What is designing research? Once you’ve decided whether you’re doing qualitative or quantitative research, the next step is figuring out the broad shape your research will take. In this video, I’ll help you decide which type of design is right for your research. First we need to know what is design research? First we’ll get to grips with the two main types of quantitative design, and then we’ll dive into some common types of qualitative design. What is designing research? Quantitative designs can be split into two main categories. Descriptive and correlational designs aim to measure variables and understand relationships between them, while experimental and quasi-experimental designs are best for testing cause-and-effect relationships. What is designing research? In descriptive and correlational designs, you measure variables without influencing them. This allows you to observe characteristics, trends, and relationships as they exist in the real world. What is designing research? A descriptive design focuses only on systematically measuring variables, while a correlational design tests whether variables are related to each other. For example, you could use a correlational design to find out if the rise in online teaching in the past year correlates with any change in test scores. With these designs, it’s hard to draw conclusions about cause and effect because other factors may influence the results. For example, the change in test scores might not be caused by classes being taught online, but by other variables such as increased stress and health issues among students and teachers. What is designing research?An experimental design involves manipulating an independent variable and measuring the outcome of a dependent variable while controlling other factors. For example, let’s say you want to test whether a new online teaching method improves test scores. What is design research is that the independent variable is the teaching method, and the dependent variable is the test score. In an experimental design, you would randomly assign one group of students to be taught using the new method and another group to be taught using a standard method, in order to compare their outcomes in test scores.
What is designing research? Experiments are the strongest way to test cause-and-effect relationships without the risk of other variables influencing the results. However, their controlled conditions may not always reflect how things work in the real world. What is designing research? They’re often also more difficult and expensive to implement. If it isn’t possible to randomly sort your subjects into groups, another option is a quasi-experimental design. This means comparing the outcomes of pre-existing groups that differ on an independent variable. For example, if one teacher in a school has already decided to implement the new teaching method, you could test whether her class outcomes differ from comparable classes that use the standard method. So, those are the main types of quantitative research design for what is design research. But what if you’re doing qualitative research? Qualitative designs tend to be a bit less rigidly defined. This approach is about gaining a rich, detailed understanding of a specific context or phenomenon, and you can often be more creative and flexible in designing your research. What is design research? Two common types of qualitative design are case studies and ethnographies, both of which involve taking a deep dive into a narrowly defined subject. Case study designs involve choosing a subject and gathering detailed data on it. You can also do several case studies and compare them. For example, you could do a case study on a typical high school in your area, or you could choose three high schools with different demographic profiles and do case studies to compare their experiences of online learning. What is design research? Ethnographic designs involve gathering data about the culture of a specific social group or organization by immersing yourself in and often directly participating in the community. What is design research and its aim? The aim is to give a rich, full account of the beliefs, habits and social dynamics of the chosen group. For example, you could do an ethnographic study of a particular school by joining and observing classes over several weeks or months, aiming to gain a rich understanding of how students and teachers interact and behave in online and offline environments.
There are many other kinds of qualitative design, and they often look quite similar in terms of data collection, but take different approaches to interpreting and understanding the data. For example: Phenomenological research aims to understand a phenomenon or event by describing participants’ lived experiences. Narrative research examines how stories are told to understand how people perceive and make sense of their experiences. Grounded theory takes a more systematic approach, using qualitative data to develop new theories and hypotheses. So, now you’ve got a good idea of the types of designs you can choose from. Next up: who exactly will your research focus on, and how will you go about selecting your participants?.