The research design is the overarching strategy for connecting the numerous components of a study in a coherent and logical manner in order to ensure that the research problem is addressed and solved effectively. The research design also serves as the blueprint for data collection, measurement, and analysis.
Keep in mind that the research design you should use is dictated by the study’s difficulty and help to carry out research in a positive manner. The research design is the framework within which a researcher chooses his or her study, methodologies and procedures, and it enables researchers to focus on processes that are appropriate for the subject matter at hand and to establish the basis for the success of their investigations.
Purpose of Research Design
The main purpose of a research design is to establish a framework for examining the causal relationships between independent and dependent variables. The classic controlled experiment exemplifies a well-designed study and is a method for addressing a research subject. The research design grew into a technique of research that includes a strategy for carrying out that plan. While research design and methodologies are distinct, they are intimately related, because sound research design ensures that the data you collect will help you answer your research question more successfully.
List of Research Designs Used In Academic Research
Design of Action Research
The principles of action research design follow a distinct cycle in which an exploratory position is initially taken, followed by the development of knowledge of a problem and the formulation of plans for some type of strategy. Then the intervention the “activity” in action research occurs, during which significant observations are gathered in a variety of ways. The new interventional tactics are implemented, and this cyclical process is repeated until enough comprehension of or a viable implementation solution for the problem is obtained. The procedure is iterative or cyclical in character and is designed to promote a deeper understanding of a specific situation by beginning with the conceptualization and particularization of the problem and progressing through many treatments and evaluations.
Design of Case Study
A case study is a detailed examination of a research problem, as opposed to a broad statistical survey or a complete comparative investigation. It is frequently used to condense a large body of information into one or a few easily researched examples. Additionally, the case study research design is advantageous for determining if a theory or model applies to real-world occurrences. It is a beneficial design when little information about an issue or phenomenon is available.
Design of Causal Research
Causality studies can be viewed as an attempt to comprehend a phenomenon using conditional statements of the form “If first X, then Y.” This type of research is used to ascertain the effect of a certain modification on pre-existing norms and assumptions. The majority of social scientists seek causal explanations that correspond to the results of tests of hypotheses. A causal effect arises when fluctuation in one phenomenon, an independent variable, causes or results in variation in another phenomenon, the dependent variable, on average.
Design of Cohort Studies
This type of research design is often employed in the medical sciences but also in applied social sciences, a cohort study is research undertaken over a period that involves members of the population from which the subject or representative member comes and who share some commonality or likeness. Rather than researching statistical occurrence within the overall population, a cohort study makes note of statistical occurrence within a specialized subgroup that is united by the same or similar features relevant to the research subject under investigation. Cohort studies often collect data through observational methods within a qualitative framework. Cohorts are classified as “open” or “closed.”
Design of Cross-Sectional Research
Cross-sectional research designs are defined by three characteristics: the absence of a time dimension; a focus on existing differences rather than on change as a result of intervention; and group selection based on existing differences rather than random assignment. Cross-sectional designs can only detect variations between or within groups of persons, subjects, or phenomena, not processes of change. As a result, researchers utilizing this strategy can only make very passive assumptions about causal relationships based on their data.
Design of Descriptive Research
Descriptive research designs aid in elucidating the who, what, when, where, and how of a given research problem; but a descriptive study cannot conclusively determine why. The purpose of descriptive research is to elicit information about the existing state of a phenomenon and to describe “what exists” in terms of variables or conditions in a situation.
Design of Experimental Research
The experiment research design is defined as a procedure’s blueprint that lets the researcher exert complete control over all variables that could affect the outcome of an experiment. The researcher is attempting to ascertain or forecast what may occur. Experimental research is frequently employed when a causal link has a time priority (cause before effect), when the causal relationship is consistent (a cause always results in the same effect), and when the correlation is large. The classic experimental design stipulates the existence of an experimental and a control group. The experimental group receives the independent variable but not the control group, and both groups are measured on the same dependent variable. Subsequent experimental designs included a greater number of groups and a greater number of measures over a longer period. Control, randomization, and manipulation are all necessary components of true experiments.
Design of Exploratory Research
When there are few or no prior studies to refer to or rely on to predict an outcome, an exploratory research design is used. The emphasis is on gathering insights and familiarity in preparation for further study or when research challenges are in the pre-investigation stage. Exploratory designs are frequently used to gain a better idea of how to proceed with a study or what methodology would be most effective for gathering information about an issue.
Design of Field Research
Often referred to as ethnography or participant observation, field research designs incorporate a variety of interpretative procedures e.g., observation and interviews, that are rooted in qualitative approaches to studying people individually or in groups while they are in their natural environment, as opposed to using survey instruments or other impersonal data collection methods. The information gathered through observational research is documented in the form of “field notes,” which detail what the researcher really sees and hears while out in the field. Because field research entails the examination of words and observations of behavior, findings do not consist of conclusive statements obtained from numbers and statistics. Thus, conclusions are produced as a result of an interpretation of facts that highlight recurrent themes, concepts, and ideas.
Design of Historical Research
A historical research design’s objective is to gather, verify, and synthesize material from the past in order to establish facts that either support or reject a theory. It draws on secondary sources and a variety of primary documentary evidence, including diaries, official records, reports, and archives, as well as non-textual sources like maps, photographs, audio, and visual recordings etc. The constraint is that the sources must be authentic and legitimate.
Design of Longitudinal Study
A longitudinal study conducts repeated observations on the same sample throughout time. For instance, longitudinal surveys question the same group of people at regular intervals, allowing researchers to track changes over time and link them to variables that may explain why the changes occur. Longitudinal study approaches assist identify the direction and magnitude of causal links by describing patterns of change. Each variable is measured over two or more distinct time periods. This enables the researcher to track the evolution of variables throughout time. It is a sort of observational study that is occasionally called a panel study.
Design of Meta-Analysis Research
Meta-analysis is an analytical technique for methodically evaluating and synthesizing the results of many individual studies, thereby boosting the overall sample size and the researcher’s ability to examine desired effects. The objective is not to summarize current information, but to use synoptic reasoning to generate a fresh understanding of a research subject. The primary goals of the meta-analysis are to identify discrepancies in results across studies and to improve the precision with which effects are assessed. A well-designed meta-analysis is contingent on rigorous adherence to the selection criteria and the availability of data in each study to adequately assess their conclusions. Due to a lack of knowledge, the types of analyses and conclusions that can be drawn are severely limited. Additionally, the greater the dissimilarity between different research’ results [heterogeneity], the more difficult it is to defend the interpretations that govern a meaningful summary of data.
Design of Mixed-Method Research
Mixed methods research is a strategy for examining a research problem rather than a methodology and is defined by a focus on research problems that necessitate, comprehension testing of real-world themes, multi-level observations, and cultural impacts, deliberate use of complex detailed research to determine the size and quantity of construction and rigorous qualitative research to obtain meaning and understanding of construction and the deliberate use of intensive and quantitative research.
Design of Observational Study
In some cases where the investigator has no control over the experiment, this sort of study design derives a conclusion by comparing individuals to a control group. Observational designs fall into two broad categories. People are aware that you are watching them when making direct observations. Unobtrusive measures refer to any technique used to study behavior in which subjects are unaware they are being monitored. An observational study provides valuable insight into a phenomenon and circumvents the ethical and practical obstacles associated with establishing a large, cumbersome research effort.
Design of Philosophical Research
Philosophical analysis and reasoning are intended to challenge deeply rooted, frequently intractable, assumptions that underpin a field of study. This approach employs argumentation tools derived from philosophical traditions, concepts, models, and theories to critically examine and critique, for example, the relevance of logic and evidence in academic debates, the analysis of arguments about fundamental issues, and the discussion of the underlying causes of existing discourse about a research problem. These overarching analytical tools can be framed in three distinct ways.
Design of Sequential Research
Sequential research is conducted in a methodical, phased manner, with each stage building on the preceding one until enough evidence is obtained over an interval of time to test your hypothesis. The sample size is not fixed in advance. After analyzing each sample, the researcher might choose to accept the null hypothesis, the alternative hypothesis, or re-run the study with a different pool of people. This means that the researcher may collect an infinite number of participants before deciding whether to accept the null or alternative hypothesis. Sequential research, when conducted within a quantitative framework, collects data by sampling approaches and analyses it using statistical methods. Generally, sequential studies employ samples of individuals or groups of individuals and collect data from each sample using qualitative methods such as interviews or observations.
Design of Systematic research
The systematic review or research is a study process that identifies previously published research on a well-defined subject, which is typically generated from a public policy or clinical, practice-based problem. The design process entails identifying and critically evaluating each identified study’s contribution, analyzing and meticulously synthesizing the data, and reporting the evidence in a form that enables clear judgments about what is and is not known. A systematic review is not a standard literature review, but rather a self-contained research endeavor that employs previous studies to investigate a clearly stated research subject. A systematic review is distinguished from other review approaches by the application of specific and stringent standards to the evaluative process of examining existing material.
This concludes our discussion of this article, which explored various types of research design and their purpose, hope you can now readily distinguish between them and plan your research work appropriately in your academic and research careers. KRS is an academic collaborative research platform that supports your professional development by routinely releasing new content.
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