Elements of methodology


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Elements of methodology

  1. 1. Philip Adu, Ph.D. Methodology Expert Instructor National Center for Academic & Dissertation Excellence (NCADE) The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
  2. 2. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. Outline  Research question Hypothesis Research designs Population and sample Instrument/interview questions Procedure Ethical issues and IRB Assumptions Limitations Delimitations Data analysis Quality assurance
  3. 3. Research Question Types  1. Descriptive (what is happening?) 2. Relational (what is the relationship between…?) 3. Causal (what is the effect of …. on …?) Source Trochim (2006) 1. Confirmatory (close-ended) 2. Exploratory (open-ended) 1. Ontological question (Related to studying “the nature of participants’ realities”) “What are the lived experiences of…?” 2. Epistemological question (Related to “knowing and an understanding of the phenomenon of interest”) “What factors influence…?” (Saldana, 2013, p.61)
  4. 4. Hypothesis   Null hypothesis: there is no significant relationship/difference  Alternative hypothesis: there is a significant relationship/difference  Directional hypothesis  Non-directional hypothesis
  5. 5. Research designs  (Creswell, 2007; Creswell, Plano Clark, Gutmann, & Hanson, 2003; Keele, 2011)
  6. 6. Population and Sample  “A population is any complete group with at least one characteristic in common. Populations are not just people. Populations may consist of, but are not limited to, people, animals, businesses, buildings, motor vehicles, farms, objects or events” (ABS, 2012).
  7. 7. Population and Sample 
  8. 8. Population and Sample cont…  Determining the sample size  Reviewing existing studies  Using G* power software (for quantitative study) – Power Analysis  Following principle of saturation (for qualitative study)  Looking at the functions of the qualitative approach being used  Examining the recommendations made in research method textbooks
  9. 9. Instrument (quantitative study)   Choosing an appropriate instrument  Validity - “The degree to which an instrument actually measures what concept or construct it is supposed to measure” (Slavin, 2007, p. 178)  Reliability – “The degree to which the measure produces consistent, stable indicators of the level of a variable” (Slavin, 2007, p. 174)  Internal consistency measure
  10. 10. Interview questions (qualitative study)   Open-ended  Neutral  Culturally sensitive  Contributing to addressing the research question(s)  Presenting a smooth transition from one question to another (Turner, 2010)
  11. 11. Procedure   Step-by-step outline of how data will be or was collected  How participants were recruited?  How was the informed consent provided and explained to participants?  On average, how much time did participants spend on completing a survey or interview  What was the channel through which data was collected (eg. Mail, face-to-face, skype)  Response rate (for quantitative)
  12. 12. Ethical issues and IRB   Age range of participants  Level of risk involved in participating in the study  Are participants part of a vulnerable population?  The benefit of the study to participants  Confidentiality and anonymity  Deception “Orphans Trained to Mindlessly Obey”
  13. 13. Assumptions   They can’t be totally controlled  They need to exist for your study to be valid/essential/credible  Truthfulness/honesty of participants’ response  Representativeness of sample  Homogeneity of participants characteristics  Having knowledge of your assumptions  Justifying their existence (Simon, 2011)
  14. 14. Limitations to decisions made in a  They are weaknesses related study  They are difficult to contain  Consequences associated with choices made in a study related to:  Sampling technique  Data collection strategy  Instrument used  Population chosen (in terms of accessibility)  Time and resources  How would you be addressing expected challenges? (Simon, 2011)
  15. 15. Delimitations   They are features in a study that can be controlled so as to determine the parameters or scope of the study  Researchers have control over characteristics of the following:  Research problem  Research purpose  Research question(s)  Methodology  Variables  Population (Simon, 2011)
  16. 16. Data Analysis (Quantitative study) 
  17. 17. Data Analysis (Qualitative study) Data Analysis steps developed by Taylor-Powell and Renner (2003)  Five steps  Step 1: Get to know your data  Step 2: Focus on the analysis  Step 3: Categorize information  Step 4: Identify patterns and connections with and between categories  Step 5: Interpretation: bringing it all together
  18. 18. Quality assurance  Traditional Criteria for Judging Quantitative Research Alternative Criteria for Judging Qualitative Research Internal Validity Credibility External Validity Transferability Reliability Dependability Objectivity Confirmability (Trochim, 2006)
  19. 19. Questions 
  20. 20. References Creswell, J. W. (2013). Qualitative Inquiry and Research Design: Choosing Among Five Approaches (3rd). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Creswell, J. W., Plano Clark, V. L., Gutmann, M. L., & Hanson, W. E. (2003). Advanced mixed methods research designs. In A. Tashakkori & C. Teddlie (Eds.), Handbook of mixed methods in social and behavioral research (pp. 209–240). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Hanson, W. E., Creswell, J. W., Plano Clark, V. L., Petska, K. S., & Creswell, D. J. (2005). Mixed methods research designs in counseling psychology. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 2(55), 224-235. doi:10.1037/0022-0167.52.2.224 Jacobs, R. M. (2013, March 20). Educational research: Sampling a population. website: www83.homepage.villanova.edu/richard.jacobs/.../lessons/sampling.ppt Keele, R. (2011), Nursing Research and Evidence-Based Practice. MA: Jones & Bartlett, LLC. Saldana, J. (2013). The coding manual for qualitative researchers. London: Sage Slavin, R. E. (2007). Educational research: In an age of accountability. USA: Pearson Education, Inc. Simon, M. K. (2011). Dissertation and scholarly research: Recipes for success (2011 Ed.). Seattle, WA, Dissertation Success, LLC. http://dissertationrecipes.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/AssumptionslimitationsdelimitationsX.pdf Taylor-Powell, E., & Renner, M. (2003, April 4). Analysing qualitative data. website: http://learningstore.uwex.edu/assets/pdfs/g3658-12.pdf Trochim, W. M. (2006, October 20). Qualitative validity. Retrieved from Research methods knowledge base website: http://www.socialresearchmethods.net/kb/qualval.php Turner, D. W. (2010). Qualitative interview design: A practical guide for novice investigators. The Qualitative Report, 15(3), 754760. Retrieved from http://www.nova.edu/ssss/QR/QR15-3/qid.pdf 