STA426 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
3 + 3 Hours/Week, 3 Credits
Elements of research: concepts, definitions and scope of research. Research question, target population and study population. Research methods and methodology, research ethics, desirable qualities of research, research question, research objectives, research hypotheses, operational definition. Research ideas: role of literature review. Inductive approach, deductive approach, complementary of inductive and deductive approach, wheel of science. Research approaches and types: quantitative and qualitative approaches of research. Idea about various types of research under qualitative and quantitative approaches according to different criteria. Research process: conceptual, empirical and analytical phases of research. Problem identification, literature review, setting objectives and hypothesis, selection of research design and sample design, data gathering, data processing and analysis, and report writing. Detailed study of important research designs: exploratory studies – secondary data analysis, experience survey, pilot study, case study, focus group discussion. Descriptive studies – cross-sectional, longitudinal, trend, panel study, baseline study, impact assessment, feasibility study designs. Causal studies – comparative, case-control, cohort. Experimental studies: concepts of randomization, grouping, matching, advantages and disadvantages over non-experimental designs, validity in experimentation. Study on experimental research designs – pre-experimental, true-experimental and quasi-experimental. Sample design: choice of correct sampling methods and sample size determination. Data gathering: quantitative data collection techniques – interview method, mail method, telephone surveys; qualitative methods of data collection – observation, in-depth interviews, case studies, focus group discussions. Key informant interview, participatory rural appraisal. Questionnaire design and construction: types of questions, framing of questions, sequencing questions, construction of a model questionnaire, question wording, guidelines for avoiding poor question wording. Idea about planning and implementation of a research study: time and financial budgeting, logistics of data collection, recruitment and training of the enumerators, field work supervision and quality control of data. Data processing and analysis: editing, coding, data entry, validation check, imputation of variables, tabulation plan, data analysis. Reliability and validity in measurements: initiation of model building, measurement error, test for sound measurement, reliability and its measurements, validity and its types, measurements of validity; stability of the model over the population, construction of measurements scales. Report writing: types of reports, design and structure of reports, introductory section, main body, concluding section, tables and graphical presentations, references and bibliography. Research proposal: request for proposal, term of reference, components of a proposal, evaluation of proposal.