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The Research Process

A prezi to accompany an opening lecture on the Research Process

Student Dale

on 9 May 2014

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Transcript of The Research Process

What is

How would we define it?
according to Websters
Basic or pure research:
for the extension of
knowledge motivated
by intellectual interests.

Applied Research:
to solve an immediate
practical problem
kinds of
Research is really a process that can be followed
Researchers collect
and analyze data

There are two types of data
Quantitative and Qualitative
each has its own characteristics
Quantitative Data
Is measurable and precise.
A quantitative world is black and white
It is the way it is and the same to all.
It is exactly _________!
Qualitative data is imprecise.
A qualitative world is composed of
subtle shade of grey.
Each of us sees the world differently.
Is the glass half empty or half full?
Research Park
there are 3
each has its own characteristics
and knowledge concerns
• manipulate and control the environment,

• predict observable physical and social events, and take appropriate action).

•produce technically useful knowledge mainly used in industry and production

Data is Qualitative
Empirical-Analytical Paradigm.
Used to acquire Instrumental knowledge
that allows us to:
knowledge is established by reference to external reality, using the senses.

an objective world made up of observable phenomena.
Understand each other through language.

There are no scientific laws governing these communications
when we communicate with others, we interpret what they say in our own way.

Derived from shared interpretation and consensus
and then often becomes reified.

Data are mostly qualitative.
Interpretive paradigm.
Used to acquire communicative knowledge
that fulfills our need to:
Data are mostly qualitative

Data collection methods include:
case studies
grounded theory
narrative inquiry
appreciative inquiry
Critical Paradigm.
Used to acquire emancipatory knowledge
that allows us to attain:
instrumental and communicative knowledge
are not rejected but are seen as limiting.

We must question current scientific and
social theories and accepted truths,
or we may never realize how
we are constrained by their
inevitable distortions
and errors.

personal growth and development that provides us with self-knowledge and freedom

Gaining emancipatory knowledge is dependent on
our abilities to be self-determining and self-reflective.

Self-determination can be described as the capacity to both be
aware and critical of ourselves and of our social and cultural context.

Self-reflection involves being aware and critical of
our subjective perceptions of knowledge and of
the constraints of social knowledge.
Now that you
know about the types of data
and the research paradigms
associated with each,
how do you decide
what to research?
The 1st step
towards deciding:
conduct a literature
Why conduct
a literature
The success and quality of a literature review is dependent upon a couple of things: library prowess and tenacity.
You need to be able to find the literature, then study it thoroughly so that you gain a measure of familiarity and begin to feel like an expert.
let's head
over to the
Welcome to
the library
There are
two kind of literature.

Theoretical or Conceptual writing –
reflections of the authors experiences or opinions

Data-Based researched studies – Collections and analysis of data collected from people, institutions and documents – extraneous from the author.

there are a number
of reference documents
that can help you find your
review literature
Reference guides
Reviews of Research
Handbooks and Yearbooks
Subject encyclopedias
After reading a stack of books when do you know the time has come to stop?
Paucity – new area of research – can contribute to the
literature – cannot benefit form previous work in the topic area – does not exist.

When to stop?
1) encountering list of materials already covered
2) feeling of expertise

Know When To Stop!
Know When To Stop!
You've found a
stack of material to review
and it seems like
you've been reading
(reviewing) forever!
When will you
know that your review
is finished and it's time
to start writing.
Paucity vs Abundance
Abundance vs Paucity
If your searches
have found an abundance
of literature to review, you
may begin to feel like an
expert in the subject
or if you've become
so familiar with the literature
that you start to encounter the same material repeatedly, it's probably time to stop
reading and start
If you find
that there is a paucity
of material relating to your area of interest in your subject field...
this would suggest
an under researched area in your field in need of meaningful inquiry.
waiting for you to
make a contribution to the subject area knowledge base. Time to
start writing!

The literature review functions as a means of
and interpreting
a research investigation
The clock is ticking so get to it!
The literature review is an essay that provides a systematic overview of the topic by integrating, synthesizing and critiquing the important theories and research of a particular topic.
2 strategies

The Chart
create a table with headings
The Conversation (2 formats)

1) a narrative essay

2) an interview – with a novice in the
topic area (ask basic questions, provide the answers)
1) Read generally for an overview of the problem
area before defining the topic precisely.

2) Define the limits of the review
get the correct focus
not too broad to too narrow.

3) Develop a pool of relevant resources
begin reading bibliographies to
locate a reasonable number of sources

4) Establish selection criteria

5) Continue the search until sources are saturated
and you feel in command of the topic

6) Copy material to be reviewed
precisely cite full bibliographic material

7) Arrange the materials into categories

8) Structure into its parts – Intro, Body, Conclusion.
The 8 Step Review Process
Writing the Literature Review
Both methods should allow a reviewer to adopt a critical stance – strengths, weaknesses of the research.

The reviewer must stand apart from the individual sources to extract generalities, major themes, salient issues from the entire body of literature.

The review should create an overview that will integrate, synthesize and critique what is there.

Introduction: States the topic, its scope and significance.
Simply stated and easily understood.
Clear and concise language.
Special terminology explained or defined.
Generalizations that then gradually narrow the focus.
Explains the criteria and process of selection.

Body: A critical synthesis and integration of all the important literature.
Arranged by the themes that evolve naturally from the material.
Identifies themes and generalizations as subheadings or subtopics.

Conclusion: Summarizes, evaluates and offers suggestions for further study.
Discussion of the overall strengths and weaknesses in the literature.
Points out gaps in the topic's conceptual development
or research methods.
Notes where research has been particularly well covered
or even reached a saturation point.
Structural Form of the literature review
You have
completed the literature
review. That is 3 of the 5 steps
in the research process. Let's
quickly review.
to do
to do
time to
proceed to step 4
Research Design
This is step 4 of the reseach process:

"determine a research methodology and use proper data gathering procedures and technologies"
Researchers collect two different types of data. The research design and the methodology they choose will be dependent upon which type of data is being collected
When researchers are collecting quantitative data the methodology they chose is in the form of an "Experimetal Designs"
Not the end
the rest is currently
under construction
Experimental Design
To establish

order amongst

controlled events
He said it was needed
"to determine the cause of events and to predict similar events in the future”
Is based upon a set of laws
introduced in 1837 in the book
“A System of Logic”
by John Stewart Mill
“The Method of Difference”

two sets of events are alike
save for one variable,
something added or taken

(The Law of the Single Variable)

If the observed phenomena
are different from each other,
it is directly attributable to
the variable added or taken
Great for
natural phenomena
not so good for
complex systems
like human behavior
with multiple modes
of cause and effect.
1) A control group and an
experimental group

2) Random Selection
Each is equated
through random
selection and
the independent variable influences change in the dependent variable
Primary components of experimental designs
3) Independent Variable
The experimental group
is either exposed to or
deprived of a variable.

4) Comparison
Between the control
and experimental
groups are made.
Quasi Experimental Design
Randomization provides
the control necessary
to study the effects
of the independent variable
Attention to control
is necessary to study
the effects of the
independent variable.
In Quasi-Experimental methods
randomization not always possible.
Match participants

grouped with like characteristics

Homogenous selection
selected from a specified control range

Analysis of covariance
the statistical analysis of differences
between the dependent variable at the
beginning and end of the experiment

The individual participant
same individual is subjected to two
or more treatments intended to have
similar ends
ways of bringing about experimental control
Descriptive research
explains phenomena that has already occurred

looking for the relationships that point to cause

independent variables may or may not cause outcomes reflected in the dependent variable.
Scenario Writing
Simulation Gaming
Trend Analysis Delphi Technique
Trend Analysis
Principle of Continuity
Principle of Analogy

Descriptive Approach (the imagined future)
Exploratory Approach – (The Logical Future) Prescriptive Approach – (The Willed Future)
Delphi Technique
determine the direction of long range trends
10 step process
a series of questionnaires becoming
progressively more structured and focused
Scenario Writing
Scenarios – imagining an alternative future.

Situation Gaming
A preparatory device - coping and preparing for the future

1) To Transmit Information
2) To extract information
3) To establish discussion between players
4) To motivate players and prepare them for the future
refers to a type of information based in quantities
relating to measuring something
objective properties
refers to descriptions or distinctions based on some quality or characteristic
measured by the quality of something
subjective properties
In education, modification
from this classical form are

The modified classical
designs are called
Quasi-Experimental Methods.
examine facts
about people
their opinions
The degree to which
two events or
are related
Both experimental and descriptive
are designs used in Social Sciences.
Descriptive designs are more commonly
found in the study of adult education.
Experimental research attempts to
establish cause by isolating
the independent variable
that causes the change
observed in the dependent variable.
Descriptive Research
describes the phenomena,
of which the variables are part of,
and indicates the degrees of relationship
existing between them.
Qualitative Methods
The goal of Qualitative Research
is not to determine cause and effect.

Want to describe or uncover the meaning
of a phenomenon for those involved.

How people interpret their worlds.
What meanings they attribute to their experiences.
How they construct their worlds.
How people make sense out of their lives
The researcher is looking to: discover the
meaning a phenomenon has for a those involved.
What is uncovered is mediated through the researchers’ own perspective and results in a description, explanation or interpretation of the phenomenon.

When to use a qualitative design.

If you want to:
understand a phenomenon
uncover the meaning a situation has for those involved
or delineate a process and
determine how things happen
Full transcript