Free AIOU Solved Assignment Code 4688 Spring 2021

Free AIOU Solved Assignment Code 4688 Spring 2021

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Course: Methods of Social Research Tools of Data Collection (4688)
Semester: Spring, 2021
ASSIGNMENT No. 1

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  • Briefly explain the research process with some example.

Scientific research involves a systematic process that focuses on being objective and gathering a multitude of information for analysis so that the researcher can come to a conclusion. This process is used in all research and evaluation projects, regardless of the research method (scientific method of inquiry, evaluation research, or action research). The process focuses on testing hunches or ideas in a park and recreation setting through a systematic process. In this process, the study is documented in such a way that another individual can conduct the same study again. This is referred to as replicating the study. Any research done without documenting the study so that others can review the process and results is not an investigation using the scientific research process. The scientific research process is a multiple-step process where the steps are interlinked with the other steps in the process. If changes are made in one step of the process, the researcher must review all the other steps to ensure that the changes are reflected throughout the process. Parks and recreation professionals are often involved in conducting research or evaluation projects within the agency. These professionals need to understand the eight steps of the research process as they apply to conducting a study. Table 2.4 lists the steps of the research process and provides an example of each step for a sample research study.

Step 1: Identify the Problem

The first step in the process is to identify a problem or develop a research question. The research problem may be something the agency identifies as a problem, some knowledge or information that is needed by the agency, or the desire to identify a recreation trend nationally. In the example in table 2.4, the problem that the agency has identified is childhood obesity, which is a local problem and concern within the community. This serves as the focus of the study.

Step 2: Review the Literature

Now that the problem has been identified, the researcher must learn more about the topic under investigation. To do this, the researcher must review the literature related to the research problem. This step provides foundational knowledge about the problem area. The review of literature also educates the researcher about what studies have been conducted in the past, how these studies were conducted, and the conclusions in the problem area. In the obesity study, the review of literature enables the programmer to discover horrifying statistics related to the long-term effects of childhood obesity in terms of health issues, death rates, and projected medical costs. In addition, the programmer finds several articles and information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that describe the benefits of walking 10,000 steps a day. The information discovered during this step helps the programmer fully understand the magnitude of the problem, recognize the future consequences of obesity, and identify a strategy to combat obesity (i.e., walking).

Step 3: Clarify the Problem

Many times the initial problem identified in the first step of the process is too large or broad in scope. In step 3 of the process, the researcher clarifies the problem and narrows the scope of the study. This can only be done after the literature has been reviewed. The knowledge gained through the review of literature guides the researcher in clarifying and narrowing the research project. In the example, the programmer has identified childhood obesity as the problem and the purpose of the study. This topic is very broad and could be studied based on genetics, family environment, diet, exercise, self-confidence, leisure activities, or health issues. All of these areas cannot be investigated in a single study; therefore, the problem and purpose of the study must be more clearly defined. The programmer has decided that the purpose of the study is to determine if walking 10,000 steps a day for three days a week will improve the individual’s health. This purpose is more narrowly focused and researchable than the original problem.

Step 4: Clearly Define Terms and Concepts

Terms and concepts are words or phrases used in the purpose statement of the study or the description of the study. These items need to be specifically defined as they apply to the study. Terms or concepts often have different definitions depending on who is reading the study. To minimize confusion about what the terms and phrases mean, the researcher must specifically define them for the study. In the obesity study, the concept of “individual’s health” can be defined in hundreds of ways, such as physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual health. For this study, the individual’s health is defined as physical health. The concept of physical health may also be defined and measured in many ways. In this case, the programmer decides to more narrowly define “individual health” to refer to the areas of weight, percentage of body fat, and cholesterol. By defining the terms or concepts more narrowly, the scope of the study is more manageable for the programmer, making it easier to collect the necessary data for the study. This also makes the concepts more understandable to the reader.

Step 5: Define the Population

Research projects can focus on a specific group of people, facilities, park development, employee evaluations, programs, financial status, marketing efforts, or the integration of technology into the operations. For example, if a researcher wants to examine a specific group of people in the community, the study could examine a specific age group, males or females, people living in a specific geographic area, or a specific ethnic group. Literally thousands of options are available to the researcher to specifically identify the group to study. The research problem and the purpose of the study assist the researcher in identifying the group to involve in the study. In research terms, the group to involve in the study is always called the population. Defining the population assists the researcher in several ways. First, it narrows the scope of the study from a very large population to one that is manageable. Second, the population identifies the group that the researcher’s efforts will be focused on within the study. This helps ensure that the researcher stays on the right path during the study. Finally, by defining the population, the researcher identifies the group that the results will apply to at the conclusion of the study. In the example in table 2.4, the programmer has identified the population of the study as children ages 10 to 12 years. This narrower population makes the study more manageable in terms of time and resources.

Step 6: Develop the Instrumentation Plan

The plan for the study is referred to as the instrumentation plan. The instrumentation plan serves as the road map for the entire study, specifying who will participate in the study; how, when, and where data will be collected; and the content of the program. This plan is composed of numerous decisions and considerations that are addressed in chapter 8 of this text. In the obesity study, the researcher has decided to have the children participate in a walking program for six months. The group of participants is called the sample, which is a smaller group selected from the population specified for the study. The study cannot possibly include every 10- to 12-year-old child in the community, so a smaller group is used to represent the population. The researcher develops the plan for the walking program, indicating what data will be collected, when and how the data will be collected, who will collect the data, and how the data will be analyzed. The instrumentation plan specifies all the steps that must be completed for the study. This ensures that the programmer has carefully thought through all these decisions and that she provides a step-by-step plan to be followed in the study.

Step 7: Collect Data

Once the instrumentation plan is completed, the actual study begins with the collection of data. The collection of data is a critical step in providing the information needed to answer the research question. Every study includes the collection of some type of data—whether it is from the literature or from subjects—to answer the research question. Data can be collected in the form of words on a survey, with a questionnaire, through observations, or from the literature. In the obesity study, the programmers will be collecting data on the defined variables: weight, percentage of body fat, cholesterol levels, and the number of days the person walked a total of 10,000 steps during the class.

The researcher collects these data at the first session and at the last session of the program. These two sets of data are necessary to determine the effect of the walking program on weight, body fat, and cholesterol level. Once the data are collected on the variables, the researcher is ready to move to the final step of the process, which is the data analysis.

Step 8: Analyze the Data

All the time, effort, and resources dedicated to steps 1 through 7 of the research process culminate in this final step. The researcher finally has data to analyze so that the research question can be answered. In the instrumentation plan, the researcher specified how the data will be analyzed. The researcher now analyzes the data according to the plan. The results of this analysis are then reviewed and summarized in a manner directly related to the research questions. In the obesity study, the researcher compares the measurements of weight, percentage of body fat, and cholesterol that were taken at the first meeting of the subjects to the measurements of the same variables at the final program session. These two sets of data will be analyzed to determine if there was a difference between the first measurement and the second measurement for each individual in the program. Then, the data will be analyzed to determine if the differences are statistically significant. If the differences are statistically significant, the study validates the theory that was the focus of the study. The results of the study also provide valuable information about one strategy to combat childhood obesity in the community.

As you have probably concluded, conducting studies using the eight steps of the scientific research process requires you to dedicate time and effort to the planning process. You cannot conduct a study using the scientific research process when time is limited or the study is done at the last minute. Researchers who do this conduct studies that result in either false conclusions or conclusions that are not of any value to the organization.

AIOU Solved Assignment Code 4688 Spring 2021

Please write a comprehensive note on observation and its types.

The function of a research design is to ensure that the evidence obtained enables you to effectively address the research problem logically and as unambiguously as possible. In social sciences research, obtaining information relevant to the research problem generally entails specifying the type of evidence needed to test a theory, to evaluate a program, or to accurately describe and assess meaning related to an observable phenomenon.

With this in mind, a common mistake made by researchers is that they begin their investigations far too early, before they have thought critically about what information is required to address the research problem. Without attending to these design issues beforehand, the overall research problem will not be adequately addressed and any conclusions drawn will run the risk of being weak and unconvincing. As a consequence, the overall validity of the study will be undermined.

The length and complexity of describing research designs in your paper can vary considerably, but any well-developed design will achieve the following:

  1. Identify the research problem clearly and justify its selection, particularly in relation to any valid alternative designs that could have been used,
  2. Review and synthesize previously published literature associated with the research problem,
  3. Clearly and explicitly specify hypotheses [i.e., research questions] central to the problem,
  4. Effectively describe the data which will be necessary for an adequate testing of the hypotheses and explain how such data will be obtained, and
  5. Describe the methods of analysis to be applied to the data in determining whether or not the hypotheses are true or false.

The research design is usually incorporated into the introduction and varies in length depending on the type of design you are using. However, you can get a sense of what to do by reviewing the literature of studies that have utilized the same research design. This can provide an outline to follow for your own paper.

Use the SAGE Research Methods Online and Cases and the SAGE Research Methods Videos databases to search for scholarly resources on how to apply specific research designs and methods. The Research Methods Online database contains links to more than 175,000 pages of SAGE publisher’s book, journal, and reference content on quantitative, qualitative, and mixed research methodologies. Also included is a collection of case studies of social research projects that can be used to help you better understand abstract or complex methodological concepts. The Research Methods Videos database contains hours of tutorials, interviews, video case studies, and mini-documentaries covering the entire research process. The essentials of action research design follow a characteristic cycle whereby initially an exploratory stance is adopted, where an understanding of a problem is developed and plans are made for some form of interventionary strategy. Then the intervention is carried out [the “action” in action research] during which time, pertinent observations are collected in various forms. The new interventional strategies are carried out, and this cyclic process repeats, continuing until a sufficient understanding of [or a valid implementation solution for] the problem is achieved. The protocol is iterative or cyclical in nature and is intended to foster deeper understanding of a given situation, starting with conceptualizing and particularizing the problem and moving through several interventions and evaluations.

  1. This is a collaborative and adaptive research design that lends itself to use in work or community situations.
  2. Design focuses on pragmatic and solution-driven research outcomes rather than testing theories.
  3. When practitioners use action research, it has the potential to increase the amount they learn consciously from their experience; the action research cycle can be regarded as a learning cycle.
  4. Action research studies often have direct and obvious relevance to improving practice and advocating for change.
  5. There are no hidden controls or preemption of direction by the researcher.
  1. It is harder to do than conducting conventional research because the researcher takes on responsibilities of advocating for change as well as for researching the topic.
  2. Action research is much harder to write up because it is less likely that you can use a standard format to report your findings effectively [i.e., data is often in the form of stories or observation].
  3. Personal over-involvement of the researcher may bias research results.
  4. The cyclic nature of action research to achieve its twin outcomes of action [e.g. change] and research [e.g. understanding] is time-consuming and complex to conduct.
  5. Advocating for change usually requires buy-in from study participants.

A case study is an in-depth study of a particular research problem rather than a sweeping statistical survey or comprehesive comparative inquiry. It is often used to narrow down a very broad field of research into one or a few easily researchable examples. The case study research design is also useful for testing whether a specific theory and model actually applies to phenomena in the real world. It is a useful design when not much is known about an issue or phenomenon.

What do these studies tell you?

  1. Approach excels at bringing us to an understanding of a complex issue through detailed contextual analysis of a limited number of events or conditions and their relationships.
  2. A researcher using a case study design can apply a variety of methodologies and rely on a variety of sources to investigate a research problem.
  3. Design can extend experience or add strength to what is already known through previous research.
  4. Social scientists, in particular, make wide use of this research design to examine contemporary real-life situations and provide the basis for the application of concepts and theories and the extension of methodologies.
  5. The design can provide detailed descriptions of specific and rare cases.

What these studies don’t tell you?

  1. A single or small number of cases offers little basis for establishing reliability or to generalize the findings to a wider population of people, places, or things.
  2. Intense exposure to the study of a case may bias a researcher’s interpretation of the findings.
  3. Design does not facilitate assessment of cause and effect relationships.
  4. Vital information may be missing, making the case hard to interpret.
  5. The case may not be representative or typical of the larger problem being investigated.
  6. If the criteria for selecting a case is because it represents a very unusual or unique phenomenon or problem for study, then your intepretation of the findings can only apply to that particular case.

AIOU Solved Assignment 1 Code 4688 Spring 2021

How a questionnaire is constructed? Please construct a sample questionnaire keeping in mind some research problems.


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A questionnaire is a research instrument that consists of a set of questions or other types of prompts that aims to collect information from a respondent. A research questionnaire is typically a mix of close-ended questions and open-ended questions. Open-ended, long-form questions offer the respondent the ability to elaborate on their thoughts. Research questionnaires were developed in 1838 by the Statistical Society of London. The data collected from a data collection questionnaire can be both qualitative as well as quantitative in nature. A questionnaire may or may not be delivered in the form of a survey, but a survey always consists of a questionnaire.

Advantages of a well-designed questionnaire

  • With a survey questionnaire, you can gather a lot of data in less time.
  • There is less chance of any bias creeping if you have a standard set of questions to be used to your target audience. You can apply logic to questions based on the respondents’ answers, but the questionnaire will remain standard for a group of respondents that fall in the same segment.
  • Surveying online survey software is quick and cost-effective. It offers you a rich set of features to design, distribute, and analyze the response data.
  • It can be customized to reflect your brand voice. Thus, it can be used to reinforce your brand image.
  • The responses can be compared with the historical data and understand the shift in respondents’ choices and experiences.
  • Respondents can answer the questionnaire without revealing their identity. Also, many survey software complies with significant data security and privacy regulations.

 

Characteristics of a good questionnaire

Your survey design depends on the type of information you need to collect from respondents. Qualitative questionnaires are used when there is a need to collect exploratory information to help prove or disprove a hypothesis. Quantitative questionnaires are used to validate or test a previously generated hypothesis. However, most questionnaires follow some essential characteristics:

  • Uniformity:Questionnaires are very useful to collect demographic information, personal opinions, facts, or attitudes from respondents. One of the most significant attributes of a research form is uniform design and standardization. Every respondent sees the same questions. This helps in data collection and statistical analysis of this data. For example, the retail store evaluation questionnaire template contains questions for evaluating retail store experiences. Questions relate to purchase value, range of options for product selections, and quality of merchandise. These questions are uniform for all customers.
  • Exploratory: It should be exploratory to collect qualitative data. There is no restriction on questions that can be in your questionnaire. For example, you use a data collection questionnaire and send it to the female of the household to understand her spending and saving habits relative to the household income. Open-ended questions give you more insight and allow the respondents to explain their practices. A very structured question list could limit the data collection.
  • Question Sequence:It typically follows a structured flow of questions to increase the number of responses. This sequence of questions is screening questions, warm-up questions, transition questions, skip questions, challenging questions, and classification questions. For example, our motivation and buying experience questionnaire template covers initial demographic questions and then asks for time spent in sections of the store and the rationale behind purchases.

 

Types of questionnaires

As we explored before, questionnaires can be either structured or free-flowing. Let’s take a closer look at what that entails for your surveys.

  • Structured Questionnaires: Structured questionnaires collect quantitative data. The questionnaire is planned and designed to gather precise information. It also initiates a formal inquiry, supplements data, checks previously accumulated data, and helps validate any prior hypothesis.
  • Unstructured Questionnaires: Unstructured questionnaires collect qualitative data. They use a basic structure and some branching questions but nothing that limits the responses of a respondent. The questions are more open-ended to collect specific data from participants.

Types of questions in a questionnaire

You can use multiple question types in a questionnaire. Using various question types can help increase responses to your research questionnaire as they tend to keep participants more engaged. The best customer satisfaction survey templates are the most commonly used for better insights and decision-making.

Some of the widely used types of questions are:

  • Open-Ended Questions:Open-ended questions help collect qualitative data in a questionnaire where the respondent can answer in a free form with little to no restrictions.
  • Dichotomous Questions: The dichotomous questionis generally a “yes/no” close-ended question. This question is usually used in case of the need for necessary validation. It is the most natural form of a questionnaire.
  • Multiple-Choice Questions:Multiple-choice questions are a close-ended question type in which a respondent has to select one (single-select multiple-choice question) or many (multi-select multiple choice question) responses from a given list of options. The multiple-choice question consists of an incomplete stem (question), right answer or answers, incorrect answers, close alternatives, and distractors. Of course, not all multiple-choice questions have all of the answer types. For example, you probably won’t have the wrong or right answers if you’re looking for customer opinion.
  • Scaling Questions:These questions are based on the principles of the four measurement scales – nominal, ordinal, interval, and ratio. A few of the question types that utilize these scales’ fundamental properties are rank order questionsLikert scale questionssemantic differential scale questions, and Stapel scale questions.
  • Pictorial Questions: This question type is easy to use and encourages respondents to answer. It works similarly to a multiple-choice question. Respondents are asked a question, and the answer choices are images. This helps respondents choose an answer quickly without over-thinking their answers, giving you more accurate data.
  • Please describe the merits and demerits of interviews studies.

Advantage of interview

There is some objectives or advantage of interview which are stated below:

  1. Easy correction of speech: Any misunderstanding and mistake can be rectified easily in an interview. Because the interviewer and interviewee physically present before the interview board.
  2. Development of relationship: Relation between the interviewer and the interviewee can be developed through an interview. It increases mutual understanding and co-operation between the parties.
  3. Selection of suitable candidate: Suitable candidates can be selected through interview because the interview can know a lot about the candidate by this process.
  4. Collection of primary information: Interviews can help to collect fresh, new and primary information as needed.
  5. Sufficient information: Sufficient information can be collected through the interview Because the interviewer can ask any question to the interviewee.
  6. Time-saving: Interview can help to save time to select the best suitable candidate. Within a very short time communication can be accomplished with the interview.
  7. Less costly: It is less costly than other processes of communication. It is very simple, prompt and low-cost method of communication.
  8. Increasing knowledge: Any interview increases the knowledge of both the interviewer and the interviewee. They can interchange their views and ideas.
  9. Explore cause behind the problem: In business, executives need to solve different types of problems. To explore or to find out the actual reasons behind the problem interview method can be used.
  10. In depth analysis: Through planed interviews detailed information can be collected which enables proper analysis of a problem. Abstract factors like attitudes, feelings, opinion etc. Can be successfully evaluated or analyzed through interviews.
  11. Solving labor problems: Labor unrest and other disputes are very common in the industries. Sometimes human resource managers use the interview as a means of reveling actual causes behind the labor deputes.
  12. Flexible: One of the major advantages of interview is feasible. That depends on the situation it can be framed differently.

Disadvantages of interview

There are some limitations of the interview process. It is not free from defects. The disadvantages of the interview are discussed below:

  1. Incomplete process: Suitable candidate can not be selected by interview only. The written test is more important than the interview.
  2. No record: In the case of the interview some confusion may be arisen in the future as, there is no evidence actually that have been discussed at interview.
  3. Lack of attention: Much attention is required for a good interview. But sometimes it is observed that both the interviewer and the interviewee are less attentive. That is why real information cannot be collected.
  4. Disappointed: Interviewee may be disappointed while she or he faces the interviewer’s questions which are not related to the field. That is why a suitable candidate may be neglected.
  5. Time-consuming: Time constrain is one of the major limitations of the interview process. Preparation for the interview, taking interviews and interpretation of the responses required much time, which makes the interview method time-consuming.
  6. Biases of interviewer: Always there is a possibility that the interview process can be influenced by the biases of the interviewer.
  7. Costly: Generally interview method is expensive.
  8. Inefficiency of the interviewer: Interview is a systematic process of data collection. The success of an interview depends on the efficiency of the interviewer. This inefficiency of an interviewer can lead to misleading results.
  9. Not suitable for personal matters: Personal matters may not be revealed by interview method.

AIOU Solved Assignment 2 Code 4688 Spring 2021

Can we do a research through secondary sources only? Discuss in detail.      

Secondary research or desk research is a research method that involves using already existing data. Existing data is summarized and collated to increase the overall effectiveness of research.

Secondary research includes research material published in research reports and similar documents. These documents can be made available by public libraries, websites, data obtained from already filled in surveys etc. Some government and non-government agencies also store data, that can be used for research purposes and can be retrieved from them.

Secondary research is much more cost-effective than primary research, as it makes use of already existing data, unlike primary research where data is collected first hand by organizations or businesses or they can employ a third party to collect data on their behalf.

Secondary research is cost effective and that’s one of the reasons that makes it a popular choice among a lot of businesses and organizations. Not every organization is able to pay huge sum of money to conduct research and gather data. So, rightly secondary research is also termed as “desk research”, as data can be retrieved from sitting behind a desk.

Following are popularly used secondary research methods and examples:

  1. Data available on the internet: One of the most popular ways of collecting secondary data is using the internet. Data is readily available on the internet and can be downloaded at the click of a button.

This data is practically free of cost or one may have to pay a negligible amount to download the already existing data. Websites have a lot of information that businesses or organizations can use to suit their research needs. However, organizations need to consider only authentic and trusted website to collect information.

  1. Government and nongovernment agencies: Data for secondary research can also be collected from some government and non-government agencies. For example, US Government Printing Office, US Census Bureau, and Small Business Development Centers have valuable and relevant data that businesses or organizations can use.

There is a certain cost applicable to download or use data available with these agencies. Data obtained from these agencies are authentic and trustworthy.

  1. Public libraries:Public libraries are another good source to search for data for secondary research. Public libraries have copies of important research that were conducted earlier. They are a storehouse of important information and documents from which information can be extracted.

The services provided in these public libraries vary from one library to another. More often, libraries have a huge collection of government publications with market statistics, large collection of business directories and newsletters.

  1. Educational Institutions: Importance of collecting data from educational institutions for secondary research is often overlooked. However, more research is conducted in colleges and universities than any other business sector.

The data that is collected by universities is mainly for primary research. However, businesses or organizations can approach educational institutions and request for data from them.

  1. Commercial information sources:Local newspapers, journals, magazines, radio and TV stations are a great source to obtain data for secondary research. These commercial information sources have first-hand information on economic developments, political agenda, market research, demographic segmentation and similar subjects.

Businesses or organizations can request to obtain data that is most relevant to their study. Businesses not only have the opportunity to identify their prospective clients but can also know about the avenues to promote their products or services through these sources as they have a wider reach.

AIOU Solved Assignment Code 4688 Autumn 2021

Key Differences between Primary Research and Secondary Research

Primary Research Secondary Research
Research is conducted first hand to obtain data. Researcher “owns” the data collected. Research is based on data collected from previous researches.
Primary research is based on raw data. Secondary research is based on tried and tested data which is previously analyzed and filtered.
The data collected fits the needs of a researcher, it is customized. Data is collected based on the absolute needs of organizations or businesses. Data may or may not be according to the requirement of a researcher.
Researcher is deeply involved in research to collect data in primary research. As opposed to primary research, secondary research is fast and easy. It aims at gaining a broader understanding of subject matter.
Primary research is an expensive process and consumes a lot of time to collect and analyze data. Secondary research is a quick process as data is already available. Researcher should know where to explore to get most appropriate data.

 

 

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