What is Research? “A STUDIOUS ENQUIRY or examination especially a critical and exhaustive investigation or experimentation having for its AIM the DISCOVERY OF NEW FACTS and their correct interpretation, the newly discovered facts or practical application of such conclusions, theories or law. It is a PROCESS leading to increased understanding of a topic through data collection and interpretation.
Classification of Research: Based on Time –Cross Sectional –Longitudinal
Classification of Research: Based on Contribution to Knowledge –Basic adds fundamental knowledge –Applied attempts to understand real problems Solve a problem, make a policy decision, evaluate a project Action research is a special type of Applied Research
Classification of Research: Based on Purpose –Exploratory (little known about a problem) The objective is to gain preliminary information –Descriptive (concepts already known) The research objective is to measure and describe phenomena –Causal (problem clearly defined) The research objective is to describe and measure causality
Classification of Research: Based on approach to acquiring knowledge –Qualitative –Quantitative
Contrasting Characteristics of Qualitative and Quantitative Research (Source: Wiersma, 2000) Qualitative Research Designs Quantitative Research Designs Inductive InquiryDeductive Inquiry Understanding Social Phenomena Relationships, Effects, Causes Atheoretical or Grounded Theory (not based on existing theory or based on data collected) Theory-Based (based on existing theory)
Contrasting Characteristics of Qualitative and Quantitative Research (Source: Wiersma, 2000) Qualitative Research Designs Quantitative Research Designs Holistic Inquiry (concerned with the big picture) Focused on Individual Variables Context-SpecificContext-Free (Generalisations) Observer-ParticipantDetached Role of Researcher Narrative DescriptionStatistical Analysis
The Research Process 1 A Question Is Posed Or An Area Of Need Is Identified What is the relevance to Jamaica of the IT course taught at UTECH?
The Research Process 2 The question or need is converted to a clearly stated research problem or topic. Are IT graduates of UTECH increasing the profitability of Jamaican companies to which they are employed?
The Research Process 3 The researcher formulates possible answers or hypotheses. UTECH graduates are increasing the profitability of Jamaican companies to which they are employed.
The Research Process 4 The literature is searched. What have others found? How did they tackle the topic? Is the answer already known? Can I use or modify their method?
The Research Process 5 Methods for solving the problem are developed. Should I conduct a survey of companies that have employed UTECH students? How can I be sure that the UTECH students had or did not have an effect? What is the scope and limitations of the study?
The Research Process 6 Data are collected. 7 Data are analysed. 8 Data are interpreted.
The Research Process 9 Conclusions are drawn as to whether the data support of refute the hypothesis. UTECH graduates are increasing the profitability of some Jamaican companies to which they are employed but not all.
The Research Process 10 More questions are raised. What are the factors that affect the ability of UTECH IT graduates to make a positive impact in the companies to which they are employed?