Table of Contents
Research enhances the generation of new knowledge through a systematic investigation of a particular phenomenon to establish facts to facilitate discovery of ne knowledge and conclusions. However, research cannot be complete without a sound research design that can logically guide a researcher to answer research questions and, thereby give the study coherence and validity. A research design refers to the methods of gathering and analyzing appropriate data to adequately tackle the research problem through the help of formulated research questions. The paper seeks to examine the various types of research designs and, ultimately select the most appropriate research design for study by using existing peer reviewed research journals.
Types of Research Designs
Action research refers to the systemic investigation of social phenomena with an intention of generating new knowledge that can provide solutions to the social issues that affect the day-to-day lives of the people (Stringer, 2004). Action research is widely accepted in education since it entails an analytical, investigative, and evaluative approach that seeks to find the root cause of problems in schools that include the following; instructional, academic, or organizational. The investigative approach in action research enhances the development of practical approaches that enable educators to conduct their activities in an efficient and effective manner (Baskerville and Wood-Harper, 2016).
Ethnographic is a type of research designs that employs observations, documents, and interviews to collect data on personal experiences of an entity in a given period. Ethnography encompasses the study of social behaviors, interactions, and perceptions that take place within communities, groups, communities, and organizations. Researchers use ethnographic research design as an approach to coming up with new variables and paradigms, which enhances the testing of new knowledge through quantitative research methods (Goulding (2005).
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A narrative research design is an approach entails capturing of experiences and various dimensions of individuals while taking into context the link between culture and the individual experiences. Narrative inquiry is a social research method that enhances the collection and analysis of qualitative data based on the people’s experiences as told through their stories (Creswell & Miller, 2000). Case study research design involves the investigation of a specific phenomenon, which is part of the case in a given study. Case study research design enhances the understanding and evaluation of complex issues (Yin, 2013). Moreover, a case study research design makes it possible for the researcher to undertake a robust and in-depth research with a view of realizing a holistic and explanation and examination of phenomenon.
A phenomenological research design is an approach in social research that tries to understand individual’s perspectives and perceptions concerning a given phenomenon by trying to understand how people view particular experiences (Goulding, 2005). Simply put, a phenomenological study seeks to inquire the experiences that an individual underwent with a view of establishing an individual’s perception and what people see externally. Grounded theory is a research design used by researchers to solicit for qualitative data with a view of building theory (Charmaz, 2011). In other words, grounded theory provides a methodological data collection and analysis path, which researchers use before making new conclusions that form inductive foundation for formulation of new theories. Some of the researchers associated with this theory include (Goulding, 2005).
Action Research and Peer Reviewed Journals
It is a matter of fact that most researchers in education prefer action research because of its practicality and nature of studies involved. For instance, it enables educators to gather data in a classroom setting and analyse it with a view of assessing the effectiveness of the teaching methodologies or strategies. Action research is a unique research design in social sciences and more specifically in education compared to all other research designs. Korat and Shamir (2012) while conducting a study on indirect and direct teaching, used action research to establish the extent to which the use of e-books enhanced the learning of vocabulary, comprehension, and word reading. The established from the study that there was significant relationship between the use of e-books and enhancement of vocabulary and word reading. Conversely, Korat and Blau (2010) used action research when conducting a study on the relationship between early literacy and repeated use of CD-ROM storybooks. The analysis of the study findings established that e-books enabled kindergarten children to realize early literacy in the spheres of word reading, phonological awareness, and vocabulary. It is thus evident that action research enables researchers to establish the efficiency of a given education strategy to enhance the performance of students.
It is for the reasons stated above and the nature of research that I decided to select action research for conducting my study to determine the effectiveness of my instruction practices and strategies. Therefore, the methodology of the study will use action research design to conduct the research.
It is evident from the above analysis of various research designs that undertaking research requires adoption of the right research design that conform to the methodology of the study. Adoption of the appropriate research design enhances collection of suitable data, a factor translates to better analysis and discussion as well as drawing of conclusions. Fundamentally, choosing the right research design enables researchers to conceptualize the problem statement in tandem with review literature by reflecting on the research questions or hypothesis to form the basis of developing a data collection tool that will enhance collection of appropriate data and creation of new knowledge.
- Baskerville, R. L., & Wood-Harper, A. T. (2016). A critical perspective on action research as a method for information systems research. In Enacting Research Methods in Information Systems: Volume 2 (pp. 169-190). Springer International Publishing.
- Charmaz, K. (2011). Grounded theory methods in social justice research. The Sage handbook of qualitative research, 4, 359-380.
- Creswell, J. W., & Miller, D. L. (2000). Determining validity in qualitative inquiry. Theory into practice, 39(3), 124-130.
- Goulding, C. (2005). Grounded theory, ethnography and phenomenology: A comparative analysis of three qualitative strategies for marketing research. European journal of Marketing, 39(3/4), 294-308.
- Korat, O., & Blau, H. (2010). Repeated Reading of CD-ROM Storybook as a Support for Emergent Literacy: A Developmental Perspective in Two SES Groups. Journal Of Educational Computing Research, 43(4), 445-466.
- Korat, O., & Shamir, A. (2012). Direct and Indirect Teaching: Using E-Books for Supporting Vocabulary, Word Reading, and Story Comprehension for Young Children. Journal Of Educational Computing Research, 46(2), 135-152.
- Stringer, E. T. (2004). Action research in education. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Merrill/Prentice Hall.
- Yin, R. K. (2013). Case study research: Design and methods. Sage publications.