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Research Methodology In Educational Research

Research Design: Today,we shall consider one of the component of a research methodology ,” Research Design”. Research design can be defined as the strategies or plans which a researcher adopts to enable him/her carry out his problem of investigation.Research design is used for the purpose of obtaining data to enable the researcher test hypotheses or answer research questions. It is an outline that guides the researcher in his effort to generate data for his study. In simple terms we can think of two approaches to investigations in educational research as quantitative and qualitative. Quantitative research is a means for testing objective theories by examining the relationship among variables. In this case we use numbers to describe the outcome. Quantitative research methods were originally developed in the natural sciences to study natural phenomena. However, examples of quantitative methods now well accepted in the social sciences and education include: – survey designs – experimental designs -correlational study – ex post facto designs Qualitative research is a means for exploring and understanding the meaning individuals or groups ascribe to a social or human problem. It is the best used to understand concepts and phenomenon, especially if little research has been done on the topic and research problem. Qualitative methodology is useful if the researcher does not know important variables to examine. In qualitative research design we use words to describe the outcomes. Qualitative research methods were developed in the social sciences to enable researchers to study social and cultural phenomenon. Examples of qualitative methods include: • Action Research aims to contribute both to the practical concerns of people in an immediate problematic situation and to the goals of social science by joint collaboration within a mutually acceptable ethical framework; • Case Study Research – a case study is an empirical enquiry that investigates a contemporary phenomenon within its real-life context; • Ethnography- the ethnographer immerses her/himself in the life of people s/he studies and seeks to place the phenomena studied in its social and cultural context. Some of the examples of research design are given as follows. *Historical Research Design – The Evolution of the Laptop Computer *Case and Field Research Design – Observations of Gifted Children in the Nigerian Classroom *Descriptive or Survey Research Design – The Public View of African Leaders *Correlational Research – Impact of Breastfeeding’s on Newborn Development *Causal-Comparative or Ex Post Facto Research Design – pupils with nursery education could be more fluent in spoken English than those who don’t have *Developmental or Time Series Research…

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Techniques for Organizing and Writing Literature Review

Organizing Your Literature Review The appropriate way to organize or arrange the information gathered to aid comprehension is by using SUB-THEMES OR HEADINGS. The sub-headings must be related closely to the research topic. Therefore, any information which does not fall under any of the chosen sub-themes is not included in the review. An example is provided as follows to show how you can organize the reviews. Suppose you have a research topic: Major Areas of Students’ Difficulties in SSS Chemistry. The review could be organized under the following sub-headings: Concept of physics and learning difficulty Secondary school Chemistry curriculum: Philosophy, Structure, Problem and Implementation Issues. Theoretical Framework (this should focus on cognitive theories of learning/learning difficulty) Review of Related Empirical studies Implication of the Review on the Present study Summary Writing a Good and Sound Literature Review Report for Your Educational Research Work When writing the review after extracting the information using your bibliographical card or the literature review summary sheet/table, make sure that for every section of the literature review, you should provide the following as suggested by Prof. Peter Okebukola (2019); An overview of the subject, issue or theory under consideration Those in support of a particular position, those against, and those offering alternatives theses entirely. Explanation of how each work is similar to and how it varies from others Conclusions as to which studies are best considered in their argument, are most convincing of their opinions and make the greatest contribution to literature in the area. The table below shows the difference between a poor literature review and a good ligature review. S/N Poor Literature Review Good Literature Review 1. Storytelling, descriptive and compilation of who did what, when and their findings-just like an annoted bibliography Report of critical analysis and synthesis of previous research and extract of unanswered questions. It is evaluative rather than mere description. 2. Narrow and Shallow Very Comprehensive in breadth and depth 3. Confusing, longwinded and uncoordinated Very clear, concise and arranged in themes or interconnected segments.   Sample of a Poorly Written Literature Review (storytelling & descriptive) Shehu and John (2015) asserted that research in science education in Nigeria has continued to seek better ways of implementation. Ahmed and Abimbola (2016) stated that poor teaching methods adopted by teachers is one on the major factors of poor performance. Abel and Ojukwu (2018) claimed that the persistent use of lecture method makes students passive rather than active learners. Similarly, Lalong (2014) asserted that among all science subjects offered at senior…

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Top 7 techniques for conducting a review of literature

Top  7  Proven techniques for conducting a review of literature The following steps will guide you on how to conduct the literature review for your research study; Break down the research topic into related sections or keywords Consult the preliminary sources such as Index, abstract and catalogue for relevant journal articles and textbooks and world wide web for online materials. Main sources of Educational Literatures include; Encyclopedias & dictionary: for accurate definition and for clearer understanding technical meaning of key terms/concepts in the study. Journals and Periodicals: They are primary source of lit. review. Contains original reports of research investigations carried out by the researchers themselves. They are indispensable in this activity. Books: They are secondary source of lit. Review for providing useful & detailed knowledge in the area the study intends to cover. Should not be dependent on solely. Conference papers, students’ projects & theses or dissertations: They are valuable source of information and mostly consulted by students. These materials should be used with caution to avoid duplicating the errors in the design of such works. Magazines and Newspaper: These also contain some useful information of current views and opinions of people in the particular area of interest could help you in the design and executing a better research. Internet/Online materials: The world wide web is a valuable resource for accessing the digital versions of the all other sources discussed above. However, it is not advisable to use opinion or posts from every type blog/website on the internet except there are from reputable website belonging to government or educational associations. Such informational or historical content may be suitable for the introductory section of the work and it should be used only when it became very necessary. To access reliable online materials for the review, use popular search engine (ICT Tools) such as: scholar.google.com google.com search.com altavista.com mamma.com questia.com msn.com 3. For those using the physical library, having acquired the necessary bibliographical data, then proceed to the serial section of the library to locate the materials (Journals or textbooks) while for online search, the materials are downloaded and printed out or saved in your computer hard drive or saved in a flash drive. 4. Read! Read!! Read!!! and make brief notes from the available references. While the intensive reading is going on, it is advisable to prepare a bibliography card for each book or journal article. Always start with the most relevant and recent or latest article Note taking should focus on the following: the problem,the Purpose of…

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An overview of Review of Literature

Review of literature is an exercise or activity in which a researcher tries to Identify, locate, read and evaluate report of previous relevant researches, published articles, research abstract, textbooks, encyclopedia, observation, opinions & comments related to his/her intended research topics in the area. The aim of this task is to provide you, the researcher with good knowledge of the state of art in the area you are working. The essence of this is to afford him the opportunity of knowing what areas have been covered, what remain to be covered, what techniques to employ in his/her investigation. This is an expanded discussion of what the discipline (your audience) already knows. This may include more developed discussions of definitions, histories, and/or theories. It may also make connections between similar research and display any contradictions that you found. It establishes for your reader that you understand the topic and that your contribution is valuable. The object of this portion of the paper is to explain the research thoroughly enough to allow your audience to understand the material without having to do any additional reading. To ignore this, therefore implies that you want to duplicate previous studies, use inappropriate techniques and you end up not contributing much to the advancement of knowledge. To further buttress the points above, review of literature is needed to help you as a researcher to:  i) understand previous studies, ii) sharpen your focus and iii) choosing the appropriate of method for carrying out your investigation. Some of the importance of conducting literature review in the research process is outlined as follow: To gain knowledge previous study of various research findings and research methodology to guide you in conduct of your present or future research To provide evidence that you are familiar with what is already known and what is still unknown and untested. To expose “gaps” or “missing links” in the existing body of knowledge. The way or means of filling this gap give rise to another topic. To help eliminate the duplication of what has been done and provides useful hypotheses and helpful suggestions for significant investigation. To provide citation that show substantial agreement and those that seem to present conflicting conclusions to help provide a background for the research study, and make the reader aware of the status of the knowledge in the area of study. To help you understand your research topic very well and develop your own ideas from the understanding gotten. Finally, to help you demonstrate your knowledge by finding out…

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Understanding Educational Research Process

Introduction to Educational Research Process Generally, the term, “Research” refers to a systematic search for answers to a particular question or problem (Okebukola,2014). This implies that for an activity to be regarded as research; it requires that a  problem must  be clearly recognized, it involves the determination of what is already known and where the gaps are, and also to fill the gap by collecting information in a scientific and objective manner. Educational research is done in order to explain and predict phenomena that impact upon teaching and learning and the operations of schools. It intends to bring about better understanding of education process that will lead to improvement of educational practices. Our working definition of research in this guide is that of Leedy (1997), which is of the opinion that, “research is an activity or process through which we attempt to systematically and with the support of data, give an answer to a question, the resolution of a problem or greater understanding of a phenomenon. Therefore, it is not about mere gathering of information or transformation of facts from one location to the other. The problem under investigation must be interesting to  you as the researcher. The characteristics of research given by Best and Khan (1995) summarized below must be borne in mind throughout the course of your investigation, if correct, rich, mature and quality research work is to be done. Research emphasizes: The development of generalizations, principles or theories that will be helpful in predicting future occurrences. The quest for answers to unresolved problems It is based upon observable experience or empirical evidence. It involves gathering of new data from primary or first-hand sources or using existing data for a new purpose. Is often characterized by carefully designed procedures that apply rigorous analysis. It is also characterized by courage, patient and unhurried activity. It is carefully recorded and reported. Requires expertise Strives to be objective and logical, applying every possible test to validate the procedures employed, the data collected and the conclusion reached.   As an educational researcher, it is necessary for you to understand the keys steps involved in the research process before embarking on learning, mastering and becoming skilled in the various techniques for carrying out the activities that each step is characterized. At this point we shall briefly run through the 7 simple steps in the educational research process; Step 1: Define the research problem The first step in the process is to identify a problem or develop a research question. The source…

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Top 3 keys to self improvement and motivation

What are the three keys to self improvement and motivation? 1. INSPIRATION. Inspiration is critical to staying motivated and improving oneself. If you are not interested in your business, your motivation level will never be high and you will not be able to sustain interest for very long. Take an honest look at your inspiration level. Are you excited about going to work or is it an obligation? You would be surprised at the number of people who choose a business that looks good on paper, but in reality does not interest them in the least. These individuals will grow weary and uninterested pretty quickly because they have no inspiration or passion to sustain them during the difficult times they will encounter as a small business owner. If you do not like your work, then think how you can re-focus your small business to better match your needs. Or consider making a change entirely. Without inspiration, there will not be motivated to even try self improvement. 2. SETTING GOALS. Short and long-term goal setting is vital for any business owner. If you do not set goals, you would have no definite purpose on which path of self improvement to take. How could you possibly be motivated if you were unsure about the direction of your company? Take the time to put your goals in writing. A business plan may sound daunting, but it is really nothing more than goals, strategies, implementation and a budget. Write your own business plan and update it at least annually. Include “mini-goals” that can be accomplished in a matter of hours, days or weeks as well as the more ambitious “grand-goals” that may take years to complete. Refer to this plan throughout the year. But can a business plan really help motivate you? Of course. Written goals will make you feel more professional and certainly more connected to your business. It will also free you from having to reinvent your business goals every single day. 3. NETWORKING. Another key factor in getting and staying motivated is networking with other small business owners. No one person knows all the knowledge. However, when a number of people begin working together, the challenges will just be there waiting to be conquered. In fact, the isolation of working alone is of one the most difficult parts of being an entrepreneur. You can never be on your way to self improvement without the help of others. Mutual support is motivating. Make it easier on yourself by connecting with…

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