempts to describe as fully as possible the terms used in the research question. For example a term job interest needs to be defined conceptually. This involve the researcher showing the relationship between the two concepts, i.e., job and interest iii) Operational definition: this requires that the researcher specify the actions or operations necessary to measure or identify the term. It is important to note that good research questions frequently (but not always) suggest a relationship of some sort to be investigated. A suggested relationship means that two qualities or characteristics are tied together or connected in some way or there is some sort of association between characteristics.

End of topic Exercise. 1. State a research problem that you expect to investigate in you project. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------2. State the research questions that you can formulate from your research problem. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------3. State the key terms in the research problem or research questions that are not clear and thus need to be defined-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------4. Write down the constitutive definitions of these terms--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------5. Write down the conceptual definitions (if any)---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------6. Write down the operational definitions of these terms--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------7. Give the justifications for investigating this research problem-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Anderson, B. (1966) The Psychology Experiment: An Introduction to the Scientific Method. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. Epiet, (1996) Introductory Course: Lazereto de Mahon, Menorca, Spain. Fred C, (1989): Success in statistics George W (1997) Design of Sampling Experiments in the Social Sciences.

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Hunt N and Tyrrell S (2001) Coventry University Probability Sampling Techniques. Patton, M. Q. (1990) Qualitative evaluation and research methods (2nd Ed.). Newbury. Park, CA (1992): Fundamental Applications of Statistics Sage Publications. [Del Siegel, Ph.D. del.siegle@uconn.edu Snedecor, W. George (1997) Design of Sampling Experiments in the Social sciences. Valeric J and John H (2000): Statistics and Design Models

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LECTURE TEN DATA COLLECTION METHODS


10.1 INTRODUCTION The conclusions of any research study are based on the analysis of data collected. Therefore, data collection is extremely important in all research activities. A researcher must consider with absolute care the kind(s) of data collected, the method(s) of data collection used and the scoring of the data. In this lecture, we are going to discuss the data collection methods used in research. _____________________________________________________________________ Lecture objectives. By the end of this lecture, you should be able to: Explain what is meant by the term data Explain what is meant by the term Instrumentation Describe the sources of data Describe the various ways in which data can be collected by researchers Describe the various data collection instruments used in research. _______________________________________________________________________ 10.2 THE MEANING OF THE TERM DATA

The term data refers to the kinds of information researchers obtain on the subjects of their research. An example of data includes: demographic information such as age, gender, ethnicity, religion; responses to the researchers questions in an oral interview or written replies to survey questionnaire etc. Every researcher must make the decision on what kind (s) of data he/she intends to collect. 10.3 SOURCES OF DATA

Sources of information can be classified into primary and secondary types. Primary data comes from the original sources and are collected specifically to answer the research questions. Secondary sources of data come from other sources, for example, other studies conducted by other persons for other purposes.

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10.3.1 Advantages and disadvantages of secondary data. (i) Advantages The data can be found more quickly and cheaply than primary data. Collecting Primary data can be costly and time-consuming. Data about distant places can Be collected more cheaply through secondary sources (ii) Disadvantages. The information may not meet the specific needs of the research in question. This is because others have collected the material for their own purpose. Definitions will differ, Units of measure are different, and different times may be involved. It is difficult to assess the accuracy of the information because one knows little about the research design or the conditions under which the research occurred. Secondary information is often out of date because of time (time may have elapsed since it was conducted). 10.3.2 Types of Secondary Sources There are basically two sources of secondary data; internal sources and the external sources. Internal Sources are those sources within the organization itself. In a business organization this would include, the accounting and information systems, research and development, planning and marketing functions reports. External sources are those sources of data found outside the organization. For example, published sources, periodicals and special collections. MEANING OF THE TERM INSTRUMENT

10.4

Any device (such as a pencil-and paper test, a questionnaire, or a rating scale) a researcher uses to collect data is called an instrument. The process of collecting data is called Instrumentation. This process involves the selection or design of the instruments and also setting the conditions under which the instruments will be administered. The following are the questions researchers need to ask themselves in the process of data collection.

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Where will the data be collected? The researcher must decide on the location of the data collection. When will the data be collected? That is the time the data will be collected. How often are the data to be collected? That is the frequency of the collection of the data. Who is to collect the data? That is who will administer the instrument.

These questions are important to be answered before the researcher begins to collect the data. A researchers decision about location, time, frequency and administration are always affected by the kind(s) of instrument to be used. Every instrument no matter what kind, if it is to be of value must allow researchers to draw accurate conclusions about the capabilities or other characteristics of the people to be studied. An instrument must be valid, reliable and objective. A valid instrument is one that helps the researcher make defensible inferences. A reliable instrument is one that gives consistent results. An objective instrument is the one that enables the researcher to make judgment that is not subjective. 10.4.1 Usability of the Instruments A good researcher must also give due consideration to the usability of the instruments. In this case, he/she must consider the following: How easy it will be to use any instruments he /she have designed. How long will it take to administer? Are the directions provided clear? Is the instrument appropriate for the ethnic or other groups to whom it will be administered? How easy is it to score, interpret the results? Has any problem been reported by other researchers who have used the instrument before? Does evidence of its reliability and validity exist?

A researcher should have satisfactory answers to these questions. If not so, he /she might waste a lot of time and other resources doing unnecessary work.

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10.4.2 Classification of Research Instruments i) Classification according to who provides the data (information) There are three main ways in which a researcher can obtain information. By collecting it themselves with very little or no involvement of other people. Directly from the subjects of the study. From others, frequently referred to as informants, who are knowledgeable about the subject.

10.4.3 Written response versus performance This is a classification in terms of whether they require a written or marked response or a more general evaluation of performance on the part of the subjects of the study. Written-response instruments include objective (e.g. multiple-choice, true-false, matching, or short-answer) tests, short essay examination, questionnaire, interview schedules, rating scales and checklists. Performance instruments include any device designed to measure either a procedure or a product. Procedures are ways of doing things, such as mixing a chemical solution, diagnosing a problem in a vehicle or solving a puzzle. Products are the end results of procedures, such as the correct chemical solutions or the correct diagnosis of the vehicle malfunction. Performance instruments are designed to see whether and how well procedures can be followed and to assess the quality of products. Written- response instruments are generally preferred over performance instruments, since the use of performance instruments is frequently quite time-consuming and often requires equipment or other resources that are not readily available. 10.4.4 How does a researcher acquire research instrument? There are basically two ways for a researcher to acquire research instruments: To find and administer a previously existing instrument To administer an instrument the researcher personally developed or had developed by someone else. There are several problems associated with the use of an instrument developed by the

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researcher; first, it is not easy to develop it. Secondly, it takes a fair amount of time and effort to develop it. Thirdly, it requires a considerable amount of skills. This is the reason why the use of an already developed instrument when appropriate is preferred. Such instruments are developed by experts who possess the necessary skills. There exists already developed, quiet good, instruments and they can easily be located by means of a computer. You only need to go to the relevant search engines like ERIC to get them. 10.5 DATA COLLECTION METHODS

There are three main methods of collecting data. They are: The survey. Observation. Experimentation.

10.5.1 The survey method To survey is to question people and record their responses for analysis. The survey method is very versatile particularly in collecting primary data. This is because it is possible to gather abstract information of all types by the survey method. Survey is more efficient and economical than observation. Information can be gathered by a few wellchosen questions that would take much more time and effort by observation. The major weaknesses of the survey method are: The quality of information secured depends heavily on the quality and willingness of respondents to cooperate. The respondents may refuse to be interviewed or fail to reply to a mail survey. Others may fear the interview experience for some personal reason or the topic may be too sensitive. At the same time, the respondents may not have the knowledge for the topic. The respondents may also interpret a question or concept differently from what was intended by the researcher.

The respondent may intentionally mislead the researcher by giving false information. Not withstanding these weaknesses, the survey method is widely used in research in all fields. However, the survey responses should be accepted for what they are. That they

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are just statements by others that reflects varying degrees of truth. When is survey method most applicable? A survey method is most appropriate where the respondents are uniquely qualified to provide the desired information. There are three main techniques that can be used to get information using the survey methods. They are; Personal interview Telephone interview Mail interview/ self-administered questionnaires.

i) Personal interview A personal interview (i.e., face to face) is a two-way conversation initiated by an interviewer to obtain information from the respondent. The main characteristics of personal interviews are: The roles of the interviewer and respondents are very different. They are both strangers and the interviewer generally controls the engagement. The consequences of the interviewing event are usually insignificant for the respondent. The respondent is asked to provide information with little hope of receiving any immediate or direct benefit from this cooperation.

Advantages: There are advantages and clear limitations of personal interviewing. They are as follows: This technique is more deep and detailed in terms of the information collected. This is because the interviewer can control the process hence probing more by adding questions that help to add more information unlike in an observation method. The interviewer has more control than other kinds of interrogation. They can prescreen to assure the correct respondent is replying and can set up and control interviewing conditions. The interviewer can use special scoring devices and visual materials. The interviewer can adjust to the language of the interviewee because they can observe the problems and effects the interview is having on the respondent.

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Disadvantages: It is relatively expensive, particularly if the study covers a wide geographic area or has stringent sampling requirements. Interviewers are usually reluctant to visit unfamiliar neighbourhoods alone. The results can be affected adversely by interviewers who alter the questions asked or in other ways.

How can a researcher ensure success of the personal interview? There are three broad conditions that must be fulfilled in order to have a successful personal interview. They are: ii) Availability of the needed information from the respondent An understanding by the respondent of his/her role Adequate motivation by the respondent to cooperate.

Telephone interviewing

This is a technique by which the data is collected by telephoning the respondents. It is a good technique particularly with unusual types of respondents. Advantages: It is relatively cheaper. This is because of saving that comes from cuts in travel administrative costs (training and supervision). Responses are received immediately. Unlike the personal interview, the use of telephone brings a faster completion of the study.

Disadvantages The respondent must be available by phone. In cases where such services are scarce, it can be difficult and even expensive. The discussion is relatively limited because of the time one can spend on a telephone line. It is not possible to use maps, illustrations or other visuals. The medium also limits the complexity of the questioning and the use of sorting technique In some situations, the response rate is lower than for comparable face-to-face interviews. This is because the respondents find it easier to terminate an interview. Telephone interviews can result in less thorough responses and that those

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interviewed by phone find the experience less rewarding to them than a personal interview. iii) Mail Survey/ self-administered questionnaires

Mail survey or self-administered questionnaires is a technique of data collection in which the respondent completes it at his/her convenience. They are usually delivered by mail to the respondent. Advantages They typically cost less than the personal interviews. The more dispersed the sample, the more likely it will be the low-cost method. Using mail is possible to get to the respondents who can otherwise be inaccessible. It allows the respondent to take more time to collect facts, talk to others or consider replies at length than is possible with the telephone or personal interview. Mail survey is perceived as more impersonal, hence providing more anonymity than the other communication modes.

Disadvantages The non-response rate is high. This makes it difficult to know how their answers might differ from those who do not answer. In most cases the respondents do not provide adequate information. Usually, there are many questions that are never answered.

How do you improve questionnaire return rate? There are several ways in which a researcher can improve the rate of return of the mail survey. They include the following: Follow-ups or reminders.

Preliminary notifications by telephone that a mail survey is on the way to the respondent and request for response. Use of Concurrent techniques. This includes the following: Ensuring the questionnaire is not too long Using survey sponsorship Using return envelops Paying for response postage charges

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Personalization of the mail survey by directly addressing the specific person. Cover letter which sets the stage for the respondent to respond Promise of anonymity to respondents Due consideration of the size, reproduction and colour of the mail survey Money incentives to those who provide response on time and in time. Fixing deadlines for the survey return.

A researcher should attempt to ensure that the rate of return of the survey is maximized. The main contributing factors to low rate of mail survey return include: The wrong address and a low-rate postage can lead to non-delivery or non-return The letter may look like junk mail and be discarded without being opened Lack of proper instructions for completion leads to non-response The wrong person opens the letter and fails to call it to the attention of the right person A respondent finds no convincing explanation for completing the survey and discards it. A respondent temporarily lays the questionnaire aside and fails to complete it. The return address is lost so the questionnaire cannot be returned.

Activity In the following situations, would you use a personal interview, telephone survey or mail survey? a. A survey of the residents of Komorock Estate in Nairobi, on why they happened to select the estate for habitation. b. A poll of students in the School of Continuing and Distance Studies of the University of Nairobi on their preferences among three candidates who are running for the post of Chairman of SONU. c. A survey of 78 retailers scattered in the Coast province of Kenya on their attitude towards the services they get from the companies they buy merchandize from d. A survey of bankers in Kenya on their opinions concerning a proposed

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law on the control of interest rates by the Central Bank of Kenya. e. A Survey of head teachers on their opinion on the distribution of the free education funds to schools. Developing research survey instruments: Researchers develop good instruments by following a process through which they move from the general problem, objective/problem to specific measurement questions. This entails following four steps: The general question- the problem the researcher wants answered. The research question(s)- the fact-based translation of the question the researcher must answer to contribute to the solution of the researchers question The investigative question- those specific questions the researcher must ask to provide sufficient details and coverage of the research question The measurement question- those questions respondents must answer if the researcher is to gather the needed information. Question Construction: It is important to note that a survey instrument normally includes three types of information. They are: Target data: facts, attitudes, preferences, and expectations about the central topic. Classification and analysis: gender, age, family, household social class etc. Administrative: They include respondent identification, identification, date, place, and conditions of the interview. interviewer

The question drafting begins once a researcher has decided on the information needed and the collection processes to use. There are four major decisions that a researcher needs to make. i) Question content. Question wording. Response structure. Question sequence. Question content

In deciding on the question content, a researcher should ask themselves the following questions: Should this question be asked?: a good question should contribute significantly towards answering the investigative question

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Is the question of proper scope and coverage? That is whether the question includes so much content that it should be broken into several questions. It important to avoid double-barrelled questions (two questions in one). For example: have you deposited or saved money in your account in the last two weeks? Can the respondent answer the question adequately? The ability of the respondent to answer adequately is often distorted by questions whose content is biased by what is included or omitted. Will the respondent answer willingly? In some cases the respondent may have the information but they may be unwilling to give it either because the topic is too sensitive to discuss with strangers or it is embarrassing.

There are three approaches that are used to overcome these problems; ii) Motivate the respondent to provide appropriate information Change the design of the questioning process, or Use methods other than questioning to secure the data. Question wording

Question wording is a major source of distortion in survey. A researcher should use the following criteria in evaluating the quality of the question> Is the question stated in terms of a shared vocabulary? Is the question clear? Are there unstated or misleading assumptions? Is there biased wording? Is there the right degree of personalization? Are adequate alternatives presented?

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iii)

Response structure

Response structure refers to the degree and form of structure imposed on responses. The options range from open (free choice of words) to closed (specified alternatives). Free responses range from those in which the respondents express themselves extensively to those in which their latitude is restricted to choosing one word in a fill-in question. On the other hand, closed responses typically are categorized as dichotomous or multiple choice. iv) Question Sequence

A good questionnaire will be designed in such a way that the questions are related to each other. Therefore, question sequencing is particularly important. The principle used to guide question sequence decision is; the nature and need of the respondent must determine the sequence of questions and the organization of the schedule. To achieve this it is important to ensure the following: That the question process must quickly awaken interest and motivate the respondent to participate in the interview. That the respondent should not be confronted by early requests for information that might be considered personal or ego threatening. That the questioning process should begin with simple item and move to the more complex and from general items to the more specific. That change in the frame of reference should be small and should be clearly pointed out.

Pre-testing the questionnaire It is important to pre-test the questionnaire before distributing it to the whole sample. Pretesting helps a researcher to detect weaknesses in the instrument. A researcher would usually use colleagues, respondent surrogates, or actual respondents to evaluate and refine a measuring instrument.

Activity a. Explain a survey method of collecting data.

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Distinguish between: b. Direct and indirect question c. Open and closed question d. Research, investigative and measurement question e. Question and response structure f. What problems do open ended questions have? How can you minimize them? 10.6 THE OBSERVATION METHOD

Observation as a method of data collection involves listening, reading, smelling and touching. When used in scientific research, observation includes the full range of monitoring behavioural and non-behavioural activities and conditions, which can be classified as follows: Non-behaviour observation Record analysis Physical condition analysis

Physical process analysis Behaviour observation i) Nonverbal analysis Linguistic analysis Extra linguistic analysis Spatial analysis

Non- behavioural observation Record analysis. This involves historical or current records and public or private records. They may be written, printed and sound-recorded photographed or videotaped. Physical condition analysis: it involves analysis of say, inventories, financial statements plant safety compliance etc. Process or activity analysis includes the analysis of processes like traffic flow, Distribution systems banking system etc

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ii)

Behaviour observation Nonverbal behaviour: It includes body movement, motor expressions. And exchange of glances. Linguistic behaviour: It refers to the manifest content of speech and various attributes of verbal communication. It involved the interaction processes that occur between two or more people. The main focus is the language used in the interaction processes. Extra linguistic behaviour: This includes the communication attributes like the vocal (pitch, loudness etc); temporal (rate of speaking, duration of utterances, and rhythm); Interaction (tendencies to interruption dominate or inhibit); verbal stylistic (vocabulary and pronunciations dialect and characteristic expression) Spatial relationships: It refers to the attempt of individuals to structure the physical space around them. This includes how a person relates physically to others.

10.6.1 Advantages and disadvantages of observation method Advantages Observation is the only method available to gather certain types of information like records mechanical processes and lower animals It enables the researcher to collect the original data at the time they occur. It helps to secure information that most participants would ignore either because it is so common and expected or because it is not seen as relevant. It is the only data collection method that can capture the whole event as it occurs in its natural environment. Subjects seem to accept an observational intrusion better than questioning.

Disadvantages The observer must be at the scene of the event when it takes place, yet it is often impossible to predict where and when the event will occur. It is slow and expensive process that requires either human observers or costly

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surveillance equipment. Its most reliable results are restricted to information that can be learned by overt actions or surface indicators to go below the surface, the observer must make inferences. The research environment is more suited to subjective assessment and recording of data than controls and quantification of events. Observation is limited as a way to learn of the past. It is similarly limited as a method by which to learn what is going on in the present at some distant place.

10.6.2 How to conduct an observational study We have two types of observational studies: Simple observation: its practice is not standardized because of the discovery nature of the exploratory research where it is often used. schedules for recording and other devices for the observer that mirror the scientific procedures of other primary data methods. 10.6.3 Data collection using observation method In the observation method, we need to answer the following question if we are to gather the required data: Who are the targets? That is who qualifies to be observed? What is to be observed? The characteristics of the observation must be set in terms of elements and units of analysis. When is the observation to take place? That is whether the time of the study is important or whether the study can take place any time. divide the observation task? How shall the results be recorded for later analysis? How shall the observers deal with various situations that may occur?

Systematic observation: It employs standardized procedures, trained observers

How will the data be observed? If there is more than one observer, how shall they

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Activity 1. Assume you wish to analyze the car traffic that passes the University of Nairobi gate along the University Way. You are interested in determining how many vehicles pass by the gate and you would like to classify them on various relevant dimensions. What other information might you find useful to observe? How would you decide what information to collect? Devise the operational definition you would need.

How would you sample the vehicle traffic?


10.7 THE EXPERIMENTAL METHOD

Experiments are studies involving intervention by the researcher beyond that required for measurement. This intervention involves the manipulation of some variables in a setting and observing how it affects the subjects being studied. The researcher manipulated the independent or explanatory variable and then observes whether the hypothesized dependent variable is affected by the intervention. The number of variables in an experiment is determined by: The project budget; The time allocated, The availability of appropriate controls, and The number of subjects being tested

The selection of measures for testing requires a thorough review of the available literature and instruments. The measures must be adapted to the unique needs of the research situation without compromising their intended purpose or original meaning. 10.7.1 Levels of treatment The level of the independent variable is the distinction the researcher makes between different aspects of the treatment conditions. The levels assigned to an independent

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variable should be based on simplicity and common sense. There are two main levels: the control group and the experimental treatment group. The control group: it provides a base level for comparison. It is composed of subjects who are not exposed to the independent variable. No treatment is provided to this group. The experimental group: This is the group to which treatment is provided. That is the independent variable is manipulated.

10.7.2 How does a researcher control the experimental environment? The experimental method has a problem of controlling the effects of the extraneous variables. They have the potential for distorting the effects of the treatment on the dependent variable and must be controlled or eliminated. More so the researcher needs to control the physical environment of the experiment. The introduction of the experiment to the subjects and the instructions would likely be videotaped to assure consistency. The arrangement of the room, the time of administration, the experimenters contacts with the subject, etc. must all be consistent across each administration of the experiment. There are other forms of control that involves the subjects and the experimenter. They are: When subjects do not know if they are receiving the experiment, they are said to be blind. When the experimenter does not know if they are giving the treatment to the experimental group or the control group, the experiment is double blind. The two approaches helps to control unwanted complications such as subjects reaction to expected conditions or experiment. 10.7.3 Experimental designs A researcher must be judicious in selecting the experimental design to employ. There are several designs that can be used. They are: Pre-experimental design True experimental designs

Field experiments Let us look at each one of them in more depth.

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Pre-experimental designs: In this category we have three types: The one shot case study: In which case there is treatment or manipulation of independent variable and observation or measurement is done on the dependent variable. Example: A company would like to initiate a health and safety campaign about improving working conditions without prior measurement of the knowledge the employees currently have. The experiment would only reveal the knowledge the employee would acquire but it would be difficult to evaluate the effectiveness of the campaign. The lack of pre-test and control group makes this design inadequate for establishing causality. The one-group pretest-posttest design: In this case we have a pre-test (O),manipulation(X),post-test(o) The Static Group Comparison: This design provides for two groups: one which receives the experimental treatment while the other serves as a control.

True Experimental Designs (laboratory experiment): the essential ingredients of a True experimental design is that subjects are randomly assigned to treatment groups. There are three main sources of bias in experiments Demand characteristics: when individuals know they are part of an experiment and try to respond in the way they think the experiment wants them to. Experimenter bias: occurs when an experimenter unintentionally communicates his or her expectations to participants. Measurement artefacts: occurs when measurement procedures may give participants hints about what is really going on in the experiment. Measurement instruments such as cameras or test schedules can also affect participants and bias results.

Field experimental designs: The major difference between laboratory experimentation and field experiment is the setting. In laboratory experiment, researchers introduce controlled conditions into the environment that stimulates certain features of a natural environment. IN the Field experiment, on the other hand, the research takes place in a natural situation and the investigator manipulates one or more independent variables under conditions that are carefully controlled as the situation permits. If an experimental study was to be conducted in the field, we often cannot control enough of the extraneous variables or the experimental treatment to use a true experimental design. In this case we use the field experiment. The main advantage of the field experiment is that they permit the investigation of

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complex interactions, processes and change in natural settings. Their main weakness is the fact that experiments cannot control intrinsic and extrinsic sources of validity as systematically as in laboratory experiments. The main issue to consider in field experiment is the ethical issues: In most cases, the individuals are not aware that they are participating in research. Therefore, the researcher has to ensure that the privacy of the affected individuals is not violated and that they will be protected from undue embarrassment or distress.

Summary In this lecture, we have learnt that: An observation is considered the easiest method of data collection. However, one need to be sure of what to observe, where and when to observe, and how much to infer when recording observations. One needs to be clear on what type of behaviour to be observes: nonverbal, spatial, Extra-linguistic, or linguistic. In experimental designs, the researcher should be aware of the systematic bias, Which might be introduced in the experiment as a result of demand characteristics? Experimental bias and measurement artefacts. The main challenges in the field experiment involve difficulties in controlling the Setting (the natural environment), participants selection, and the manipulation of The independent variable. Ethical issues are also a major concern because the participants are unaware that They are involved in an experimental situation.

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Activity a. Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of laboratory versus field experiments as modes of observation b. List the advantages and disadvantages of field experiments. c. What are the main limitations of laboratory experiments? d. Briefly describe the three main experimental research designs

Anderson, B. (1966) The Psychology Experiment: An Introduction to the Scientific Method. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. Epiet, (1996) Introductory Course: Lazereto de Mahon, Menorca, Spain. Fred C, (1989): Success in statistics George W (1997) Design of Sampling Experiments in the Social Sciences. Hunt N and Tyrrell S (2001) Coventry University Probability Sampling Techniques. Patton, M. Q. (1990) Qualitative evaluation and research methods (2nd Ed.). Newbury. Park, CA (1992): Fundamental Applications of Statistics Sage Publications. [Del Siegel, Ph.D. del.siegle@uconn.edu Snedecor, W. George (1997) Design of Sampling Experiments in the Social sciences. Valeric J and John H (2000): Statistics and Design Models

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LECTURE ELEVEN DATA ANALYSIS TECHNIQUES

11.1

INTRODUCTION

After data has been collected, it has to be analysed according to the research design. Processing of data implies editing, coding, classification and tabulation of collected data so that they are amenable to analysis. _____________________________________________________________________ Lecture objectives By the end of this lecture you should be able to: Explain what data analysis is Describe how data is processed Discuss the problems of data processing and how you can overcome them Discuss the various types of data analysis tools _______________________________________________________________________ 11.2 WHAT IS DATA ANALYSIS?

Data analysis refers to the computation of certain measures along with searching for patterns of relationship that exists among data-groups. In the process of analysis, relationships or differences supporting or conflicting with original or new hypothesis should be subjected to statistical tests of significance to determine with what validity data can be said to indicate any conclusions. 11.2.1. Data processing. There are several data processing operations that a researcher performs. They include: editing, coding, classification and tabulation. Let us describe each of them and how they are used in research. i) Editing: It is a process of examining the collected raw data to detect errors and

omissions and to correct these when possible. It involves a careful scrutiny of the completed questionnaire and/or schedules. Editing is done to ensure that data are accurate, consistent with the facts gathered, uniformly entered as completely as possible and have been well arranged to facilitate coding and tabulation.

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Editing can be conducted in the field and centrally. Field editing consists of the review of the reporting forms by the investigator for completing (translating or rewriting) what the investigator has written in abbreviated and/or in illegible form at a time of recording the respondents responses. This should be done as soon as the field data has been gathered. Central editing: it takes place when all forms or schedules have been completed and returned to the office. This is done by editors in the office. the editor may correct the obvious errors such as the wrong entry in the wrong place., entry recorded in month when it should have been recorded in weeks etc. in case of inappropriate on missing replies, the editor can sometimes determine the proper answers by reviewing the other information in the schedule. The editor must strike out the answer if the same is inappropriate and has no basis for determining the correct answer or the response. All the wrong replies, which are quite obvious, must be dropped from the final results, especially in the context of mail survey. ii) Coding: coding refers to the process of assigning numerals or other symbols to answers so that responses can be put into a limited number of categories or classes. Such classes should be appropriate to the research problem under consideration. They must possess the characteristics of exhaustiveness (i.e. there must be a class for every data item) and also that of mutual exclusivity. This means that a specific answer can be placed in one and only one cell in a given category set. Another rule to be observed is that of unidimensionality by which is meant that every class is defined in terms of only one concept. Coding helps researchers to reduce several responses to a small number of classes that contain the critical information required for analysis. iii) Classification: Most research studies result in a large volume of raw data, which must be reduced into homogeneous groups if we are to get meaningful relationships. Therefore, data classification is necessary and it involves the processes of arranging data in groups or classes on the basis of common characteristics. Data having a common characteristic are placed in one class and in this way the entire data get divided into a number of groups or classes. Classification can be done in two ways: Classification according to attributes on the basis of common characteristics, which can be either descriptive (sex, literacy etc) or numerical (weight, height etc).
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Classification according to class-interval: Such data has numerical characteristics, which has quantitative phenomenon, which can be measured through some statistical units.

iv) Tabulation: When a mass of data has been assembled, it becomes necessary for the researcher to arrange the same in some kind of concise and logical order. This procedure is called tabulation. It is the process of summarising raw data and displaying the same in compact form (i.e. in the form of statistical tables) for further analysis. In other words tabulation is the orderly arrangement of data in column and rows. 11.2.2. Data processing problems.

Like in many activities in real life situation, a researcher may encounter some problems while processing the data. Here, we discuss two broad types of data processing problems. i) The dont know (DK) responses. The best way to avoid DK responses is to design better types of questions. Good rapport with the respondents can also result in minimal DKs. We can also assume that they occur randomly and there distribute them among other answers in the ratio in which they occurred. ii) Use of percentages. Percentages are often used in data presentation for they simplify numbers, reducing all of them to a 100 range. Through the use of percentages, the data are reduced in the standard form with the base equal to 100 which fact facilitates relative comparisons. While using percentages. The following rules should be kept in view by the researcher. Two or more percentages must not be averaged unless each is weighted by the group size from which it has been derived. Use of too large percentages should be avoided. since a large percentage is difficult to understand and tends to confuse, defeat the very purpose for which percentages are used. Percentages hide the base from which they have been computed. If this is not kept in view, the real differences may not be correctly read. Percentages decreases can never exceed 100 per cent and as such for calculating the percent decrease, the higher figure should invariably be taken as the base. Percentages should generally be worked out in the direction of the causalfactor in case of two-dimension tables and for this purpose we must select the more significant factor out of the two given factors as the causal factor.

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11.3 TYPES OF DATA ANALYSIS In most cases, analysis involves estimating the values of unknown parameters of the population and testing of hypotheses for drawing inferences. Analysis may therefore, be categorised as descriptive or inferential. A researcher should be able to understand the type of analysis relevant to the kind of data in question. i) Inferential analysis: is concerned with the various tests of significance for testing hypotheses in order to determine with what validity data can be said to indicate some conclusions .It is also concerned with the estimate of population values. It is mainly on the basis of inferential analysis that the task of interpretation (i.e., the task of drawing inferences and conclusions) is performed. ii) Descriptive analysis is largely the study of distributions of one variable. It provides researchers with profiles of the subject on any of a multiple of characteristics of interest. iii) Correlation analysis studies the joint variation of two or more variables for determining the amount of correlation between two or more variable. iv) Causal analysis is concerned with the study of how one or more variables affect changes in another variable. It is, thus, the study of functional relationships existing between two or more variables. It is sometimes referred to as regression; analysis. It is used mostly in experimental researches. . v) Multivariate analysis: it involves analysing more than two variables simultaneously. There are three types of multivariate analyses: i) Multiple regression analysis: this analysis is adopted when the researcher has one dependent variable which is presumes to be a function of two or more independent variables. The objective is to make a prediction about the dependent variable based on its covariance with all the concerned independent variables. Multiple discriminate analyses: This is an analysis appropriate when the researcher has a single dependent variable that cannot be measured, but can

ii)

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be classified into two or more groups on the basis of some attributes. The object of this analysis is to predict an entitys possibility of belonging to a particular group based on several predictor variables. iii) Multivariate analysis of variance (or multi- ANOVA). This analysis is an extension of two-way ANOVA, wherein the ratio of among the group variance to within group variance is worked out on a set of variables. Canonical analysis: This is analysis that can be used in case of measurable and non- measurable variables for the purpose of simultaneously predicting a set of dependent variables from their joint covariance with a set of independent variables. 11.4 STATISTICAL TOOLS USED IN DATA ANALYSIS

iv)

Most research studies result in a large volume of raw data which must be suitably be reduced so that the same can be read easily and can be used for further analysis. Statistics play a major role in research. As mentioned earlier, there are two major areas of statistics (descriptive and inferential). Descriptive statistics concerns the development of certain indices from the raw data, whereas inferential statistics are concerned with the process of generalization. It is important to note that inferential statistics are also known as sampling statistics and are mainly concerned with two major types of problems: (1) the estimation of population parameters (2) the testing of statistical hypothesis.

The main statistical measures used to summarise survey data are: 1. Measures of central tendency 2. Measures of dispersion 3. Measures of asymmetry(skewness) 4. Measures of relationships 11.4.1 Measures of central tendency The measure of central tendency is also known as the statistical average. It normally tells us about which items have a tendency to cluster. Such a measure is considered as the most representative figure for the entire mass of data. The main measures of central tendency are:

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i) Mean. This is the simplest measurement of central tendency and is a widely used measure. It enabled data to be compared. It is amenable to algebraic treatment. It is relatively stable. However, it is affected by extreme values. ii) Median. This is the value of the middle item of series when it is arranged in ascending or descending order of magnitude. It divides the series into two halves; in one half all items are less than median, whereas in the other half all items have higher than median. Median is a positional average and is used only in the context of qualitative phenomena. It is not useful where items need to be assigned relatively importance and weights. It is not frequently used in sampling statistics. iii) Mode: This is the most commonly or frequently occurring value in a series. The mode in a distribution is that item around which there is maximum concentration. In general, mode is the size of the item, which has maximum frequency, but such an item may not be mode on account of the frequency of the neighbouring items. Like median, mode is a positional average and is not affected by the values of extreme variations. iv) Geometric mean is also useful under certain conditions. It is defined as the nth root of the product of the value of the n times in a given series. v) Harmonic mean is defined as the reciprocal of the average of the values of items of series. 11.4.2 Measures of dispersion Measures of dispersion measure the scatter of the value of items of a variable in the series around the true value of average. The following are the most important measures of dispersion: i) Range: It is the simplest and is defined as the difference between the values of the extreme items of a series. Alternatively, it can be referred to as the distance between the highest and the lowest values of a distribution. ii) Mean deviation: This is the average of difference of the values of items from some average of the series. iii) Interquartile Range: This is the difference between lower quartile (25th percentile) and the upper quartile (75th percentile). Because it measures the spread of the middle half of the distribution, extreme scores do not affect the interquartile range. iv) Standard deviation: This is the most widely used measure of dispersion of a series and is commonly denoted by the symbol sigma. Standard deviation is defines as the square root of the average of squares of deviations, when such deviations for the value of individual items in a series are obtained from the

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arithmetic average. It is generally regarded as a very satisfactory measure of dispersion in a series. It is amenable to mathematical manipulations because the algebraic signs are not ignores in its calculations. It is less affected by fluctuations of sampling. 11.4.3 Measures of asymmetry (skewness) Skewness is a measure of asymmetry and shows the manner in which the items are clustered around the average. In asymmetrical distribution, the items show a perfect balance on either side of the mode. But in a skew distribution, the balance is thrown to one side. The amount by which the balance exceeds on one side measures the skewness of the series. The difference between the median, mean, or mode provides an easy way of expressing skewness in a series. In case of positive skewness the z<m<x and in case of negative skewness we have x<m<z The significance of skewness lies in the fact that through it one can study the information of series and can have the idea about the shape of the curve, whether normal or otherwise, when the items of a given series are plotted on a graph. Kurtosis is the humpedness of the curve and points to the nature of distribution of items in the middle of a series. Kurtosis is the measure of flat-toppedness of a curve. A bell shaped curve or the normal curve is mesokurtic because it is kurtic in the centre; but if the curve is relatively more peaked than the normal curve, it is called Leptokurtic whereas a curve that is more flat than the normal curve is called Platycurtic. 11.4.4 Measures of relationship In most research studies, we have more than two variables. When we have the data on two variables we have a bivariate population. When we have data of more than two variables then we have a multivariate population. If for every measurement of a variable X, we have corresponding values of a second variable, Y, the resulting pair of values is called a bivariate population. When we add a corresponding value of the third variable, say Z or the fourth variable W, the resulting pairs of values are called multivariate populations. In such bivariate and multivariate populations, researcher would like to know the relationship between the various variables. There are several methods of determining the relationship between variables, but no method can tell us for certain that a correlation is indicative of causal relationship. We normally have two types of questions involving the relationship of variables.

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Does an association or correlation between the two (or more) variables exist? If yes, to what degree? Is there any cause and effect relationship among the variables? If yes, of what degree and in which direction? In this case we use regression techniques.

In this case of bivariate populations, the correlation techniques often used are; Charles Spearmans Coefficient of Correlation; Karl Pearsons Coefficient of Correlation. In case the researcher wants to establish cause and affect relationship, simple regression analysis is used. If we have a multivariate population, correlation is studied using coefficient correlation or coefficient of partial correlation. In case of cause and effect relationship we use the multiple regression equation. There are three types of interactions between variables. They are: i) Symmetrical relationships exist when two variables vary together, assuming that neither variable is due to the other. ii) A reciprocal relationship exists when the two variables mutually influence or reinforce each other iii) Asymmetrical relationship exists when one variable (the independent variable) is responsible for another variable (the dependent variable) 11.4.5 Charles Spearmans coefficient of correlation (or rank correlation)

This is the technique used to determine the degree of correlation between two variables in case of ordinal data where ranks are given to the different values of the variable. The main objective of this coefficient is to determine the extent to which the two sets of ranking are similar or dissimilar. A rank correlation is a non-parametric technique for measuring relationships between paired observations of two variables when data are in the ranked form. 11.4 6 Karl Pearsons coefficient of correlation (or simple correlation) This is the most widely used method of measuring the degree of relationship between variables. This coefficient assumes the following: 1. That there is linear relationship between the two variables. 2. That the two variables are causally related which means that one of the variables is independent and the other is dependent; and

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3. A large number of independent causes are operating in both variables so as to produce a normal distribution.

This coefficient is also known as the product moment correlation coefficient. The value r lies between plus or minus 1. Positive values of r indicate positive correlation whereas negative values of r indicate negative correlation. A zero value of r indicates that there is no association between the variables. A value r of +1 indicates a perfect positive correlation and a value of 1 indicates perfectly negative correlation between the variables. 11.4.7 Simple regression analysis As mentioned earlier, simple regression helps to determine the statistical relationship between two variables, (one dependent and the other independent). It measures the cause of the behaviour of one variable over another. The basic relationship between two variable X and Y is given by Y= a+b (regression equation)

This is called the regression equation of Y on X

A is the constant while b is the rate at which Y will change if X is changing. 11.4.8 Multiple correlation and regression analysis We conduct multiple correlation analysis when we want to establish whether there is a relationship between one dependent variable and more than two independent variables. Multiple correlation analysis is conducted when we want to establish the degree and direction of the relationship. When we want to establish the cause and effect relationship between the dependent variable and the independent variable then we conduct a multiple regression analysis. The multiple regression analysis in written in the following form: Y= a+biXi+ b2X2 If there is a high degree of correlation between independent variables, then we have a problem commonly called the problem of multicollinearity. In this case we should only use one set of the independent variables.

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11.4.9 Partial correlation When a researcher want to measure separately the relationship between two variables in such a way that the effects of other related variables are eliminated, then we use conduct partial correlation analysis. In other words, partial correlation analysis is conducted if the aim is to measure the relationship between a dependent variable and a particular independent variable. Therefore, each partial coefficient of correlation measures the effect of its independent variable on the dependent variable.

Anderson, B. (1966) The Psychology Experiment: An Introduction to the Scientific Method. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. Epiet, (1996) Introductory Course: Lazereto de Mahon, Menorca, Spain. Fred C, (1989): Success in statistics George W (1997) Design of Sampling Experiments in the Social Sciences. Hunt N and Tyrrell S (2001) Coventry University Probability Sampling Techniques. Patton, M. Q. (1990) Qualitative evaluation and research methods (2nd Ed.). Newbury. Park, CA (1992): Fundamental Applications of Statistics Sage Publications. [Del Siegel, Ph.D. del.siegle@uconn.edu Snedecor, W. George (1997) Design of Sampling Experiments in the Social sciences. Valeric J and John H (2000): Statistics and Design Models

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LECTURE TWELVE LITERATURE REVIEW


12.1 INTRODUCTION Before a researcher engages in the details of their study, they usually search for the literature to find out what has been written about the area or topic of their study. The researcher will look for what experts in the field of study have found out. This kind of reading is referred to as a review of the literature. In this lecture we are going to discuss the steps a researcher goes through in conducting a literature review. _______________________________________________________________________ Lecture Objectives By the end of this lecture you should be able to: Describe briefly the value of literature review. State and describe the steps a researcher goes through in conducting a literature review. Explain the difference between a primary and a secondary source of literature review Describe and conduct both a manual and a computer search of the literature. _______________________________________________________________________ 12.2 THE VALUE OF LITERATURE REVIEW A literature review is important to a researcher in two ways: It helps the researcher to see the ideas of others interested in a particular research question

It lets the researcher see what the results of other similar or related studies have been. This enables the researcher to weigh information from a literature review in light of their own concerns and situation. Therefore, researchers conduct a literature review in order to locate other works in the same area of study and also to be able to evaluate the reviewed research work in terms of its relevance to the research question of his or her interest. 12.3 TYPES OF SOURCES OF LITERATURE REVIEW. There are three main sources of literature review; the general references, the primary sources and the secondary sources. Let us describe each of them. i) General references: the general references are the first type of source a researcher refers to. Such references help the researcher to know where to look

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for other sources i.e. articles, monographs, books and other documents- that deal directly with the research question. Such references are either indexes, which list the author, title and place of publication of articles and other materials, or abstracts which give a brief summary of various publications, as well as their author, title and place of publication. For example, Psychological Abstracts is an index commonly used in education. ii) Primary sources: They are publications in which researchers report the results of their studies. Most of the primary sources are journals, which are usually, published monthly, quarterly, bi-annually or annually. The articles in them typically report on a particular research study. iii) Secondary sources: Secondary sources refer to publications in which authors describe the work of others. The most common secondary sources are textbooks, encyclopaedias, research reviews and yearbooks. 12.3 WAYS OF DOING LITERATURE REVIEW There are two ways to do a literature search; manually and electronically. Let us look at each of them. 12.3.1 Doing a Manual Search There are several steps involved in a literature review. We are going to look at each one of them: i) Define the research problem as precisely as possible A researcher should state the research question so that it focuses on the specific issues for investigation. This will help the researcher to focus his search for the needed information. ii) Look at relevant secondary sources After stating the research question in specific terms the researcher needs to look through one or two secondary sources to get an overview of the previous research that has been done on the problem. iii) Select and pause one or two appropriate general reference works. Once the researcher has reviewed the secondary sources to get a more informed overview of the problem, he or she should have a clear idea of exactly what to investigate. If the researcher is satisfied he or she can select one or two general reverences to help identify particular journals or other primary sources related to the problem. There are very many general references a researcher can consult. However, it is also

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important for the researcher to be very clear on the broad area of interest, for example, education, psychology, economics etc. Each academic discipline has its general source of information. Examples are: current index to Journal in Education (CIJE); Readers Guide to Periodical Literature; Social Science Citation Index (SSCI); Psychological Abstracts; Resources in Education (RIE); Sociological Abstracts etc. iv) Formulate search terms (key words or phrase) pertinent to the problem or questions of interest. Once a researcher has selected the general reference, it is important to formulate some search terms (words or phrases they can use to locate primary sources). Such words are called descriptors. These are the most important words in the problem statement. It is important to note that a researcher will conduct a literature search to find out what other research has been done in regard to and what others think about the research question. The researcher should list the key words alphabetically and then consult the general reference work to see what articles are listed under these descriptors. The researcher would then select the article that is relevant to the research topic. v) Search the general references for relevant primary sources The search in the general reference for the primary sources involves a process, which has the following steps: Find the most recent issue of the publication (journal) and work backward. Look to see if there are any articles listed under each of the descriptors in the current issue. List the bibliographical data of pertinent articles on bibliographical cards. That is the author, title, page, publication date and source of the publication. A separate card should be used for each reference listed. The bibliographical data should be recorded completely and accurately. The researcher should continue looking in other issues of the publication using the descriptors. If a descriptor fails to yield any results, it should be dropped. vi) Obtain and read relevant primary sources, notes and summarize key points in the source. Once the search in the general reference has been done, the researcher will have

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generated a pile of bibliographic cards. The next step is to locate each of the sources lists on the cards and then read and take notes on those relevant to the research problem. There are two major types of primary sources: journals and reports. Journals may be specialized or general. Specialized journals publish articles of a specific specialization in the field. For example, in the field of education, we have specialized areas of, say, distance education; web-based learning etc. An article on distance education will most probably be published in a distance education journal while an article in a web-based learning will be published in an e-learning journal. However, there are education journals that will publish any article from any area of educational specialization. Reports are also an important primary source. Many research projects produce a final report of their activities and findings. These, reports may not be published, but are a valuable source of information. 12.4 HOW DO YOU LOCATE AND READ THE PRIMARY SOURCES? You will find out that most primary source materials are located in journal articles and reports. If you are looking for them in a library, then it is important that you go to the section dealing with journal articles in the library. After you have gathered all the articles you want to refer to, then the literature review process begins in earnest. It is good to begin with the most recent article and reports backwards. 12.5 HOW DO YOU READ AN ARTICLE? Though there is no perfect way of reading an article, the following are the basic steps you should follow: Read the abstract or the summary first to ascertain whether it is worth reading the full article. Record the bibliographical information at the top of the note card. Take notes on the article or photocopy the abstract or the summary. Be as brief as possible in taking notes. Note the most important points only.

In reading the article, note the following about the article:

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Problem of investigation: State it clearly. Hypothesis and objectives: List them exactly as stated in the article. Procedure: List the research methodology used, the number of subjects and how they were selected and the kind of instruments used. You should note any unique techniques used. Findings: List the major findings. Indicate whether the objectives or the hypotheses were supported. Conclusions: Describe, briefly the authors conclusions. Note your agreements and disagreements with them. Also note the strengths and weaknesses of the study.

12.6 DOING A COMPUTER LITERATURE SEARCH Computers can be used to search for literature so long as internet connectivity is available. A computer search has a number of advantages over a manual search. Firstly, it is much faster than a manual search. Secondly, in most educational institutions, it is free or inexpensive. Thirdly, it enables the researcher to printout the materials together with the source. Fourthly, more than one descriptor can be searched at the same time. 12.6.1 The Process of a Computer literature search. A computer literature search has almost the same steps like in a manual search. The following are the steps: i) Define the problem as precisely as possible: Like in the manual search, one should state the research problem as specifically as possible so that the relevant descriptors can be identified. ii) Decide on the extent of the search: It is important for the researcher to decide on the desired number of references to obtain. The level of the article being prepared will determine this. For an ordinary journal article, a review of 20 to 25 articles would be adequate. For a masters degree, 30 to 40 articles will do. But for a very exhaustive review for Doctoral dissertation, one may need as many as 100 references. iii) Decide on the Database: There are many databases available for literature search. The most commonly used in education is ERIC. For effective use of a database, one need have clear descriptors.

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iv) Select the descriptors: The descriptors are the words the researcher uses to tell the computer what to search for. Too general a descriptor may lead to too many references, many of which may be irrelevant. Too narrow a descriptor may lead to too few references. v) Conduct the Search: After you have determined which descriptors to use the next step will involve entering the descriptors into the computer. The computer will give very many references and it is upon you to decide the number you want. 12.6.2 Researching the World Wide Web The World Wide Web (www) is part of Internet and it is a vast reservoir of information on all sorts of topics in a wide variety of areas. A researcher can use a Web browser (the computer program that lets you gain access to the www.) to find information on almost any topic with just a few clicks of the mouse button. You will find that some of the information on the web has been classified into directories, which can be easily searched by going from one category to another. There is also the search engine available. i) What is a directory? Directories will group websites together under similar categories such as Universities, Pharmaceutical companies etc. The result of a directory search will be a list of websites related to the topic being searched. Directories often provide an excellent starting point for a review of literature. ii) What is a search engine? Search engines help a researcher when he/she wants more specific information. However, for one to get good results one should know what to ask for and how to phrase the request to increase the chances of getting what is desired. iii) Advantages of searching the WWW Many resources on the Internet are updated very rapidly and therefore, they represent the Very latest information about a given topic. It provides access to a wide variety of materials The materials can be availed in varied formats i.e. text, video, sound or animation. The Internet is open all the time so long as one is connected to an Internet service provider. iv) Disadvantages of searching the WWW Unfortunately, much of the information on the Web is not well organized. This

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Disorganization makes it an absolute necessity for researchers to have good online searching skills. Searching for information in the WWW is usually time consuming information on the www sometimes lacks credibility because anyone can publish something in the Internet. It is easy to publish information on the Internet that it is often difficult to judge its worth. That it is easy to obtain material form the Internet, there is greater temptation to use the materials without citation or permission hence violating copyrights. The amounts of material on the Internet continue to grow rapidly. This can mislead researchers to think that they can find all the information they need from it. They may ignore some of the traditional sources of information that might not be on the Internet. 12.7 HOW TO WRITE THE LITERATURE REVIEW

After a researcher feels that he/she has read and reviewed enough of the literature, it becomes imperative that a final review is prepared. The format will typically involve the following: The Introduction: It briefly describes the nature of the research problem and states the research question. The researcher will state what section of the literature review led him/her to investigate the problem, and why it is an important question to investigate The body: This section reports what others have found out or thought about the research problem. It is good to discuss all the related studies together under subheadings. In most cases, several studies that reported similar results are grouped together. The Summary: This section ties together the main issues that has been revealed in the literature and presents a composite picture of what is known or thought to date. The conclusion: This section includes any conclusions that the researcher feels are justified based on the state of knowledge revealed in the literature. It is also important to indicate what the literature suggests to be appropriate courses of action to take to try to solve the problem, The bibliography: A full bibliographic data of all sources mentioned in the review should be listed. The recommended format of preparing the list of references is by using the American Psychological Association (1983) format.

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12.8

SUMMARY

In this lecture, we have discussed the following points: That there are six (6) essential steps involved in the literature review: defining the research problem as precisely as possible perusing the secondary sources selecting and perusing an appropriate general reference formulating search terms searching the general references for relevant primary sources Obtaining and reading the primary sources and noting and summarizing key

points in the sources. There are three basic sources of information: general references, primary sources and Secondary sources. Descriptors are the key words researchers use to help them locate Primary sources. There are five essential points that researchers should record when taking notes: Problem Hypotheses Procedures Findings Conclusions

The literature review report consists of: An introduction The body of the review A summary The researchers conclusions A bibliography

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ACTIVITY

1. Which of the general references, would you consider on each of the following? Marriage and family counselling Secondary school management Small school discussions PhD thesis dissertations

2. Which of the secondary sources would you recommend for the following topics? Recent research on the integration of ICT in education. A brief overview on poverty eradication in Korogocho slums in Nairobi.

A survey of students attitude towards mathematics. 3. List down the steps you would take to review an article in a given journal publication.

Anderson, B. (1966) The Psychology Experiment: An Introduction to the Scientific Method. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. Epiet, (1996) Introductory Course: Lazereto de Mahon, Menorca, Spain. Fred C, (1989): Success in statistics George W (1997) Design of Sampling Experiments in the Social Sciences. Hunt N and Tyrrell S (2001) Coventry University Probability Sampling Techniques. Patton, M. Q. (1990) Qualitative evaluation and research methods (2nd ed.). Newbury. Park, CA (1992): Fundamental Applications of Statistics Sage Publications. [Del Siegel, Ph.D. del.siegle@uconn.edu Snedecor, W. George (1997) Design of Sampling Experiments in the Social sciences. Valeric J and John H (2000): Statistics and Design Models

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LECTURE THIRTEEN WRITING RESEARCH PROPOSALS AND REPORTS


13.1 INTRODUCTION Now that you have learnt about the concepts and procedures of conducting research, you need to go a step further and prepare a research proposal and eventually, a research report. In this lecture we are going to discuss the various components or sections of a research proposal and research project. A research proposal is nothing more than a written plan for conducting a research study. ____________________________________________________________________ Lecture objectives. By the end of this lecture, you should be able to: Describe briefly the main sections of a research proposal and a Research report. Write a research proposal Critique a typical research proposal and a research report.

_______________________________________________________________________ 13.2 PURPOSE OF A RESEARCH PROPOSAL A research proposal is a document that communicates the intentions of the researcher. It indicates the following: The purpose of the study The importance of the study The steps followed in conducting the study. Problem statement Research questions and hypothesis The subjects of the sample The research instruments The research design The data analysis methods The research findings

A research proposal, therefore, spells out in details what the researcher intends to do. It helps the researcher to clarify what needs to be done and avoid unintentional pitfalls or unknown problems. The main differences between a research proposal and research
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report is that a research report states what was done rather than what will be done. It includes the actual results of the study and the associated discussions. A research proposal and a research report follow the same structure/ format of presentation. Let us now look at the components of each section of the research proposal. 13.3 PREFATORY TERMS This section deals with items that have no direct bearing on the research itself. Instead, they assist the reader in using the research proposal/report. i) Letter of Transmittal The letter refers to the authorization for the project and any specific instructions or limitations placed on the study. It should briefly state the purpose and the scope of the study. ii) The Title Page. The title page includes four items: the title of the report, the date, to whom it is prepared and by whom it was prepared. The title should be brief but include the following three elements: The variables of the study The type of relationship among the variables, and The population to which the results may be applied.

iii)

Authorization Letter If the research study is sponsored by a public organization or any other sponsor, it is important to include a letter of authorization showing the authority for undertaking the research.

iv) Executive summary/ Abstract. This is a concise summary of the major findings, conclusions and recommendations of the study. It contains a high density of significant terms since it repeats the highlights of the report. v) Table of contents This section lists the main sections and their respective page number(s) in the report. It is useful because the reader can see at a glance what is contained in the document and where to find it.

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vi) Introduction The introduction prepares the reader for the report by describing the various parts of the project. These include: The problem statement- the main focus of the investigation. The purpose of the study - It states very clearly what the researcher proposes to investigate The research objectives - they address the purpose of the project. They may be in the form of research question(s) and state clearly the variables of concern, the relationships among them and the target group being studied. Research questions or hypothesis; The particular question to be investigated should be stated. They are more specific form of the problem in question form. Justification for the study: A researcher must make it clear why this particular subject is important to investigate. The researcher must make a case for the worth of the study. Definitions: all key terms should be defined. This includes the variables of the study. The researcher should attempt to make his or her definitions as clear as possible. It is in this section that the researcher will also provide the operational definitions for the study. Operational definitions helps to clarify how certain terms will be used in this current study.

vi) Background and literature review In this section, the researcher tries to show that he or she is familiar with the major trends in previous research and opinions on the topic and understands their relevance to the current study. This review may include theoretical conceptions, directly related studies, and studies that provide additional perspectives on the research question. The researcher should avoid citing references without indicating their relevance or implication for the planned study. vii) Research Methodology The methodology section includes discussions of: The research design The sampling design Instrumentation Procedure details Data analysis Limitations.

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Research design: The research design must be adapted to the purpose. If it is an experimental study, the materials, tests, equipments control conditions and any other device should be described. In descriptive or ex post factor designs, it may be sufficient to describe them rationale for using one design over the others.

Sampling design: The researcher should explicitly define the target population being studied and the sampling methods used. It is crucial to give an explanation of the sampling methods, uniqueness of the chosen parameters. The calculations should be placed in an appendix instead of in the body of the report.

Data collection Methods/ instrumentation: This part describes the specifics of data gathering. Data analysis: This section describes how the data will be organized and analyzed. It should specifically describe how the data will be handled, the preliminary analysis, statistical tests, computer programmes, and any other technical information. The researcher should give a rational for the choice of analysis. Limitations: This section should be a thoughtful presentation of significant methodology or implementation problems. All research studies have their limitations and a sincere researcher should recognize that the reader need aid in judging the studys validity

ix) Findings This is a very important section and its objective is to explain the data rather than to draw interpretations or conclusions. It is important that the findings are presented in numbered paragraphs. Use of tables, charts, and graphics is encouraged. x) Summary and Conclusions and recommendations: The summary is a brief statement of the essential findings. In cases where findings are presented in sections, it is also important to present the summaries in sections. Conclusions may be presented in a tabular form for easy reading and reference. Recommendations or Further study suggestions: These are usually few ideas about corrective actions. In academic research recommendations become the suggestions for further research. In applied research, the recommendations will usually be for managerial action rather than research action. xi) Budget A research study requires resources. It is important for the researcher to indicate the expected

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Budget for the study. The budget should include such items such as: Salaries. Materials Equipment costs Secretarial and other assistance, Expenses such as travel, postage and overheads. xii) Appendices This section deals with complex tables, statistical tests, supporting documents, copies of forms and questionnaires, detailed descriptions of methodology, instructions to field officers and any other evidence important to the report. xiii) Bibliography If secondary sources of information have been used, then a bibliography is very important In this case, proper citation, style, and format are unique to the purpose of the report. 13.4 Summary In a nutshell the final report is organized as follows:

Introductory Section: Title page Table of Contents List of figures List of Tables Declaration Abstract Acknowledgement Dedication Acronyms Abbreviations II. Main Body Problem to be investigated -Purpose of the study Justification of then study

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Research question and hypothesis Definition of terms Background and review of related literature Theory is, appropriate Studies directly related Studies tangentially related. Procedures: Description of the research design Description of the sample Description of the instruments Explanation of the procedure followed (the what, when, where, and how of the study) Discussions of internal validity Description and justification of the statistical techniques or other methods of analysis used Findings: Description of findings pertinent to each of the research hypothesis or question Summary and Conclusions: Brief summary of the research question being investigated, the procedures employed and the results obtained Discussion of the implementation of the findings (their meaning and significance Suggestion for further research III. References (Bibliography) IV. Appendixes A STANDARD STRUCTURE OF A RESEARCH PROPOSAL/REPORT Every institution has its own preferred structure of a research proposal of report. The standard structure followed by most universities would take the following format. PRELIMINARIES Cover page Declaration Acknowledgement Dedication

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Abstract Table of contents List of figures List of tables Acronyms Abbreviations CHAPTER ONE: Introduction Background to the study Statement of the problem Purpose of the study Objectives of the study Research questions/ Research hypothesis Justification of the study Significance of the study Scope of the study Assumptions of the study Limitations / Delimitations of the study CHAPTER TWO: Literature Review Introduction Review of literature according to the study variables Knowledge gaps Conceptual frame work/theoretical Framework Summary of the literature reviewed Definitions of key terms Operational definitions of terms CHAPTER THREE: Research Methodology Introduction Research Design Target population Sampling design Data collection methods and procedures Data analysis methods and justification CHAPTER FOUR: Data Presentation, Interpretation and Analysis Introduction Reliability and validity test results of the research instruments

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Descriptive data presentation as per research question/objectives/variables Summary CHAPTER FIVE: Findings and conclusions Introduction Findings as per research objectives/ research questions Hypothesis tests Summary of findings Conclusions Recommendations Suggestions for further research REFRENCES APA format for all citations in the study Should be done alphabetically For MA not less than 40 citations and for PhD. not less than 100 citations APPENDICIES The research instruments Letters to research participants Any supporting document related to the study Any table used and could not be in the text. BUDGETS A budget provides the activities and their estimated costs. TIME FRAME A timeframe provides each activity and the estimated time it would take to complete.

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Anderson, B. (1966) The Psychology Experiment: An Introduction to the Scientific Method. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. Epiet, (1996) Introductory Course: Lazereto de Mahon, Menorca, Spain. Fred C, (1989): Success in statistics George W (1997) Design of Sampling Experiments in the Social Sciences. Hunt N and Tyrrell S (2001) Coventry University Probability Sampling Techniques. Patton, M. Q. (1990) Qualitative evaluation and research methods (2nd Ed.). Newbury. Park, CA (1992): Fundamental Applications of Statistics Sage Publications. [Del Siegel, Ph.D. del.siegle@uconn.edu Snedecor, W. George (1997) Design of Sampling Experiments in the Social sciences. Valeric J and John H (2000): Statistics and Design Models

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