Likely Theory Action Research Questions with Answers.

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Q 1.

(a) What is educational research?

(b) Explain any four problems facing research in Ghana

answers

(a)

v According to burns (1994), research is “a scientific investigation of find answers to a problem

v To Gut (1992) research has to do with the formal systematic application of scientific method to the study of educational problems

v Frankel and Wallen (2000) point out that, the term “research” can mean any sort of careful systematic knowledge, undertaken to discover or establish facts and principles.

v Amedahe (2004) says that research involves the systematic application of the scientific method to answer perplexing questions so as to increase knowledge and understanding of phenomena.

Note; Anyone of them is correct definition of educational research

(b)

i. Illiteracy:

In Ghana the proportional/rate of illiteracy estimated at 60% and 70% which is high. It is difficult for people who cannot read or write appreciate the need to supply relevant information due to suspension. Again effective communication with the illiterate folks is difficult.

ii. Secrecy:

Our social and political set-up make people secretive and hence try to be lip-tight over issues such as marital affairs, financial matters, health matters and like. 14

“People do not open up /responds to questions seeking information on such issues due to suspicion.

iii. Lack of Statistics/Scanty Statistics:

The basic statistics that form the bedrock of research are often not available and where they are available they may be outmoded and unreliable.

iv. Lack of Financial Support

There is lack of financial support and the capital equipped, lack of basic equipment either from the government or the private sector. Research centres and laboratories are poorly equipped, lack of basic equipments like computers due to lack of funds. As a result enterprises in Ghana are research-oriented.

v. Neglect of Previous Researches.

People would not want to take up research if previous researches are not being used.

vi. Lack of Research Skills

Research is not done anyhow. It requires certain skills which is not available to students in institution of high learning. The result is that many who may be carrying out research may lack the much needed skills.

Q 2.

a) Explain the meaning of the term “review of related literature”

b) Explain five importance of review of related literature.

answers

a). In the classical format, this is usually the chapter two of the report. It has to do with locating, reading, sifting and analyzing documents /books containing information related to the topic under consideration. In other words, it is the summary of the writings of recognized authorities and previous researches done on the problem under investigation.

The review is in two parts, with each performing a unique function;

i) Theoretical review which sets the theoretical framework or base for the research study; and

ii) Empirical review which puts the current research into perspective to show the state of the art.

b) Importance

i) It helps to determine what has been done or others have said or written that relates to the problem under the study.

ii) It helps the researcher to know how feasible the study is in relation to resources available to him or her.

iii) It helps the researcher to interpret the significance of the studies. It shares with the researcher result of other study that is closely related to the study being undertaken.

iv). It points out research strategies and procedures as well as measurable instruments that other authorities have used. This may give an idea to the researcher about how to organize his/her into a logical pattern.

v) It helps in the identification of a research problem. By critically examining the process of a study a researcher is likely to exploit a loop-hole upon which he can develop a research problem.

vi). It helps to delimit the research problem; the researcher gets to know the scope of other studies and this guides him/her to delimit his/her problem.

vii) It provides a framework for establishing the importance of the study as well as serving as a benchmark for comparing the results of the study with other findings.

QN 3.

a) Explain clearly when each of the following techniques in data collection is most appropriate for data collection

i. Observation

ii. Questionnaire

iii. Interview

b) State and explain THREE advantages and TWO disadvantages of the use of questionnaire in data collection.

answers

a).

i. Observation

It is appropriate when the phenomena being studied lend itself to watching and recording events or incidents. When a researcher wants to understand the natural environment as lived by participants without altering or manipulation. When you are dealing with young children

ii. Questionnaire

a) When a question is descriptive survey

b) When participants in a study can meaningfully read and write

c) When sample is large and cannot be easily interviewed and are literate

d) The study lends itself to specific issue that does not need any further explanation by respondents.

iii. Interview

a) When the participants are relatively small in number

b) When participants in a study are not able to read and write

c) When there is the need to probe further into issues with for their clearer understanding

d) When interviewees can easily be reached for face to face or telephone interview

b)

Advantages

i. Less expensive

ii. Can be used when respondents are scattered.

iii. Provide uniform questions to participants.

iv. Completed at respondents convenience

v. Ensure anonymity.

Disadvantages

i. Not appropriate for illiterate population

ii. Less motivated due to lack of contact

iii. Do not allow for the collection of any additional information

iv. Low return rate

v. Can produce results which are not credible

QN. 4.

a). What is a questionnaire?

b). Explain FOUR advantages of using a questionnaire to gather data for research.

answers:

A)

v The Questionnaire is a carefully designed instrument for collecting data in accordance with the specifications of the research questions and hypotheses.

v It consists of a set of questions to which the subject respond in writing

v It may also be described as a self – report instrument used for gathering information about variables of interest in an investigation.

v It is often a onetime data – gathering device on the variables of interest to the researcher.

v It is a form consisting of interrelated questions prepared by the researcher about the research problem under investigation, based on the objectives of the study.

v It is a set of questions distributed to a large number of people to respond to in writing. These are collected and analyzed.

Note; anyone of them is correct definition of questionnaire

B) Advantages

1. As a tool for data collections, it is less expensive compared to other methods. This is because the questionnaire can be mailed to the respondent to fill in, and also mailed back to the researcher for analysis.

2. Questionnaire can be filled at the respondent’s convenience. This increases the chances of getting valid information.

3. Questionnaire can involve personal on- the spot administration and collection and thus produces quick results. This enables the researcher to complete the work within the stipulated time.

4. Questionnaires offer greater assurance of anonymity. In the case where the researcher is handling a sensitive topic like corruption in an organization, the target sample can give sensitive information without fear, as their identification is not needed on the questionnaire.

5. Questionnaires may cover a wide geographical area since researchers approach respondents more easily through questionnaires than any other method.

6. It yields objective results compared to other data collection techniques.

7. It is easier to administer in collecting data as compare to other techniques

8. Problem of not contact does not exist.

Q 5.

a. Describe the steps involved in the research process?

b. Argue which is the most difficult step.

Answers

a.

The research process includes the ff. steps

Step 1: Identification of the problem to be investigated.

Step 2: Review of related literature.

Step 3: Identifying research questions and hypothesis (to clarify the research

problem)

Step 4: Development of research designs for data collection, including sampling

methodology and data gathering instruments.

Step 5: Data analyses, interpretations, drawing conclusion form findings and

recommendation based on conclusion.

Step 6: Writing the research report.

b. The chosen step should come from the first three. Reasons may include difficulty in.

Ü Delimiting the many factors in a problem to specific one.

Ü Defining characteristics and issues to e included and those to be assessed

NB: When these steps are accomplished (or well executed) the others are methodological and may logically (naturally) follow.

QN. 6

a. Explain the difference between “a population” and “a sample” in research.

b. Describe the following sampling procedures;

Simple random sampling

Cluster sampling

Snowball sampling

Purposive sampling

answers

a. A population is:

A complete collection of all the elements that are of interest in a particular study or investigation. A totality of objects or people having one or more characteristics in common that are of interest to the researcher and where inferences or generalization are to be made. Not necessarily demographic (i.e., consisting of human), but could be objects.

A sample is:

A collection of some (a subset) elements of population. Portions of the population whose results can be generalize to the entire population. An extraction of some subjects of the population for the purpose of studying certain characteristics of the population.

b.

i. Simple random sampling: This is a sample obtained by the population in such a way that samples of the same sample size have equal chances of being selected. In other words, every element of the population is given and has an equal chance of being selected. Two commonly used methods are lottery and random numbers.

ii. Cluster Sampling: Here elements of the population are grouped into clusters (i.e. partitioning the population into sub-groups) Sampling, random sampling or any type o sampling is then used on the clusters to obtain the sample required.

iii. Snowball sampling (also known as network sampling): It involves a researcher asking a key to name other people who should be contacted in order to gather information to understand some aspect of an issue under study. It is used in cases where respondents are difficult and impossible to locate using other means.

i. Purposive Sampling (also called judgmental sampling): The researcher selects a sample based on his or her experience of knowledge of group to be sampled. She/he has in mind that the respondents have the information being required. It is also an attempt to include a range of people or a variety of different situations in a study. E.g., using some lower level and higher level for a study on leadership.

QN. 7

1. What is “research” in a scholarly sense?

2. Discuss FIVE characteristics of research.

answers;

(a)

Research entails identification of a problem, data collection, organization, analysis and interpretation of the results obtained with the view to solving the identified problem.

More formally, research can be defined as a systematic investigation to increase knowledge and / or understanding of a phenomenon. It is the search for an answer to an unsolved and perplexing question(s) using the scientific approach.

Gay (1992), for example, defines research as the formal, systematic application of the scientific method to the study of problems. In short, we can say that research is the systematic application of the scientific method to answer perplexing questions in order to increase knowledge and understanding of phenomena. Research is a form of scientific inquiry.

Research is the manner in which we solve perplexing problems in our attempt to push back the frontiers of our ignorance regarding phenomena (things or issues).

Note; anyone is accepted

(b)

Ø Research begins with the questions, an issue or problem in the mind of the researcher. Those characteristic points out that when you set out to do research you must have set in mind a question to answer an issue to explain or a problem to solve.

Ø Research requires a plan. Research entails a clearly stated plan, including direction and procedures. Research is a purposeful activity and for it to be successful, it requires a plan. In research language, the plan is known as a research proposal.

Ø Research demands a clear statement of the problem: A good research commences with a clear statement of the problem or issue of concern. The first characteristic says research begins with a problem, issue or question you set out to deal with in your research must be stated clearly indicating the relevant variables and the expected relationship, if any.

Ø Research deals with the main problem through sub – problems. Usually, the main issue or problem of concern may be too big to solve at ago. What, therefore, is done is to break down the main problem into smaller problems to which the researcher will find solutions to by solving smaller problems within the bigger problem, the main problem is solved.

Ø Research seeks direction through appropriate hypotheses or questions. Having stated the problem or issue of study and the attendant sub – problems, the sub – problems are then each stated in the form of hypothesis or a specific research question.

Ø Research deals with facts and their meanings. Earlier, we explained that research does not mean data collection per se. research goes beyond the collection of data. It is a fact that in research data are collected.

QN. 8

(a) Explain interview as a tool for data collection.

(b) Discuss FIVE skills or qualities an interviewer should possess to collect a credible data for study

answers

(a) An interview is a form of questioning characterized by the fact that it employs verbal questioning as its principal technique of data collection. It involves posing questions to respondents for answers in a face-to-face situation or by phone. It also represents direct attempt by the researcher to obtain reliable and valid measures of characteristics, behaviours, attitudes, etc in the form of verbal responses from one or more respondents.

(b) Amedahe (2002) has identified the following skills and qualities to be followed for a successful interview session.

1. Knowledgeable; the researcher must be knowledgeable on the topic/theme he/she is working on. This will enable interviewer to pursue relevant issues.

2. Structuring; an interviewer should be able to structure the interview- introduction process and closing. He/she should be able to give an introduction that will capture the attention of the interviewees. In the process of the interview he/she should be lively and not boring in order to sustain the interview throughout the session.

3. Clear; The interviewer should pose clear, simple, short and straight forward questions. He/she should be able to speak distinctly and understandably and avoid academic and professional jargons.

4. Gentle; Allows subjects to complete what they are saying and tolerate pause and accept unconventional and provocative opinions.

5. Sensitive; Listen attentively to the content of what is said. be empathetic, if need be.

6. Steering; The interviewer should control the course of the interview and should not be afraid of interrupting digressions from the interviewee.

7. Open; approach the interview with an open mind. Must be open to others’ opinions. Accept whatever opinions and interviewee expresses on an issue once he/she has not digressed.

8. Critical; does not take everything that is said at the face value but questions critically to test the reliability and validity of what the interviewee tell.

9. Remembering; the interviewer should be able to retain and recall what interviewees tell and must be able to relate them.

10. Interpreting; an interviewer must throughout the interview session try to clarity and extend the meanings of the statements made by the interviewee for confirmation or disconfirmation.

QN. 9.

State and explain FIVE steps involved in the use of the scientific method in carrying out inquiry. Indicate the relevance of each step in the process.

answers;

The general order of the scientific method is as follows:

(a) Identification of a Problem or Question: There is a problem or a question of some sort to start with. That is, in the use of the scientific method to obtain knowledge, there must be a problem to begin with. The problem may be an issue or something bothering the researcher and needs explanation or comprehension.

If there is no problem of some sort to be solved, or a question to be answered, one cannot commence a scientific inquiry.

(b) Clarification of the Problem: Once a problem is identified, the researcher takes steps to define it more precisely. The purpose here is to make the problem clearer and exact as to what the purpose of the study is. This second step directly relates to the characteristic of precision.

(c) Determination of the information needed to solve the problem and how to obtain it: Having clarified the problem either through operational definitions, review of previous research and formulation of hypotheses or specific questions, there is the need to determine the information relevant to be collected and how to collect the information. The information may be quantitative (i.e., dealing with number) or participants of a study determine how to obtain the data. For example, you may decide to give a questionnaire to teachers to complete but interview their pupils on relevant issues.

It is important for you to note that, the data collected and how it is collected are very important in determining the credibility of the results of a study.

(d) Organization of the Information (Data): In this fourth step, the researcher must decide how he / she will organize the information that will be obtained. This is to make sense out of the data collected. This can take the form of summarizing the data (e.g., computing descriptive statistics) and analyzing it (i.e. testing formulated hypotheses or guesses).

(e) Interpretation of the Results: After the data is organized, summarized and analyzed, the next step is to interpret the emerging results. Interpretation of the results is one of the most important parts of researcher. Research is not data collection per se so we need to interpret the data and the results. This process ends with a conclusion which we said, is tentative.

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