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Research Methods/ Ways to prevent the development of cancer.

Open Posted By: highheaven1 Date: 19/02/2021 High School Research Paper Writing

 

1. Formulate the Research Methods for your selected topic. Make sure that your incorporate all appropriate elements. Please note that all students are to carry out a meta-analysis research method.

* the type of research used. Please note that, for this assignment, you can use only the meta-analysis method!

* the step-by-step process of the research

* the tools used during the research

* how were these tools handled. 

Note: Remember that you should use the past tense, 3rd person, passive voice. 

2. Post your Research Methods.

3. Then, read the posts submitted by two other classmates and provide meaningful feedback for improvement.

Topic: Ways to prevent the development of cancer.

Attached is the introduction and the literature review.

How to write a research methodology:

https://expertjournals.com/how-to-write-a-research-methodology-for-your-academic-article/



Sample Research Method

Click here to read a sample research method written by an MRU student. 

For this study, a meta-analysis method was used to synthesize different results found among several studies. The researcher accessed the virtual library through the MRU home page. Then, the researcher accessed the EBSCOhost databases. Once there, the researcher selected both MEDLINE Complete and CINAHL Complete. An advanced search was performed, for which the following keywords were entered in the Boolean search: “IBS”, “STRESS”, and “WOMEN.” The search was limited to references providing full text, peer reviewed, and abstract available. A limitation was set for research published within the last five years, from 2015 to 2020. Additionally, researcher consulted only articles published in English and Spanish. The search provided access to a total of 362 articles, of which only five (5) studies were selected based on their relevance with the topic; the other 357 were discarded.

Category: Business & Management Subjects: Auditing Deadline: 12 Hours Budget: $100 - $150 Pages: 2-3 Pages (Short Assignment)

Attachment 1

2001c29ecoverv05b.jpg

RESEARCH METHODS

THE BASICS

Research Methods: The Basics is an accessible, user-friendly introduction to the different aspects of research theory, methods and practice. Structured in two parts, the first covering the nature of knowledge and the reasons for research, and the second the specific methods used to carry out effective research, this book covers:

structuring and planning a research project the ethical issues involved in research different types of data and how they are measured collecting and analysing data in order to draw sound conclusions devising a research proposal and writing up the research.

Complete with a glossary of key terms and guides to further reading, this book is an essential text for anyone coming to research for the first time, and is widely relevant across the social sciences and humanities.

Nicholas Walliman is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Architecture at Oxford Brookes University, UK.

ACTING BELLA MERLIN

ANTHROPOLOGY PETER METCALF

ARCHAEOLOGY (SECOND EDITION) CLIVE GAMBLE

ART HISTORY GRANT POOKE AND DIANA NEWALL

THE BIBLE JOHN BARTON

BLUES DICK WEISSMAN

BUDDHISM CATHY CANTWELL

CRIMINAL LAW JONATHAN HERRING

CRIMINOLOGY SANDRA WALKLATE

ECONOMICS (SECOND EDITION) TONY CLEAVER

EUROPEAN UNION (SECOND EDITION) ALEX WARLEIGH-LACK

FILM STUDIES AMY VILLAREJO

FINANCE (SECOND EDITION) ERIK BANKS

FOLK MUSIC RONALD COHEN

HUMAN GENETICS RICKI LEWIS

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS PETER SUTCH AND JUANITA ELIAS

INTERNET JASON WHITTAKER

ISLAM COLIN TURNER

JAZZ CHRISTOPHER MEEDER

JUDAISM JACOB NEUSNER

LANGUAGE (SECOND EDITION) R. L. TRASK

LITERARY THEORY (SECOND EDITION) HANS BERTENS

LOGIC J. C. BEALL

MANAGEMENT MORGEN WITZEL

MARKETING (SECOND EDITION) KARL MOORE AND NIKETH PAREEK

OPERA DENISE GALLO

PHILOSOPHY (FOURTH EDITION) NIGEL WARBURTON

POETRY JEFFREY WAINWRIGHT

The Basics

POLITICS (FOURTH EDITION) STEPHEN TANSEY AND NIGEL JACKSON

THE QUR’AN MASSIMO CAMPANINI

RELIGION (SECOND EDITION) MALORY NYE

ROMAN CATHOLICISM MICHAEL WALSH

SEMIOTICS (SECOND EDITION) DANIEL CHANDLER

SHAKESPEARE (SECOND EDITION) SEAN MCEVOY

SOCIOLOGY KEN PLUMMER

TELEVISION STUDIES TOBY MILLER

THEATRE STUDIES ROBERT LEACH

WORLD HISTORY PETER STEARNS

WORLD MUSIC RICHARD NIDEL

RESEARCH METHODS

THE BASICS

Nicholas Walliman

First published 2011 by Routledge 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4RN

Simultaneously published in the USA and Canada by Routledge 270 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016

Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business

© 2011 Nicholas Walliman

The right of Nicholas Walliman to be identified as author of this work has been asserted by him in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilized in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers.

British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library

Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data Walliman, Nicholas S. R. Research methods: the basics / Nicholas Walliman.

p. cm.—(The basics) Includes bibliographical references and index. [etc.] 1. Social sciences—Research—Methodology. 2. Humanities—Research— Methodology. I. Title. H62.W254 2010 001.4—dc22 2010022880

ISBN13: 978-0-415-48991-1 (hbk) ISBN13: 978-0-415-48994-2 (pbk) ISBN13: 978-0-203-83607-1 (ebk)

This edition published in the Taylor & Francis e-Library, 2011.

To purchase your own copy of this or any of Taylor & Francis or Routledge’s collection of thousands of eBooks please go to www.eBookstore.tandf.co.uk.

ISBN 0-203-83607-3 Master e-book ISBN

To Ursula

CONTENTS

List of illustrations xi Acknowledgements xiii

Introduction 1

PART I Research theory and practice 5 1 Research basics 7 2 Research theory 15 3 Structuring the research project 29 4 Research ethics 42 5 Finding and reviewing the literature 52

PART II The main research methods 63 6 The nature of data 65 7 Collecting and analysing secondary data 78 8 Collecting primary data 92 9 Quantitative data analysis 113

10 Qualitative data analysis 128 11 Writing the proposal and writing up the research 146

Glossary 167 Bibliography 179 Index 183

ILLUSTRATIONS

Tables

2.1 Comparison between positivist and relativist 22 approaches

2.2 Methods of enquiry – a comparison 25 6.1 Set of quantitative data 72 6.2 Set of qualitative data 74

Figures

3.1 Structure of a typical research project 31 6.1 Diagram of levels of abstraction 69 6.2 Levels of measurement 77 7.1 Coding schedule 87 7.2 Coding manual 88 7.3 Tabulation of results of a content analysis 89 8.1 Sampling frame in relation to population and sample 94 8.2 Laboratory experiment: testing the airtightness of a 105

cladding system 8.3 Field experiment: testing the effect of indoor 107

planting on waiting patient anxiety (© Jane Stiles) 8.4 Diagrammatic model: systems map of part of 109

a university 8.5 Physical model: acoustic model of a concert hall 110

(© Kirkegaard Associates)

xii ILLUSTRATIONSxii

8.6 Computer building simulation output of heatflow 111 through a concrete floor slab

9.1 Data spreadsheet 115 9.2 Gaussian curve 116 9.3 Table to illustrate frequency distribution 117 9.4 Skewness and measures of central tendency 119 9.5 Charts and diagrams 120 9.6 Scattergrams of two variables with different 123

levels of relationships 9.7 Contingency table 124

10.1 Work sequence in qualitative research 129 10.2 Example of a matrix: self-build skills in six projects 136 10.3 Time ordered display 139 10.4 Conceptually ordered display 139 10.5 Role ordered display 140 10.6 The semiotics of a traffic sign 143

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

My grateful thanks go to Alma Clavin for allowing me to use an extract from her PhD thesis, and Marina Muenchenbach for allow- ing me to use her Masters research proposal to demonstrate aspects of research writing. Also thanks to Kirkegaard Associates for per- mission to use their photographs of the Festival Hall acoustic model and Jane Stiles for permission to use her photographs of the hospital waiting areas. I would also like to thank Katherine Ong and Sophie Thompson from Routledge for their patience and encouragement. My Masters and Doctorate students have also been an inspiration to me and gave me many insights into the practical problems of engaging in research and demonstrated ways to overcome them.

My greatest appreciation goes to my wife, Ursula, for her support and tolerance during the writing of this book.

INTRODUCTION

Research Methods are the tools and techniques for doing research. Research is a term used liberally for any kind of investigation that is intended to uncover interesting or new facts. As with all activities, the rigour with which this activity is carried out will be reflected in the quality of the results. This book presents a basic review of the nature of research and the methods which are used to undertake a variety of investigations relevant to a wide range of subjects, such as the natural sciences, social science, social anthropology, psychology, politics, leisure studies and sport, hospitality, healthcare and nursing studies, the environment, business, education and the humanities.

Just about every university course includes an element of research that students must carry out independently, in the form of projects, dissertations and theses, and the more advanced the degree, the greater the research content. In the workplace there is frequently a need to do research in order to develop or improve the business or service, while some types of businesses rely on doing research projects for their very existence.

Research methods are a range of tools that are used for different types of enquiry, just as a variety of tools are used for doing differ- ent practical jobs, for example, a pick for breaking up the ground or a rake for clearing leaves. In all cases, it is necessary to know what the correct tools are for doing the job, and how to use them to best effect. This book provides you with the basic information about the tools used in research, the situations in which they are applied and indicates briefly how they are used by giving practical examples.

INTRODUCTION2

I have also included chapters that describe the theoretical background to research and the ways of thinking that lead to the different ways of carrying out investigations and coming to conclusions. Therefore, the book is divided into two basic parts. Part I consists of Chapters 1–5 and provides an introduction to research theory and general practice. Part II contains Chapters 6–11 and explains the main research meth- ods used for collecting and analysing data and gives advice on the practical issues of presenting your research in a clear and attractive manner.

As this book acts as an introduction to the basics of research meth- ods, you will probably want to find out more about many of the issues mentioned, so I have made suggestions for further reading at the end of each chapter (‘Where to find out more’). You will notice that research is riddled with technical terms, or what some people would call jargon. The first time any of the terms are used they are highlighted in bold and then I normally provide an explanation of the meaning. In order to provide a useful way to remind you of the definitions of the main technical terms used in this book (and for that matter elsewhere too), I have included a glossary at the end which includes all those terms highlighted in bold in the main text plus a few extra ones you may come across in your other needing. You can easily refer to the glossary from anywhere in the book.

Not only will reading this book give you an insight into the dif- ferent aspects of research theory and practice and help you to under- stand what is involved in carrying out a research project, it will also help you to evaluate the claims made by academics, experts of all kinds, politicians, advertisers, etc. by judging the quality of the evi- dence provided by the research on which they base their arguments.

You don’t have to read the book from the beginning to the end, like a novel. It can be used as a reference for finding out about the char- acteristics of a particular research method, the meaning of a certain term or about aspects of theory. However, the chapters are arranged in the approximate sequence of the activities required for carrying out a research project, so it can be used as a step-by-step guide to doing your own research.

Finding out about things and trying to understand events and situations are activities that symbolize the very essence of humanity. At a time when we are bombarded with information, when press- ing problems are ever present, when the opportunities for discovery

INTRODUCTION 3

are all around us, it is really useful, if not essential, to be familiar with the methods for doing research – any research. This book will help you to think clearly, to structure your enquiries and to come to conclusions based on appropriate evidence and sound argument. It will enable you to consolidate your knowledge and understanding of your surroundings, and will also help you to hold your own in a discussion and to critically analyse the claims and arguments made by others.

PART I

RESEARCH THEORY AND PRACTICE

One reviewer of my first draft of this book suggested that these first five chapters did not deal with research methods at all. Strictly speaking, if you take a purist’s view of what research methods are, he was cor- rect. If you consider that research methods are only specific tech- niques for collecting and analysing data in such a way that you can come to reliable conclusions, then Part I of this book does not deal with these. However, I believe that unless you know what research is about, and understand the context in which these research methods are used, you will not know which to use and why. Therefore, in Part I of this book, I have provided an overview of the nature of research, its theoretical foundations, what is involved in the process, what you can do with it, and what makes good research.

In order to place research within its context, in Chapter 2 I have provided you with a brief review of the theoretical basis of research as an activity. I consider different ideas about what we can know and how we can know it, and how we can get an understanding of the world around us. You will see that this type of thinking has a long history, probably ever since humans became aware of themselves as being special within nature. The ability to reflect and use abstract ideas set them apart from the animal and plant kingdom. The debate revolves around to what extent humans can be autonomous from their environment and society.

RESEARCH THEORY AND PRACTICE6

In Chapter 3, I look at how research projects are structured. Of course, not all projects are the same, but they do all share some similar features. For example, they all have some aims and an argument that leads to some conclusions based on evidence of some kind. The ways that the aims can be formulated are described, and the way that argu- ments can be constructed are discussed.

The important issue of ethics is explored in Chapter 4. The reliability of progress in knowledge is dependent on the honesty of the researchers. It also often depends on the co-operation of mem- bers of the public or particular sections of the population, who must be protected from any adverse effects of the research process. Basically, the principle behind ethical research is to cause no harm and, if pos- sible to produce some gain for the participants in the project and in the wider world.

Any piece of research will not be the first of its kind. There is always a context in which the project is carried out and a history of work that has gone before it. In Chapter 5, I consider how to review the literature in relation to your chosen subject, where to find the information and how to assess what you have found in relation to your projected work. This is a basic scholarly exercise, but once you have learned the skills needed to interrogate the accumulated knowl- edge and theories of a subject, you will find that this is useful in many aspects of life, particularly as we are bombarded from all sides with claims and assertions.

1

RESEARCH BASICS

Research is a very general term for an activity that involves finding out, in a more or less systematic way, things you did not know. A more academic interpretation is that research involves finding out about things that no-one else knew either. It is about advancing the frontiers of knowledge.

Research methods are the techniques you use to do research. They represent the tools of the trade, and provide you with ways to collect, sort and analyse information so that you can come to some conclu- sions. If you use the right sort of methods for your particular type of research, then you should be able to convince other people that your conclusions have some validity, and that the new knowledge you have created is soundly based.

It would be really boring to learn about all these tools without being able to try them out – like reading about how to use a plane, chisel, drill etc. and never using them to make something out of a piece of wood. Therefore courses in research methods are commonly linked to assignments that require these methods to be applied – an actual research project that is described in a dissertation or thesis, or a research report. In the workplace, it is often the other way round. When there is a perception that more information and understand- ing is needed to advance the work or process of work, then ways are sought how research can be carried out to meet this need.

RESEARCH THEORY AND PRACTICE8

Being a researcher is as much about doing a practical job as being academically competent. Identifying a subject to research, finding and collecting information and analysing it, presents you with a range of practical problems that need to be solved. Over hundreds of years, techniques, or methods, have been evolved to provide solutions to these problems. The practice of research is closely bound up with the theoretical developments that were promoted by philosophers and key thinkers and practitioners in the sciences, right back to the ancient Greeks. The debate about knowledge and how we acquire it is rooted in philosophical thought (discussed in Chapter 2).

WHAT YOU CAN DO WITH RESEARCH

So what can we use research to do in order to gain this new knowledge? Some of the ways it can be used one to:

Categorise. This involves forming a typology of objects, events or concepts, i.e. a set of names or ‘boxes’ into which these can be sorted. This can be useful in explaining which ‘things’ belong together and how. Describe. Descriptive research relies on observation as a means of collecting data. It attempts to examine situations in order to establish what is the norm, i.e. what can be predicted to happen again under the same circumstances. Explain. This is a descriptive type of research specifically designed to deal with complex issues. It aims to move beyond ‘just getting the facts’ in order to make sense of the myriad other elements involved, such as human, political, social, cultural and contextual. Evaluate. This involves making judgements about the quality of objects or events. Quality can be measured either in an abso- lute sense or on a comparative basis. To be useful, the methods of evaluation must be relevant to the context and intentions of the research. Compare. Two or more contrasting cases can be examined to highlight differences and similarities between them, leading to a better understanding of phenomena. Correlate. The relationships between two phenomena are inves- tigated to see whether and how they influence each other. The

RESEARCH BASICS 9

relationship might be just a loose link at one extreme or a direct link when one phenomenon causes another. These are measured as levels of association. Predict. This can sometimes be done in research areas where correlations are already known. Predictions of possible future behaviour or events are made on the basis that if there has been a strong relationship between two or more characteristics or events in the past, then these should exist in similar circumstances in the future, leading to predictable outcomes. Control. Once you understand an event or situation, you may be able to find ways to control it. For this you need to know what the cause and effect relationships are and that you are capable of exerting control over the vital ingredients. All of technology relies on this ability to control.

You can combine two or more of these objectives in a research project, with sometimes one objective needing to be successfully achieved before starting the next, for example you usually need to be able to explain how something happens before you can work out how to control it.

RESEARCH DESIGNS

There are numerous types of research design that are appropriate for the different types of research projects. The choice of which design to apply depends on the nature of the problems posed by the research aims. Each type of research design has a range of research methods that are com- monly used to collect and analyse the type of data that is generated by the investigations. Here is a list of some of the more common research designs, with a short explanation of the characteristics of each.

HISTORICAL

This aims at a systematic and objective evaluation and synthesis of evidence in order to establish facts and draw conclusions about past events. It uses primary historical data, such as archaeological remains as well as documentary sources of the past. It is usually necessary to carry out tests in order to check the authenticity of these sources.

RESEARCH THEORY AND PRACTICE10

Apart from informing us about what happened in previous times and re-evaluating beliefs about the past, historical research can be used to find contemporary solutions based on the past and to inform present and future trends. It stresses the importance of interactions and their effects.

DESCRIPTIVE

This design relies on observation as a means of collecting data. It attempts to examine situations in order to establish what is the norm, i.e. what can be predicted to happen again under the same circum- stances. ‘Observation’ can take many forms. Depending on the type of information sought, people can be interviewed, questionnaires distributed, visual records made, even sounds and smells recorded. Important is that the observations are written down or recorded in some way, in order that they can be subsequently analysed. The scale of the research is influenced by two major factors: the level of com- plexity of the survey and the scope or extent of the survey.

CORRELATION

This design is used to examine a relationship between two con- cepts. There are two broad classifications of relational statements: an association between two concepts – where there is some kind of influence of one on the other; and a causal relationship – where one causes changes to occur in the other. Causal statements describe what is sometimes called a ‘cause and effect’ relationship. The cause is referred to as the ‘independent variable’, the variable that is affected is referred to as the ‘dependent variable’.

The correlation between two concepts can either be none (no cor- relation); positive (where an increase in one results in the increase in the other, or decrease results in a decrease); or negative (where the increase in one results in the decrease in the other or vice versa). The degree of association is often measurable.

COMPARATIVE

This design is used to compare past and present or different parallel situ- ations, particularly when the researcher has no control over events. It

RESEARCH BASICS 11

can look at situations at different scales, macro (international, national) or micro (community, individual). Analogy is used to identify similari- ties in order to predict results – assuming that if two events are simi- lar in certain characteristics, they could well be similar in others too. In this way comparative design is used to explore and test what condi- tions were necessary to cause certain events, so that it is possible, for example, to understand the likely effects of making certain decisions.

EXPERIMENTAL

Experimental research attempts to isolate and control every rel- evant condition which determines the events investigated and then observes the effects when the conditions are manipulated. At its sim- plest, changes are made to an independent variable and the effects are observed on a dependent variable – i.e. cause and effect. Although experiments can be done to explore a particular event, they usually require a hypothesis (prediction) to be formulated first in order to determine what variables are to be tested and how they can be con- trolled and measured. There are several classes of experiment – pre, true, quasi, etc. which are characterized by the amount of checking and control involved in the methods.

SIMULATION

Simulation involves devising a representation in a small and sim- plified form (model) of a system, which can be manipulated to gauge effects. It is similar to experimental design in the respect of this manipulation, but it provides a more artificial environment in that it does work with original materials at the same scale. Models can be mathematical (number crunching in a computer) or physical, working with two- or three-dimensional materials. The performance of the model must be checked and calibrated against the real system to check that the results are reliable. Simulation enables theoretical situations to be tested – what if?

EVALUATION

This descriptive type of research is specifically designed to deal with complex social issues. It aims to move beyond ‘just getting the facts’,

RESEARCH THEORY AND PRACTICE12

by trying to make sense of the myriad human, political, social, cultural and contextual elements involved. There are a range of different approaches of evaluation models, for example, systems analysis – which is a holistic type of research looking at the complex interplay of many variables; and responsive evaluation – which entails a series of investigative steps to evaluate how responsive a programme is to all those taking part in it. A common purpose of evaluation research is to examine the working of projects from the point of view of lev- els of awareness, costs and benefits, cost-effectiveness, attainment of objectives and quality assurance. The results are generally used to prescribe changes to improve and develop the situation.

ACTION

Essentially, this is an ‘on the spot’ procedure, principally designed to deal with a specific problem found in a particular situation. There is no attempt made to separate the problem from its context in order to study it in isolation. What are thought to be useful changes are made and then constant monitoring and evaluation are carried out to see the effects of the changes. The conclusions from the findings are applied immediately, and further monitored to gauge their effec- tiveness. Action research depends mainly on observation and behav- ioural data. Because it is so bound up in a particular situation, it is difficult to generalize the results, i.e. to be confident that the action will be successful in another context.

ETHNOLOGICAL

Ethnological research focuses on people. In this approach, the researcher is interested in how the subjects of the research interpret their own behaviour rather than imposing a theory from outside. It takes place in the undisturbed natural settings of the subjects’ environment. It regards the context to be as equally important as the actions it stud- ies, and attempts to represent the totality of the social, cultural and economic situation. This is not easy as much of culture is hidden and rarely made explicit and the cultural background and assump- tions of the researcher may unduly influence the interpretations and descriptions. Moreover there can be confusions produced by the use of language and the different meanings which may be given to words by the respondents and researcher.

RESEARCH BASICS 13

FEMINIST

This is more of a perspective than a research design that involves theory and analysis that highlight the differences between men’s and women’s lives. Researchers who ignore these differences can come to incorrect conclusions. However, everyone is male or female, so value neutrality is impossible as no researcher practises research outside his or her system of values. No specific methods are seen to be par- ticularly feminist, but the methodology used is informed by theories of gender relations. Although feminist research is undertaken with a political commitment to identify and transform gender relations, it is not uniquely political, but exposes all methods of social research as being political.

CULTURAL

Many of the prevailing theoretical debates (e.g. postmodernism, poststructuralism etc.) are concerned with the subjects of language and cultural interpretation. Cultural research provides methodolo- gies that allow a consistent analysis of cultural texts so that they can be compared, replicated, disproved and generalized. Examples of approaches to the interpretation of cultural texts are: content analy- sis, semiotics and discourse analysis. The meaning of the term ‘cul- tural texts’ has been broadened from that of purely literary works to that of the many different forms of communication, both formal such as opera, TV news programmes, cocktail parties etc., and infor- mal such as how people dress or converse.

DECIDING ON YOUR TYPE OF RESEARCH

It is your research interest that decides the nature of your research problem, and this will indicate the appropriate type of research to fol- low. Once the objectives of a research project have been established, the issue of how these objectives can be met leads to a consideration of which research design should be chosen. The research design pro- vides a framework for the collection and analysis of data and subse- quently indicates which research methods are appropriate. You can combine two or more types of research design, particularly when your subject combines the study of human behaviour with that of, for example, economics, technology, legislation or organizations.

RESEARCH THEORY AND PRACTICE14

The different types of research design may involve the use of their own specific types of research methods, developed specifically to solve the problems inherent in that design. However, some methods are widely used across many research types.

WHERE TO FIND OUT MORE

Apart from continuing to read this book, there are other introductions to research that you may wish to check out. Most books on this sub- ject cover the whole sequence of doing research. The following books are aimed at undergraduate and postgraduate research and selective reading of the preliminary chapters will provide further guidance on research basics. Each gives a slightly different view of the issues, so refer to as many as possible. You can probably do this in the library without …

Attachment 2

Types of Research Methods

Adapted from Edvantia SBR Rating for Technical Assistance Programs and Services form (2007) and Carter McNamara Overview of Methods to Collect Information handout (1998)

© 2008 by The SERVE Center at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. All rights reserved. www.serve.org

Evidence of effectiveness

Research Method

This is … This works best for these kinds of questions…

This doesn’t work well for these kinds of

questions…

Additional Things to Note

LOW

Descriptive- Qualitative (Ethnography/ Case Study)

Detailed descriptions of specific situation(s) using interviews, observations, document review You describe things as they are.

How do people implement this program? What challenges do people face? What are people’s perceptions?

Did the program cause any changes in participants’ outcomes?

Descriptive- Quantitative

Numerical descriptions (frequency, average) You measure things as they are.

How many people are participating in this program? What are the characteristics of people in this program? How well did participants in this program do?

Did the program cause any changes in participants’ outcomes? Why did the program work this way?

Correlational/ Regression Analyses

Quantitative analyses of the strength of relationships between two or more variables (e.g., are teacher qualifications correlated with student achievement?)

What is the relationship between various school or classroom context factors and student achievement? Is the extent of implementation of a program across sites correlated with better outcomes?

Did the program cause any changes in participants’ outcomes?

Look for words such as, “more likely than,” ”less likely than,” “associated with,” “related to,” and “correlated with.”

Quasi- experimental

Comparing a group that gets a particular intervention with another group that is similar in characteristics but did not receive the intervention— no random assignment used

Did the program cause any significant differences in participants’ outcomes as compared to non-participants with similar characteristics who did not receive the intervention?

How are people implementing the program? Why did the program get the results it did?

Look for the phrase “compared with.” Look for results that are both statistically significant and meaningful. NOTE: Did the study test the equivalence of treatment and control groups prior to the intervention?

Types of Research Methods

Adapted from Edvantia SBR Rating for Technical Assistance Programs and Services form (2007) and Carter McNamara Overview of Methods to Collect Information handout (1998)

© 2008 by The SERVE Center at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. All rights reserved. www.serve.org

Evidence of effectiveness

Research Method

This is … This works best for these kinds of questions…

This doesn’t work well for these kinds of

questions…

Additional Things to Note

HIGH

Experimental

Using random assignment to assign participants to an experimental or treatment group and a control or comparison group (e.g., one receives the intervention and one does not)

Did the program cause any significant differences in participants’ outcomes as compared to the control group’s outcomes?

How are people implementing the program?

Look for words such as, “causes” or “leads to.” Look for results that are both statistically significant and meaningful. NOTE: The intervention should be clearly defined so that you know what it was designed to entail, and to what extent it was implemented in the study. Also look for information on the experience of the control group.

Meta-analysis

Synthesis of results from multiple studies to determine the average impact of a similar intervention across the studies

Over all studies conducted on a particular intervention or strategy, what can be said about the direction or strengths of the impacts? What does the totality of research studies say about the effectiveness of a program?

How are people implementing the program? What are people’s perceptions?

Look for selection criteria used to include studies and look for measures of effect size. Look for differences in results among the studies. Do some studies show positive results while others show negative or do all studies show positive results?