Education is a compendium of systematic instructions given at a school or university which is now regarded as a widespread determinant of a successful legacy. The systematic approach of gathering information in one's field is regarded as a Research method, which, indeed is a crucial part of education.
The information we have on subjects, courses, fields of study are all aftermaths of the efforts researchers brought to limelight, that is, the discoveries they made by critically observing scenarios and analyses to conclude on the data we now use today.
The influence of the research methods in education is a cogent factor that solidifies the authenticity of data and novel information we get daily; this accomplishment cannot and should not be undermined.
It only gives us hindsight on how vital research is in our lives. Without research, we would live in a world illustrated by propelling cases of ignorance and ambiguity. To understand this, we must appreciate what research is.
Let us have a breakdown of this terminology; “re” and “search”. “Search” is a verb that describes the action of looking or an attempt to find something, “re” is a prefix added to a word to indicate repetition.
Research is a way of deducing facts, theories, principles and making inquiries in an organized way to add to the general body of knowledge. Research is done to add to the extensive body of existing knowledge and contribute to policymaking — yes, adequate knowledge is needed to create befitting policies.
However, we cannot regard the mere collation of data as research if it does not possess certain qualities:
●Research work must be controlled. Research is a premeditated act that to successfully practice it, factors that may affect its outcome must be controlled. For instance, a researcher who is diving into the topic of human-related issues must have a defined scope of executing his research.
● The process of research must be rigorous. The researcher must ensure that certain research methods are undertaken suitably for the work to come out well.
● Research work is not research if it cannot be verified nor its validity cannot be ascertained. This means a body of research must be concrete and must also pertain highly to facts.
● In conducting research, works have to be relatable and not made up. The validity of research is complete if it is empirical (makes use of real-life experiences and data).
● Lastly, research has to be critical and endearing. The processes for carrying out such work must be strictly adhered to. Similarly, the sources used must go through precise screening before it is included in the research work.
To further infer how research works, let us examine the types of research methods and how crucial they are in molding the structures of research in different fields of study.
In education, there are two main types of methods used in research; they are Qualitative and Quantitative analysis. These modes form the basis of material research work. In order words, if qualitative or quantitative modes of research are not used in conducting research, then it is not plausible.
Why and how? These are the questions that this method answers. Qualitative analysis is concerned with data that cannot be counted. It is the literature characteristic of research; the metaphors, the theories, the principles, and phenomena. It seeks to create a deeper awareness of the topic therein, examining why or how certain things occur.
It is the complete opposite of quantitative analysis. This mode is exploratory, descriptive, and non-statistical while upholding a multifarious outlook. It includes a wider range of historical research, content analysis, case studies, grounded theories, and ethnographic narratives.
Nonetheless, since it is descriptive, it cannot be used to make generalizations. Concluded data from this can only be used to assume possibilities within a small sample of a population. This is why data in this sphere is attained with interviews or observations. Data in this mode is often subjective like nationality, gender, color, taste, appearance, etc.
This deals with numerical data and stats. It is more laconic than qualitative analysis and computed using statistical methods. Here, random sampling is customary and can be used to effectively decipher the decision of a population.
This mode is objective. It seeks to understand what happened in an event rather than how it happened and why. So, while qualitative data seeks a more in-depth understanding of the event, quantitative data wants to know what took place in numerical data.
The data can be expressed in a tabular form, diagrammatically using graphs or charts, which may include outcomes from surveys, experiments, and quasi-experiments. It is more concerned with measurable quantities, rather than descriptive, such as weight, age, length, speed, and many more.
Notwithstanding, to have complete research, the two methods are intertwined to give birth to accurate data. Since quantitative makes use of numerical data and lacks description, qualitative data helps in balancing the work thereby rendering both research methods crucial to inquiry and discernment of facts.
Research is an essential part of knowledge generation, and if done properly with the proper method, it becomes a dominant addition to the general body of knowledge. Research methods are the guides for undertaking research. However, the usage of both methods depends on the field of study one ventures in. In the courses that have more theoretical data, the best mode to adopt would be the qualitative analysis, whereas, in a course that has more numerical and precise data, the quantitative analysis would suffice.
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