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Research Methodology Workshop - Quantitative and Qualitative

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This presentation is part of the ProSPER.Net Young Researchers' School 2017 ‘Water Security for Sustainable Development in a Changing Climate’.

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Research Methodology Workshop - Quantitative and Qualitative

  1. 1. Research Methodology Workshop Quantitative & Qualitative Dr. Philip Vaughter, UNU-IAS ProsPER.Net Young Researchers’ School 10th March 2017 Vietnam National University – Ho Chi Minh City
  2. 2. Why the big deal about methodology? • A clear methodology section is one of the most critical parts of a research proposal • It is also the part that even the most experienced researchers have difficulty in writing 2
  3. 3. Why the big deal about methodology? • Purpose of a methodology section I. To explain how the data was generated II. To explain how the data was analyzed When writing a methodology, it is critical to provide enough information so that others can repeat the experiment/study and reproduce the results, or understand the context the results were generated in so that the audience can judge whether your conclusions are valid. 3
  4. 4. Some tips for your methodology section • When writing a methodology section, it is best to be direct and precise • Try and operationalize any terminology you use so that your audience can follow your methodology clearly 4
  5. 5. Steps in writing your methodology 1) Research Background 1) Goals and Objectives of the Research 1) Propose Methodology 1) Determine Sources of Data 1) Develop a Timeline 5
  6. 6. 1) Research Background • This is a reference back to literature review on the given topic, explaining what methodologies have been used by other researchers to examine the same or similar topics. • These methodologies do not necessarily have to be incorporated into the study, but it is a good idea to acknowledge them and explain why or why not they are appropriate for the given study. • Note: This is an important early step, but is not research, it is review 6
  7. 7. 2) Goals and Objectives of Research • In this section, lay out the research objective of the given study 7
  8. 8. 3) Propose Methodology • Present a rationale for why a given methodology was chosen to investigate the field of interest. • Helpful tip: present a flow chart of some form of visual aid to illustrate the methodology being presented 8
  9. 9. 4) Determine Sources of Data • Explicitly state what your sources of data will be. Note, if you are collecting data on people or animals, you will need to get ethical approval both from the institution you are researching and potentially the jurisdiction you will be researching in. • Explicitly state what type of data you will be collecting from your sources. • Explain how this data will be gathered, including type of sampling techniques or equipment used in the collection process. • If any measurements or categorizations are made during data collection, explain briefly how these were made. 9
  10. 10. 5) Develop a Timeline • Develop a timetable for completion of the various stages of work for the methodology (e.g., methodology development, data collection/fieldwork, data processing, analysis, results interpretation, etc.) 10
  11. 11. Types of Data, Types of Research Methods Typically, researchers choose from three methodological approaches: I. Quantitative II. Qualitative III. Mixed 11
  12. 12. Quantitative Research Methods • Quantitative research methods are characterized by the collection of information which can be analyzed numerically • Results are typically presented using statistics, tables, and/or graphs • Because quantitative data is numeric, the collection and analysis of representative samples is commonly used • The more representative the sample, the more likely that the quantitative analysis will reflect results that can be generalized 12
  13. 13. Quantitative Research Methods • However, even if sample is representative, quantitative data can be useless unless the data collection instruments are appropriate, well designed, and clearly explained to the users of the data • Example: Data collected using poorly designed questionnaires may solicit a huge amount of data, but result in much of it being unusable because it is impossible to generalize • All too often, designers of data collection tools frame qualitative questions quantitatively and vice versa 13
  14. 14. Quantitative Research Methods • Strengths of Quantitative Data Analysis  Numeric estimates  Opportunity for relatively uncomplicated data analysis  Data which are verifiable  Data which are comparable between different communities and locations  Data which do not require analytical judgment beyond consideration of how information will be presented in the dissemination process 14
  15. 15. Quantitative Research Methods • Weaknesses of Quantitative Data Analysis  Gaps in information – ex., data which are not included in collection cannot be included in analysis  Labor intensive data collection process  Often, limited participation by populations affected in the information collection process 15
  16. 16. Qualitative Research Methods • Qualitative research is by definition exploratory • It is used when we don’t know what to expect, how to define an issue, or there is a lack of understanding of why and how variables are affected • Qualitative data is useful for both exploring both groups and individual entities, and can generate case studies and summaries rather than lists of numeric data • Qualitative data are often textual observations that portray attitudes, perceptions, or intentions 16
  17. 17. Qualitative Research Methods • Qualitative methods and analysis provide added value in exploring intangible factors • Ex., cultural expectations, gender roles, individual feelings • Sample size must be big enough to assure inclusion of most or all of the variance in the data • Often times, the number of sample sites, groups, or categorizations becomes obvious as assessment progresses and new categories, themes, and explanations stop emerging from the data (theoretical saturation) 17
  18. 18. Qualitative Research Methods • Strengths of Qualitative Data Analysis  Rich and detailed information  Perspectives that can include specific cultural and social contexts (the human voice)  Inclusion of diverse cross-section  Data collection which can be carried out with limited resources  Data collection which can be carried out with limited respondents 18
  19. 19. Qualitative Research Methods • Weaknesses of Qualitative Data Analysis  Results un data which are not objectively verifiable  Requires a labor intensive analysis process (categorization, recording, etc.)  Needs skilled data collectors for consistency and nuance 19
  20. 20. Mixed Research Methods • A combination of both quantitative and qualitative research methods 20
  21. 21. Thank you! ProsPER.Net Young Researchers’ School 10th March 2017 Vietnam National University – Ho Chi Minh City

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