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Research Methods in HIB. What can help us understand how people interact with information. Common Methods. Experiments Surveys: Questionnaires Interviews Observation. Experiments.

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research methods in hib

Research Methods in HIB

What can help us understand how people interact with information

common methods
Common Methods
  • Experiments
  • Surveys:
    • Questionnaires
    • Interviews
  • Observation
  • Experiment = A study in which the researcher creates at least one artificial condition, usually in the area in which he or she is interested in studying


This is the opposite of

  • Naturalistic study = A study in which no artificial conditions are created


experiments class workout
Experiments—Class Workout

Write down some preliminary thoughts about an experiment you can design to study the HIB of people from your team’s project

What would you try to find out?

What setting would you use?

What would you ask your participants to do?

What would you look at?

Time: 5 minutes


Survey = The collection of information from a sample of individuals through their responses to questions

Types of questions:

  • Closed questions: When the participants select the answers from a given set
  • Open-ended questions: when the participants answer in their own language
survey instruments
Survey Instruments
  • Questionnaire: The survey instrument containing the questions is a self-administered survey.
  • Interview Schedule: The survey instrument containing the questions is asked by the interviewer in an in-person or phone survey.

Examples of surveys in which you participated?

  • When is the one preferred to the other?
survey instruments class workout
Survey Instruments—Class Workout

Write a sample of three questions you would ask your participants in the team project

  • If you were to employ a questionnaire
  • If you were to employ an interview

Keep the questions for next class session

Time: 4 minutes


Observation = the researcher “witnesses” the phenomenon of study as it occurs via the use of the five human senses

Also called: field observation

Can you employ observation in your own team project? How?

level of participation
Level of Participation
  • Complete observer: No participation at all (can be obtrusive or unobtrusive)
  • Participant observer: Observation and interaction when the participants know the dual purpose of the researcher (obtrusive)
  • Covert participant: Observation and interaction when the participants do not know the dual purpose of the researcher (unobtrusive)
observation class workout
Observation—Class Workout

Suppose you plan to study the HIB of your participants through observation

  • Propose a very rough sketch of how to do the observation
  • Write down at least three problems you anticipate might interfere with your research

Time: 4 minutes