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Methodologies

Methodologies

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Methodologies

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  1. Research Raymond Martin 3C1; 858-9342, rdmartin_ja@ yahoo.com rmartin@utech.edu.jm Methodologies

  2. Lecture #9 Survey Research

  3. Lecture 9 – Survey Research A survey is a method of gathering information from a sample of individuals. This is unlike a census where all members of the population are studied.

  4. Lecture 9 – Survey Research Steps in the process: • Identify the population • Choose the sample • Develop the questionnaire • Supervise the interviews • Process the data collected • Analyse the data • Report the survey findings

  5. Lecture 9 – Survey Research Why are surveys conducted? • To determine public opinion on national issues • pre-election polls • To provide information for planning • To evaluate projects • To determine company ratings • To determine the feasibility of a venture

  6. Lecture 9 – Survey Research Surveys may be classified by their method of data collection: • Face to face • Mail • Questionnaire • Telephone interview • Exploratory

  7. Lecture 9 – Survey Research Questionnaire vs Interview: • Questionnaire is less expensive • Questionnaire has lower return rate • Questionnaires protect the respondents identity • Questions may be misinterpreted • Interviews are flexible; researcher can clarify • Interviewer controls order of questions • Interview only for illiterate

  8. Lecture 9 – Survey Research Rate of return influenced by: • Length of the questionnaire • The cover letter • Sponsorship • Presentation • Ease of completion • Ease of returning • Follow-up procedures

  9. Lecture 9 – Survey Research Surveys may be concerned with opinions or attitudes or factual characteristics or behaviours. Many combine questions of both types.

  10. Lecture 9 – Survey Research Respondents may be asked: - if they heard or read about an issue - what they know about it - their opinion - how strongly they feel and why - their interest in the issue - past experience with it

  11. Lecture 9 – Survey Research Also required are factual information that will help the survey analyst classify their responses such as: - age - gender - marital status - occupation and - place of residence

  12. Lecture 9 – Survey Research Types of Questions/Items • Completion/fill-in • Checklists • Scaled Items • Ranking • Likert-type items; allows the respondent to rate opinion from highly positive to highly negative

  13. Lecture 9 – Survey Research Important points • Arrangement of the questionnaire • Layout of questionnaire Checklists • Pre-testing the instrument • Administering the questionnaire

  14. Lecture 9 – Survey Research Essential Elements of the Cover Letter • The purpose of the study • A request for cooperation • Protection of the respondent • Sponsorship of the study • Promise of results • Appreciation • Date of the letter • Request for immediate return

  15. Lecture 9 – Survey Research “The most critical features for successful survey research are the sample and the survey instrument” “Survey instrumentation is the science of asking questions” Singleton and Straits (1999).

  16. Lecture 9 – Survey Research The questionnaire items should relate to a research question/subtopic. • What is the perception of students about the research methodologies course?

  17. Lecture 9 – Survey Research The Questionnaire Open-ended question (free-response) • To what extent has the research methodologies course fulfilled your expectations? Close-ended question (fixed-choice) • Did the research methodologies course meet: ( ) none of your expectations ( ) some of your expectations ( ) all of your expectations

  18. Lecture 9 – Survey Research What other questions could be used to address the topic: • What is the perception of students about the research methodologies course?

  19. Lecture 9 – Survey Research Response formats for closed-ended questions • ( ) Yes ( ) No • Don’t know option should be included

  20. Lecture 9 – Survey Research Response formats for closed-ended questions Ordinal response scales e.g. Likert response scale The research methodologies course was exciting ( ) Strongly agree ( ) Agree ( ) Uncertain ( ) Disagree ( ) Strongly disagree

  21. Lecture 9 – Survey Research Response formats for closed-ended questions Ranking responses The research methodologies course was enjoyable for several reasons. Rank the factors below from 1 to 5 according to their contribution to your enjoyment: ( ) There is no final exam ( ) I got to watch the matrix ( ) I could hand in my assignments by Email ( ) The lecturer is stupid ( ) I got to work in groups

  22. Lecture 9 – Survey Research Format The opening • Use interesting and non-threatening topic at beginning. • The first question should be a question the respondent would be expected to be asked • It should be easy to answer • Good to start with open-ended question

  23. Lecture 9 – Survey Research Format Order, Flow and Transition • The order must seem logical. • Difficult questions should be in the middle after the respondent has become committed • Question order is critical as some questions may influence others later down • Transitions between major topics should be considered. e.g. Okay now I would like to change the subject slightly to …

  24. Lecture 9 – Survey Research Writing the Items Using language effectively The manner in which a question is asked is very important. In a NBC/Wall Street poll two very similar questions were asked with different results: Source: http://www.amstat.org/sections/srms/brochures/survwhat.html

  25. Lecture 9 – Survey Research Do you favour cutting programs such as social security and medicare to reduce the budget deficit? The results: 23% favour, 66% oppose, 11% no opinion. Do you favour cutting government entitlements to reduce the budget deficit? The results: 61% favour, 25% oppose; 14% no opinion Source: http://www.amstat.org/sections/srms/brochures/survwhat.html

  26. Lecture 9 – Survey Research Writing the Items Using language effectively - Items should be unambiguous e.g. Sex ___ - Avoid words such as usually, few, here - Use appropriate vocabulary

  27. Lecture 9 – Survey Research Writing the Items Avoid double-barreled questions - Do you believe that males are more intelligent than females and should be given leadership positions?

  28. Lecture 9 – Survey Research Writing the Items - Avoid emotionally loaded words - Avoid leading questions that suggest a possible answer - Contingency questions are only asked to a part of the sample. Filtering questions avoid time wasting.

  29. Lecture 9 – Survey Research Pretesting As soon as the instrument is drafted it should be tested on a small sample with characteristics similar to the target group of respondents.

  30. Lecture #10 Qualitative Research

  31. Contrasting Characteristics of Qualitative and Quantitative Research (Source: Wiersma, 2000)

  32. Case Study • Concerned with studying a particular individual, situation or event • Captures the reality of a particular environment at a point in time • The study of two or more cases is called a multiple or collective case study.

  33. Ethnography • Study of human culture within a well defined community • Establishes link between culture and behaviour • Naturalistic Observation • Researcher spends long hours in the community • Participant or non-participant observation • Records made using detailed narratives, audio, video or field notes • Limitation is that some behaviours are private and opinions and intentions may not be captured.

  34. Phenomenology • Study of an event from the subject’s perspective • Answers the question “What is it like to experience…?” • Lengthy interviews used (1-2 hrs) • 5-25 individuals • Researcher removes all bias

  35. Secondary Data Analysis • Data collected by other researchers • Sources • Official statistics, private documents, mass media, physical material, data from previous research • Method • Procure data • Measure and restructure key concepts • Evaluate data quality • Assess data completeness

  36. Secondary Data Analysis Cont’d • Advantages • Data collection does not affect producer • Allows the past to be studied • Less expensive • Allows more ground to be covered in short time • Advantages • May not be accurate • The assumptions and limitations may not be clear

  37. Analysing Qualitative Data Interviews and observations • Examine the scripts for common themes and others that occur • Look for significant statements • Software packages exist to assist with the analysis of texts. Some allow you to search for particular codes or words

  38. Analysing Quantitative Data • Observation Data • Quantified forms of observation can be tabulated • Questionnaire • Both qualitative and quantitative data but more quantitative • Experiments • Quantitative data

  39. Statistics • Descriptive • Organising the data to make it more intelligible • Uses proportions, percentages, central tendencies, variation. • e.g. 20% of respondents said yes. • Inferential • Used to compare measurements collected from your sample with another sample or population so that judgement can be made about how similar or dissimilar groups are. • e.g. chi-squared, t-test, correlation, regression.

  40. Findings and Interpretations FINDINGS • Express in words what the tables, graphs, averages, percentages etc are saying. • e.g. Among the 16 students who studied more than the average amount of the time 69% received an above average result in the history examination while among those who studied less, 14% received an above average result.

  41. Findings and Interpretation INTERPRETATION • Consider the research question • Ask questions about what you found • What is significant? • What does it suggest? • How could the study be developed further?

  42. Data Presentation • Tables • Pie Charts • Graphs