When to Use What Research Design

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2012-02-21
  • Publisher: The Guilford Press

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Systematic, practical, and accessible, this is the first book to focus on finding the most defensible design for a particular research question. Thoughtful guidelines are provided for weighing the advantages and disadvantages of various methods, including qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods designs. The book can be read sequentially or readers can dip into chapters on specific stages of research (basic design choices, selecting and sampling participants, addressing ethical issues) or data collection methods (surveys, interviews, experiments, observations, archival studies, and combined methods). Many chapter headings and subheadings are written as questions, helping readers quickly find the answers they need to make informed choices that will affect the later analysis and interpretation of their data. Useful features include: easy-to-navigate part and chapter structure engaging research examples from a variety of fields end-of-chapter tables that summarize the main points covered detailed suggestions for further reading at the end of each chapter integration of data collection, sampling, and research ethics in one volume comprehensive glossary.

Author Biography

W. Paul Vogt, PhD, is Emeritus Professor of Research Methods and Evaluation at Illinois State University, where he has won both teaching and research awards. Dr. Vogt\u2019s areas of specialization include research design and data analysis, with particular emphasis on combining qualitative, quantitative, and graphic approaches. Dianne C. Gardner, PhD, is Associate Professor of Educational Administration at Illinois State University. Dr. Gardner\u2019s research interests include assessment, organizational development, program evaluation, P20 systems, and qualitative research methodology. Lynne M. Haeffele, PhD, is Senior Research Associate in the Center for the Study of Education Policy at Illinois State University. Dr. Haeffele\u2019s research interests include combining research designs, applying research findings to policy and practice, program evaluation, and the topical areas of college readiness, organizational performance, and school–university partnerships.

Table of Contents

General Introduction: Design, Sampling, and Ethics I. Research Questions and Designs What Is the Role of Theory in Research Questions and Designs? 1. When to Use Survey Designs When Are Surveys Likely to Be a Wise Design Choice? When Should You Use Which Mode of Administering Your Survey? What Design Should You Use to Study Change over Time? What Question Formats Can You Use in a Survey Design? Conclusion on Survey Designs: So Many Questions, So Little Time 2. When to Use Interview Designs Comparing Interviews with Surveys Conclusion on Interview Designs in General Specific Interview Types, Approaches, and Procedures Conclusion 3. When to Use Experimental Designs What\u2019s Wrong with Gold-Standard Thinking? When Is an RCT a Good Option? When Is an Experimental Design a Good Option for Your Research? When Should You Use the Basic Types of Experimental Design? General Conclusion on When to Use Experimental Designs 4. When to Use Naturalistic and Participant Observational Designs Overview of Observational Designs When Is Observation a Good Design Choice? Further Distinguishing between Naturalistic and Participant Observational Designs When Should You Use a Naturalistic Observational Design? When Should You Use Participant Observational Designs? Conclusion: Characteristics of All Observational Designs 5. When to Use Archival Designs What Kinds of Archival Data Are Available for Researchers? When Should You Collect and Use Preexisting Data Rather Than Produce Your Own? Types of Archival Research Database Archives Organizational Records Textual Studies of Documents New Media, Including Internet Sources Conclusion 6. When to Use Combined Research Designs Simple versus Multipart Research Questions When to Combine Research Designs Types and Qualities of Combined Designs Logistical Considerations in Combined Research Designs Conclusion and Summary II. Sampling, Selection, and Recruitment 7. Sampling for Surveys Probability Samples Nonprobability Samples When Should You Try to Improve Response Rates? How Big Should Your Sample Be? Conclusion 8. Identifying and Recruiting People for Interviews How Interview Strategies Are Shaped by Research Questions Making Basic Decisions about Interview Sampling Conclusions on Selecting People to Interview 9. Sampling, Recruiting, and Assigning Participants for Experiments Randomized Controlled Trials Alternatives to RCTs Controlling for Covariates Conclusion: Sampling, Recruiting, and Assigning Cases in Experiments 10. Searching and Sampling for Observations Overview of Searching and Sampling Concerns in Observational Research Appropriateness and Relevance of the Sample Accessing Observation Sites Decisions Influenced by Resources and Other Practical Considerations Four Basic Sampling Decisions Sampling and the Five Types of Research Questions Conclusion and Summary 11. Sampling from Archival Sources When Do You Search and When Do You Sample? Sampling Research Literature to Build Upon and Synthesize It Database Archives Organizational Records Textual Studies of Documents New Media, Including Various Internet Sources Conclusion ze:10.0pt;"12. Sampling and Recruiting for Combined Research Designs When Should You Use Probability Samples in Your Combined Design Study? When Should You Use Purposive Samples in Your Combined Design Study? When Should You Use Both Probability and Purposive Samples in Your Study? Conclusion and Summary III. Research Ethics: The Responsible Conduct of Research Responsibilities toward the Persons Being Studied Responsibilities toward Other Researchers Responsibilities toward the Broader Society/Community 13. Ethics in Survey Research Consent: Informed Participants Willingly Joining the Research Project Harm: Preventing Injury to Respondents Privacy: Ensuring Respondents\u2019 Anonymity and/or Confidentiality Conclusion 14. Ethics in Interview Research Consent: Informed Participants Willingly Agreeing to Be Interviewed Harm: Preventing Injury to Interviewees during the Interview Privacy: Ensuring Interviewees\u2019 Confidentiality Conclusion 15. Ethics in Experimental Research Consent: Informed Participants Willingly Joining the Research Project Harm: Preventing Injury to Experimental Participants Privacy: Ensuring Participants\u2019 Anonymity and/or Confidentiality Conclusion 16. Ethics in Observational Research Seeking and Acquiring Informed Consent to Observe Avoiding and Minimizing Harm to Participants While Conducting the Study Ensuring Participant Privacy Conclusion 17. Ethical Issues in Archival Research Ethical Practice in Reviews of the Research Literature Ethical Practices in Employing Database Archives Ethical Obligations When Using Institutional Records Ethical Issues When Using Documents, Including Public Documents Ethical Issues When Using Blogs and Other Sources Published On-line When Might the Honest, Correct Reporting of Archival Research Cause Harm? Conclusion 18. Ethical Considerations in Combined Research Designs Consent Harm Privacy Conclusion: Culmination of Design, Sampling, and Ethics in Valid Data Coding When to Use Qualities or Quantities, Names or Numbers, Categories or Continua? What Methods to Use to Code Concepts with Reliability and Validity What Methods to Use to Improve Reliability What Methods to Use to Enhance Validity What to Use to Code Concepts Validly Coding Decisions Shape Analytic Options Glossary

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