Research and Data Collection Methods
The purpose of this exercise to help you think through the research methods and data collection approaches you might need if you were going to actually operationalize your project and had the resources to use these various methods. You will get that opportunity in your final CAPSTONE course but this is simply a planning exercise. Not all research projects lend themselves to every research method and data collection approach so think carefully about the method and approach you choose so that it is reasonable and realistic.
We recommend that you copy the below questions into an MS Word document, answer each question underneath.
1. State your course research project’s specific research question.
2. State whether your project would be more suitable for a qualitative, quantitative, or mixed methods approach.
a. If you use a quantitative approach, list the dependent and independent variables from your course research project’s hypothesis and provide a short explanation about how you would go about analyzing those variables.
Independent Variable 1:
Independent Variable 2:
b. If you would choose a qualitative approach, what is your working definition of the central phenomenon or idea that you are studying? How are you going to explore this idea or phenomenon?
c. What other qualitative approaches would be useful to your study? These could include content analysis, case studies, or any other of the approaches in your week’s material. Explain the value of this approach to your research objective.
3. If you were going to conduct surveys, how would a survey contribute useful data for your course research project?
a. What is the population for your survey and what is the corresponding sample size you would need for a 95% confidence level in the survey results?
b. Provide a short discussion of how you would carry out such a survey. What process must you use to conduct any research on human research subjects?
4. Interviews or Focus Groups:
a. What special considerations must you consider when conducting interviews or focus groups?
b. Who would you want in your focus groups (what types of people as far as backgrounds, experience, education, etc.)?
c. What data could one or more focus groups contribute to your course research data collection that could not have been collected using intensive interviews?