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MWENGE CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY

(MWECAU)

FACULTY OF EDUCATION

DEPARTMENT OF UNDERGRADUATE STUDIES IN EDUCATION

EDU 209: EDUCATION RESEARCH METHODS

2017

kitula07@gmail.com
Course Goal
The goal of this course is to equip the student with skills in planning and conducting research to
answer different problems arising in education context

Expected Learning Outcomes.


By the end of this course each student should be able to:-

1. Explain how research is classified


2. Distinguish the two major paradigms in research
3. Describe the main stages of the research process
4. Apply appropriate research designs and methodologies
5. Critically evaluate projects of peers and other researchers
6. Use various sampling appropriate for assignment of subjects to the sample
7. Design and use various instrument in collecting data
8. Develop research proposal for his or her project
9. Demonstrate ethical principles in research activities
10. Use appropriate strategies in analyzing data
11. Write a research project report and present it appropriately

Course Contents
1. Introduction
2. Major paradigms in educational research
3. Formulation of research problem
4. Literature review
5. Research designs
6. Sampling procedure
7. Developing and using various research instruments
8. Data collection and analysis
9. Writing a research report

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Course Goal ................................................................................................................................................... i


Expected Learning Outcomes. ....................................................................................................................... i
Course Contents ............................................................................................................................................. i
CHAPTER ONE
MEANING OF RESEARCH AND RELATED CONCEPTS
Introduction................................................................................................................................................... 1
Meaning of Research .................................................................................................................................... 1
Ways of Acquiring Knowledge .................................................................................................................... 1
Characteristics of Scientific Research .......................................................................................................... 4
Classification of Research............................................................................................................................. 6
Meaning of Educational Research ................................................................................................................ 8
The Role of Research in Educational Programmes ...................................................................................... 8
Areas for Educational Research .................................................................................................................... 9
CHAPTER TWO
RESEARCH PARADIGMS
Introduction................................................................................................................................................. 10
Types of Research Paradigm ...................................................................................................................... 11
Differences between qualitative and quantitative research paradigms ....................................................... 19
CHAPTER THREE
FORMULATION OF A RESEARCH PROBLEM
Introduction................................................................................................................................................. 20
What is a Research Problem? ..................................................................................................................... 20
Sources of a Research Problem................................................................................................................... 20
Characteristics of a Good Research Problem.............................................................................................. 21
Formulation of a Research Topic................................................................................................................ 21
Statement of the Problem ............................................................................................................................ 22
Research Questions ..................................................................................................................................... 22
Research Hypothesis ................................................................................................................................... 23
Significance of the Study ............................................................................................................................ 26
Operational Definitions............................................................................................................................... 27
CHAPTER FOUR
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
Introduction................................................................................................................................................. 27
Meaning of Literature Review .................................................................................................................... 27
Importance of Literature Review ................................................................................................................ 28
Qualities of an Effective Literature Review ............................................................................................... 28
Sources of Literature Review...................................................................................................................... 29

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CHAPTER FIVE
RESEARCH DESIGNS
Meaning of Research Design ...................................................................................................................... 29
Qualitative Designs ..................................................................................................................................... 30
Qualitative Designs ..................................................................................................................................... 35
CHAPTER SIX
SAMPLING PROCEDURE
Introduction................................................................................................................................................. 36
Population ................................................................................................................................................... 36
Sample ........................................................................................................................................................ 36
Sampling ..................................................................................................................................................... 36
Types of sampling....................................................................................................................................... 36
CHAPTER SEVEN
DEVELOPING AND USING VARIOUS RESEARCH INSTRUMENTS
Introduction................................................................................................................................................. 41
Questionnaire .............................................................................................................................................. 41
Interview Schedule ..................................................................................................................................... 44
Structured Interview Guide ......................................................................................................................... 45
In-depth Interview Guide ............................................................................................................................ 45
Observation Guide ...................................................................................................................................... 46
Document Analysis Guide .......................................................................................................................... 46
Achievement Test ....................................................................................................................................... 46
CHAPTER EIGHT
DATA ANALYSIS
Introduction................................................................................................................................................. 47
Quantitative Data Analysis ......................................................................................................................... 47
Qualitative Data Analysis ........................................................................................................................... 51
CHAPTER NINE
RESEARCH PROPOSAL DEVELOPMENT
Introduction................................................................................................................................................. 53
Functions of a Research Proposal ............................................................................................................... 53
The structure of the Proposal ...................................................................................................................... 53

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CHAPTER ONE

MEANING OF RESEARCH AND RELATED CONCEPTS

Introduction
Research is a word, which seems to be used more and more these days. Generally, it is simply
used to mean, Finding out some things. For example before one sends his/her child to school,
it would be sensible to find out, which is the best school for the child. This systematic inquiry of
the knowledge about the schools is called research. This chapter explores the nature of research
focusing on the meaning of research, educational research, and types of research, methods of
research, characteristics of research and the importance of research.

Meaning of Research
The word research is composed of two syllables, re (meaning again) and searches (meaning
to examine closely and carefully). Grinnell (1993) defines research as a careful, systematic,
patient study and investigation in some field of knowledge, undertaken to establish facts or
principles. A structured inquiry utilizes acceptable scientific methodology to solve problems and
create new knowledge that is generally acceptable.

Kothari (2004) defines research as a movement from the known to the unknown. It is actually a
voyage of discovery. We all possess the vital instinct of inquisitiveness for, when the unknown
confronts us, we wonder and our inquisitiveness makes us probe and attain full and fuller
understanding of the unknown.
Generally, research is a scientific and systematic procedure of collecting, analyzing and
interpreting data about a phenomenon. The application of scientific procedures in carrying out
the investigation about a given phenomenon differentiates research from other ways of acquiring
knowledge.

Ways of Acquiring Knowledge


There are main three ways through which a person may acquire knowledge about a particular
phenomenon; these includes traditional methods, reasoning method and scientific methods.

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1. Traditional or everyday method

Everyday ways or methods of knowing are based on faith, accepting things at face value.
When a person relays on knowledge that he/she has not questioned or tested, he/she is using
everyday way method of knowing. These methods (ways) include; authority, tenacity
(custom/tradition), mystical method and personal experience.

1) Authority: This method depends on established belief. It involves believing in something


because one has faith in the person who said it. Authority could be an elder, a political leader, a
religious leader or even a professor.
2) Tenacity (Custom/Tradition) People often cling to their beliefs in the face of clearly
conflicting facts. They even go to the extent of inferring new knowledge from beliefs that
may be false. Many people tend to believe things simply because most people in their society
assume them true.
3) Mystical Method: In this method, some people believe that the correctness of the
knowledge is assumed to reside in a super-natural source. Hence, some people claim that the
supernatural power can reveal this knowledge to some people like seers and prophets.
4) Personal Experience: This is ones encounter with the surrounding environment. Just as
it is said experience is the best teacher, some people always hold as true what they have
experience. For example, a person who has been harassed by a police will always hold that
police are bad people.

Limitations of Traditional Methods


a. No attempt is often made to control external variables when explaining the causes of events
b. Information is accepted on face value without questioning or testing
c. The methods are subjective and individualistic
d. Knowledge generated through these methods are static
e. Some information generated through these methods are not verifiable

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2. Reasoning
Reasoning is the ability to expound ones thoughts logically and arrive at conclusions.
Rationalists believe that knowledge is innate in human beings & pure reason is sufficient to
produce verifiable knowledge. There are two major processes of reasoning; these are inductive
and deductive reasoning.
I. Inductive reasoning is the process where a small observation is used to infer a larger
theory, without necessarily proving it. Thus starting with a specific piece of information
or limited number of specific events and expand it to a broad hypothesis. [KNOWN TO
UNKNOWN]. It involves formulation of generalization based on observation of limited
number of specific events. Thus, generalization is drawn based on observation of limited
number of specific events.
For example:

1. A priest, therefore all seminaries in the world are headed by priests heads every seminary in
this country.
2. Moshi, Hamis, Nyoni and Daudi who teach mathematics studied mathematics at college.
Therefore, all mathematics teachers studied mathematics at college.
II. Deductive reasoning involves arriving at the specific conclusions based on priory or
self-evident proposition.
For example:

1) Seminary performs well in public examinations. Don Bosco is a seminary therefore Don
Bosco performs well in public examination.
3. Scientific Methods
The word science is derived from the Latin noun Scientia (meaning knowledge) and the
verb Scire (meaning to know). Science is all knowledge collected by means of the scientific
methodology (Nachmias & Nachmias (1992). In this method of enquiry, the researcher
systematically investigates a problem following some principles.

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Characteristics of Scientific Research
For any study to qualify being a scientific research, it must have but not limited to the following
characteristics.

a. It is empirical. It means that any conclusions drawn are based on hard evidence gathered
from information collected from real life experiences or observations. The answer to a
question is not derived by intuition or imaginations but it is admitted only when it is
based on evidence (Kimia).
b. It is systematic and logical. This implies that the procedure adopted to undertake an
investigation follow a certain logical sequence. The different steps cannot be taken
anyhow but some procedures must follow others. Observations are done systematically
one at a time, starting with description, explanation and finally prediction.

c. It is replicable. Since the observation is objective, anyone carrying out a study in the
same circumstances should come up with the same findings. This characteristic allows
research results to be verified by replicating the study and there by building a sound basis
for decisions.

d. It is accurate. is also the degree to which each research process, instrument and tool is
related to each other. Accuracy also measures whether research tools have been selected
in best possible manner and research procedures suits the research problem or not. For
example if you find that population less cooperative the best way is to observe them
rather than submitting questionnaire because in questionnaire either they will give biased
responses or they will not return the questionnaires at all.
e. It is controlled.in real life experiences there are many factors that affect an outcome. A
single event is often a result of several factors. When similar event is tested in research,
due to the broader nature of factors that affect that event, some factors are taken as
controlled factors while others are tested for possible effect. In pure sciences, it is very
easy to control such elements because experiments are conducted in laboratory but in
social sciences, it becomes difficult to control these factors because of the nature of
research however, these factors should be acknowledged by the researcher.

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f. It is question oriented. A research should be conducted in a view of providing answers
to a particular question. It is directed by a research question or problem and several
specific questions. These questions might spring from observation of natural or social
phenomena, a practical concern or gaps in what is reported in previous research studies
and other scholarly literature.

g. It is public. Because findings from scientific research may be used to make decisions
that affect people and society, scientific research must be open to public scrutiny, and
examination and criticism by other scholars

h. It is Objective. This means that the research should be free from the bias that could
prevent an objective study. Hence the researcher should take each step in an unbiased
manner and drawn each conclusion to the best of his or her ability and without
introducing his or her own stake. The researchers should seek for observable evidence
and accept the findings even when those results are contrary to their own opinions.
However, in the usual sense of the term (to mean observation that is free from emotion,
conjecture, or personal bias), objectivity is rarely, if ever, possible (Singleton and Straits,
1999).
i. It is generalizable. Research findings can be applied to larger population to this extent.
When a researcher conducts a study, he/she chooses a target population and from this
population he takes a small sample to conduct the research. This sample is representative
of the whole population so the findings should also be. If research findings can be, apply
to any sample from the population, the results of the research said to be generalizable.

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THE SCIENTIFIC PROCEDURE

PROBLE
M

Research
Generalization Design

Data Analysis Measurement Design

Data Collection

Classification of Research
Research can be classified from three perspectives
i. Application of the research
ii. objectives in under taking the research
iii. Inquiry mode employed.

Classification by Application
If research is examined from the perspective of its application, there are two broad categories
basic research and applied research.

a. Basic Research. Involves developing and listening theories and hypothesis that is
intellectually challenging to the researcher but may not have practical applications now or in
future. The knowledge produced through basic research is sought in order to be added to the
existing body of knowledge.
b. Applied Research. is a research that is direct and immediate relevant to administrators,
addresses issues which they see as important and is presented in a way that they understand and

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can acts on. It aims at finding a solution for an immediate problem facing a society or
community such as a school. Applied research can further be divided into three sub-types; these
include action research, operational research, and development.
1) Action Research: in education, action research is a systematic study of an educational
situation with a view of improving the quality of educational practice. The main purpose of
action research is to solve educational problems through the application of scientific
methods.
2) Operational Research: is used to compare educational interventions that are designed to
achieve similar objectives. For example, an operational research can be design to test
whether female students would have more positive attitude toward schooling if they admitted
in single sex schools compared to those in mixed schools.
3) Research and Development is carried out in order to develop effective educational products
such as pupils textbooks, teachers guides, media programs and teaching strategies.

Classification by Objectives in Undertaking the Research


If a research study is to be classified from the perspectives of it objectives, it can be grouped as
descriptive, correlational, explanatory, and exploratory.
a. Descriptive Research. this attempt to describe systematically a situation, problem,
service or program. Example the research may describe the type of learning and teaching
resources present in a given school. Lets say ten science teachers and five text books.
The aim of this research is to describe what is present with respect to an issue underway.

b. Correlational Research. This is used to discover or establish the existence of


relationships between two or more aspects of a situation. Example what is the
relationship between teaching methods used and students academic performance?

c. Explanatory Research. this attempts to clarify why and how there is a relationship
between two aspects of a situation. For example the research may attempt to find why
students get library services performs better than students with no library services.

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d. Exploratory Research. This is undertaken with the objective to explore an area where
little is known. It is carried down if the researcher has little or no knowledge about a
particular phenomenon.

Classification by Mode of Inquiry


In this perspective, there are two types of research namely qualitative research and
quantitative research.
i. Quantitative Research is based on the measurement of quantity or amount. It is
applicable to phenomenon that can be explained in term of quantity, it is more
appropriate to determine the extent of a problem.
ii. Qualitative Research is concerned with qualitative phenomena such as the ones relating
to quality or kind such as human behavior, motivation, and attitudes. It more applicable
in behavioral science where the aim is to discover the underlining motives of human
behavior.

Meaning of Educational Research


Educational research involves a systematic collection, analysis and interpretation of data about
learning and teaching for the purpose of describing, explaining and predicting the objectives or
behavior of the study.

The Role of Research in Educational Programs


1. It develops new knowledge that is applied to the improvement of education practice. For
example, the results of Piagets basic research in intellectual development in children have
guided curriculum developers in linking the teaching of concepts closely with childs mental
abilities.

2. Educational research aims at solving problems. A problem is an intellectual challenge that


requires a solution through the collection and analysis of data because the knowledge that we
possess at that point in time is not adequate to explain the phenomena. Consequently, a
solution to the problem will constitute an advancement of knowledge.

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3. Systematic educational research adds to the body of knowledge about education by providing
meaningful descriptions and trustworthy explanations about complex educational
phenomena. Educational research is thus needed to extend the growth of education. It does
this by developing new theories. A theory has been defined as a generalization about a
phenomenon, an explanation of how or why something occurs.

4. Educational research aims at providing general explanation Why? questions. For instance,
educational researchers ask for an explanation for why a given behaviour has taken place.

5. Educational research gives an accurate account of the characteristics of a particular program.

6. Research involves the systematic collection of information to describe, predict, control or to


explain the phenomena involved.

7. It identifies constraints to the implementation of an education program.

8. Research can be used to determine actions and innovations that have an impact on the target
group.

Areas for Educational Research


1. Curriculum and instructional material development. Before the curriculum is
developed, research should be conducted to determine the needs of the learners in order
to help the curriculum developers to come up with a curriculum, which is suitable to the
learners and the society in general. Research at this stage will help the curriculum
developers to identify: General level of knowledge, skills and attitudes of students in
different subjects, Topics that should be learnt and why they should be taught, Categories
of students that should learn different topics, Categories of teachers who should teach the
identified topics in different classes, Instructional methods to be used.
2. Curriculum implementation. Research can also be undertaken on the implementation of
the curriculum in educational institutions. Research at this stage provides information on
the quality of teachers, school climate, quality of the methods used in teaching and the
general teaching that takes place in schools.
3. Curriculum evaluation. Research into curriculum evaluation is concerned with
determining the effectiveness, relevance and efficiency of the evaluation system. Some

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of the areas these studies focus on are performance of students in different subjects,
relative effectiveness of different methods of assessment and item analysis

CHAPTER TWO

RESEARCH PARADIGMS

Introduction
Kuhn, (1962) defines a paradigm as a dominant way of conceptualizing phenomena and of
approaching it methodologically.

According to Cryer (1996), a research paradigm as a school of thought, or a way of thinking


about the nature of truth as it can be realized from a piece of research.

Bogdan &Biklen (1998) define a paradigm as a loose collection of logically related assumptions,
concepts or propositions that orient thinking and research

Mertens (1998) defines a paradigm as a way of looking at the world from a philosophical
assumptions that guide, direct thinking and action.

From these definitions, a paradigm is a system of understanding or a viewpoint that shapes the
conduct of research. It provides philosophical, theoretical, instrumental and methodological
functions for conducting research and in addition provides researchers with a platform from
which to interpret the world. This is in accordance to the philosopher of science Kuhn (1962)
who postulated that scientific disciplines exist in paradigms or sets of basic beliefs about what
constitutes reality and counts as knowledge. Therefore a paradigm acts as a guide and commits
the researcher to particular research designs, sampling procedures, data collection, methods of
data analysis, presentation and interpretation of the findings.

According to Blanche &Durkheim (2002), paradigms define for researchers the nature of their
enquiry along three dimensions: ontology, epistemology and methodology.

Ontology specifies the nature of the reality that is to be studied, and what can be known about it.

Epistemology specifies the nature of the relationship between the researcher (knower) and what
can be known.

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Methodology specifies how the researcher may go about studying whatever he or she believes
can be known.

Positivism Post-Positivism
Ontology One reality exists and it is the Reality exists but it can only be known imperfectly
researchers job to discover that because of the researchers human limitations.
reality
The researchers and the subject Theories, hypotheses and background knowledge held
Epistemology of study do not influence each by the investigator can strongly influence what is
other (they are independent) observed.
Use experimental methods Quasi-experimental methods used because many of the
Methodology similar to those used in the assumptions required for rigorous application of the
natural science scientific method are not appropriate.

Types of Research Paradigm


There are two main types of research paradigms; these are

i. Quantitative research paradigm and


ii. Qualitative research paradigm.
The term quantitative and qualitative research paradigms emerged from two opposing
views about the nature of knowledge. The proponents of quantitative research assume
that there are stable social facts with a single reality, separated from the feelings and
beliefs of people. The proponents of qualitative research on the other hand assume that
there are multiple realities, which are socially constructed through individual and
collective perceptions and beliefs.
Quantitative Research
Quantitative research is an objective, systematic numerical examination and interpretation of
data to obtain information about the world for the purpose of describing and explaining the
reality of the phenomena that those observations reflect.

Quantitative research is based on positivistic thought. According to positivists, a statement is


considered meaningful and true if it can be verified by sense experience. Quantitative research is
based on statements such as anything that exists in certain quantity and can be measured.

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Features of Quantitative Research

1. Quantitative research yields data that are quantifiable. It normally wants to know the
frequencies of occurrence of an event and percentage of people involved such as the number of
children dropped out of primary school, percentage of students who obtained grade B and above
in a public examination.
2. Quantitative research requires large samples of individuals. Researchers go to great lengths
to ensure that they are really measuring what they claim to be measuring. For example, if the
study is about whether background music has a negative impact on restlessness in students in
town schools, the researchers must be clear about what kind of music to include the volume of
the music, what they mean by restlessness, how to measure restlessness and what is considered a
negative impact. This must all be considered, prepared and controlled in advance
3. Quantitative researchers tend to analyze data deductively which tends to move from the
general to the specific. This is sometimes referred to as a top down approach. The validity of
conclusions is shown to be dependent on one or more premises (prior statements, findings or
conditions) being valid. Example of deductive reasoning was: All men are mortal Kitula is a man
Kitula is mortal. If the premises of an argument are inaccurate, then the argument is inaccurate.
4. Quantitative research methods are concerned with theory testing or theory verification.
Before data is gathered, the features of the study are clearly defined and identified. The
researcher knows in advance what he or she is looking for and the researcher remains
independent of what is being studied and separated from the subjects of the study.
5. Since in real life experiences there may be many factors that affect an outcome. A single
event is often a result of several factors. When similar event is tested in research, due to the
broader nature of factors that affect that event, some factors are taken as controlled factors while
others are tested for possible effect. In pure sciences it is very easy to control such elements
because experiments are conducted in laboratory but in social sciences it becomes difficult to
control these factors because of the nature of research however these factors should be
acknowledged by the researcher.

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Strength of Quantitative Research

1. Can generalize research findings when the data are based on random samples of sufficient
size.
2. Can generalize a research finding when it has been replicated on many different populations
and subpopulations.
3. Useful for obtaining data that allow quantitative predictions to be made.
4. The researcher may construct a situation that eliminates the confounding influence of many
variables
5. Data collection using some quantitative methods is relatively quick (e.g., telephone
interviews).
6. Provides precise, quantitative, numerical data.
7. Data analysis is relatively less time consuming (using statistical software).
8. The research results are relatively independent of the researcher (e.g., effect size, statistical
significance).
9. It may have higher credibility with many people in power (e.g., administrators, politicians,
people who fund programs).
10. It is useful for studying large numbers of people.

Weaknesses of Quantitative Research

1. The researchers theories that are used may not reflect local constituencies understandings.
2. The researcher may miss phenomena occurring because of the focus on theory or hypothesis
testing rather than on theory or hypothesis generation (called the confirmation bias).
3. Knowledge produced may be too abstract and general for direct application to specific local
situations, contexts, and individuals

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Qualitative Research
Denzin and Lincoln (1994) define qualitative research as a multi-method in focus which
involving an interpretive naturalistic approach to its subject matter. This means that qualitative
researchers study things in their natural settings, attempting to make sense of or interpret
phenomena in terms of the meanings people bring to them.

Therefore, qualitative research is a systematic collection, analysis and interpretation of data in


order to provide description and accounts of social events and objects of research in their natural
settings. Qualitative research is normally used to answer questions about the complex nature of
phenomena with the purpose of describing and understanding such phenomena from the
participants point of view. Qualitative research is therefore, fundamentally interpretive
meaning that the researcher interprets the data and then draws conclusions about its meaning
(Creswell, 2003, p. 183).

Features of Qualitative Research

1. It provides descriptions and accounts of the processes of social interaction in natural


settings. Thus, it is more interested in describing processes than outcomes. Researchers do not
bring individuals in a laboratory nor do they typically send out instruments for individuals to
complete but the information is gathered by talking directly to people and seeing them behave
and act within their context. Therefore, the researcher has a face-to-face interaction with the
respondents.
2. The research process for qualitative researchers is emergent. This means that the initial plan
for research cannot be tightly pre-described and that all phases of the process may change or shift
after the researchers enter the field and begin to collect data. The key idea behind qualitative
research is to learn about the problem or issue from participants and to address the research to
obtain such information.
3. Qualitative research uses observational techniques and interview methods on small
samples of target groups to gain in-depth understanding of a programmed, project or educational

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activity. In the entire qualitative research, the researcher keeps a focus on learning the meaning
that the participants hold about the problem or issue and not the meaning that the researchers
bring to the research or writers form the literature.
4. Qualitative research use purposeful sampling: This involves searching for cases or
individuals who meet a certain criterion, e.g., that they have a certain disease or have had a
particular life experience which the researcher is interested to study. For example, a colleague of
mine is doing research with men who have been clients of sex workers; then only men who meet
such criterion will be sampled to participate in the study.
5. Researches using qualitative research methods strive to understand projects, Programed, or
situations as a whole. Researchers try to develop a complex picture of the problem or issue under
study by involving reporting multiple perspectives, identifying the many factors involved in a
situation, and generally sketching the large picture that emerges. Researchers are not bound to
cause and effect relationships among factors but rather by identifying the complex interactions of
factors in any situation.
6. In qualitative research, the researcher is the key instrument. This means researchers collect
data themselves through examining documents, observations and interviewing participants. They
may use an instrument for collect data but they are the ones who actually gather the information
and do not rely on questionnaires or instruments developed by other researchers.
7. Qualitative researches typically gather multiple forms of data such as interviews,
observations and documents rather than relying on a single data source. Then the researcher
reviews all the data and makes sense of them organizing them into categories or themes that cut
across all of the data sources.
8. Qualitative research uses inductive data analysis. Qualitative researchers build their
patterns, categories and themes from the bottom-up by organizing the data into increasingly more
abstract units of information. This inductive process involves researchers working back and forth
between the themes and the database until they establish a comprehensive set of themes. It may
also involve collaborating with the participants interactively so as they have a chance to shape
the themes or abstraction that emerge from the process.

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Strengths of Qualitative Research
1. The researcher can use the primarily qualitative method of grounded theory to generate
inductively a tentative but explanatory theory about a phenomenon.
2. Can determine how participants interpret constructs (e.g., self-esteem, IQ)
3. Data are usually collected in naturalistic settings in qualitative research
4. Qualitative researchers are responsive to changes that occur during the conduct of a study
(especially during extended fieldwork) and may shift the focus of their studies as a result.
5. Qualitative data in the words and categories of participants lend themselves to exploring how
and why phenomena occur.
6. One can use an important case to demonstrate vividly a phenomenon to the readers of a report.
7. Qualitative approaches are responsive to local situations, conditions, and stakeholders needs.
8. It is useful for studying a limited number of cases in depth.
9. It is useful for describing complex phenomena.

Limitations of Qualitative Research

1. Knowledge produced may not generalize to other people or other settings (i.e., findings may
be unique to the relatively few people included in the research study).
2. It is difficult to make quantitative predictions.
3. It is more difficult to test hypotheses and theories.
4. It may have lower credibility with some administrators and commissioners of programs.
5. It generally takes more time to collect the data when compared to quantitative research.
6. Data analysis is often time consuming.
7. The results are more easily influenced by the researchers personal biases and idiosyncrasies

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There is another type of research, which combines the techniques of both qualitative and
quantitative research. It is called a mixed method research.

Mixed research is a recent development, which involves the mixing of quantitative and
qualitative research methods, procedures and techniques in undertaking research in a way that
the resulting mixture or combination has complementary strengths and non-overlapping
weaknesses. It is a class of research where the researcher mixes or combines quantitative and
qualitative research techniques, methods, approaches, concepts or language into a single study.
In mixed research for example, the researcher uses the quantitative research paradigm for one
phase of a research study and the qualitative research paradigm for another phase of the study.

For example, a researcher might conduct an experiment (quantitative) and after the experiment
conduct an interview study with the participants (qualitative) to see how they viewed the
experiment and to see if they agreed with the results.

Alternatively the researcher may mix both qualitative and quantitative research approaches
within a stage of the study or across two of the stages of the research process for example, a
researcher might conduct a survey and use a questionnaire that is composed of multiple closed-
ended (quantitative type items) as well as several open-ended (qualitative type items)

Strengths of Mixed Research

1. Words, pictures, and narrative can be used to add meaning to numbers.


2. Numbers can be used to add precision to words, pictures, and narrative.
3. Can provide quantitative and qualitative research strengths.
4. Researcher can generate and test a grounded theory.
5. Can answer a broader and more complete range of research questions because the researcher
is not confined to a single method or approach.
6. A researcher can use the strengths of an additional method to overcome the weaknesses in
another method by using both in a research study.

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7. Can provide stronger evidence for a conclusion through convergence and corroboration of
findings.
8. Can add insights and understanding that might be missed when only a single method is used.
9. Can be used to increase the generalizability of the results.
10. Qualitative and quantitative research used together produce more complete knowledge
necessary to inform theory and practice.

Limitations of Mixed Research

Can be difficult for a single researcher to carry out both qualitative and quantitative research,
especially if two or more approaches are expected to be used concurrently; it may require a
research team.
Researcher has to learn about multiple methods and approaches and understand how to mix
them appropriately.
Methodological purists contend that one should always work within either a qualitative or a
quantitative paradigm
More expensive and time consuming.

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Differences between qualitative and quantitative research paradigms
Qualitative paradigm Quantitative paradigm
Overall purpose Overall purpose
Explain and gain insight and understanding of Explain, predict/or control phenomena through
phenomena through intensive collection of focused collection of numerical data
narrative data
Approach to inquiry Approach to inquiry
Inductive value-laden (subjective) holistic and Deductive, value free (objective) focused and
process oriented outcome oriented
Hypothesis Hypothesis
Tentative, evolving and based on particular Specific, testable and stated prior to particular study
study
Review of related literature Review of related literature
limited, does not significantly affect particular Extensive, does significantly affect particular study
study
Design and methods Design and methods
Case study, ethnography, phenomenology, survey (cross sectional, longitudinal), ex-post facto,
biography, grounded in theory correlation, experimental (true & quasi)
Research setting Research setting
Naturalistic to the highest degree possible Controlled to the highest degree possible
Sampling Sampling
Non-probability sampling (purposive, Probability sampling (simple random, stratified
snowball, quota ,convenience) sampling, cluster sampling, multi- stage sampling)
Types of data Types of data
Non- standardized, narrative and on going Standardized, numbers
Data collection instruments Data collection instruments
Participant observation guide, in-depth Questionnaire, structured interview guide,
interview guide, focused group discussion achievement test
guide, document analysis guide (It uses the
human instrument -the observer to collect,
filter and organise incoming data.)
Data analysis Data analysis
Raw data are words, analysis is on-going, it Raw data are numbers , it involves statistics-
involves synthesis and narratives frequencies, percentages, means & SDs
Data interpretation Data interpretation
Conclusions are tentative, the findings may be Conclusions are predetermined and the findings are
transferable but not generalizable generalizable

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CHAPTER THREE
FORMULATION OF A RESEARCH PROBLEM

Introduction
This part presents in detail the elements of chapter one of a research work. As it will be
discussed latter when looking on the format of a research report, chapter one is called an
introductory chapter and it starts with background to the problem.

What is a Research Problem?


A research problem is an intellectual challenge or a question of interest, which can be
answered through collection, analysis and interpretation of data. For example one may wonder
whether gender carrier selection among male and female students or whether there is a
relationship between teachers qualification and students performance in a given subject.

A proper definition of research problem will enable the researcher to be on the track whereas an
ill-defined problem may create hardness. Questions like: What data are to be collected? What
characteristics of data are relevant and need to be studied? What relations are to be explored?
What techniques are to be used for the purpose? Can be well answered only when the research
problem has been well defined. Thus, defining a research problem properly is a prerequisite for
any study and is a step of the highest importance.

Sources of a Research Problem

1. Direct observation

2. Personal experience

3. Research report/literature

4. Conference and debates

5. Theories

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Characteristics of a Good Research Problem
Before embarking on a major task of formulating a research topic, one should assess whether the
problem:

1. Is researchable

2. Has contemporary significance

3. Can contribute to new knowledge

4. Has the potential practical use

5. Has no ethical controversy that may affect the completion of the study

Formulation of a Research Topic


The research topic is the most read part of the proposal; therefore, care should be taken when
formulating it because it gives the first impression and will influence the vital decision and
predisposition of the readers about the whole work. The readers will develop negative opinion
towards the proposal and may remain biased when the topic is confusing, clumsy, vague or
inappropriate regardless of the worth hidden in the document. The topic should therefore not be
too short, vague or general and should it be neither too long nor complicated.

Guidelines for a good research topic


When formulating a research topic make sure that:

1) The most important words are clearly brought out in the topic
2) The words written in the topic reflect what are in the proposal
3) The words are accurate, concise and specific
4) The topic is easy to understand
5) The topic should not be formulated using abbreviations or formulae
6) The topic should follow the model approved by ones university
7) Unless otherwise, the topic should not contain waste words such as an investigation
into, an examination of , a study of.,

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Statement of the Problem
The statement of the problem is one of the sections, which is very important in a proposal. A
good statement of the problem should contain three informations the statement of social needs,
the statement of knowledge gap and the statement of the researchers intention (categorical
statement).

The first part of the statement of the problem the researcher should show that there is a social
need which this study intends to address or which requires research. The second part should
show that among the literature that the researcher reviewed, nothing seems to provide sufficient
answers to the problem being investigated. In the last part the researcher should state the
researchers intention showing an action which the study intends to do. For example this study
will investigate..

The statement of the problem is the focal point of any research. It is just one sentence (with
several paragraphs of elaboration).

RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The research question is a statement of what a researcher hopes to have learned by time the
researcher completes the program of research. These are specific questions delivered from the
research problem, which the researcher intends to find answers. A research question can help to
identify the variables under consideration and determine the type of data that will need to be
collected.

The questions may be formulated using the words:

What
How.
To what extent.

What are the attitudes of ...?

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RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
Hypothesis is an intelligent guess about a research problem clearly stated in a way that clearly
shows a relationship that exist among dependent and independent variables.

TYPES OF HYPOTHESIS
There are three types of hypothesis:

1. Conceptual hypothesis
2. Experimental research and
3. Statistical hypothesis.
Conceptual Hypothesis
This is a statement about the relationship between theoretical concepts. These are mainly ideas
that can never be directly tested because they cannot be measured. They must be operationalized
or made measurable before they are tested. For example, discipline facilitates academic
achievement or negative attitude retard development.

Experimental Research Hypothesis


This is a statement about the expected relationship between observable or measurable events.

An experimental research hypothesis states expected relationships between independent and


dependent variables. For example, rewards after an accomplishment of a task increase the
frequency of the performance of the task.

Statistical Hypothesis
This hypothesis states an expected relationship between the numbers representing statistical
properties of data such as the mean, variance and correlation.

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WAYS OF STATING THE HYPOTHESIS
There are two forms of stating the hypothesis: The null and the Alternative forms.

1) The null hypothesis


The null hypothesis states that there is no relationship or significant difference between the
variables studied. The aim of testing is to show that the hypothesis is false and thereby accept the
alternative hypothesis. The null hypothesis refers to the guess the researcher tests and hopes to
prove wrong, reject or nullify.

For example, there is no significant difference in the academic performance of students who
attend private schools and those who attend public school in national examinations.

The null hypothesis specifies the expected value of a single population parameter or the expected
relationship between two or more parameters. Null Hypothesis is symbolized by H0.

2) The alternative Hypothesis


Alternative hypothesis states that there is a significant relationship or significant difference
between the dependent and independent variables.

In research, the null hypothesis is tested, and if rejected, the alternative hypothesis is accepted.
Alternative hypothesis is the opposite of null and it is symbolized by H1.

Qualities of an Effective Hypothesis


An effective hypothesis has the following qualities:

1. It should be possible to reject or not to reject the hypothesis through collecting and
analyzing data
2. It must be testable with available techniques
3. It should be able to show the relationship between two or more variables
4. It should relate with the research problem.

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Sometimes it happens the researcher may reject the null hypotheses when it is true or not to
reject it when it is false. This leads to typ-1 and type-2 errors.

Type one error occurs when the null hypothesis is rejected while it is TRUE and

Type two errors occur when the null hypothesis is not rejected while it is FALSE.

As we have seen above, a hypothesis is a tentative explanation about the relationship between
independent and dependent variable, let us now describe these variables.

Variables
According to Ogula P, (1998) a variable is a type of quantity that may take on more than one
value. Examples of important variables in social science are sex, level of education, religion
affiliation, social class, intelligence and achievement. Sex is a variable because it can be
differentiated by two distinct values that is male and female; similarly level of education can be
differentiated by five distinct values, which are, no schooling, some primary education, some
secondary education, completed secondary education and college/ university education.

In research, researchers work with two types of variables that is dependent variable and
independent variables while taking care of other variables apart from the independent variable
that might influence the dependent variable (extraneous variables).

Independent variables are the conditions characteristics that an experimenter manipulates or


controls in his/her attempt to ascertain their relationship to observed phenomena. An independent
variable is the one, which its manipulation results into change in the other variable (dependent
variable).

Dependent Variables are the conditions or characteristics that appear, disappear, or change as
experimenter introduces, removes or changes independent variables. These are the measured
changes attributable to the influence of the independent variables.

For example, the researcher may seek to find out if there is a relationship between a teaching
method and students performance. In this study, teaching methods are the independent variables
and students performance being the dependent variable. Then through changing the teaching
methods, the researcher may measure the changes in students performance to see whether there
is an association between these two variables.

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While conducting this study, there might be other conditions happening together with the
independent variable that may influence the changes on students performance. For example
students may be having new books from other schools, being taught by their parents at home or
becoming mature and seeing the importance of education. All these things might affect the
results and are termed as extraneous variables.

Extraneous variables are the ones apart from the independent variables that may have a
significant influence on the dependent variable. Many research conclusions are questionable
because of the influence of these extraneous variables.

Significance of the Study


This section requires the researcher to outline and briefly explain the potential usefulness of the
study to the various stakeholders like the ministry of education, the schools, teachers, students
and the community.

This section creates a perspective looking at the problem. It points out how the study relates to
the larger issues and uses a persuasive rationale to justify the reason for the study. It makes the
purpose worth pursuing. The significance of the study answers the questions:

Why is the study important


To whom is it important
What benefits(s) will occur if the study is done

Scope and Delimitation

Research is about time and financial resources hence there is a need for the researcher to draw
boundaries that he or she is able to accomplish effectively within a given time with the available
resources.

Scope and delimitation requires the researcher to indicate in depth the length of the study, that
can be in terms of years, geographic converge or content.

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Conceptual Framework

In the conceptual framework, the researcher is required to illustrate and explain the relationship
among the variables he or she is dealing with. This is a diagrammatic representation of the
relationship between the study variables. It is better if the diagram is drawn with reference form
the study theory (theoretical framework).

Theoretical Framework

In theoretical framework, the researcher is required to relate his or her study to some theories,
which the study will be grounded in. The researcher starts with identifying the theory, explaining
it, stating its strength and limitations and finally stating why he or she has opted for it and how
he or she will apply it in his or her study.

Operational Definitions
This involves contextualizing the words used in the study that have more than one meaning. For
example, the word like primary school is different in Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria etc. or the word
like sister, which could mean religious nun, a female sibling or a rank in nursing.

CHAPTER FOUR

REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE

Introduction
Before conducting a study, it is critical for the researcher to look at the existing research that is
significant to the work that the researcher will be carrying out. Thus, the researcher has to
examine documents such as magazines, books, journals and research reports that have a bearing
on the study being conducted. This part analyzes the importance of literature review and gives
the sources of literature in research.

Meaning of Literature Review


Literature review is a comprehensive survey of existing research and theories that relate to the
proposed study for the purpose of identifying the knowledge gap and gaining a more
`understanding about the aspect under study.

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Literature review makes the second chapter (chapter two) of a research proposal/report which
consists of three aspects

1. Review of related theories where the researcher analyzes theories that relate to his or her
study,
2. Review of empirical studies where the researcher presents works of other researcher that
relate to his or her study and
3. Demonstration of knowledge gaps where the researcher identifies the existing gap of
knowledge that he or she intends to fill through collection, analysis and interpretation of
data in his or her study.

Importance of Literature Review


1. It enables the researcher to determine studies that have already been done thus avoiding
duplication.
2. It makes it possible for the researcher to identify research strategies and instruments,
which have been found effective in investigating the problem.
3. It helps to identify gaps of knowledge thus to conduct research on the same topic.
4. It helps in the interpretation of the findings of the study.

Qualities of an Effective Literature Review


An effective literature review should have but not limited to the following qualities

1. It justifies the need for the study: an effective literature review identifies the gaps in the
studies quoted
2. It highlights the relationship between the past and the current study.
3. It defines the research problem
4. It is up to date

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Sources of Literature Review
1. Scholarly Journals. A scholarly journal is the researchers primary reference material.
Journals publish research in a specific social science disciplines including education.
2. Research Reports. Research reports contain findings of research studies. They have two
main advantages over scholarly journals. First, they contain information that is more
detailed and second, research appears sooner in reports than in journals.
3. Dissertations. Most students dissertations and theses report are their own original work
and are therefore useful primary source documents.

4. Scholarly Conference Papers. Research presented at professional meetings also can


provide useful information to researchers.

5. Professional Books. Some books include original research articles. Many books contain
information that can introduce the topic ideas in the scholarly literature.

CHAPTER FIVE

RESEARCH DESIGNS

Meaning of Research Design


A research design is a strategy for planning and conducting a study. According to this
understanding, research designs are blueprints that guide the planning and implementation of the
research.

In quantitative research, research designs are specified before conducting research and cannot be
changed once research has started but in qualitative research, designs are more flexible thus, the
researchers are free to change the research design when the research is being carried out.

When a researcher wants to select an appropriate design for his or her study he/she has to put
into considerations the purpose of the study, the main research question, the research paradigm
as well as the research methods to be employed in collecting and analysing data. Therefore,
research designs can be categorized as being quantitative designs or qualitative designs.

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Quantitative Design
a. Survey Design
A survey is a research study of a large number of subjects drawn from a defined population
whereby data are collected from the members of a given population for estimating one or more
population parameters. A survey research is characterised by a systematic collection of data
from members of a given population through questionnaires and structured interview guides with
the purpose of describing specific characteristics of a large group of persons, objects or
institutions.

For example, a researcher might want to investigate the attitude of secondary school students in
Moshi municipality towards science.

Types of Survey Research Designs

There are three types of survey research designs namely cross-sectional design, longitudinal
design and correlational design.

1. Cross-sectional Design
In this method, data are collected from the target population or sample at one time. This kind of
survey is appropriate when the researcher wants to get information at one point in time to
describe the current characteristics of a sample. Unlike longitudinal studies, cross-sectional
studies do not consume a lot of time for completion hence less expensive.

2. Longitudinal Design
This involves collection of data from the sample at several points in time. In this method, the
same group of people, e.g. secondary school students, is studied over a specified length of time.
This method aims at understanding the changes that are taking place in the research subjects or
group.

3. Correlational Design
These studies are used to describe in quantitative terms the degree to which two or more
variables are related. Correlational studies involve the collection of data on two or more

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variables on the same group of subjects and computing a correlation coefficient. If two variables
are highly related, s

Cores on one variable can be used to predict scores on the other variable. For example, Tanzania
Certificate of Primary Education Examination scores can be used to predict National form four
Examination scores.

b. Ex-Post Facto Design


The phrase ex-post facto, means after the fact. It is called ex-post facto because both the cause
and the effects are studied after they have already occurred. This type of study examines whether
one or more pre-existing conditions have caused differences between subjects who experienced
different types of conditions. An Ex post facto study is non-experimental, but it examines cause
and effect relationships. It is non-experimental because there is no manipulation of the
independent variable and it is suitable in investigating causal relationships when an experiment is
not possible. In ex-post facto research, it is not possible to randomly assign subjects to the two
groups neither is it possible to manipulate and control variables

For example, a researcher may observe that girls have performed better than boys on a maths test
perform and set out to identify the major factor, which has led to this difference.

c. Experimental Design
An experiment is a controlled project conducted for the purpose of testing a hypothesis or
determining the effect of one variable on another. In an experimental study, the researcher selects
two groups, an experimental group and a control group. The experimental group receives a new
treatment, while the control group receives normal treatment. The subjects in the control group
should be identical in every way possible to the experimental group. Therefore, experimental
design requires that subjects must be randomly assigned to experimental and control groups.

The main purpose of experimental research is to study causal links; to determine whether a given
variable x has an effect on another variable y, or whether changes in one variable produce
changes in another variable.

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The main strengths of the experimental method include;

it enables the research to assess the effects and impacts of programme activities in a controlled
area or environment, data obtained can be subjected to sophisticated statistical analysis, the
experimental method measures not only opinion, but the actual effects of the programme
weaknesses and in experimental research, the investigators have control over other variable
which might influence the results of the study.

The features of experimental studies include;

Randomisation, Manipulation and Control.

Randomisation The researcher randomly assigns participants to different groups.

Manipulation The researcher does something at least to some of the participants in the
research.

Control The researcher introduces one or more controls over the experimental situation.

In experimental studies, the researcher randomly assigns the study participants into two groups;
control group and experimental group. Then the two groups are compared before the treatment
using a pre-test. In experimental studies, one group, the experimental or treatment group receives
the treatment; the other group, a control group, receives a neutral treatment. Then after the
researcher manipulates the independent variable to the experimental group leaving the control
group with a placebo. Finally, after the treatment, the two groups are compared again by means
of a pots test to see a difference exists between the experimental and the control group as results
of manipulating the independent variable.

Kinds of Experimental Design

There are three kinds of experimental designs namely; pre-test-post-test control group design,
post-test-only control group design; and Solomon four-group design.

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i. Pre-test Post-test Random Control Group Design
In this design, subjects are firstly randomly divided into two groups followed by pre-test, which
is administered to both the experimental group and the control group. Then after the
experimental group receives the treatment while the control group does not. Finally, at the end of
the treatment, a post-test is administered to both groups as described below.

R E O1 T O2

R C O3 - O4

R=Randomization
E= Experimental group
C=Control group
O1 & O3 =pre-test
O2 & O4 =post-tests
T= treatment
Example if a researcher wants to determine the effectiveness of a technique of teaching Christian
religious education to secondary school students (form 2) he should randomly assign students to
two groups; an experimental group and a control group. Both groups should be pre-tested. The
new technique used to teach the experimental group for say a month and both groups post-tested.
Both the pre-tested means and post-test means can then be compared by using the t test to
determine if there is any systematically significant difference between them

ii. Post-Test Only Random Control Group Design


This is a design in which subjects are matched and randomized and a control group is used, but
with no pretest.

R E T O2
R C - O4
R=Randomization
E= Experimental group
C=Control group
O2 & O4 =post-tests

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T= treatment

iii. Solomon Four Group Design


This design combines the pre-test-post-test control group and the post-test-only control group
designs. This is one of the most powerful designs available for controlling threats to the validity
of cause and effect inferences.

In this design, four groups are randomly selected from the population making two experimental
groups and two control groups.

R E O1 X O2
R C O3 - O4
R E - X O5
R C - - O6

R=Randomization,
E= Experimental group
C=Control group
O1& O3=Pre-tests
O2, O4, O5 & O6 = Post-tests

d. Quasi Experimental Design


This design is used where random selection and assignment of members in to the two groups is
not possible. In quasi-experimental design, the researcher decides who should be in the
experimental group and who should be in the control group. In this method, the experimental and
control groups are not randomly selected but instead are pre-existing intact groups, such as
classrooms.

In many situations in educational research, for example it is not possible to randomly assign
subjects to control and experimental groups. Neither the school system nor the parents would
want a researcher to decide to which classrooms students were assigned. Therefore, the
researcher has to use the already existing groups in carrying out his/her study.

34
Qualitative Designs
a. Biography
Denzin (1989) defines the biographical method as the studied use and collection of life
documents that describe turning point moments in an individuals life. Thus, it is a study of a
persons life, which the society would want to keep an account.

b. Phenomenology
Phenomenology is concerned with individuals and how changes in peoples thoughts and
knowledge can become clearer. A phenomenological study describes the direct or lived
experiences for several individuals about a phenomenon or concept.

c. Grounded Theory
In grounded theory, a theory is generated from the data gathered by people observing people in
the real world/ natural setting. The researcher does not begin with a preconceived theory in mind,
but one emerges through systematic collection and analysis of data relevant to the area of study.
``The goal of a grounded theory study is to generate or discover a theory.

d. Ethnography
The term ethnography is derived from two Greek words ethnos (a tribe, race or nation) and
graphos (something written down). Hence, ethnography is a written report about a group of
people. Gephart (1988) describes ethnography as the use of direct observation and extended field
research to produce a thick naturalistic description of a people and their culture. The goals of
ethnographic research are to describe and interpret a cultural or social group or system.

e. Case Study
A case study is an intensive study of all relevant materials about a social object in its natural
context. The social object could be an individual, event, school, group or community. The
purpose of a case study is to obtain insights and explanations about the object of study.

This method involves detailed, in-depth collection of data using multiple sources of information
including observations, interviews, documents and audio-visual material.

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CHAPTER SIX

SAMPLING PROCEDURE

Introduction
Time, money, and the effort involved in most cases do not permit a researcher to study all
possible members of a population. For example if the researcher wants to explore the attitudes of
secondary school students towards learning science subjects in Tanzania, it could be mainly
impossible for him/her to reach every student in the country. Thus, sampling is essential since it
enables the researcher to study a portion of the population rather than the entire population. This
part describes in detail the essential aspects of sampling procedure.

Population
A population is defined as all members of any well-defined class of people, events, or objects
having a common characteristic, which is of interest in a given study.

Sample
A sample is a group of people of things selected from the population with the purpose of
representing the entire population in a particular study.

Sampling
Sampling is the process of choosing a small group of people or things from the population. Or it
is the process of drawing a sample from the population.
Sampling frame
This is a complete list of the membership of a population or universe from which subject for a
sample can select.

Types of sampling
There are two main types of sampling; these are probability sampling and non-probability
sampling
a) Probability Sampling
Probability sampling is the one in which each member of the population has an equal and non-
zero chance of being selected. It provides a scientific technique of drawing samples from
population according to some laws, of chance in which each unit has some definite pre-assigned
probability of being chosen in sample.

36
The five types of probability sampling most frequently used in educational research are simple
random sampling, stratified sampling, cluster sampling, systematic sampling and multi-stage
sampling.

I. Simple Random Sampling


Simple random sampling is a technique of sampling in which every subject in the population has
an equal chance of being included. This method of sampling is more suitable for homogeneous
populations. Simple random sampling involves; defining the population, listing all the members
in the population and picking any member from the population in making the sample.

The advantage of using simple random sampling is due to that

it eliminates personal bias,

it ensures a true representative of the population,

it can be applicable in large populations, and

it is simple and practical.

On the other hand, simple random sampling requires the researcher to have the complete list of
the universe, which sometimes that data may not be available, and if the population is small, then
the sample may not accurately represent the population.

II. Stratified Random Sampling


Stratified random sampling is suitable when the population under study is heterogeneous. This
method involves firstly identifying the groups that exist in the population and then randomly
selecting members from each group. In this method, the population is divided into groups
(Strata) according to geographical, sociological or economic characteristics.

In assessing the attitudes of secondary school students towards science subjects, for example, the
researcher might be interested not merely in surveying the attitudes of students but also in
comparing the attitudes of male and female students towards science subjects. In such a case, the
researcher would divide the student population into two groups based on gender (male and
female) and then randomly select independent samples from each stratum.

37
An advantage of stratified sampling is that

it enables a good representation of all the subgroups that make up the population. Therefore it the
best method of choice when the population under study is not homogeneous.

On the other hand, stratified sampling has limitations because it is more complex, requires
greater effort than simple random and sometimes it may be difficult to define the strata that exist
among the population. In addition to that, sometimes the strata may overlap leading to
unrepresentative sample.

III. Systematic Sampling


This procedure involves drawing a sample by taking every nth term from a list of the population.
This procedure involves an arrangement of the population in serial order from 1 to N and the size
of sample is determined. Then after the sample interval is determined by dividing the population
by the size of sample and finally number is selected at random from the first sampling interval.
The subsequent samples are selected at equal or regular intervals.

The advantage of systematic sampling is that it is easy to operate and each member of the
population can be selected hence making the sample representative to the population. However,
it needs the researcher to have the complete list of all members of the population and if the
arrangement of the population members is not made randomly, the list may affect the
representativeness of the sample.

IV. Cluster Sampling


Under this method, the population is divided into some recognizable sub-divisions, which are
termed as clusters, and a simple random sample of these clusters is drawn and then the survey of
each unit in the selected cluster is made.

This kind of probability sampling is referred to as cluster sampling because the unit chosen is not
an individual but a group of individuals who are naturally together. These individuals constitute
a cluster as far as they are alike with respect to characteristics relevant to the variables of the
study.

38
In the study of attitudes of secondary school students in Tanzania towards learning science
subjects for example, a researcher might choose a number of schools randomly from a list of
schools and then include all the students in those schools in the sample.

V. Multi-Stage Sampling
This technique is more suitable when the population covers a large geographical area like an
entire country. Here the population is regarded as made of a number of primary units, each of
which is further composed of number of secondary units, which is further composed of third
units and so on until the desired sampling unit is reached. Under multi-stage sampling, the first
stage may be to select large primary sampling units such as regions, then districts, then wards
and finally certain schools within the wards.

b) Non Probability Sampling


This is technique of selecting individuals from the population whereby there are no assurance of
every element in the population has a chance of being included in the sample. In this type of
sampling, the researcher selects items for the sample deliberately, thus his choice concerning the
items remains supreme. In other words, under non-probability sampling the researcher
purposively choose the particular units of the population in making his or her sample.

The major forms of nonprobability sampling are convenience sampling, purposive sampling,
snowball sampling and quota sampling.

A. Convenience Sampling
Convenience sampling or, as it is sometimes called, accidental or opportunity sampling involves
choosing the nearest individuals to serve as respondents and continuing that process until the
required sample size has been obtained or those who happen to be available and accessible at the
time.

Interviewing the first students the researcher encounters in schools and using the students in his
or her own classroom as a sample, or taking volunteers to be interviewed in survey research are
various examples of convenience sampling.

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B. Purposeful Sampling (Judgmental Sampling)
Subjects judged to be representative of the population are included in the sample in this non-
probability sampling technique. In purposive sampling, often (but by no means exclusively) a
feature of qualitative research, researchers handpick the cases to be included in the sample based
on their judgment of their typicality or possession of the particular characteristics being sought.

C. Snowball Sampling
In snowball sampling the researcher starts by identifying a small number of individuals who have
the characteristics in which he or she is interested. These people then provide information to the
researcher about other individuals who could have the required information. This method is
useful for sampling a population where access is difficult; maybe because it is a sensitive topic
for example drug abuse among students.

D. Quota Sampling
Like a stratified sample, a quota sample strives to represent significant characteristics (strata) of
the wider population; unlike stratified sampling, it sets out to represent these in the proportions in
which they can be found in the wider population. In this technique, sample members are drawn
from various target population strata e.g. untrained teachers, graduate teachers.

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CHAPTER SEVEN

DEVELOPING AND USING VARIOUS RESEARCH INSTRUMENTS

Introduction
A major task in survey research is constructing the instrument that will be used to gather the data
from the sample. Research instruments are the tools, which the researcher will use to collect data
necessary to answer his or her research questions and to test the hypothesis hypotheses. This
chapter describes in detail various instruments that can be used during data collection.

1. Questionnaire
A questionnaire is a carefully designed instrument (written, typed or printed) for collecting data
directly from the respondents. A questionnaire contains a list of questions, which respondents
answer with little or no direct assistance from the researcher. The questions in a questionnaire are
designed in the way that their answer provides answers to the research questions.

Guidelines for developing questionnaire items

Questions should be short, simple, and direct. Eliminate any words and phrases not essential.
Eliminate double questions
Example. Are you an effective and efficient teacher?
Do not use leading or biased questions
Example. Dont you agree that a level education should be abolished?
Do not use presuming questions
Example. How do you like teaching in remote parts of the country?
Avoid or rephrase sensitive or threatening questions
Example. Are you circumcised?
Do not ask a question that assumes a fact not necessarily in evidence
Example. Have you stopped giving birth? How does a woman who has never given birth
respond?

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Two types of questions are used in the questionnaires these are;

open-ended questions and closed-ended questions.

Open-ended questions are those that require the respondent to provide her or his own answer to
the question. Open-ended questions are designed to permit a free response from the respondent
about the topic under study.

For example, a researcher can ask the respondent: What problems have you experienced when
teaching adult education?

Closed-ended questions are structured in such a way that the respondent is provided with a list of
responses from which he or she has to select an appropriate answer.

Advantages of Questionnaires

1. Questionnaires can research a large group of respondents within a short time and with little
costs.
2. The biases, which might result from the personal characteristics of interviews, are avoided or
reduced.
3. Since the respondents do not indicate their names, they tend to give honest answers. The
absence of an interviewer also makes respondents give honest answers without fear of giving
answers that they think the interviewer may not want to hear.
4. Respondents have adequate time to consult documents or other people if questions require
doing so, and
5. Respondents have enough time to reflect before answering questions.

Disadvantages of Questionnaires

1. The researcher has no control over the person who fills out the questionnaire
2. There is no opportunity for the respondent to see and obtain clarification about ambiguous
questions. Similarly, there is no opportunity for probing beyond the answers given by the
respondents
3. It is normally difficult to obtain an adequate response rate
4. Illiterate people and people who do not understand the language in which the questions are
written cannot fill out questionnaires.

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5. There is a tendency for the respondents to skip questions they consider difficult, sensitive or
controversial.
6. There is no assurance that the intended respondent understands the questions, and
7. Some people tend to ignore them if they find them unimportant

A typical questionnaire has four kinds of questions these are

1. Demographic questions,

2. Opinion and attitude questions,

3. Self-perception questions and

4. Informational questions.

Demographic Questions

These are questions, which seek background information about the respondent, for example sex,
age, level of education, marital status, occupation, religious affiliation, place of residence, etc.

Examples

How old are you? What is your occupation?

Opinion and Attitude Questions

These types of questions solicit information about respondents attitudes, beliefs, feelings and
misconceptions relating to an area of inquiry.

Examples

Which of the following subjects do you like most?

Information questions

These questions seek to find out the respondents knowledge of an area of concern to the
evaluator.

Example

1. How often do you use teaching aids?

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2. Are teachers in your district conversant with authentic assessment methods

Administering Questionnaires

1. Direct delivery to the respondents


This is where the researcher goes to the field, obtains the study sample and distributes the
questionnaires personally to the respondents.

2. Mailing through post office


Questionnaires can also be sent to the respondents through post office (mail questionnaire) where
the respondents fill and then sends them back to the researcher.

3. E-mail The researcher can also send the questionnaire using electronic mail. When the
respondents finish filling it, she or he will sent it back through the same e-mail address.
2. Interview Schedule
An interview is a conversation in which one person, the interviewer, seeks responses for a
particular purpose from another person, the interviewee.

The interview is one of the most used techniques of obtaining information. It is a way of
obtaining data about a person by asking him/her rather than by watching him/her behave. A
personal interview helps the evaluator to measure what a person knows (knowledge) and what
he/she likes and dislikes (values and preferences). The information obtained can be transformed
into a number of quantitative data by using attitude scaling or rating scaling techniques.

Advantages of Interview Schedule

2. It is flexible and adaptable to individual situation.


3. It allows a glimpse of the respondents gestures, tone or voice etc.; and thus reveals his/her
feelings.
4. It permits the investigator to pursue leads and to ask for elaboration of points that the
respondent has not made clear.
5. It permits the establishment of rapport between the investigator and the respondent. This
stimulates the respondents to give more complete and valid answers.

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6. It makes it possible for information to be obtained from illiterate respondents or respondents
who are reluctant to put things in writing.
7. It promotes a higher percentage rate of return.
8. It permits the interviewer to help the respondent clarify his/her thinking on a given point.
9. It enables the investigator to pursue leads in order to gain insight into the problem.
Weaknesses of Interview Schedule

1. It is costly in time and personnel.


2. The interviewer is likely to influence the responses he/she receives.
3. Interviewing requires skilled personnel.

3. Structured Interview Guide


This is an instrument used during data collection to direct verbal communications between the
researcher and the respondents. Structured interview guide is rigid in that the researcher reads the
items as they are without changing or expounding on the items. A questionnaire can be used as a
structured interview guide when the researcher fills the information when the respondent gives
the response.

4. In-depth Interview Guide


An in-depth interview is a qualitative research technique that allows person-to-person discussion.
In-depth interview guide is often unstructured and therefore permits the interviewer to encourage
the respondent to talk at length about the topic of interest. An interview can be conducted either
by face to face or through telephones.

A face-to-face interview is where the interviewer sits with the interviewee and asks questions
concerning the issue being studied. The interviewer has to follow the questions in the interview
guide.

A telephone interview is when the researcher uses a telephone to ask questions to the
respondents without going physically to the field.

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5. Observation Guide
Observation guide is a research instrument that guides the researcher in gathering data from key
areas through sight. This involves looking at the phenomenon, objects or form of behavior that
are indicated in the instrument form which meaning is extracted or analyzed.

Types of observation

Two types of observation are participant observation and non-participant observation.

1. Participant observation
Getting involved in the day-to-day life of the people while collecting information without them
knowing one is collecting information about them.

2. Non-participant observation
Carrying out observations without participating in the activities of the people and the people are
aware that someone is collecting data about them.

6. Document Analysis Guide


Document analysis guide is used to gather information from public documents, institutional
publications, and historical documents, and educational records, documents in the mass media,
archival records and public records. For example, if the problem under study is truancy among
secondary schools, the researcher may analyze the attendance registers to see the extent to which
this problem exists in secondary schools.

7. Achievement Test
Tests are valuable measuring instruments for educational research. A test is a set of stimuli
presented to an individual in order to elicit responses biased on which a numerical score can be
assigned. This score, based on a representative sample of the individuals behavior, is an
indicator of the extent to which the subject has the characteristic being measured.

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CHAPTER EIGHT

DATA ANALYSIS

Introduction
After the researcher has collected data from the field, he or she needs to organize the data into a
convenient and meaningful form so that the findings can be interpreted in terms of the original
research questions and hypothesis. It is much demanding when trying to draw meanings from the
massive data collected from the field and sometimes it may not be possible. Therefore, there is a
need for the researcher to organize the data to simplify the task of data interpretation.

Kerlinger and Lee (2000) defined analysis as the process of categorizing, ordering, manipulating,
and summarizing the data to obtain answers to research questions with the purpose of reducing
the data into intelligible and interpretable form so that the relationship of research problem can
be studied and tested.

In selecting a method for data analysis, the researcher must take into account the research
problem, research questions, the hypotheses if any, data collection techniques used and the
design used in a particular study.

There are two main types of data analysis procedures: quantitative and qualitative data analysis.

Quantitative Data Analysis


Quantitative data analysis consists of measuring numerical values from which descriptions such
as frequency, means and standard deviations are made. Two types of statistics are used in
analyzing quantitative data; these are descriptive statistics and inferential statistics.

Descriptive Statistics
Descriptive statistics is the term given to the analysis of data that helps describe, show or
summarize data in a meaningful way basing only on the sample without making conclusions to
the population from which the sample was drawn. Descriptive statistics include measure of
central tendency, measure of variability and measure of relationship among two or more
variables.

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a) Measure of Central Tendency
Measure of central tendency concerns with calculating a score that shows the location of a
distributions center. When dealing with ungrouped data, the researcher can use any of the three
measures of central tendency. These include the mean, the median and the mode.

The mean of a set of numerical observations is the sum of the set divided by the number of
observations. The symbol (Greek lower case mu) and x (read x bar) are used to denote a
population and sample mean respectively.

The median is the value that divides the set of numbers into two halves when the numbers are
arranged either in ascending or descending order. Thus the median is the middle value of the
entire population.

The mode of a given set is the number that occurs more frequently that any number within the
set. Thus the mode is the number with maximum frequency.

b) Measure of Variation
Measure of variation describes how much the distribution varies around the central point. These
measures consist of range, variance and standard deviation.

The range is the difference between the highest and the lowest value within the distribution.
(Maximum value- Minimum value).

The variance is the average of squared differences of the values from the mean. A high
variance indicates that most scores are far away from the mean; a low variance shows that most
scores cluster tightly about the mean.

Where:
= adds the values in parentheses
X = individual values (items) in the data set
= population mean
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N = number of values (items) in the data set

The standard deviation (SD) is an average of the degree to which a set of scores deviate from
the mean. The following formula is used to calculate the standard deviation.

2
SD = ( X x )
N

Where : X = each individual score


x = mean of all the scores
= sum of
N = number of scores

c) Measures of Relationships
The measure of relationships provides the researcher with information as to what extent two
variables are related. Also helps the researcher to assess the extent to which the change in one
variable will result into changes in another variable. For example the researcher may want to
establish a relationship between time spent studying and students academic performance. Two
methods are normally used to compute the correlation coefficient. These are: Spearmans rank
correlation, and Pearson product moment correlation.

When two variables are measured on an ordinal scale, the correlation coefficient is calculated by
the Spearmans correlation. Spearmans rank correlation is used to determine the degree to which
each students rank on the set of scores tends to be correlated with her rank on another set of
scores. The formula for the Spearmans rank correlation coefficient (rs) is:

rs =

Where: rs = Spearmans rank correlation coefficient


D = difference between ranks of corresponding scores
N = number of cases

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The Spearmans rank correlation takes on values from 1 to +1. Whereby +1 indicates a positive
perfect correlation, 0 indicates no correlation and -1 indicates a negative perfect correlation.

The Pearsons product moment coefficient represented by the symbol r is the most commonly
used measure of correlation. It is used when the variables are expressed in continuous scores.
For example, a researcher may wish to know which scores of Form IV pupils on a geography test
are related to the scores of the same pupils on a history test.

The formula for computing the Pearsons coefficient correlation is as follows:

Where:

r= Pearsons coefficient of correlation


N= number of subjects
= the sums of
x= scores on one test
y= scores on the other test

A correlation coefficient is expressed as a decimal value that ranges from +1.00 to 1.00. +1.00
is a perfect positive relationship; 0.00 means that two variables are unrelated; -1.00 is a perfect
negative correlation. It means that as one variable increases, the other decreases.

Guilford (1956) proposes the following guidelines for interpreting the strength of a correlation
coefficient when the sample size is fairly large.

.20 - .40 Low correlations, definite but small relationship

.40 - .70 Moderate correlations, marked relationship

.70 - .90 High correlations, substantial relationship

>.90 Very high correlation, very dependable relationship

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Inferential Statistics
Inferential statistics may be defined as the set of statistical procedures that allow a researcher to
make judgment about populations based on sample data. Inferential statistics enables researchers
to estimate the characteristics of a population based on the characteristics found in the sample.
This kind of statistics also helps researchers in testing for either significant relationships or
differences among two or more variables in a particular study.

It should be noted that, the sample characteristics contains some degree of sampling error.
Therefore, it does not always reflect the characteristic of the population. It is from this ground
the, a researcher before, he makes a conclusion concerning the existence of either differences or
relationships among the population characteristics; he or she has to test the hypothesis. The
results of hypothesis testing will give information to the researcher whether the observed
difference or relationship in the samples is significant or it was just by chance (sampling error).
The statistical procedures for testing hypothesis include analysis of variance (ANOVA), T-test,
chi-square etc.

Qualitative Data Analysis


Unlike quantitative data analysis, qualitative data analysis is a continuous and an on-going
process that can take place during data collection, after data collection or even during the level of
report writing. This sort of analysis involves classifying data in terms of themes or categories
according to the research questions or hypothesis.

Data analysis in qualitative research is a time-consuming and difficult process because typically
the researcher faces massive amounts of field notes, interview transcripts, audio recordings,
video data, reflections, or information from documents, all of which must be examined and
interpreted. Qualitative data analysis involves three main steps these are familiarizing with the
data, coding/reducing the data and interpreting the information.

In analyzing qualitative data, the researcher starts by familiarizing the collected information
through reading and rereading notes and transcripts, viewing and reviewing videotapes, and
listening repeatedly to audiotapes. During this step, the researcher has to immerse him/herself in
the data to gain a deep understanding of the field data.

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After the researcher has familiarized himself/herself with the data and organize them for easy
retrieval, he/she can begin the coding and reducing process. The coding process includes the
identification of categories and themes and their refinement to develop concepts from raw data.
The categories developed from the coded data should be internally consistent and distinct from
one another and the researcher needs to think about these categories as he or she begins to
organize the data.

Interpretation is about bringing out the meaning, telling the story, providing an explanation,
and developing plausible explanations. The quality of the interpretation depends on the
background, perspective, knowledge, and theoretical orientation of the researcher and the
intellectual skills he or she brings to the task. In interpreting qualitative data, the researcher
confirms if what he already knows is supported by the data, he also eliminates misconceptions
and illuminates new insights and important things that he did not know but should have known.

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CHAPTER NINE

RESEARCH PROPOSAL DEVELOPMENT

Introduction
A research proposal is a detail description of a proposed study that depicts the activities to be
done by the researcher systematically in order to complete a particular study within the specific
time with available resources. A good research proposal should therefore specify every detail of
how the result will be conducted.

A research proposal is therefore a write-up that points out clearly the research problem and
outlines how to investigate that problem through scientific means of collecting analyzing and
interpreting data

Functions of a Research Proposal


There are two main purposes of research proposal
1. To guide the researcher in conducting research.
2. To communicate the proposed research to others: research supervisors, funding agencies, etc.

The structure of the Proposal


A research proposal is divided in four main parts:
1. Preliminaries,
2. Chapter one ,Chapter two and Chapter three,
3. References and
4. Appendices.
Preliminaries

These bear the following

Title page: the first page shall bear the full title of the proposal, the full name of the
author, the degree for which the proposal is submitted, the university to which the
dissertation is submitted and the year of submission.
Certification page: this page should contain two statements. The first should be the author
to the effect that the study is the authors original work. The second statement should be

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signed by the supervisors(s) to the effect that the proposal has been submitted for
examination with his or her approval as university supervisor.
Dedication: this should be a brief statement, example; This study is dedicated to my
mother, Suzan Kitula
Abstract: It states summary of the complete content of research proposal and contains
three short paragraphs namely purpose of the study, the design used and the expected
findings. The abstract should be short (350 words), self-contained and readable part, it
should also satisfy readers need.
Acknowledgements: contains the names of the people who assisted the researcher to
complete the research process
Contents: This section shows the chapter number, chapter headings and subheadings.
List of tables: shows number of tables and heading
List of figures: number and heading of figures
List of abbreviation and acronyms

CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background of the problem: This identifies the problem area and explains the problem
situation which triggered the researcher to carry out the study. It could be worthless the
researcher to engage in research before becoming familiar with the problem situation.
Therefore, it is important for him/her to conduct an exhaustive review of literature to show
that the need for research on the problem area is compelling.
1.2 Statement of the problem:
1.3 Research questions
1.4 Significance of the study
1.5 Theoretical framework
1.6 Conceptual framework:
1.7 Scope and Delimitation of the study
1.8 Operational definition of key terms

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CHAPTER TWO
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
2.1.Review of related theories
2.2.Review of empirical studies
2.3.Demonstration of knowledge gap
CHAPTER THREE
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY
2.1.Research design
2.2.Target population
2.3.Description of the sample and sampling procedures
2.4.Description of data collection instruments
2.5.Description of research instruments
2.6.Validity and reliability of research instruments
2.7.Description of data collection procedures
2.8.Description of data analysis procedures

References: This section lists each study discussed in the report in alphabetical order. Use
(APA) format
Appendices include lists of instruments used to collect data, research budget, time schedule and
maps.

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