Quantitative & Qualitative Research Designs

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A description of types of quantitative and qualitative research designs and data collection methods in educational research

Text of Quantitative & Qualitative Research Designs

  • Quantitative & Qualitative Research

    DesignsE. HAIPINGE

    07 APRIL 2015


    By the end of the lecture, students should be able to:

    Define research design

    Identify quantitative research designs

    Identify qualitative research designs

    Define each research design

    Understand the appropriate use of each research design


    A detailed outline of how a research investigation will take place

    It includes: how data is to be collected, what instruments will be employed, how the instruments will be used and the intended means for analyzing data collected.

    The function of a research design is to ensure that the evidence obtained enables us to answer the initial question as unambiguously as possible


    Research design

    A logical structure of the inquiry

    Examples Cross-sectional design Case study SurveyNarrative

    Research method

    A mode of data collection

    ExamplesQuestionnaireObservation Interview Focus group

  • Quantitative Research Designs

  • Quantitative Research Designs

    Experimental design

    Ex Post Facto design

    Correlational design

    Survey design

  • Experimental Design

    Research in which the investigator manipulates one or more independent variables (the treatment) and observes the effect on one or more dependent variables

    It involves an experiment: An experiment is an orderly procedure carried out with the goal of verifying, refuting, or establishing the validity of a hypothesis.

    Experiments provide insight into cause-and-effect by demonstrating what outcome occurs when a particular factor is manipulated.

    Data collection methods: standardized tests, measuring tests, questionnaires,

  • Characteristics of Experimental Design

    Random assignment: randomly assigning individuals to experimental or control groups

    Control over extraneous variables: factors other than independent variable that may influence the outcome of the experiment

    Manipulation of the treatment conditions: interventions made by researcher to change conditions of experimental group

    Outcome measures: assessing whether treatment conditions influence outcome (dependent variable)

    Group comparison: comparing the test scores and variation between experimental and control group

  • Ex Post Facto Design

    A type of research that attempts to determine the causes for, or the consequences of, differences that already exist in groups of individuals.

    ex post facto (Latin: after the fact) indicates that ex post facto research is conducted after variation in the variable of interest has already been determined in the natural course of events.

    Examples of attribute variables (characteristic that participants already had before the study began) that cannot be manipulated Home environment, motivation, intelligence, home language, parental reading habits, age, ethnicity, gender, etc.

    Data collection methods: measuring tests, questionnaires

  • Example: the effect of students anxiety in an achievement testing situation on their examination performance.

  • Correlational Design

    Research that attempts to determine the extent and the direction of the relationship between two or more variables.

    Unlike experimental and ex posto facto designs that compares variables between groups, correlational research assesses the relationships among two or more variables in a single group.

    Correlation indicates whether the relationship between variables is positive or negative and the strength of this relationship.

    Data collection methods: measuring tests, questionnaires, existing data

  • Value of houses Value of vehicles

  • Survey Design

    Survey research, describes the distributions of variables in a specified group

    In survey research, investigators ask questions about peoples beliefs, opinions, characteristics, and behavior

    Types of surveys: Census (the whole population is surveyed)

    Census of tangibles (desks in school); census of intangibles (ICT literacy level)

    Sample survey (a representative small group is selected from the total population)

    Longitudinal surveys (panel studies, trend studies, and cohort research)

    Cross-sectional surveys (study a cross section [sample] of a population at a single point in time)

    Data collection methods: questionnaires, checklists, observation

  • Types of Longitudinal Surveys

    Panel studies In panel studies, the same subjects are surveyed several times over an extended period of time Example: a study investigating development of vocabulary in learners will select an exact same sample to be followed

    through successive grade levels and tested each year to assess how their vocabulary develops (e.g. learners 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 & 10 in Grade 1A; then the same learners in Grade 2A; then again in Grade 3A; then finally when in 4A)

    Trend studies Here, different individuals randomly drawn from the same general population to be surveyed at intervals over a period

    of time. This general population changes in membership over time. Example: each year, a sample is randomly drawn from general population of learners in each grade to study the

    development of their vocabulary (e.g. a random sample of 30 learners each year from grades 1A, 2A, 3A and 4A)

    Cohort studies A specific population is followed over a length of time with different random samples studied at various points A cohort study samples a specific population whose members do not change over the duration of the survey Example: random sample selected from grade 1A class of 2015 at various points in time (e.g. 2A in 2016; 3A in 2017)

  • Qualitative Research Designs

  • Qualitative Research Designs

    Basic qualitative studies

    Case studies

    Content/ document analysis

    Ethnography/ Ethnographic studies

    Grounded theory studies

    Historical studies

    Narrative research

    Phenomenological research

    Phenomenographical research

  • Basic Qualitative Studies

    They are interpretive studies that describe and attempt to interpret experience

    Simplistic and not restricted to a particular phenomenon

    Use a variety of data collection techniques: interviews, observations, review documents

    Draw from diverse theoretical orientations

    Data analysis: categorization, development of patterns or themes, coding and looking for recurring themes

    Interpreted through disciplinary lens

    Data collection methods: Interviews, observations, focus groups, document review

  • Case Studies

    Case study focuses on a single unit to produce an in-depth description that is rich and holistic

    unit can be an individual, a group, a site, a class, a policy, a program, a process, an institution, or a community

    Theyre particularistic, descriptive and heuristic

    Asks: What are the characteristics of this particular entity, phenomenon, person, or setting?

    Seeks to understand the whole case in the totality of the environment

    Data collection methods: Interviews, observations, focus groups, document review

  • Types of Case Studies

    Intrinsic case study

    Conducted to understand a particular case that may be unusual, unique, or different in some way.

    It does not necessarily represent other cases or a broader trait or problem

    Instrumental case study

    Selected because it represents an issue under investigation and the researcher believes this particular case can help provide insights or help to understand that issue

    Multiple/ collective case study

    Uses several cases selected to further understand and investigate a phenomenon, population, or general condition

    Studying multiple units can provide better illumination

  • Content/document Analysis

    A research method applied to written or visual materials for the purpose of identifying specified characteristics of the material

    Examples: textbooks, newspapers, web pages, speeches, television programs, advertisements, musical compositions

    Purpose is to:

    Identify bias, prejudice, or propaganda in textbooks

    Analyze types of errors in students writings

    Describe prevailing practices

    Discover the level of difficulty of material in textbooks or other publications

    Discover the relative importance of, or interest in, certain topics

    Data collection methods: document, audio-visual review

  • Steps in Content Analysis

    1. Specifying the phenomenon to be investigated

    2. Selecting the media from which the observations are to be made

    3. Formulating exhaustive and mutually exclusive coding categories

    4. Deciding on the sampling plan to be used in order to obtain a representative sample of the documents

    5. Training the coders so that they can consistently apply the coding scheme

    6. Analyzing the data, which may involve more descriptive accounts

  • Ethnography

    Ethnography is the in-depth study of naturally occurring behavior within a culture or entire social group

    Seeks to understand the relationship between culture (shared beliefs, values, concepts, practices, and attitudes) and behavior of a specific group of people

    Typically describe, analyze, and interpret culture over time using observations and field work as the primary data collecting strategies

    The final product is a cultural portrait that incorporates the views of participants

    Data collection methods: Interviews, participant obs