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Identifying a Research Problem

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Daniel Hernandez-Torrano

on 23 August 2013

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Transcript of Identifying a Research Problem

Identifying a Research Problem
What is a research problem?
Writing the statement of the problem section
The five elements of a statement of the problem
What is a research problem?
A research problem is an educational issue or concern that an investigator presents and justifies in a research study.

Why is it important?
It establishes the importance of the topic.
It creates reader interest.
It focuses the reader’s attention on how the study will add to the literature.

Research problem VS Other parts of research?
Topic
A research topic is the broad subject matter being addressed in a study.

Research Problem
A research problem is an educational issue or problem in the study.
Purpose statement
A purpose is the major intent or objective of the study.
Research Questions
Research questions are those that the researcher would like answered or addressed in the study.
Statement of the problem
Purpose statement
General
Specific
Distance learning
Lack of students in distance education classes
To study why students do not attend distance education classes at a community college
Does the use of Web site technology in the classroom deter students from enrolling in a distance education class?
Quantitative
Use quantitative research if your research problem requires you to:
Measure variables
Assess the impact of these variables on an outcome
Test theories or broad explanations
Apply results to a large number of people

Qualitative
Use qualitative research if your research problem requires you to:
Learn about the views of the people you plan to study
Assess a process over time
Generate theories based on participant perspectives
Obtain detailed information about a few people or research sites
Quantitative VS Qualitative Research Problem
Can a problem be researched?
Do you have access to the research site?
Do you have the time, resources, and skills to carry out the research?

Should a problem be researched?
Does it advance knowledge?
Does it contribute to practice?
Will your study fill a gap or void in the existing literature?
Will your study replicate a past study but examine different participants and different research sites?
Will your study extend past research or examine the topic more thoroughly?
Will your study give voice to people not heard, silenced, or rejected in society?
Problem statement
Foundation and focus of your research proposal. It is a clear, stand-alone statement that make explicit what it is you are aiming to discover or establish.
Topic
Broad subject matter that a researcher wishes to address in a study and that creates initial interest for the reader

Research problem
Educational issue, concern, or controversy that the researcher investigates.

Types:
Practical research problem
Research-based problem
Justification
Reasons for the importance of studying the issue or concern

Justification based on research and experts
Justification based on workplace or personal experiences
Deficiencies in the evidence
Indication that the past literature or practical experiences of the researches do not adequately address the research problem

What do we still need to know?
What else do we need to know to improve practice?

The audience
Individuals or groups who will read and potentially benefit from the information provided in your research study

“Who will profit from reading my study?” Other researchers, Practitioners, Policy makers, Special populations (e.g., parents)

More about the topic...
The topic is introduced in the first paragraph.
The topic includes the general subject matter.
The topic must be introduced so that the reader can relate to it.
And even more...
The narrative hook should be the first sentence of the study.
Functions of the narrative hook
- Causes the reader to pay attention
- Elicits an emotional or attitudinal response from the reader
- Causes the reader to continue reading
Information that can be included in the narrative hook
- Statistics
- A provocative question
- Need for research
- Intent of the study

Template
Introduction of the helpsheet #1
EDUC 600 Inquiry Methods
Daniel Hernandez Torrano
Nazarbayev University Graduate School of Education
Full transcript