Research Methods by wulinqing

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									Research Methods




 R. Tench, 2001
                   1
Locating the article
• My website in pdf format, OR
• EMERALD FULLTEXT
• GO TO LMU Library Online
  –   Click on the A-Z under Quick Find
  –   E for Emerald (scroll down)
  –   Connect using ATHENS password
  –   Use ADVANCED SEARCH
  –   „Tench‟ in Author field
  –   „Competence‟ in Title field
  –   Choose pdf format for the article
  –   Full reference needed in Harvard style

                                               2
Area, topic, Purpose
• “The key questions raised by
  this research are borne out of
  gaps in existing research” .p94.
  Explain the gaps?
• “Project aims” p.97.



                                     3
Backgd, context, concepts

• See e.g. „genre based skills‟;
• Official publications eg „Dearing
  1997‟
• Wider debates on quality in HE
  and the role of skills acquisition;
• Practical versus theoretical
  tensions, ie what should
  constitute a curriculum?
                                    4
Backgd – debates
• Mismatch between
  employers/practitioners and
  academics?
• In the context of a widening of
  HE and growing PR education;
• Need to understand the
  expectations of students and
  employers.

                                    5
Res q‟s
• P.97 – 2 q‟s set out.
• Does the author answer them
  using the most appropriate
  methods?




                                6
Relevant Lit
• Several Previous studies and the
  seminal references (that recur,
  eg Bhatia (1993); Peters (1998).
• Many authors, many positions,
  – See L‟Etang and Piezka (1996) (for
    an atypical position based on a
    Critical epistemology) .


                                         7
Perpectives – the range
According to Johnson and Duberley(2000)
  and Benton and Craib(2001) there are many
  EPISTEMOLOGIES, including:
•   Positivism
•   Interpretivism
•   Critical theory
•   Feminism
•   Postmodernism

                                          8
Perpectives

• „Mainstream empiricism‟ based partly
  on Positivist Epistemology, with
  some Interpretivism.
• See Bryman&Bell ch. 1
• What is Positivism?
• Esp, ch.3 on Quantitative methods
  overview.
• What is a concept? Indicator?

                                     9
6 Assumptions of Positivism

• Go to CRM webpage on my site.
• Go to page for Briefing slides
• Download the handout on the
  “Assumptions of Positivism”
• How any of these assumptions
  does the Tench article satisfy?
  – Eg phenomenalism?

                                    10
Substantive theory
• See p.97on „Writing, genre, and
  the applic. of a new pedagogy‟.
• The main authors cited provide
  the main theoretical input.
  – Bhatia 1993 – provides some of
    the substantive theory in this area.
    For more on substantive theory
  – See „models‟ of Bines and Watson
    (1992), also Schon (1983),
                                       11
Methods
• Does the author follow the steps of
  quants or qualitative researching as
  laid down by B&B?
• Define reliability and validity – do
  they have relevance in this study?
• Any criticisms of quants or qual
  research?


                                         12
The process of quantitative research
1. Theory                        7. Administer
                                 Research instruments/
2. Hypothesis                    Collect data
3. Research design               8. Process data
4. Devise measures of concepts
                                 9. Analyse data
 5. Select Research sites
                                 10. Findings/
 6. Select research subjects/    conclusions
 respondents                     11. Write up
                                 Findings/
                                 conclusions
 The process of qualitative research
1. General research questions        5b. Collection of
                                     further data
2. Select Research sites and
subjects

3. Collection of
Relevant data
                                5a. Tighter specification
4. Interpretation of data       of the research question(s)

5. Conceptual and theoretical work

 6. Write up
 Findings/ conclusions
20 Steps in conducting a social survey p.1
  • Decide on topic/area to be researched
  • Review literature theories relating to topic
    /area
  • Formulate research questions
  • Consider whether a social survey is
    appropriate (if not, what is?)
  • Consider what kind of population will be
    appropriate?
  • Consider what kind of sample will be
    employed
  • Explore whether there is a sampling frame
    that can be employed
  • Decide on mode of administration (face to
    face; telephone; e mail; web; postal)
  • Develop questions and devise answer
    alternatives for closed
    questions………….cont‟d……..
20 Steps in conducting a social survey p.2

      •   Review questions and asses face validity
      •   Pilot questions
      •   Revise questions
      •   Finalize questionnaire /schedule
      •   Sample from population
      •   Administer questionnaire /schedule to
          sample
      •   Transform completed questionnaire
          /schedules into computer readable data
          (coding)
      •   Analyse data
      •   Interpret findings
      •   Consider implications of findings for
          research questions
      •   Publish results      (Source: Bryman&Bell, 2003, p92)
Research process in the real
world

• The 2 previous slides represent
  idealisations of the research process;
• In the „real world‟ the process is seldom as
  pure or stylised;
• Set out a diagram showing the process that
  you think the authors use in this article.
• Describe the links and main components.
• Both qual and quants can be combined.
• Is the research organised into 2 stages?


                                             17
  In general follow B&B‟s
  typology….
• STRATEGIES
  – Quantitative or Qualitative or Hybrid?
• DESIGNS
  –   Experimental
  –   Cross sectional
  –   Longitudinal
  –   Case Study
  –   Comparative

• Data Collection METHODS
  –   Q‟aire
  –   Interviews
  –   Documentational and Website analysis
  –   Focus Groups etc                       18
Methods & Data
• Exploratory research
• Using q‟aires and focus groups
  – Given the emphasis on exploration
    can we argue for a mixed
    quants/qual approach here? See
    Bryman Part 4, chs 21, 22 on
    combining.


                                        19
Methods and data
• Cross sectional survey design (B&B
  ch2.)
• Data collection via Questionnaire –
  (various sections, use of Likert
  scaling). (B&B ch.6, 7)
• Pre tests. Why?
• Sampling : justify the size,
  techniques, frame, 100% response
  rate. (B&B, ch. 4)

                                        20
Consent, ethics?
• Who is excluded and why?
• Possibility of bias?




                             21
Research reporting
• Descriptive stats – use of %‟s
• What is the authors trying to
  show?
• Do the responses ever appear
  contradictory?



                                   22
Research reporting
• Bar charts produced from SPSS
• How does the author report the
  qualitative elements of his
  survey?




                                   23
Research Opportunities
• Never the last word.
• Issues raised by this research
  that need to be pursued, eg??
  – Can WebCT replace tutor face to
    face contact?
• See p.102.


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