DESCRIPTIVE RESEARCH. ADVANCED RESEARCH METHODS. I. The methodology of survey research .
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ADVANCED RESEARCH METHODS
The description is used for frequencies, averages and other statistical calculations. Often the best approach, prior to writing descriptive research, is to conduct a survey investigation.
A survey is a data collection tool used to gather information about individuals.
The major purpose of all surveys is to describe the characteristics of a population.
The methodology of conducting a survey involves a series of detailed steps.
The initial step is to define the research problem.
A sample is a subset of the population to which the researcher intends to generalize the result.
Data collection is a term used to describe a process of preparing and collecting data - for example as part of a process improvement or similar project. The purpose of data collection is to obtain information to keep on record, to make decisions about important issues, to pass information on to others.
Background or demographic information about the respondent is important in that it identifies the individual in terms of classifying variables for the analysis.
Closed-ended questions are easy to use, score and code for analysis on a computer.Since all subjects respond to the same options, standardized data are provided. They are somewhat more difficult to write than open-ended questions.
Closed-ended & Open-ended questions
Open-ended questions allow for more individualized responses, but they are sometimes difficult to interpret.They are also hard to score, since so many different kinds of responses are received.
Advantages &disadvantages of using closed-ended &open-ended questions.
Allows more freedom of response
Easier to construct
Permits follow-up by interviewer
Responses tend to be inconsistent in length and content across respondents
Both questions and responses subject to misinterpretation
Harder to tabulate and synthesize.
The Cover Letter
The cover letter is an essential part of any survey involving a questionnaire.It is the mechanism for introducing individuals to the questionnaire and motivate them to respond.The letter should be straighfoward, explaining the purpose and penitential value of the survey and transmitting the message that an individual’s response is important.
The interview should be structured to obtain the necessary information efficiently in a friendly but businesslike atmosphere. If possible there should be some accuracy checks on the responses.
Analyzing the result
Survey data can be analyzed using any appropriate procedures, and in many surveys at least part of the results are reported in a descriptive manner.Persentages or proportions of respondents selecting the options for an item are often provided.
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