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Methodology, focuses on the “nuts and bolts” of research. Your methodology is driven by your research questions and it describes how your research project will proceed. The methodology details your: (a) subjects/participants (how they’ll be chosen); (b) Instrumentation: what type of instrument you’ll use (survey, test, interviews, observation); (c) Procedures (how you’ll conduct your project; and (d) Analysis (types of statistical test used in quantitative methodology/ codes, themes for qualitative).
Quantitative studies display their final information in the form of numbers and statistical tests are employed. Most of the time, they are concerned with investigating relationships or correlations between two or more groups or within members of a specific group. They’ve already formulated a hypothesis and they are testing to see if it will be confirmed. These types of tests have their basis in the scientific method and rigorous standards have to be employed to ensure validity of the results.
Qualitative studies are concerned with participant experience. You many want to investigate the perceptions of paramedics who have experienced pediatric deaths in the field. In qualitative studies, there are no hypotheses to test. You are concerned with participant experience and qualitative researchers often play an active role in the process. While this may seem easier, since there are usually no statistical tests involved, cataloging observations, recording and transcribing interviews, then reading them to look for common words or phrases that keep repeating, is a long, arduous process.
This chapter should get you thinking to the types of designs and tests you will document in your prospectus
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