Qualitative & Quantitative Research Methods Simplified

Preface
I have taught research methods in several universities and colleges. During that period, the need for a simplified style of delivery of the course has been evident. Firstly due to the diversity of backgrounds of the students, but also the fear of everything numerical that seems to emanate from high school misconceptions about maths. The objective of the book on “qualitative and quantitative Research Methods simplified” was to provide a mellowed version while avoiding this dilemma.
Simply put, the purpose of research is to discover answers to questions through the application of scientific procedures. The main aim of research is to find out the truth which is hidden and which has not been discovered as yet. Though each research study has its own specific purpose, we may think of research objectives as falling into a number of following broad groupings:
Aims and Objectives of Research Methodology
1. To gain familiarity with a phenomenon or to achieve new insights into it (studies with this object in view are termed as exploratory or formulative research studies);
2. To portray accurately the characteristics of a particular individual, situation or a group(studies with this object in view are known as descriptive research studies);
3. To determine the frequency with which something occurs or with which it is associated with something else (studies with this object in view are known as diagnostic research studies);
4. To test a hypothesis of a causal relationship between variables (such studies are known as hypothesis-testing research studies).

Research Methods Learning Objectives
Specifically, in this book, the following learning objectives have been prepared to assist you in your preparation for the comprehensive examination in the area of research methods. A review of content related to these learning objectives should provide you with the foundation required for a successful understanding of the content.
1. Students should understand a general definition of research design.
2. Students should know why educational research is undertaken, and the audiences that profit from research studies.
3. Students should be able to identify the overall process of designing a research study from its inception to its report.
4. Students should be familiar with ethical issues in educational research, including those issues that arise in using quantitative and qualitative research.
5. Students should know the primary characteristics of quantitative research and qualitative research.
6. Students should be able to identify a research problem stated in a study.
7. Students should be familiar with how to write a good introduction to an educational research study and the components that comprise such an introduction.
8. Students should be familiar with conducting a literature review for a scholarly educational study:
a. The steps in the overall process.
b. The types of databases often searched.
c. The criteria for evaluating the quality of a study.
d. The ways of organizing the available material.
e. The different types of literature reviews.
9. Students should be able to distinguish a purpose statement, a research question or hypothesis, and a research objective.
10. Students should be able to define the meaning of a variable, and to be able to identify independent, dependent, and mediating variables.
11. Students should be able to distinguish between categorical and continuous measures. 12. Students should be able to define theory use in quantitative research.
13. Students should be able to design a good quantitative purpose statement and good quantitative research questions and hypotheses.
14. Students should be able to define a central phenomenon in qualitative research.
15. Students should be able to design a good qualitative purpose statement and a good central question in qualitative research.
16. Students should know the steps in the process of quantitative data collection.
17. Students should be able to distinguish between a population and a sample.
18. Students should know the various types of quantitative sampling and which ones present the most rigorous approach to use.
19. Students should understand the link between quantitative research questions and data collection and how research questions are operationalized in educational practice.
20. Students should be familiar with the steps involved in identifying and selecting a good instrument to use in a study
To meet all the objectives listed above, the author divided the book into fifteen chapters. Each chapter is introduced with learning objectives and keywords to help you pick the titles suitable for every research session. The same are also listed in detail under the table of contents to enable the reader to identify even the subtitles quickly as appropriate.
It is my believe that after reading this book, the reader will be able to first of all appreciate research methods as doable and then utilise the various components for their examination or research needs.

Samuel Mwituria Maina PhD

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