Research Methods Conclusion Essay Example
Research Methods Conclusion Essay Example

Research Methods Conclusion Essay Example

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  • Pages: 4 (861 words)
  • Published: April 15, 2017
  • Type: Case Study
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Research methods, also called research designs, are the various ways that researchers employ in order to gather, organize, analyze and interpret data. Research methods depend heavily on the type of research being undertaken.

There are three major types of research methods; developmental, experimental and evaluation research. Each has a number of distinguishing characteristics that make it suitable for the type of research being undertaken. However, these are not the only forms of research methodology.Furthermore, the lines between the research designs are often blurred and many researchers use a combination of research designs in aiding their research. We shall limit ourselves to the discussion of the three major forms of research design. Developmental Research Developmental research is a methodology that focuses on a problem.

Developmental research can be in many forms such as experiments, case study, act


ion research and evaluation studies. In addition to other forms, developmental designs may be cross sectional, longitudinal, or cross sequential in nature.Stringer (2004) defines “action research” as “careful, diligent inquiry, not for purposes of discovering new facts or revising accepted laws or theories, but to acquire information having practical application to the solution of specific problems related to their work”. Action research is, thus, very similar to developmental research. Cross sectional studies are used in order to reduce the time taken to do the research. It involves looking at the same subject type but at different stages of the phenomenon under study.

Longitudinal studies examine the same subject over a long period of time. The fact that such a study requires an extensive period of time is this methods major weakness. Cross sequential studies are essentially a combination of longitudinal an

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cross sectional methods. This method seeks to combine advantages and reduce disadvantages of both the methods. In such a study, different subjects of the same subject type are studied over a period of time.

The main purpose behind developmental research is to evaluate changes over an extensive period of time.Experimental Research As the name implies, experimental research deals with the determination of causes and basis of behavior of the subject by experimenting with one or more variables that may have an influence on the behavior. Experimental research is often used to increase confidence with regard to extracting conclusions about the extent of influence that a variable may have upon the subject, “Although correlational and causal-comparative designs can suggest causal relationships between variable, experimentation is needed to determine whether the observed relationship is one of cause and effect” (Gall, Borg, and Gall, 2002).To carry out experimental research, we must have developed hypothesis for the relationship, created a treatment group and a control group and a randomized assignment of subjects to treatment. However, in cases where the above requirements must be modified due to impracticality or to increase in certainty of the outcome, experimental research further divides into three types of research design; quasi-experimental, factorial and single case designs.

Quasi-experimental designs are used in circumstances when an arbitrary assignment of subjects to control groups is not feasible or impractical.Factorial designs comprise using the application of two or more controlled variables to the subject. Single case designs deal with the comprehensive evaluation of the outcomes of the experimental treatment on a single subject or group of subjects. Experimental research is not without shortcomings.

The main problem with experimental research

is that of creating appropriate checks in order to ensure that any alteration that occurs to the subject is a result of the research treatment in terms of the controlled variable as applied to the subject and not due to some unrelated variable or event.Gall, Borg, and Gall (2002) point out that “[t]he most difficult task in doing an experiment is to hold constant or eliminate all extraneous variables that might affect the outcome measured by the posttest”. Only if this task is accomplished with high certainty can the researcher confidently assume that the results of the experiments are duty to the effect of the controlled variable and nothing else. Evaluation Research Evaluation research is used to determine the efficacy of a particular behavior, practice, policy and so on.An evaluation study is most often “initiated by someone’s need for a decision to be made concerning policy, management, or political strategy” (Gall, Borg, and Gall, 2002).

The data and conclusion drawn from the research are used as a guide for making the final decision concerning the matter at hand. Evaluation studies are undertaken for a particular purpose with in mind (Gall, Borg, and Gall, 2002). Gall, Borg, and Gall (2002) are of the view that quantitative evaluation research does not sufficiently tak into account the politics surrounding the issue at hand.As a result, researchers have developed qualitative procedures that take the view that the worth of the program being evaluated depends upon the perception of the stakeholders (Gall, Borg, and Gall, 2002).

With other research other forms of research, the researchers are pleased with finding a general result, but with evaluation studies, the result indicates either

the practice or policy is effective or else is not effective with regard to its purpose of use. The ultimate purpose of evaluation research is to provide feedback to the stakeholders.

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