Research process


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Research process

  1. 1. Research Process Define Problem, Research Objectives HOW? Overall Method •Survey •Experiment •Case Study •Secondary Data What? •Concepts •Variables •Measures Who? •Population •Sampling Data Gathering Analysis
  2. 2. 1. Define study objectives 2. Identify information needs & study population(s) 3. Determine basic design/approach – Exercise B1 assume - a self-administered survey - could be mailed or on-site survey 4. Questionnaire design 5. Choose sample (frame, size, sampling design) 6. Estimate time, costs, manpower needs, etc. STEPS IN A SURVEY
  3. 3. Questionnaire Design 1. Preliminary Info Information needed Who are subjects Method of communication 2. Question Content 3. Question Wording 4. Response Format 5. Question Sequencing/Layout
  4. 4. What Information? •Demographic, Socioeconomic, Physical •e.g. income, age, weight, hometown,… •Cognitive - Knowledge & beliefs • e.g. Aware of a park or program, believe in global warming •Affective - attitudes, feelings, preferences • Like or dislike park, satisfied, prefer this or that •Behaviors •Ski in last year, repeat visitor, stay overnight in area?
  5. 5. 1. Is this question necessary? useful? 2. Are several questions needed on this subject? Avoid double barreled questions. 3. Do respondents have information to answer the question? Use filter questions to screen. 4. Does question need to be more concrete, specific and related to subject's personal experience? Is a time referent provided? 5. Is question sufficiently general? Do you want recent behavior or "typical behavior"? 6. Do replies express general attitudes or specific ones? 7. Is content loaded or biased 8. Are subjects willing to answer? 9. Can responses be compared with existing information? Question Content
  6. 6. Wording 1. Will words be uniformly understood? Simple language. Avoid technical phrases, jargon and abbreviations. 2. Does question adequately express the alternatives? 3. Is the question misleading due to unstated assumption or unseen implications. 4. Is wording biased, emotional, or slanted? 5. Will wording be objectionable to respondents? 6. Should you use more or less personalized wording? 7. Ask in a more direct or more indirect way?
  7. 7. 1. Open or closed-ended 2. If closed, • ordered or unordered; • number of categories, • type of cue, • forced or unforced choice 3. Response categories •mutually exclusive •exhaustive. Form of Response
  8. 8. Sequencing & layout 1. Will this question influence responses to others? 2. Is question led up to in a natural way? 3. Placement to create interest, improve response rate. 4. Branching, skipping, and transitions on questionnaires.
  9. 9. 1. Simple fill in the blank. Obtaining a straightforward number or other easily understood response. How old are you? ___________ (years). In what county is your permanent residence? _______________ ( county) How much money did you spend on this trip? $ ________________
  10. 10. 2. Open ended: To avoid leading subject, to obtain wide range of responses in subject’s own words, or when you don’t know kinds of responses to expect. What is your primary reason for visiting the park today? _______________________________________.
  11. 11. 3. Partially closed ended. List major response categories while leaving room for others. Which of the following community recreation facilities do you most frequently use? (check one). neighborhood parks/playgrounds swimming pools community centers natural areas tennis courts other (please specify) ___________________
  12. 12. 4. Checklists: Allow subjects to check multiple responses. Categories exhaustive & mutually exclusive Which of the following winter recreation activities have you participated in during the past month? (check all that apply) Cross-country skiing Downhill skiing Snowmobiling Ice Skating Sledding or Tobogganing
  13. 13. 5. Likert Scales: Versatile format for measuring attitudes. Please check the box that best represents your level of agreement or disagreement with each of the following statements about downhill skiing: Strongly Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Disagree Downhill skiing is... exciting dangerous expensive Can replace “agree” with “importance” “satisfaction”, “interest” “preference” and other descriptors to fit the attitude you wish to measure.
  14. 14. 6. Rank Ordering: To measure preferences or priorities. Limit to short lists. Rank the following states in terms of your interest as possible travel destinations for a summer vacation trip. (Place a 1 beside the state you would most like to visit, place a 2 besides your second choice, and a 3 beside your third choice.) ______ Michigan ______ Wisconsin ______ Minnesota
  15. 15. 7. Filter Question. To screen for eligibility or knowledge prior to asking other questions. Did you stay overnight on your most recent trip? NO YES If Yes, How many nights did you spend away from home? ________ To next question
  16. 16. exciting ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ dull expensive ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ inexpensive safe ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ dangerous 8. Semantic Differential scale. Measure perception or image of something using a set of polar adjectives. For each of the characteristics listed below, mark an X on the line where you feel downhill skiing falls with respect to that characteristic. (Could repeat with cross country ski and snowmobiling and compare perceptions; or Coke and Pepsi.
  17. 17. Suggested Surveys • Visitors to a park or facility • Resident population • Group of managers or administrators • Population of tourists • Program participants • other…
  18. 18. Population - Who • MSU students • Impression 5 Museum Visitors • MRPA members, Recreation faculty in US • International students at MSU • Visitors to Mackinac Island • Tae-Bo class, MSU football players,… • Food stamp recipients in Lansing area
  19. 19. Objectives • Describe the population – Demographics, knowledge, attitudes, behavior • Test for differences between subgroups – Are men different than women in sports participation? (gender related to partic.) • Test for relationships between variables – Does boat ownership vary with income? • Evaluate a program (specify criteria as part of objective) – How satisfied are customers? What do they like or dislike about program? – Estimate benefits (costs, impacts) of a program