Steps of Educational Research
Lead Author(s): Dr. Rafeedalie
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In this homework assignment, students will be asked to understand the various steps of educational research, research design and systemic order of education research.
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Steps of Educational Research
Reading this Topic, the student will able to:
- 1. Understand the various steps of educational research
- 2. understand the concept of research design
- 3. understand systematic order of educational research
Research is complex activity, which should be undertaken through systematic and sequential process. The steps of educational research are discussed below.
1. Identification of the Problem
The first step of the educational research is to identify the problem for the study. Problem should be identified from the areas of interest of the researcher not on the compulsion of the research supervisor. Personal, social, professional experience of the researcher may help the researcher to identify significant and rationale problem for the study. For example, Research identified the problem of why the adolescent children are committing suicide even simple matter? Do they possess Low Emotional intelligence?
2. Defining the problem/ Problematization
After identifying the problem the researcher has to define the problem. It means that problem should be moulded in a researchable manner. It includes the fencing of the problem such as at where and from whom the study to be conducted. The problem should be clearly, simply stated as well as delimited at this level.
For example: A study on Emotional Intelligence of the Secondary school students in NCT, Delhi
3. Review of related literature
After defining the problem the researcher has to review the related literature to ensure the originality as well as the research gap for proposed research problem. While reviewing the literature he can comprehend the several research design and procedures followed by previous researchers to solve their research problem. It will be helpful to the investigator to formulate his research design. If the investigator has identified the research gap he has to go ahead with his problem.
4. Preparation of Research Design
Research design is considered as the blue print of the proposed research. It includes the preparation of following essential elements.
- 1. State the problem
- 2. Set up of research variables, such as dependent, independent, classificatory, extraneous and intervening variables.
- 3. Provide operational definition of the key terms or research variables which the investigator wants to measure or observe.
- 4. Set up Objectives for the study/ what exactly researcher wants to find out through the proposed study?
- 5. Formulate Hypotheses/ tentative solution based on intelligent guess (if applicable)
- 6. Determine the representative sample size from the population of the study
- 7. Identify suitable sampling Technique
- 8. Develop or make available standardized tool for data collection
- 9. Select suitable statistical techniques to fulfil the objectives as well as to test the hypotheses (if applicable)
- 10. Prepare the organization of research report and time bound budget allocation to complete the proposed study
5. Collection of Data
In this step investigator has to collect the relevant information regarding the subject/problem of the study. S/he has to approach the sample as per the sampling technique planned in the design of the study. If the investigator has to collect data by using questionnaires/ inventory/attitude scales etc, s/he has to maintain adequate number of items with response sheet while s/he approaches the sample for collecting information. When the researcher intent to collect data though qualitative means such as interview/focus group discussions/observation etc, s/he has to pay keen attention to record each and every responses and behaviour of the participant without losing any significant elements under concerned. Researcher has to explore the information as much as s/he can elicit from the respondents. Accurate and exact descriptions should be ensured of the explored information.
6. Organize, Scoring and analysis of data
After collecting the data from various groups of subsamples, the investigator has to organize the collected data in systematic manner. Data can be classified in accordance with the major classificatory variables such as Gender, Locale and so forth. This process make easy for investigator to enter the data in scoring sheet. Scoring should be undertaken as per the manual prepared while standardizing the tool or as per given in the research tool manual. When the scoring procedure is completed the researcher has to prepare a scoring sheet to enter the data of total sample in integrated manner. While entering the data in to scoring sheet the investigator has to mention the serial number of scoring sheet at response sheet. It will be beneficial for further reference. The investigator can directly enter the data in to computer sheet such as excel sheet, SPSS AND so forth. Even though before starting the analysis the researcher has to keep a hardcopy of the scoring sheet. A model of scoring sheet is given below for a sample size of five (05) who were undergone a study on their emotional maturity. The classificatory variables were Gender, Locale, and Family Profile. As per the number of samples increases the column should be increased accordingly
After the successful completion of the scoring entry the researcher has to analyze the data using suitable statistical techniques. Data analysis can be done by manual or with the help of the computer using software packages specially design for data analysis such as software package for social science research.
When considering the qualitative analysis the following steps should be followed.
- 1. Exploration
- 2. Description
- 3. Explanation
- 4. Evaluation
When dealing with qualitative data the researcher has to explore the data thoroughly. Even though the researcher had been explored the information at the time of data collection from the respondents, again he has to explore more inherent information from the description also. For the purpose he has to rewind the gestures, body language, facial expressions, eyes’ movement of the respondents while s/he responds to the particular question or contexts to comprehend more relevant information regarding the study.
7. Interpretation of data and Testing of Hypotheses
In this step in a quantitative research the researcher has to interpret the data as per the result found through the application of statistical procedure. Hypotheses can be tested as per the standard norms and procedure using the level of significance. Qualitative researcher can explain his interpretation in detail with empirical observation of the events or behaviour. S/he has to elaborate his observation regarding the subject under study. The interpretation and writing skill of the researcher have crucial role in explanation or interpretation of the research.
8. Draw Valid Conclusion
Based on the analysis and interpretation of the research the investigator has to draw valid conclusion regarding the study. He has to ensure the fulfilment of the objective, acceptance or rejections of the hypotheses formed for the study and so forth. Further the researcher has to evaluate the validity and rationality of the conclusion drawn from the study. Based on the conclusion the researcher has to project the implications of the study undergone. Suggestions and recommendations should be given to concerned authority to bring progressive changes regarding the problem studied. Researcher can also trace the areas of further research which may add additional necessary information or knowledge in this regard that he felt while he completed his study.
After the completion of the research process the researcher has to prepare a report of his study as per designed in design of the study. Quoting the reference will ensure the reliability, authenticity and originality of the factual and necessary information provided. The format of research report will be discussed later chapter.
10. Publishing the Research Report
Research has been conducting for the purpose knowledge generation. Constructed knowledge should be disseminated though open window system to access the people for availing the new knowledge regarding the topic. Otherwise the research report would have been taking rest and rust in dissertation racks of particular institution, organisation or body. Hence the researcher or institutions concerned should be take interest and initiatives to publish the thesis. In India University Grant Commission has been publishing the entire doctoral theses awarded by its recognized universities through the website of Shodganga (www.shodganga.ac.in) which is open access one and all, the website specially created for the purpose. Now days many governmental or non governmental agencies are funding to publish the research report.
List out the steps of educational research
What are the elements includes in a research design
Prepare a blueprint for organizing and scoring and analyzing the data
Discuss the various steps included in educational research
MANUU, CTE, Srinagar