Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Quantitative Research


In a quantitative research method, surveys strategies of inquiry can be identified by the use of descriptive trends, approaches, or opinions of a given general population and often appear in numerical form (Creswell, 2009). The information gathered from a survey of inquiry is often used to make or generalize laudable claims. The basic purpose or rationale in a survey design is usually sketched out in the proposal or plan. The best way to design survey components in a proposal is to consider the intention of the survey design, the nature of the survey and whether it is cross-sectional or longitudinal. Also, it is practical to show how the results will be interpreted, whether the procedure for sampling individuals is random or non-random, and the scale of the contents addressed, whether items will be collapsed into scales, and the procedure to be applied for testing the survey (Creswell, 2009).

In a survey design, researchers reflect the purpose of the survey and in a sampling procedure address essential aspects that are crucial to the research being implemented. Clustering is used to when it is almost impossible to gather information concerning the population being studied. Stratification, a method of gathering specific characteristics like males and females in a population may be applied so as to come up with a sample reflecting true proportions (Creswell, 2009).

Experimental strategies of inquiry mainly deal with “participants, materials, procedures, and measures” (Creswell, 2009; p. 155). A selection process that is either random or non-random is used in experimental methods. Random sampling is when individuals are representative of a given population that is under experiment. A true experiment is a procedure used when a pool of participants are selected randomly and divided into groups. The term matching participants is used to identify participants sharing certain traits or characteristics. In this pattern, individuals may be categorized as scoring high, medium or low on the pre-test (Creswell, 2009).

There are questionnaires that require to be answered in experimental procedures. Defining the participants in the study, the manner of participant selection, type of variables to be applied, the kind of pilot test to be performed, and the experimental research design to be used are a few topics that need addressing. According to Creswell (2009), the types of experimental procedures to be identified include “…pre-experimental designs, true experiments, quasi-experiments, and single-subject designs” (p. 158). In pre-experimental design, the researcher studies single groups and then provides an intervention during experimentation. The quantitative research method requires thorough thought and reflection and collection of numerous statistical data.

References

Creswell, J. (2009). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

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