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Understanding design in educational research

  • What is educational research?

    Educational research is a systematised process of inquiry to solve a problem which is related to teaching and learning or issue of study. After reviewing the literature, selection of research design, the collection of data, an interpretation of information, the report is finally published in the educational communities for the general audiences.

    What is research design?

    The design provides the structure and technique for any educational research keeping in mind the limitations of time, money, location and available resources. The research design is to develop a strategy that you plan to put the elements of study coherently. This strategy helps to define the research problem and analysis of results correctly. The type of design in educational research you would use depends on the research problem.

    Importance of understanding design in educational research

    Planning is essential in every field of life. Proper preparation takes you to the right course of action. Likewise, planning and constructing design is vital in educational research. You must first decide on how you plan to design the study because it is the guide in your quest from beginning to end. In simple words, research design enlightens how you will find the answers to your research problem. It provides logic and reasoning to your research question. It is like a roadmap which takes you to your required destination.

    The main function of the research design in educational research is to construct a practical plan to go through various steps of research. Furthermore, another important function of research design is to ensure accuracy, validity and reliability in various steps of research. It has a significant impact on the validity and reliability of the results. It enables you to mark the mistakes early on and make the alterations before it’s too late. Thus, it minimises inaccuracy and saves your precious time.

    Any error in the research design can cost you a lot. It may upset the whole research process because it is the initial pre-planned sketch for answering the research problem. The entire study depends upon the research design. So it is imperative to develop the research design carefully and cautiously.

    Selecting the correct research design

    Good research does not happen by chance. It needs careful designing and execution. You must select the most relevant research design that suits your problem the most. You must also know the weaknesses and limitations of the selected research design. One design may be suitable for one study, but it may not be the best option for another study. Picking up the correct research design ensures.

    • Less time consumption
    • Proper research tenure period
    • Research in a systematic, efficient, smooth and organised way
    • Proper resource planning
    • Removal of marginal errors

    Some commonly used research designs include:

    1. Descriptive study: this includes naturalistic observation, surveys and case-study.
    2. Correlational research: it includes case-control study, observational study etc.
    3. Semi-experimental: It involves quasi-experimental studies)
    4. Experimental study: when research involves controlling variable - dependent and independent variables - to examine the effect of some interventions.
    5. Review: it involves studies based on systematic literature review or appraisal of previous studies to establish some sort of evidence or argument over a concept or situation.

    References

    Fabian, B. (2016, November 15.) What is the importance of research design in scientific research? Retrieved October 27, 2017, from the web

    (2015, August 23.) Selecting a research design | Main functions of a research design. Retrieved October 27, 2017, from the web

    Anthony, E. K. (2003, January 01.) Theme Issue: The Role of Design in Educational Research. Retrieved October 27, 2017, from the web

    Leann, Z. (2017, July 18.) 7 Reasons Why Research Is Important. Retrieved October 27, 2017, from the web

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