Research Design and Methodology

Research design should be planned to yield objective results. It involves all the methods, techniques and procedures of doing research. Research design involves a set of decisions regarding:
  • what topic is to be studied,
  • among what population,
  • with what research method (s) and for what purpose.
Research design is the blueprint for the collection, measurement, and analysis of data or the plan and structure of investigation so conceived as to obtain answers to research questions. It includes, among others, sources of information, the design technique (e.g., a survey, field experiment, a case study, etc), sampling methodology, methods, techniques and procedures of data collection and data analysis, validity and reliability and ethical considerations. We can tell you which research design to use, why you should select the design and what possible challenges or limitations in design will require your attention. When more than one way exists to approach the design, we will discuss the methods we have rejected and why our selected approach is superior. When designing a research project, it is useful to begin by assessing: (1) your interest, (2) abilities, and (3) available resources. Some methods are better suited to the study of certain questions than others. Others might be clearly inappropriate to your research question. If your capabilities and skills are in the quantitative (or qualitative) methodology, it is not wise to use the qualitative (or quantitative) methodology and vice versa.
Different types of research designs have different advantages and disadvantages. The method you choose will affect your results and how you conclude the findings. Quantitative research designs attempt precise measurement of something. They focus on describing, explaining and predicting. Ideally, the research should be constructed in a manner that allows other researchers to repeat the experiment or study and obtain similar results.
Qualitative methodology seeks to understand people’s meanings placed on their living experiences; it requires designs that delve deeply into people’s hidden interpretations, understandings and motivations, and is designed to tell the researcher how (process) and why (meaning) things happen the way they do. Qualitative designs or strategies include descriptive, case Study, ethnography, phenomenological, grounded theory, content analysis and action research.


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