The following course in Research Methodology is provided in its entirety by Atlantic International University’s “Open Access Initiative” which strives to make knowledge and education readily available to those seeking advancement regardless of their socio-economic situation, location or other previously limiting factors. The University’s Open Courses are free and do not require any purchase or registration, they are open to the public.
The course inResearch Methodology contains the following:
- Lessons in video format with explaination of theoratical content.
- Complementary activities that will make research more about the topic , as well as put into practice what you studied in the lesson. These activities are not part of their final evaluation.
- Texts supporting explained in the video.
The Administrative Staff may be part of a degree program paying up to three college credits. The lessons of the course can be taken on line Through distance learning. The content and access are open to the public according to the “Open Access” and ” Open Access ” Atlantic International University initiative. Participants who wish to receive credit and / or term certificate , must register as students.
Lesson 1: THE RESEARCH
Scientific research involves a systematic process that focuses on being objective and gathering a multitude of information for analysis so that the researcher can come to a conclusion. This process is used in all research and evaluation projects, regardless of the research method (scientific method of inquiry, evaluation research, or action research). The process focuses on testing hunches or ideas in a park and recreation setting through a systematic process. In this process, the study is documented in such a way that another individual can conduct the same study again. This is referred to as replicating the study. Any research done without documenting the study so that others can review the process and results is not an investigation using the scientific research process.
The scientific research process is a multiple-step process where the steps are interlinked with the other steps in the process. If changes are made in one step of the process, the researcher must review all the other steps to ensure that the changes are reflected throughout the process.
Lesson 2: SCOPE OF INVESTIGATION
As you probably already know, there are many reasons why research is done. But what are its purposes? Why bother with all the different styles, techniques, experiments and measurements?
Why did the first sailors, the ones before Columbus and Magellan, hop on their little canoes and paddle out? Humans naturally explore the world around them, wanting to learn about the planet we have labeled Earth.
Why did Hippocrates and Galen examine and write about the maladies of man? The need to describe and understand our world is found in even the youngest children.
Lesson 3: FORMULATION OF HYPOTHESIS
Once you have identified you research question, it is time to formulate your hypothesis. While the research question is broad and includes all the variables you want your study to consider, the hypothesis is a statement that specific relationship you expect to find from your examination of these variables.
As indicated above, it is better to have several simple hypotheses than one complex one. However, it is also a good idea to limit the number of hypotheses you use in a study to six or fewer. Studies that address more hypotheses than six will often be too time consuming to keep participants interested, and uninterested participants do not take the importance of their responses as seriously. Another advantage to limiting the number of formal hypotheses you formulate is that too many can make the discussion section of your paper very hard to write.
Lesson 4: RESEARCH DESIGN
Research methodology – Quantitative vs. Qualitative vs. Participatory/action research • Research methods – Methods of sampling, data collection and data analysis • Research design – Experimental, descriptive, exploratory Research design is the overall plan for connecting the conceptual research problems to the pertinent (and achievable) empirical research. • In other words, the research design articulates what data is required, what methods are going to be used to collect and analyse this data, and how all of this is going to answer your research question.
Lesson 5: SELECTION OF THE SAMPLE AND DATA COLLECTION
Data can be divided into two types, namely quantitative and qualitative. Quantitative data is numerical in nature and can be mathematically computed . Quantitative data measure uses different scales, which can be classified as nominal scale, ordinal scale, interval scale and ratio scale. Nominal scale is used to categorize items into different group, for example male and female, different examination grades, different races in a country, different types of companies different shoe sizes and so on. The statistics that is used to analyze this type of data is mode.
Lesson 6: What is a Theoretical Perspective?
No one perspective is best in all circumstances. The perspective one uses may depend upon the question being asked. If one is exploring bureaucratic organization, then one might like to use a perspective that is concerned with social order. On the other hand, if one is concerned with social inequality, then perhaps the conflict perspective is more useful.
Lesson 7: Qualitative Research
Qualitative methods aim to make sense of, or Interpret, phenomena in terms of the meanings people bring to them Qualitative research may define preliminary questions which can then be addressed in Quantitative studies. A good qualitative study will address a clinical problem through a clearly formulated question and Analysis of qualitative data can and should be done using explicit
Lesson 8: Data analysis in qualitative research
Unquestionably, data analysis is the most complex and mysterious of all of the phases of a qualitative project, and the one that receives the least thoughtful discussion in the literature. For neophyte nurse researchers, many of the data collection strategies involved in a qualitative project may feel familiar and comfortable. After all, nurses have always based their clinical practice on learning as much as possible about the people they work with, and detecting commonalities and variations among and between them in order to provide individualised care. However, creating a database is not sufficient to conduct a qualitative study. In order to generate findings that transform raw data into new knowledge, a qualitative researcher must engage in active and demanding analytic processes throughout all phases of the research.
Lesson 9: Research Variables
The research variables, of any scientific experiment or research process, are factors that can be manipulated and measured.
Any factor that can take on different values is a scientific variable and influences the outcome of experimental research.
Gender, color and country are all perfectly acceptable variables, because they are inherently changeable.
Most scientific experiments measure quantifiable factors, such as time or weight, but this is not essential for a component to be classed as a variable.
Lesson 10: Test Validity and Reliability
Whenever a test or other measuring device is used as part of the data collection process, the validity and reliability of that test is important. Just as we would not use a math test to assess verbal skills, we would not want to use a measuring device for research that was not truly measuring what we purport it to measure. After all, we are relying on the results to show support or a lack of support for our theory and if the data collection methods are erroneous, the data we analyze will also be erroneous.
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