methods of questionnairesinterviewing participant focus groups observation
INTERVIEWING In social research there are many types of interview. The most common of these are : structured interviews semi- structured unstructured
Unstructured interviews in-depth interviews Also called life history interviewsbecause they are the favored approach for life history research.
Past experience (Life history)if you want to find out about a Polish man’s experiences of a concentrationcamp during the war, you’re delving into his life history. Because you areunsure of what has happened in his life, you want to enable him to talkfreely and ask as few questions as possible.It is for this reason that this type of interview is calledunstructured – the participant is free to talk about what he orshe think is important, with little directional influence fromthe researcher.
http://ap.psychiatryonline.org/data/Journals/AP/2622/ER0098A1.jpeg •Questions asked in unstructured interviewswith chairs and other Academic Leaders
The researcher attempts to achieve a holistic understanding of the interviewees’ point of view or situation. Researchers have to be able to establish rapport with the participant they have to be trusted if someone is to reveal intimate life information. So it takes tact, diplomacy and perseverance. Researchers need to remain alert, recognizing important information and probing for more detail.To realize that unstructured interviewing can produce a great deal of data which can be difficult to analyse .
Semi-structured interviews : The researcher wants to know specific information which can be compared and contrasted with information gained in other interviews. To do this, the same questions need to be asked in each interview
The interview should remain flexible so that other important information can still ariseFor this type of interview, the researcher produces an interviewschedule (This may be a list of specific questions or a list oftopics to be discussed). This is taken to each interview to ensurecontinuity.In some research, such as a grounded theory study, the scheduleis updated and revised after each interview to include moretopics which have arisen as a result of the previous interview.
Structured interviewsBecause this research method is highly structured The interviewer asks you a series of questions and ticks boxes with your response. Structured interviews are used in quantitative research and can be conducted face-to-face or over the telephone, sometimes with the aid of lap-top computers. Structured interviews are used frequently in market research.
FOCUS GROUPS discussion groupsAlso called group interviewsA number of people are asked to come together in agroup to discuss a certain issue. Focus groups may be video-recorded or tape-recorded
in market research this could be: a discussion centered on new packaging for a breakfast cereal in social research this could be: to discuss adults’ experiences of school.The discussion is led by a moderator or facilitator who : introduces the topic asks specific questions controls digressions stops break-away conversationsShe makes sure that no one person dominates the discussion whilsttrying to ensure that each of the participants makes
ADVANTAGES DISADVANTAGES Some people may be Can receive a wide range of uncomfortable in a group settingresponses during one meeting. and nervous about speaking in front of others.Participants can ask questions of each other, lessoning impact of Not everyone may contribute. researcher bias. Helps people to remember Other people may contaminate issues they might otherwise an individual’s views. have forgotten.
ADVANTAGES DISADVANTAGESHelps participants to overcome Some researchers may find it inhibitions, especially if they difficult or intimidating toknow other people in the group. moderate a focus group. The group effect is a useful Venues and equipment can be resource in data analysis. expensive.Participant interaction is useful Difficult to extract individual to analyse. views during the analysis.
QUESTIONNAIRES These are three basic types of questionnaire Closed- open- combinati ended ended on of both
Closed-Ended Open-Ended Quantitative research Qualitative researchFind out how many people use a Find out what people think about a service service Follow a set format No standard answers to answer questions Seek Numbers Seek Opinions Can be scanned straight into a Data analysis is more complex computer for easy analysis Greater numbers can be Fewer questionnaires need to be produced. distributed.
Difference between closed-ended and Open-ended Questionnaireshttp://www.web-books.com/eLibrary/Books/B0/B67/IMG/fwk-richmond-fig10_006.jpg
3. Combination of bothMany researchers tend to use a combinationof both open and closed questions. it is possible to find out how many people use a service and what they think about that service on the same form. Many questionnaires begin with a series of closed questions, with boxes to tick or scales to rank, and then finish with a section of open questions for more detailed response. Recently, some market research companies have started to distribute their questionnaires via the internet. This suggests that soon there might be a new category of questionnaire – the interactive questionnaire, which allows respondents to work with the researcher in both the development and completion of the questionnaire.
direct observation• Tends to be used in areas such as health and psychology.• It involves the observation of a ‘subject’ in a certain situation• often uses technology such as video cameras or one-way mirrors.For example, the interaction of mother,father and child in a specially prepared playroom may be watched by psychologiststhrough a one way mirror in an attempt tounderstand more about family relationships.
participant observation In participant observation, the researcher becomes much more involved in the lives of the people being observed. Participant observation can be viewed as both a method and a methodology It is popular amongst anthropologists and sociologists who wish to study and understand another community, culture or context.
The researcher may take months or years, as they need to build upa lasting and trusting relationship with those people being studied.• the researcher hope to gain a deeper understanding into the behavior , motivation and attitudes of the people under study. Participant observation, as a research method, received bad press when a number of researchers became covert
Overt participant observation, where everyone knows who the researcher is and what she is doing, however, can be a valuable and rewarding method for qualitative inquiry.participant observers; entering organisations andparticipating in their activities without anyone knowingthat they were conducting research.
By now you should have thought quite seriously about your research methodology. This will help you to decide upon the most appropriate methods for your research. In quantitative research You can• define your research methods early in the planning stage.• You know what you want to find out and you can decide upon the best way to obtain the information.• you will be able to decide early on how many people you need to contact.• survey can work in the form of a questionnaire or structured interviews
In qualitative research You can• it may be difficult to define your methods specifically.• You may decide that semi-structured interviews would be useful, although you’re not sure, in the planning stages, how many you will need to conduct.• You need to use other methods as the research progresses. Maybe you want to run a focus group to see what people think about the hypotheses you have generated from the interviews.• Or perhaps you need to spend some time in the field observing something which has arisen during the interview stage.
It is not necessary to use only one research method, although many projects do this. A combination of methods can be desirable as it enables you to overcome the different weaknesses inherent in all methods. What you must be aware of, however, when deciding upon your methods, are the constraints under which you will have to work. You need to think about the purpose of your researchas this will help point to the most appropriate methods to use. Defining needs and means
Let us return to the three examples in the exercisesgiven in the previous two chapters to find outwhich would be the most appropriate methods forthe research. EXAMPLE 3: APPROPRIATE METHODS
This research aims to find out what primary school teachersthink about the educational value of ‘The Teletubbies’television programme.This researcher is interested in attitude and opinion.She thinks about running a series of semi-structured interviewswith a small sample of primary school teachers.However, the researcher is concerned that some of the teachersmay not have seen the programme and might be unable tocomment, or might comment purely on ‘hearsay’. So shedecides to gather together a group of teachers and show themone episode of The Teletubbies.Then she discusses the programme with the teachers in a focusgroup setting. This method works well and the researcherdecides to hold five more focus groups with other primaryschool teachers.
The aim of this research is to find out how many relatives ofAlzheimer’s patients use the Maple Day Centre, and to ascertainwhether the service is meeting their needs.This researcher decides to produce a questionnaire with acombination of closed and open-ended questions.The first part of the questionnaire is designed to generatestatistics and the second part asks people for a more in-depthopinion. He has approached members of staff at the Maple DayCentre who are happy to distribute his questionnaire over aperiod of one month.
This research aims to find out how many people from our estate areinterested in, and would use, a children’s play scheme in the schoolsummer holiday..Members of the tenants’ association approach the local school andask the head teacher if a questionnaire could be distributed throughthe school. The head teacher feels that it is not appropriate so thetenants’ association have to revise their plans. They’re worried that ifthey distribute a questionnaire through the post they won’t receiveback many responses. Eventually, they decide to knock on each dooron the estate and ask some simple, standard questions. They’re ableto conduct this type of door-to-door, structured interview as they area large group and are able to divide the work amongst everybody onthe committee.
structured Closed-EndedSemi-structured Open-Ended Interviewing Questionnaires unstructured Combination of Choosing both Research Methods Participant Focus Groups Observation Number People direct Participant discussion issues
Data analysis is more complex Fewer questionnaires Seek Opinions need to be distributedQuantitative No standard answers to answer questions Find out how manypeople use a service Find out what peopleFollow a set format think about a service Qualitative Seek Numbers Greater numbers can be produced easy analysis
Chapter 3 References By, Fadwa Al Amri http://ap.psychiatryonline.org/data/Journals/AP/2622/ER0098A1.jpeg http://www.web-books.com/eLibrary/Books/B0/B67/IMG/fwk-richmond-fig10_006.jpgUsed Intuos4 Tablet for few writings and arrows In this presentation
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