Assalamualaikum dan selamat bertemu kembali!
Today I am in the mood of sharing a bit about the selection of research methodology. I came across many students who admitted to me that the selection of their research methodology was actually based on what they feel like doing!
"Saya nak buat kuantitiatif, kerana bagi saya kajian kualitatif memakan masa yang lebih panjang!" ("I want to do a quantitative research as I think that conducting a qualitative research will consume more time.")
"Saya tidak sukakan statistik jadi kajian saya akan dijalankan menggunakan kaedah kualitatif sahaja." (I don't like statistics, therefore, I will be conducting my research using a qualitative apporach").
Well, guys, the basic question to be asked when you to select your research methodology is "How am I going to find out the answers to my research questions?". The following question you might ask yourself before selecting your research methodology is "What kind of data suits my research questions?" These questions will then lead you to the right decision as by asking this questions you will need to list down few things to be considered:
- What kind of data do I need?
- Who will be my respondents?
- Do I need to have a prolonged engagement with my respondents?
- How much data do I need?
- Does the finding meant for generalization or do I just want to explore certain phenomena?
- How depth do I want to research my subject?
- and the questions may go on and on.
What you learn here is that, to select an appropriate research methodology, you need to really sit down and ask numbers of questions critically. If your research is about understanding how single mothers cope with the increase of tax for example, you might what to have a deep conversation with these single mothers so that you will find the truthful answers. In this case, you may use interpretevist approach in which you select your respondents purposively. You may then accept their answers from an emic perspective.
But if you want to have an understanding of teachers' acceptance or rate of adoption towards the use of a new technology innovation in teaching and learning e.g., mobile apparatus perhaps, you might consider conducting a survey that involve a larger number of teachers from several part of the country and of course, the selection of your research sample will be representative of the whole population. i.e., all teachers in the country. In this approach, you as a researcher need to set up everything - from the questions to the answers (questionnaire items and answer options) and this what we call an epic perspective.
The key point here is that - never choose whether it will be quantitative or qualitative until you are sure of the nature of data that you need to answer your research questions!
Hope this gives you an insight to revisit your research methodology before it is too late ^___^
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Department of Learning and Teaching Innovations
Faculty of Education
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
GE1155 Computer in Education
GE2153 Educational Technology
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GB6013 Research Methods 1
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When My Mind Speaks