INTRODUCTION TO RESEARCH

 

The student should be able to:

  • Explain the meaning of research.
  • Assess the importance of research in daily life.
  • Describe research stages in conducting a research
  • Conduct research.
  • Explain the use of research output and recommendations.

 

KEY TERMS AND CONCEPTS.

 

  • Research- this is the act of carrying out an inquiry with an aim of discovering a certain fact.
  • Basic research- this is a type of research done to collect data to advance a scientific research.
  • Applied research- this is done to seek specific knowledge
  • Evaluative research- done to measure the success of a certain scientific process
  • Analytical research- a research that uses facts that are already available and analyze these facts.
  • Qualitative research- this is a descriptive research that measures quality
  • Quantitative research- this is a research which measures quantity
  • Data- this is information collected by a researcher from the field
  • Sample- is a representative of a given population
  • Sampling- this is the process of obtaining a sample

 

CONCEPT OF RESEARCH:

 

The word research is derived from the French word “ recherché” means “to search” Research is the act of inquiring, making experiment, gathering or investigating information aimed at discovering new theories or laws.

OR

Research is the systematic investigation and study of materials in order to establish facts and reach new conclusions.

Generally, research is the scientific and systematic process of collecting, analyzing and interpreting data basing on a certain phenomena.

 

OBJECTIVES OF RESEARCH.

 

  1. To make evaluation of a certain issue.
  2. To find solution to the existing problems which have direct impact to human being and his surroundings.
  3. To explain or describe about certain phenomena.
  4. To test a hypothesis so as to find out their reliability and validity with the given cultural setting.
  5. To develop theories about certain socio – economic phenomena.
  6. To gain familiarity with a certain phenomena.
  7. To search for a new knowledge or insights.

 

TYPES OF RESEARCH:

Types of research are:-

a)     According to their aims

b)     According the data collected.

. Types of research according to their aim/purpose are put into the following categories:

a)     Basic (pure) research.

b)     Applied research

c)      Evaluative research

d)     Analytical research

e)     Fundamental research.

 

(a) BASIC RESEARCH:

 

  • Is a type of research which is conducted to collect data to advance or develop a certain scientific knowledge. It is always done through verification of theories.

 

 

(b) APPLIED RESEARCH:

  • Is the type of research aimed at seeking specific knowledge necessary to find solutions to solve a certain problem in the society.

 

(c) EVALUATIVE RESEARCH:

  • Is a type of research which is conducted purposely to measure or assess the achievement of a certain scientific practice.

 

(d) ANALYTICAL RESEARCH:

  • Is a type of research that uses facts already available and analyses these fact to make a critical evaluation of the material.

 

(e) FUNDAMENTAL RESEARCH:

  • Is a type of research that studies life processes that are universal in their application to scientific knowledge.

 

 

 2. Types of research according to the type of data collected are:-

a)     Qualitative research

b)     Quantitative research.

 

 

(a) QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH:

 

  • This type focuses on the measurement of quantity. It is applicable to phenomena that can be expressed in terms of quantity e.g. population data. This type of research tries to answer the question how many, and how much.

(b) QUALITATIVE RESEARCH:

  • This type is concerned with qualitative phenomena. It is applicable to phenomena that can be expressed in terms of quality. The data gathered are purely in form of description. Being so, it alternatively called descriptive research.

OTHER TYPES OF RESEARCH ARE:

1. EMPIRICAL RESEARCH:

 

  • This type of research relies on intensive interpretation of data and come up with conclusion which is capable of being verified through observation or experiment.

 

2. CONCEPTUAL RESEARCH:

 

  • This type of research is related to some abstract ideas. It is used to develop new concepts.

 

3. EXPLORATORY RESEARCH:

 

  • This type of research is conducted when a researcher explores things like gold, iron, ores, diamond and other materials related to mining.

4. EXPLANATORY RESEARCH:

 

  • Is a research that explains about certain social phenomena e.g. poverty and education matters.

IMPORTANCE OF RESEARCH:

 

  1. Research findings are used to provide accurate solutions to social problems
  2. Research provides policy makers with accurate information about the subject matter they are going to discuss.
  3. Research provides intellectual satisfaction of social relationships between phenomena through scientific and systematic study.
  4. Research inculcates scientific and inductive thinking and promotes the development of logical habits of thinking and organization.
  5. Research provides the basis for nearly all government policies in our economic system.
  6. Research allows us to identify problems in treatment and find solutions.
  7. Research provides evidences that are then is used by policy makers and treatment commissioners to justify changes in treatment and prevention and reduce the stigma surrounding the causes of addiction.
  8. Research provides finding which are also used to direct the social activities of the society concerned.
  9. Research is also used as the tool for providing reliable information to the data bank.
  10. Research also enables the members of the society to be well informed about their social surrounding.

 

 

RESEARCH DATA:

1. What is data?

  • Data is the information collected by researcher in the field in order to solve the existing problem.

 

2. What is a Phenomena/problem?

  • A phenomena / problem is that thing or issue in which the researcher is dealing with. Or the thing that researcher s finding a solution about it.

 

TYPES OF RESEARCH:

 

There are two major types of research. These are as follows:

a)     Primary / original data

b)     Secondary data

(a) PRIMARY DATA

 

  • Is the original or fresh data collected by the researcher directly from the field. These can be collected through interviews, questionnaires, field observations and focus group discussion.

(b) SECONDARY DATA

 

  • Is the data collected from documents books, statistical abstracts, economic surveys, census reports, research articles, journals, periodicals and official reports.

STAGES OF CONDUCTING RESEARCH:

 

These stages are arranged in series from the first to the last stage as mentioned below:-

  1. Problem identification or Formulation of research problem.
  2. Pre – survey/reconnaissance
  3. Literature review.
  4. Formulation of hypothesis
  5. Research design
  6. Data collection
  7. Analysis of data collected.
  8. Hypothesis testing
  9. Data interpretation and presentation
  10. Report writing.

 

  1. Problem identification/Formulation of research problem: A problem is the question or idea of interest which ought to be answered through data collection.
  2. Pre – Survey / reconnaissance: A researcher should make a survey of a place where the research is going to be conducted to know things like transport and weather.
  3. Literature review: This is reading of various publications to know what other people say about what you are investigating.
  4. Formulation of hypothesis: Is an assumption based on what one expects to find out in the field.
  5. Research design: Is the arrangement of conditions for collections and analysis of data in the manner that aims to combine relevance to the research purpose.
  6. Data collection: Is the collection of various information in the field to enrich a research.
  7. Analysis of data collected: Is the state of converting the data into sensible ideas so as to solve the problem.
  8. Hypothesis testing: The researcher need to test the hypothesis formulated earlier.
  9. Data interpretation and presentation: After getting correct information about the study topic; the analyzed data is interpreted and presented in different statistical graphs and charts so that it can be understood the every one.
  10. Report writing: The researcher has to prepare a report at the end of what has been done. The research findings have to be communicated / exposed to the public.

SAMPLE AND SAMPLING:

1. SAMPLE

  • Is a definite plan for obtaining representative information from a given population.

2. SAMPLING:

  • Is a process of obtaining a sample.

SAMPLING TECHNIQUES:

  • There are several techniques/ways which are used to select a sample:

1. RONDOM SAMPLING:

  • The selection of individuals into the sample from the population is left entirely to a chance. It gives equal chance to any individual to be selected.

2. SYSTEMATIC SAMPLING:

  • The selection of an individual into a sample is done by chance in a systematic way (ie in a certain manner).

3. STRAFIFIED SAMPLING:

  • The individuals for the sample are selected from different strata e.g. a researcher wishes to get a sample of 20 students from five schools. He will have to select 4 students from each school.

4. PURPOSIVE SAMPLING:

  • Is a judgemental sampling in which a researcher uses his/her knowledge to choose individuals to be included in the sample.

5. ACCIDENTAL SAMPLING:

  • The researcher comes into contact accidentally with the individuals to form a sample.

6. SNOW BALL SAMPLING

  • The researcher begins with the few individuals available, and then those individuals recommend other individuals who meet the criteria of the study.

DATA COLLECTION TOOLS:

Explain the tools for collection data in research?

The following are the tools used in collecting data

  1. Observation
  2. Interviews
  3. Questionnaires
  4. Focusssed group discussion
  5. Experiments
  6. Measurements.

1. FIELD OBSERVATION METHOD

 

In this method a researcher used his/her eyes to look at the phenomena and records what is seen.

There are two main types of observation. These are:-

a)     Participant – observation

b)     Non – participant observation.

(a) PARTICIPANT OBSERVATION:

 

Is the method in which data collection are done directly by researcher in the field hence he/she becomes part and parcel of t he people under the study.

(b) NON – PARTICIPANT OBSERVATION:

 

Is the method in which a researcher observes actions, behaviours and activities of the researched without participating in the life of those people.

 

Things to be considered when collecting data by field observation method:-

  1. What to be observed in the field
  2. How to record the observation in the field.
  3. How to control the accuracy of observation
  4. How to create good relationship with the respondents in the field.

ADVANTAGES OF FIELD OBSERVATION:

  1. The method helps to develop the spirit of self – reliance in pupils/students.
  2. The method helps to develop skills such as observation, recording, interpretation and imagination of geographical phenomena.
  3. The method allows full participation of the learner in the teaching – learning process.
  4. The method is reliable since data are obtained at first hand.
  5. First hand information are easily collected
  6. The data are recorded as they occur or observed.
  7. A researcher gets to know ideas of the group he/she is observing or studying.

DISADVANTAGES OF FIELD OBSERVATION:

  1. Some geographical phenomena may not be easily obtained.
  2. It is subjective because data is based on personal observation.
  3. One may be biased and may not record the information correctly.
  4. Methodologically it is somehow a problem because one can get full information to be observed such as matters concerning sexuality.
  5. Non – participant observation does not capture the natural context of the social life of the group he/she is studying.
  6. Subjectivity may easily be done hence leading to incorrect information.
  7. It is costful in terms of time and money. Some times may involve risk taking especially when you are observing people who are doing something illegal.

 

 

 

2. INTERVIEW METHOD:

An interview is a verbal interaction between an interviewer and interviewee (respondent) designed to list the information or news opinions and feeling they have on their own.

 

TYPES OF INTERVIEW:

a)     Face to face interview

b)     Telephone interview.

ADVATAGES OF INTERVIEW METHOD:

  1. It enables researcher to obtain required data quickly
  2. It permits the researcher to be sure that the respondent understands questions properly.
  3. It is not restricted to literate population only.
  4. The validity of the information obtained can be easily checked on the bases of body language.
  5. It is more flexible than questionnaires
  6. It provides in depth data.
  7. It guards against confusing the questions
  8. The interviewer can clarify and elaborate the purpose of the research.
  9. Interviewer can get more information by using probing questions.
  10. Many respondents do not like exposing their negative side.
  11. Interview method can employ also observation technique.

 

DISADVANTAGES OF INTERVIEW:

  1. It is time consuming
  2. Respondents may provide irrelevant or wrong information
  3. It cannot provide very reliable information on issues which happened a long time ago.
  4. The respondent tends to be subjected.
  5. There is an element of distortion.
  6. The method is costful e.g. bus fair.
  7. It requires high level of skills.
  8. Interviewers need to be trained to avoid bias.
  9. Interviewers often introduces subjectively into the study.
  10. It involves smaller samples because it is time consuming.

TYPES OF INTERVIEW:

 

There are two types of interview. These are:-

a)     Unstructured Interview.

b)     Structured Interview.

(a) UNSTRUCTURED INTERVIEW:

 

It is a type of Interview in which researcher asks the respondents different questions. I.e. the questions vary from one respondent to another.

 ADVANTAGES OF UNSTRUCTURED INTERVEW:

  1. It is flexible since a researcher does not stick on his/her questions chance are given to respondent to say more on what they are asked.
  2. More information can be revealed because of high degree of freed

DISADVANTAGES OF UNSTRUCTURES INTERVIEW:

 

  1. If it is not controlled or planned, it may end in the collection of irrelevant information.
  2. It is time consuming because the method involves probing questions.
  3. A researcher cannot be able to compare the answer given because different questions are asked to different respondents.

(b) STRUCTURED INTERVIEW:

It is the type of interview in which the same questions are asked to all respondents. In actual sense, the questions are pre – prepared.

ADVANTAGES OF STRUCTURED INTERVIEW:

 

  1. It is not time – consuming
  2. It is possible to use quantitative analysis to analyze the data.
  3. A researcher can compare answers from different respondent to see their validity.

DISADVANTAGES OF STRUCTURD INTERVIEW:

  1. It is inflexible because the researcher cannot ask more questions apart from those prepared before.
  2. Some hidden information cannot be obtained easily.

PROCEDURES OF CONDUCTING INTERVIEW:

In conducting an interview, the researcher should observe the following:-

  1. Create a friendly atmosphere where the two can talk easily.
  2. Maintain warmth and friendliness.
  3. Instill confidence and trust in the respondent by assuming them that information they have given would be confidential.
  4. Encourage the respondent to keep on talking and avoid interpreting him or her unnecessarily.
  5. Avoid the use of a tape – recorder as it might inhibit the respondent from interpreting effectively.
  6. Be neutral in tone and should not suggest any answer.
  7. Spend some time to explain briefly the purpose of the interview.

(c) MEASUREMENT:

There are a number of measurements which can be done using very simple equipment. When collecting data through measurements the following things are considered:-

  1. Pacing: Used to estimate distance
  2. Estimating: At times there are no instruments available for measurements e.g. heights.
  3. Counting: Is done as a way of establishing accuracy.

ADVANTAGES OF MEASUREMENTS METHOD:

  1. The method gives accurate data.
  2. It is a quick way of collecting data.
  3. It is easy to measure and read the information shown on the instruments.

DISADVANTAGES OF MEASUREMENT METHOD.

  1. Where estimation or pacing is used, errors are likely to occur.
  2. At times data may not be accurate. This could be brought about by errors is instruments.

(d) QUESTIONNAIRES:

These are pre – prepared questions given to respondents to answer. The researcher must know how information obtained from each questionnaire item will be ana

ADVANTAGES OF QUESTIONNAIRES:

 

  1. Data can be collected as a first hand.
  2. A researcher gets a lot of information from many respondents and from different areas of the country.
  3. Omission of names make respondents free in responding the questions asked.
  4. It serves time when a close – ended question is used; one does not need to be physically present.
  5. The researcher is in the position to dispel any fears that the respondent might have.
  6. Questionnaires are useful in the extraction of information on a broad field work topic.
  7. Direct contact with respondents provides the researcher with an opportunity to gauge the accuracy of the answer being given.

DISADVANTAGES OF USING QUESTIONNAIRES:

  1. It is used only in place with high literacy rate; hence it leaves aside those who are illiterate.
  2. Response rate is low – because respondents do not like to answer questions.
  3. The questions may not be understood.
  4. The researcher may have to travel extensively and thus loose valuable time while moving from one respondent to another.
  5. The researcher may find it necessary to hire research assistants and thus incur huge expenses.
  6. They are inappropriate where there is language barrier between the researcher and the respondent.
  7. It is difficult to get respondents’ willingness to have their daily routine interrupted because of a research.
  8. Many people are reluctant to fill in questionnaires especially when opinion questions and personal feeling are involved.
  9. It is very difficult for the researcher to establish the authenticity of some responses.
  10. Posted questionnaires may not be received by the respondents or sent back to the researcher.
  11. It is difficult for one to verify conflicting data that has been extracted from questionnaires respondents.

TYPES OF QUESTIONNAIRES:

There are two broad categories of questions that are used in questionnaires.

  1. Structures or closed – ended questionnaires
  2. Unstructured or open – ended questionnaires.

1. STRUCTURED OR CLOSED – ENDED QUESTIONNAIRES:

This type of items refers to questions which are accompanied by a list of all possible alternatives from which respondents select the answers that best describe their situation.

                   ADVANTAGES OF CLOSED – ENDED QUESTIONS

 

  1. Closed – ended questions are easier to analyze since they are in an immediate usable form.
  2. They are easier to administer because each item is followed by alternative answers.
  3. They are economical to use since they serve finance and time.

DISADVANTAGES OF CLOSE – ENDED QUESTIONS:

  1. They are more difficult to construct because categories must be well thought out.
  2. Responses are limited and the respondent is compelled for answer questions according to the research’s choices.

2. UNSTRUCTURED OR OPEN – ENDED QUESTIONS:

This refers to questions which give the respondents complete freedom of responses. These free response questions permit an individual to respond in his or her own words.

ADVANTAGES OF UNSTRUCTURED OR OPEN – ENDED QUESTIONS:

  1. Open – ended questions can stimulate a person to think about his feelings or motives and to express what he considers to be most important.
  2. The respondent’s responses may give an insight into his feelings, back ground, hidden motivation, interests and decisions.
  3. Open – ended questions are also simple to formulate mainly because the researcher does not have labour to come up with appropriate response categories.
  4. They permit a greater depth of response when a respondent is allowed to give a personal response, usually reasons for the response given may be directly or indirectly included.

DISADVANTAGES OF OPEN – ENDED QUESTIONS:

  1. Responding to open – ended questions is time consuming. This may put off some respondents.
  2. When the respondent is free to give an individual response deemed to be proper, there is tendency of providing information which does not answer the stipulated research questions or objectives.
  3. The responses given may be difficult to categorize and hence difficult to analyze quantitatively.

PROCEDURES TO CONSIER WHEN PREPARING QUESTIONNAIRES:

  1. The questions must be short, simple and straight forward.
  2. The questions should be asked in a systematic manner.
  3. The questions should be strictly relevant to the topic and should help the interviewers to obtain the required information.
  4. The questions should be polite and therefore appealing to the respondent.
  5. Avoid sensitive questions e.g. how much is your salary?
  6. The questions should be free of bias. Do not help the respondent in deciding the answer.

 

3. MAIL QUESTIONNAIRES:

This is done by posting questionnaires to the respondent and after filling in the respondents returns them back to the researcher.

5. FOCUS GROUP DISCUSSION (F.G.D)

Is the research method which involves intensive discussion on a particular issue normally don in a small group of people (5 – 7) people, a researcher guides the discussion and records data from what is discussed by the members.

AIMS OF FOCUS GROUP DISCUSSION.

It aimed at getting additional information which are rendered by some talent people for the benefit of the group on the particular issue.

ADVANTAGES OF FOCUS GROUP DISCUSSION.

It makes the researcher’s topic to be live and interesting.

It allows critical thinking to the participants.

It makes the respondents understand well the topic

It is a way of conducting research on low cost.

A researcher becomes an active person in the discussion.

Respondents get the skills of writing, speaking and coordinating

DISADVANTAGES OF FOCUS GROUP DISCUSSION

  1. It is a time consuming method.
  2. Few respondents/discussants may dominate the group.
  3. Selection of group may be affected by bias, subjectivity.
  4. Very small sample size is involved.
  5. It is not easy to analyze the data collected through this method.
  6. Members may not be in a position to be taken from video as a way of keeping records or by a tape.
  7. Members may not be in a good position to contribute on a particular topic.

SECONDARY DATA COLLECTION:

Secondary data are collected by making Literature review.

DOCUMENTARY RESEARCH.

Is the method of collecting data which involves reference to past publications and official documents e.g. from books, statistical abstracts, economic surveys, census report, research articles journals, periodicals and official reports.

ADVANTAGES OF DOCUMENTARY RESEARCH:

  1. Secondary sources provide information which may not be easily acquired from primary sources.
  2. Libraries are sources of officially accepted information.
  3. The method is cheap since the relevant publications are readily available
  4. Data collected is made easy because it is based on the extraction of analyzed information.

DISADVANTAGES OF DOCUMENTARY RESEARCH:

  1. The authors could emphasize prejudicial ideas.
  2. Classified secondary data may not be available to the researcher.
  3. Some secondary data may be incomplete.
  4. Available data in most cases are outdated.
  5. Documentary research is based on the misleading assumption that there exists a well established data bank.
  6. The required data may appear in a format that is not appropriate to the study being undertaken.

IMPORTANCE OF CONDUCTING RESEARCH:

  1. Research helps us to make evaluation of certain issues which have direct impact to human being and his surroundings.
  2. Research enables the researcher to test hypothesis and develop theories within the social existing environment.
  3. Research is important in boosting economic development because it makes us able to identify all ways which hinder our efforts towards development.
  4. Research enables us to solve socio – economic problems which threat our cultural setting.
  5. Research helps us to search for a new knowledge about certain social phenomena or situation.

CHAPTER SUMMARY.

  1. Research can be classified according to their aims, and according to data collected
  2. According to purpose, research can be applied research, evaluative research, analytical research or fundamental research.
  3. According to type of data collected, research can be qualitative or quantitative.
  4. There are two major types of research, primary and secondary research
  5. There are eighty stages of conducting research
  6. The following are sampling techniques which are used to obtain a sample; random sampling, systemic sampling, stratified sampling purposive sampling and accidental sampling.
  7. There are six data collection tools which are observation, questionnaire, interviews, focused group discussions, experimentation and measurement.
  8. Observation can be participant observation or non-participant observation.
  9. There are two types of interview, these are unstructured and structured interview.
  10. There are two types of questionnaires; closed ended questionnaire and open-ended questionnaire.
  11. Focused group discussion is a research method which involves intensive discussion on a particular issue.
  12. Documentary research is a method of collecting data which involves reference to past publications and official documents.

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END OF TOPIC QUESTIONS.

  1. Explain the meaning of research
  2. Asses the importance of research in daily life
  3. Describe the main stages in conducting research
  4. Identify and describe the tools which are used in research
  5. What is a sampling technique?
  6. Distinguish a sample from sampling
  7. Write short notes on the following;

a)     Structured questions

b)     Open-ended questions

c)      Focus group discussions

d)     Complete participant observation

e)     Explanatory research

f)       Descriptive research

     8.   Define data collection

     9.   Explain the meaning of data

    10. Differentiate between secondary and primary data

    11.  Give short notes on literature review

    12.  What is the meaning of hypothesis in research.

 

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