The purpose of research – is to discover new information or trends and patterns on existing phenomena; advance knowledge and increase understanding.
The focus of research – to evaluate existing information and assess what is not known or what has been left out.
Sampling – the characteristics of the chosen quantity of people.
Methods – concern how the group is chosen
Sample group – is the final group of individuals that have been chosen to participate in the research
Sample size – the larger and more diverse a sample group, the more accurate the results
Types of data – primary, secondary, qualitative and quantitative
Primary collected firsthand by the researcher = new data that does not exist prior to research
Secondary has been gathered and recorded by someone else; from internet, books etc
Qualitative subjective data that comes from research that collects facts and information regarding peoples beliefs, feelings, attitudes etc
Quantitative objective data that comes from research that collects facts in the form of numerical data which can then be analysed by using counting, measuring and graphing
Sources of data – individuals, groups, print and digital
Individuals and groups data can be collected and recorded through various means such as surveys (interviews, questionnaires)
Print and digital sources of data include any information that can be accessed in hard copy or electronically that assists in the research process
Reliability – relates to the consistency of research findings.
Validity – refers to the legitimacy of findings.
Ethical behaviour – ethics are defined as norms for conduct; the way people are expected to behave and perform. Researchers are expected to present correct and objective information (must be accurate and truthful). A large part of research ethics involves copyright.
Respect involved individuals and their ideas, opinions and beliefs should be respected. Showing respects for subjects of research is an ethical procedure that can effectively enhance the research process.
Integrity relates to the principles and standards of the researcher; honest and truthful, eill collect, record, analyse and interpret data in a reliable manner.
Privacy consider the freedom of privacy of individuals involved in their research; must be kept confidential and need to obtain the authority to use information.
Bias refers to the distortion of research and results due to unfair influence from individuals’ ideals, values and opinions. Essential to remain as objective as possible. Results should be based on accurate facts and findings rather than personal opinions.
Questionnaires – useful research tool for obtaining answers to specific questions from a variety of individuals and groups. Both qualitative and quantitative. Can ask respondents open and closed questions to put across their values, ideas and opinions and enable responses to be easily collated and results to be straight forwardly analysed. Ensure questions are concise, don’t use leading questions and establish trust with the respondents.
Interviews – qualitative research method used for obtaining information. Can be structured or unstructured. Needs effective planning and preparation. Ensure your questions aren’t ambiguous, avoid bias, avoid assumptions, be concise and only include relevant questions. Can be recorded using written, audio or video.
Case studies – qualitative research method used to gain a deep understanding of complex issues. Define the research question, choose the ‘cases’ to be studied, collect the data, evaluate and analyse the data and present your results.
Observations – split into 2 different approaches; participant observation and non-participant observation.
Participant researcher immerses themselves into the environment in which they are researching; will communicate with group members, emphasise their beliefs…