metodos qualitativos

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metodos qualitativos

  1. 1. Quantitative Research Methods in Social Sciences Lecturer: Lia Tsuladze, PhD, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Social and Political Studies, Tbilisi State University, Georgia. Course Aims. The aim of the course is to familiarize students with quantitative research methods in social sciences, as well as to facilitate them to gain practical skills of conducting quantitative researches. Therefore, students will not only receive theoretical knowledge on the related topics but also, based on it, undertake practical work such as developing a social research program, designing a sample, constructing a questionnaire, and conducting a standardized/structured interview. As survey research is considered to be the main method of quantitative research, students will sequentially cover all its stages from developing a research question to the data analysis and reporting. Course Format. Lectures that provide students with necessary theoretical background, and seminars and discussions, where students present their practical assignments and give feedback to one another. Students will work in the groups of 3-4 on the practical assignments and present them to the whole group at each seminar. Course Contents. 1. Introduction to quantitative research methods. Survey research as the main method of quantitative research Introduction: Two methods of social research - quantitative and qualitative, basic differences between them. Social research and theory: The interaction of theory and research. The process of theory construction and the process of theory testing. Survey research as the main method of quantitative research. A brief history of survey research. The scientific characteristics of survey research. References: De Vaus, D. A. (1990). Survey in Social Research (2nd ed.). London: Unwin Hyman. Ch. 2. Babbie, E. (1998). Survey Research Methods (2nd ed.). Belmont: Wadsworth. Ch. 3. 1
  2. 2. Neill, J. (2007). Qualitative versus Quantitative Research: Key Points in the Classic Debate. Retrieved http://wilderdom.com/research/QualitativeVersusQuantitativeResearch.html#Features 2. Social Research Program What is a social research program and why is it necessary to start a research with developing a proper research program? The structure of a social research program, its theoretical and procedural parts. The structure of a theoretical part: 1. Formulating a research question and stating its importance; 2. Identifying a topic and an object of the research; 3. Clarifying the research aim and objectives; and 4. Developing the research hypotheses. The structure of a procedural part: 1. Designing a sample; and 2. Identifying appropriate research methods. An example of a research program: Lika’s PhD research: “Autonomy and Sanctions in Socialization in the Context of Georgian Culture.” Assignment: Students choose a particular topic of their interest and develop a theoretical part of the research program in the groups of 3-4. A common topic is chosen by the whole group; however, each subgroup works on a particular aspect of this topic. References: De Vaus, D. A. (1990). Survey in Social Research (2nd ed.). London: Unwin Hyman. Ch. 3, 4. Oppenheim, A. N. (1992). Questionnaire Design, Interviewing and Attitude Measurement. London & NY: Continuum. Ch. 1. Harper R., Kelly M. (2003). Measuring Social Capital in the UK. National Statistics. retrieved www.statistics.gov.uk/socialcapital 3. Seminar Presentation and discussion of the social research programs by the groups of students. Feedback from the whole group: Identifying strengths and weaknesses of each research program and improving them. 4. Types of Survey Research. Basic Survey Designs 2
  3. 3. What is survey? Purposes of survey research: Description, explanation, and exploration. Steps in Conducting a survey. Main types of survey research: Self- administered questionnaires, mail surveys, internet surveys, personal interviews, and telephone interviews. Interviews versus questionnaires: advantages and disadvantages of each. Ethical considerations, an interviewer’s central task and the principles of performance. The issues related to selecting a survey method: Population issues, sampling issues, question issues, content issues, bias issues, and administrative issues. Basic survey designs. Cross-sectional surveys and longitudinal surveys: trend studies, cohort studies, and panel studies. Variations on basic designs: parallel samples, contextual studies, and sociometric studies. The ways of choosing an appropriate design. References: Babbie, E. (1998). Survey Research Methods (2nd ed.). Belmont: Wadsworth. Ch. 4. De Vaus, D. (2002). Surveys in Social Research (5th ed.). London: Routledge. Ch. 8. Oppenheim, A. N. (1992). Questionnaire Design, Interviewing and Attitude Measurement. London & NY: Continuum. Ch. 2, 6. Newman, W. L. (2003). Social Research Methods: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches (5th ed.). Boston: A&B. Ch. 10, pp. 263-268, 289-304. Trochim, W. (2006). Survey Research. Retrieved http://www.socialresearchmethods.net/kb/survey.php 5. Questionnaire Design Question content and principles of question design. Types of questions and response categories. Developing question responses. Guides to question construction and wording issues. Questionnaire design issues: Length of questionnaire; questionnaire layout; question order and format; non-response. Pilot testing: Evaluating questions and questionnaires. Measurement quality: reliability and validity. An example of a questionnaire: CRRC Data Initiative 2007 - Individual Questionnaire. Assignment: Students develop thematic sections for questionnaires (in the groups of 3-4) for the research topic they have developed a research program on. 3
  4. 4. References: Babbie, E. (1998). Survey Research Methods (2nd ed.). Belmont: Wadsworth. Ch. 7. De Vaus, D. (2002). Surveys in Social Research (5th ed.). London: Routledge. Ch. 7. Oppenheim, A. N. (1992). Questionnaire Design, Interviewing and Attitude Measurement. London & NY: Continuum. Ch. 7, 8. Newman, W. L. (2003). Social Research Methods: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches (5th ed.). Boston: A&B. Ch. 10, pp. 268-288. 6. Seminar Presentation and discussion of the questionnaire sections by the groups of students. Feedback from the whole group: Identifying strengths and weaknesses of each questionnaire and improving them. 7. Indexes and Scales Indexes versus scales. Index construction: item selection; bivariate relationships among items; multivariate relationships among items; index scoring; handling missing data. Index validation: internal versus external validation. Scale construction and principles of measurement: unidimensionality, reliability, validity, linearity, and reproducibility. Types of scales: Thurstone scale; Bogardus scale; Likert scale; and Guttman scale. Issues that complicate scaling and some solutions to these problems. An example of scales: CRRC Data Initiative 2007 - Individual Questionnaire. Assignment: Students develop scales for their questionnaires (in the groups of 3- 4). References: Babbie, E. (1998). Survey Research Methods (2nd ed.). Belmont: Wadsworth. Ch. 8. De Vaus, D. (2002). Surveys in Social Research (5th ed.). London: Routledge. Ch. 11. Oppenheim, A. N. (1992). Questionnaire Design, Interviewing and Attitude Measurement. London & NY: Continuum. Ch. 11. Trochim, W. (2006). Scaling. Retrieved http://www.socialresearchmethods.net/kb/scaling.php 4
  5. 5. 8. Seminar Presentation and discussion of the scales by the groups of students. Feedback from the whole group: Identifying strengths and weaknesses of each questionnaire and improving them. 9. Survey Sampling The logic of survey sampling. Types of sampling methods: probability and nonprobability sampling. Probability sampling: the implications of homogeneity and heterogeneity; conscious and unconscious sampling bias; representativeness and probability of selection. Populations and sampling frames. Size of a sample and sampling error. Types of probability sampling designs: simple random sampling; systematic sampling; stratified sampling; multistage cluster sampling. Proportionate and disproportionate sampling and weighting. Types of nonprobability sampling designs: Accidental or convenience sampling; purposive or judgemental sampling; quota sampling. Examples of sample designs: Sampling university students; sampling medical school faculty; sampling Episcopal churchwomen; sampling Oakland households. Assignment: Students develop a complete research program including both theoretical and procedural parts. References: De Vaus, D. A. (1990). Survey in Social Research (2nd ed.). London: Unwin Hyman. Ch. 5. Babbie, E. (1998). Survey Research Methods (2nd ed.). Belmont: Wadsworth. Ch. 5, 6. Newman, W. L. (2003). Social Research Methods: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches (5th ed.). Boston: A&B. Ch. 8. Trochim, W. (2006). Sampling. Retrieved http://www.socialresearchmethods.net/kb/sampling.php 5
  6. 6. 10. Seminar Discussion and analysis of different sample designs. Presentation of complete research programs. 11. Survey Research Ethics. Pretests and Pilot Studies The ethics of survey research: voluntary participation; no harm to respondents; anonymity and confidentiality; identifying purpose and sponsor; analysis and reporting. Professional code of ethics. Conducting pretests: Pretesting the sample design; the research instrument; the data collection; the data processing; and the analysis. Conducting pilot studies: Pilot-study sampling; research instrument; data collection and data processing; and finally, analysis. Evaluating pretests and pilot studies: question clarity; questionnaire format; variance in responses; internal validation of items; and finally, analysis and reporting. Practice: Students pretest in class several questionnaires developed by them (assignments 5 & 7) through performing in the roles of interviewers and interviewees. References: Babbie, E. (1998). Survey Research Methods (2nd ed.). Belmont: Wadsworth. Ch. 12, 19. Oppenheim, A. N. (1992). Questionnaire Design, Interviewing and Attitude Measurement. London & NY: Continuum. Ch. 4. 12. Data Processing - Coding Coding: Classifying responses- precoding and postcoding. Allocating codes to variables. Allocating column numbers to variables. Producing a codebook. Checking for coding errors. Preparing variables for analysis: Changing, collapsing, and reordering the categories of variables. Creating new variables from existing ones. Standardizing variables to enable better comparisons. Dealing with missing data. Example of coding: CRRC Data Initiative 2007 - Individual Questionnaire. Assignment: Students use the abovementioned questionnaire to create new variables from the existing ones (in the groups of 3-4). 6
  7. 7. References: De Vaus, D. (2002). Surveys in Social Research (5th ed.). London: Routledge. Ch. 9, 10. Babbie, E. (1998). Survey Research Methods (2nd ed.). Belmont: Wadsworth. Ch. 11. Oppenheim, A. N. (1992). Questionnaire Design, Interviewing and Attitude Measurement. London & NY: Continuum. Ch. 14. 13. Seminar Presentation and discussion of the assignments by the groups of students. Feedback from the whole group. 14. Data Analysis Analyzing data: the logic of univariate, bivariate, and multivariate analyses. Univariate analysis: frequency distributions; measures of central tendency; measures of variation. Bivariate analysis: crosstabulations and scattergrams; measures of association. Multivariate analysis: statistical control and trivariate tables. References: De Vaus, D. (2002). Surveys in Social Research (5th ed.). London: Routledge. Ch. Babbie, E. (1998). Survey Research Methods (2nd ed.). Belmont: Wadsworth. Ch. 14. Newman, W. L. (2003). Social Research Methods: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches (5th ed.). Boston: A&B. Ch. 12. Alreck, P. L. & Settle, R. B. (1990). The Survey Research Handbook. Homewood, Illinois: Irwin. Ch. 10, 11. 15. Research Report The structure of a research report, its 4 main parts: 1. Introduction - creating a research space and “hooking” the readers; 2. Methods - process descriptions; 3. Results - commenting on the data, admitting difficulties in interpretation, and citing agreement with previous studies; and 4. Discussion/Conclusion - consolidating a research space and identifying useful areas for further research. Formats for reference lists using ASA/APA (American Sociological Association/American Psychological Association) style of references. 7
  8. 8. Exercise: Matching the elements of a research report with their descriptions producing a basic framework for a research report. Creating a reference list using ASA/APA style. References: Babbie, E. (1998). Survey Research Methods (2nd ed.). Belmont: Wadsworth. Ch. 18. Newman, W. L. (2003). Social Research Methods: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches (5th ed.). Boston: A&B. Ch. 16. Swales, J. M. and Feak, C.B. (1994). Academic Writing for Graduate Students. Michigan: The Univesity of Michigan Press. On APA style of documenting sources: http://webster.commnet.edu/apa/index.htm http://www.apastyle.org/elecref.html On ASA Style of documenting sources: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/583/01/ http://www.calstatela.edu/library/bi/rsalina/asa.styleguide.html Assessment: Attendance - 10% Participation in discussions - 20% Assignments - 40% Final exam - 30% Learning Outcomes: Students are familiar with survey research as the main method of quantitative research. They have acquired not only theoretical knowledge about each stage of survey research, but also practical experience of undertaking its particular stages, namely, developing a research program, constructing a questionnaire, designing a sample, and conducting a standardized/structured interview. They are also familiar with the basic structure of a research report and know how to document sources using ASA/APA style of references. 8

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