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    Research Methodology Course Overview

    Research Methodology Overview

    What is Research?

    Research is the process of collecting information about a particular subject through a meticulous search.  It is the experimentation or investigation intended to find and understand facts and review accepted theories or laws in the context of new facts or real-world applications.

    In other words, research is a unique and systematic exploration to enhance existing knowledge and establish principles and facts. Many people consider research as an expedition of innovation of new knowledge.

    Without a proper research methodology, you can’t effectively accomplish your research. Research methodology is a systematic and creative method adopted to enhance the stock of knowledge. It involves the assortment, organisation, and investigation of information to enhance the understanding of a topic. A research methodology may be used in those research projects that aim to expand past work in the field. It may also be used to test the legitimacy of experiments, instruments, or procedures.

    The fundamentals of research methodology serve as a vital source for offering norms or guidelines for solving problems in different industries. It is an assortment of formal research methodology training that helps you understand the new developments going on in a particular field.  For example, pursuing a research methodology course in social sciences trains you to conduct extensive research and try to uplift society's social standards.

    A research methodology always begins with a research problem or question. This is the first step that defines the statement of an issue or the area of concern. This research problem should be tested or discovered; it must not be too detailed or vague. With this problem statement, you can determine the objectives of the research.

    Determining the research objective is one of the key facets of
    research methodology. The research objectives describe the research intention to discover something. From these objectives, the researchers form a hypothesis (the prediction or assumption or prediction tested by the research). The remaining part of the research is carried out to either support or discredit the hypothesis.  

    From various research methodology courses available, you can begin with a basic research methodology course to learn how to conduct research. The courses also impart training on various techniques, types of research, the most suitable research method based on the problem statement, etc.

    Characteristics of Research

    The fundamentals of research methodology involve understanding the characteristics of research. These characteristics define how the research should be.

    characteristics of research methodology
    • Controlled-

    The research must be controlled because the relation between two or more variables is impacted by each other. In this context, the variables can be internal or external). It can’t design a specific research report if the research is uncontrollable.

    • Systematic-

    Organised research makes it easy to obtain the required information. The researchers can’t evaluate or obtain the relevant information if it's not systematic. Various steps are involved in conducting a systematic research process. All the contained steps of the processes are interconnected.

    The plan must be free from any loopholes. It should begin with a problem or question that needs to be resolved step-by-step.

    • Rigorous-

    The research should be rigorous because it assists you in following the exact procedures to discover the answers related to relevant questions. Usually, the research information comprises two types of sciences: social sciences and physical science. Irrespective of the information contained, the research should be carried out exhaustively.Pursuing a basic research methodology course can familiarise you with how to conduct rigorous research on a topic.

    • Valid-

    It implies that information amassed by the researcher must be accurate and verified by them. If the collected information is valid, the research will be ethical in nature. The fundamental objective of every research is to conduct the research legally and reliably.  Moreover, the techniques and procedures must be well tested. They must be pertinent to the research topic.

    • Empirical-

    In research methodology, any conclusion is entirely based on ethical or hard evidence gathered from observations and practical experiences.

    • Replicable-

    It means that there must be scope to validate the findings of previous research. Somebody can validate your conducted research in a new environment with a new group of subjects or at some different time.

    Objectives of Research

    The fundamental objective of a research is to collect evidence for theories and contribute to enhancing knowledge in a particular field of study. With a clearly defined objective, researchers can know how to begin and go through each research methodology step. Ultimately, this helps them come up with valuable findings about the topic under study.

    A clearly defined research objective helps you choose the best research methodology training methods. When you pursue a basic course in research methodology, the first step involves how to define research objectives.


    Types of Research Objectives:

    • General Objective

    • Specific Objectives

    • Ultimate Objective

    • Immediate Objectives

    1. General Objective:

    The general objective of a study mentions the expectations to be achieved from the proposed study in general terms.


    2. Specific Objectives:

    Considering that the general objectives are correctly stated, it is logical to categorise them into various smaller, logically linked parts. They are usually referred to as specific objectives.


    3. Ultimate Objective:

    It emphasises how the results will be used to encourage policymakers and program managers to implement the recommendations from the survey results.


    4. Immediate Objectives:

    These objectives specify the focus of the proposed research in a behavioural context.

    Types of Research

    You can understand all major types of research while continuing the basic course in research methodology. The types of research are explained below:

    1. Fundamental research:

    Also called basic research, it intends to help researchers better understand certain phenomena from a practical viewpoint. It focuses on how things work. This research aims to expand your understanding using scientific explanations and theories. For example, fundamental research can entail a company’s study of how various product placements impact product sales.

    2. Qualitative research:

    It covers non-numerical data like literature and opinions. The examples include:

    • Surveys
    • Focus groups
    • Observations
    • Participant comments
    • Interviews


    3. Quantitative research:

    It uses fundamental research methodology and statistics, numerical data, and measurements. For example, an automobile manufacturer may compare the number of car sales to bikes.


    4. Mixed research:

    It incorporates both quantitative and qualitative data.

    Questions like to what extent does the frequency of births (quantitative) reflects the citizen’s perception of birth rate (qualitative) in India? are an example of mixed research methods. 

     5. Applied research:

    It identifies solutions to specific problems or discovers answers to specific questions.

    Some of the examples of Applied research are as follows:

    • Studies to decrease cyber crime rates. 
    • Studies to depict pay gap in the workforce.

    6. Longitudinal research:

    It investigates how certain measurements change with respect to time without influencing any variables.

    A two year long study depicting a children learning to speak would be an example of longitudinal research.

    7. Exploratory research:

    It investigates what is already acknowledged about a topic and what extra information may be relevant.

    A study into the role of technology as an effective financial tool is an example of exploratory research.


    8. Cross-sectional research:

    It studies a group or subgroup at a specific point in time.

    A medical study examining the genetic disorders amongst the defined population.

    9. Laboratory research:

    It is conducted in a controlled laboratory setting.

    • A research undertaken to discover vaccine or medicine that can cure Covid’s affect in a human body.


    10. Field research:

    Field research is conducted wherever the subjects or participants are “on location".

    Researchers findings to understand the pollution’s effect on the flora and fauna of the ecosystem. 

    11. Flexible research:

    It permits procedures to change during the experiment.

    12. Fixed research:

    It uses experiment procedures that are accurately determined ahead of time. A few examples of experiment procedures it uses are the frequency of testing, the place of testing, types of subjects, and the number of subjects.

    • A researcher wants to know how different e- commerce platforms affects the consumers behaviour of shopping.


    13. Action research:

    It involves the process of investigating your actions, evaluating their effectiveness in providing the anticipated outcome, and selecting a course of action depending on your outcomes.

    • Using structured or semi-structured interviews of the tea sellers to investigate affect of Covid on their business. 


    14. Classification research:

    It identifies and classifies individual elements of a group into bigger groups or subgroups.

    • The categorisation of the demography into gender, age, location in order to predict the buying behaviour.

    15. Policy research:

    It helps you to observe the effects of the current government or social policies or foresee the potential effects of the proposed policies.

    • The research on the automobile safety, abortion, air pollution would be the example of policy research.

    16. Comparative research:

    It identifies similarities and dissimilarities between two subjects, individuals, or groups.

    • The gender ratio in the tech field.


    17. Inductive research:

    Also called theory-building research, it helps you to collect data that may help evolve a new theory about a phenomenon or process.

    • The cats here are all white. All cats I have ever seen are white.


    18. Deductive research:

    Also known as theory-testing, deductive research is the opposite of inductive research. Its focus transits from the broad to the specific.

    • (A=B) → All dolphins are mammals. 
    • (B=c) → All mammals have heart.
    • (A=C) → All dolphins have a heart.

    19. Causal research:

    Also known as explanatory research, it determines cause and effect relationships between the stated variables.

    The government initiates mid- day meal in selective schools. The observation comes that the attendance has increased with the onset of it.  After they initiate the mid- day meal service in more number of schools and receive the identical results, they conclude that the mid- day meal and attendance increase has the causal relationship.

    Purpose of Research

    Though research can adopt many forms, there are three key purposes of research explained below:

     purpose of research

    i. Exploratory Research:

    It defines the research conducted about a problem that has not been clearly defined yet. It aims to attain a better understanding of the precise nature of the problem. It makes sure not to offer a decisive answer to the problem itself. Therefore, it enables researchers to conduct more exhaustive research.


    ii. Explanatory Research:

    Also known as casual research, it is conducted to know how variables interact. It identifies cause-and-effect relationships. Generally, explanatory research works on discovering the ‘why’ of research questions. Thus, it is often dependent on experiments.


    iii. Descriptive Research:

    It extends the knowledge of a research problem or occurrence by delineating it as per its population and characteristics. Generally, descriptive research focuses on the ‘what’ and ‘how’, not the ‘why’.

    Approaches to Research - Exploratory v/s Conclusive research approaches:

    Exploratory research approach

    Conclusive research approach

    Exploratory research is a research methodology approach that examines research questions that are not previously studied in depth.

    As implied from the name, the Conclusive research approach is used to create findings practically beneficial in deriving conclusions or decision-making. This approach needs the data requirements and research objectives to be clearly defined.

    Its objective is to obtain insights and understanding.

    Its objective is to test hypotheses and relationships.

    Three important characteristics are:

    • Information needs are loosely defined
    • The research process is flexible and unstructured
    • Small representative sample


    Three important characteristics are:

    • Information needs are clearly defined
    • The research process is structured and formal
    • Large representative sample

    Exploratory research is usually qualitative because it heavily relies on qualitative data. (Certain studies involving a large sample conducted in an exploratory way can be quantitative.)


    Examples of some common qualitative approaches utilised in exploratory research are case studies, focus groups, and interviews.


    Conclusive research heavily relies on the use of quantitative data. Thus, it uses plenty of statistical tests, advanced analytical techniques, and advanced research methodology to get a large sample size.


    It provides an improved understanding of a research problem

    It helps you arrive at outcomes or decisions

    The exploratory research approach allows some adjustments because it is unstructured and flexible.


    The conclusive research approach doesn’t allow adjustments because it is structured and rigid.

    The outcome is usually followed by further exploratory conclusive research.

    The outcome involves findings used as input to the decision-making.

    For example, a business asking the reason for sales drop.

    For example, a business understanding the variations in chocolate consumption based on their age, income, and occupation.

    Steps in a research process

    Following the proper steps will help you accomplish your research. Let’s go through them:

     steps in research methodology

    Step-1: Identifying and defining the research problem

    A well-identified and well-defined problem will help the researchers to complete all the phases of the research process, from defining objectives to choosing the
    research methodology.

    The question that may arise is, do all problems need research? Well, researchers have to identify both non-research problems and research problems.

    Non-research problems-

    They don’t need any research to reach a solution. They entail vague details and can’t be solved through research.


    Research Problems-

    They encompass a feeling of discomfort, a perceived difficulty, or a difference between a common belief and reality. To define a research problem, you need the following:

    • Defining the statement of the problem

    • Justifying the problem

    • Analysing the problem

    Step-2: Literature Review

    The literature review is an essential part of the research process. It helps the researchers to formulate their problem in the context of the explicit aspects of the general area of their interest that has not been researched till now.

    It facilitates researchers with exposure to a huge body of knowledge. Also, it equips them with enhanced knowledge to competently follow the research process.

    Following a proper literature review allows the researcher to establish the coherence between the results of their study and those derived by others. For both beginner and experienced researchers, reviewing previous documents on related phenomena is important.


    Here are the characteristics of literature review that lead to effective research:

    • It prevents duplication of the work which has been accomplished in the recent past.

    • It helps the researcher discern what others have learned and stated on the problem.

    • It helps the researcher to build an analytical framework.

    • It familiarises the researcher with the methodology adopted by others.

    • It helps the researcher comprehend what theories and concepts are relevant to their study area.

    • It helps the researcher to learn any unanswered research questions.

    • It helps the researcher to discern if there are any noteworthy contradictions, controversies, and inconsistencies in the discoveries.

    Step-3: Creating research questions, hypotheses, and defining objectives

    After determining and defining the research problem, the researchers must create a formal statement of the problem resulting in research objectives. When creating a formal statement, they will consider the relevant research questions and the hypotheses related to the proposed topic.

    Defining a research objective will accurately convey the key areas of research, describe the type of information to be collected, and offer a framework for the study. A testable, well-formulated research hypothesis is the best manifestation of a research objective.


    Step-4: Selecting the study design

    The research design is the framework for accomplishing objectives as well as answering research questions. In other words, it is a master plan stating the procedures and methods for processing and examining the collected data.

    Four types of research designs that a researcher can choose from for conducting their study:

    • Experiment

    • Survey

    • Observational study

    • Secondary data study

    Step-5: Determining the sample design

    Sampling is a critical step in every research process. Primarily, sampling involves any process that uses a comparatively small number of portions or items (known as samples) of a space (known as population) to determine the whole population.

    The fundamental question involved in determining the sample design is how to choose a sample. To answer it, you should be familiar with the sampling methods.

    Types of sampling methods:

    • Probability sampling

    • Non-probability sampling

    You can use Probability sampling to ensure all units have a known nonzero probability of selection in the target population.

    You can use Non-Probability sampling if there is no feasible alternative. It helps in collecting units from a population using a subjective method..


    Step-6: Accumulating Data from the research sample

    The process of accumulating data may vary from simple observation to an extensive survey in any well-defined population. Various ways to collect data are available. You need to choose the one depending on the research design, the objectives of the study, and the accessibility of money, time, and personnel.

    Surveys are studies that obtain data by questioning respondents. Self-governed surveys can also help you in data collection. Other data collection methods are telephone interviews, the census, previous surveys, official documents, vital registration records, etc.


    Step-7: Process and examine the collected research data

    Collecting the data is not just enough. After collecting it, you need to process and analyse it. Generally, the data processing commences with the editing of data. Data editing guarantees consistency over all the respondents and also helps to detect errors if any.

    Usually, data analysis involves breaking down the collected data to a manageable size, creating summaries, pattern examination, and implementing techniques for interpreting the findings in the context of the research questions.

    The data analysis techniques can vary from typical graphical analyses to very complex multivariate analyses. The chosen techniques depend on the implemented research design, the study’s objectives, and the collected data.


    Step-8: Developing a research proposal and writing a report

    A research proposal is a work strategy, catalogue, offer, outline, and statement of intent or commitment from a researcher or an organisation to create a product or provide a service to a potential client. It helps maintain the sequence in the research process. It answers questions like ‘what’, ‘where’, ‘how’, and ‘whom’ about the research.

     Any scientific study aims to understand the results and derive conclusions. For that, it is essential to prepare a report and convey the recommendations and findings to administrators/program managers/policymakers for making decisions.

     You can write various types of research reports, including:-

    • Term papers

    • Dissertations

    • Thesis

    • Journal articles

    • Presentation papers for professional conferences and seminars

    • Books

    Note that the outcomes of a research investigation are only effective if they are communicated to others. Hence, the next task is to disseminate the results after you develop the research proposal and write the report.

    The Role of Research in Business

    The following points justify the significance of research in business:

    role of research in business

    Solves critical business-centric problems:

    Many organisations mostly research to solve the critical problems surrounding areas like customer satisfaction, product innovation, customer complaints, market competition, and new government policies impacting the industry.


    Improves decision-making:

    The decision-making process demands systematic efforts to examine a specific problem in a business environment. The foremost step in understanding the problem is identifying the critical issue that demands further investigation. The subsequent steps are to discern factors related to the problem, collection of relevant information, data analysis, interpret the result and offer the recommendation to the manager for decision-making. The research’s outcome would be the findings that help the managers to tackle real-life situations.


    Analyses market trends:

    Research helps to answer questions for various problems, including getting a grasp on industry trends, recognising new products to produce and launch to the market, deciding the location for the site outlet, and a better understanding of ways to fulfil customers’ demands. Furthermore, research can help businesses to evaluate how well customers acknowledge their products. Research also allows expansion into new markets.

    Solves marketing empirical problems:

    Firm managers and business owners require research to make decisions and solve marketing empirical problems. Marketing managers can make informed decisions using statistical research models for scientific business analysis. Business research helps to assess the customers’ responses to the products/services. Accordingly, the business can implement better marketing strategies and also improve its products/services.


    Foresees success of new products:

    Research aids in testing the expected success of new products. Before beginning with marketing, businesses should understand what types of products consumers will like. For example, a cake shop may conduct focus groups right in the beginning to test various types of cakes. Usually, small groups of consumers will participate in the focus groups.


    Enhances organisational effectiveness overall:

    Result analysis is one of the important processes in research. It allows management to modify to enhance the overall effectiveness of the organisation and its personnel. Based on the result analysis, workers can be trained to fulfil the organisation's demands. Consequently, it will benefit professional and personal development while boosting organisational effectiveness.

    Components of Research Methodology

    Research not only involves a series of steps and processes. During the implementation, it also uses certain materials, instruments, methods, participants, etc. All of them are collectively known as the research components. You must be familiar with research components to get a thorough understanding of the research. These components apply to all kinds of research.

    Here is the list of components of the research methodology:

    i. Research study’s questions

    ii. Study propositions

    iii. Analysis unit

    iv. Connection of data and propositions

    v. Interpretation of a study’s findings

    vi. Reporting Plan


    i. Research study’s questions:

    This component involves answering various types of questions like ‘what’, ‘who’, ‘why’, ‘how’, and ‘where’. Answering these questions provides an important clue about the most pertinent research methods to use. Getting answers to these questions fulfils the measurement objectives. These objectives must be concise and clear. You must explain all the concerned measurement objectives in detail. Make sure to be precise and not to leave any scope for error in the results.

    To get precise answers to these questions, the first step is to conduct a literature review. It helps to narrow down your interest to a key topic(s). Once you have completed the literature review, the next step is to identify key studies relevant to your topic of interest. You need to identify questions in such relevant studies and determine whether they conclude with the new questions for imminent research.


    ii. Study propositions:

    Every proposition guides something that has to be inspected in the scope of the research study. Stating some study propositions help you to proceed in the right direction in your research journey.  In addition to highlighting the crucial theoretical issue, the study propositions also imply where you can search for the related proof.


    iii. Analysis unit:

    The unit of analysis is related to the underlying problem. An effective analysis unit has benefited many researchers right at the start of the case studies.  For example, if we consider clinical patients as a unit of analysis, the information about these individuals will be collected. Several such individuals can be components of a multiple-case study.

    When it comes to a unit of analysis, the data collection methodology comes into play. It entails the logistics of the research and determines how data must be collected. If there are multiple data collection sources, the research methodology must describe each source and how they suit together to make the research successful.


    iv. Connection of data and propositions:

    The next research component to consider is the interlinking of data and propositions. Logic models, explanation building, pattern matching, time-series analysis, and cross-case synthesis are various methods of linking data to propositions. The actual analysis demands that you unite or calculate your study data as a direct replication of your initial study propositions.

    Remember to base each question on a minimum of one of the research objectives. You must also make a separate connection between the research objective and each survey question. You must not ask questions that don’t directly link to a research objective.


    v. Interpretation of a study’s findings:

    The research can’t be validated without interpreting the study’s findings. A statistical analysis concludes whether the study's results support the hypothesis. Various statistical tests like T-tests, Chi-square tests, and one-way analysis of variance are conducted as per the type of data, types, the number of variables, and data categories.


    vi. Reporting Plan:

    A reporting Plan helps you to plan to share the collected information. You need to decide the format in which you would deliver the reports (for example, PowerPoint). Specify the length of the reports and what information each report includes. Create a timeline with milestones and KPIs, so everybody knows when to anticipate deliverables.

    Research Methodology

    The following section describes the key aspects of the Research Methodology:


    1. Research design:

    You can define the research design as a general plan regarding what you would do to answer the defined research question. In other words, it is a framework for selecting specific methods of data analysis and data collection. Moreover, it answers your research question through empirical data.

    Preparing a research design means making decisions regarding the collection of reliable data and using the right analysis method to answer your questions with credible sources. So, you can derive valid, reliable conclusions.

    A well-planned research design ensures your method matches your research objective, that you obtain high-quality data, and use the right analysis to answer your questions, utilising credible sources. This allows you to draw valid, reliable conclusions. A well-organised research design helps ensure that your research methods match your research objectives and that you employ the right type of data analysis method.

    You may need to write up a research design as an individual assignment, or it may be a subset of a bigger research proposal. In either case, you must carefully consider the most feasible methods for answering your research question.

    In both quantitative and qualitative approaches, various types of research design are available to choose from. Each of these types provides a framework for your research.


    Types of quantitative research designs

    • Experimental

    • Quasi-experimental

    • Correlational

    • Descriptive

    qualitative research designs

    Types of qualitative research designs

    • Case study

    • Ethnography

    • Grounded theory

    • Phenomenology

     2. Methods of data collection:

    Data collection is a procedure of gathering information from all the relevant sources to test the hypothesis, get answers to the research problem, and assess the outcomes.

    Data collection methods are divided into two categories

    Primary data collection methods

    Secondary data collection methods

    Primary Data Collection Methods-

    Primary data refers to a type of data that has not been prevalent before. It specifies unique discoveries of your research. Typically, primary data collection and analysis need time and effort to conduct, unlike secondary data research.

    Primary data collection methods are divided into two types as explained below:


    -Quantitative data collection methods-

    They use mathematical calculations in different formats. They use methods like questionnaires (with closed-ended questions), mean, mode, and median, methods of correlation and regression, and others.

    Compared to qualitative methods, quantitative methods are cheaper and are employed in a shorter duration of time. Owing to a high level of standardisation of quantitative methods, it is simple to compare findings.


    -Qualitative data collection methods-

    They don’t depend on mathematical calculations. They are closely linked and associated with sounds, words, emotions, feelings, colours, and other elements which can’t be quantified. The aim is to guarantee an in-depth understanding of the research objective. Examples of qualitative data collection methods are questionnaires (with open questions), interviews, observation, focus groups, case studies, role-playing, etc.

    Note: Your choice between qualitative or quantitative data collection methods relies on your research area and its objectives.

    Secondary Data Collection Methods:

    Secondary data refers to data that has been already published in newspapers, magazines, books, online portals, journals, etc. These sources may contain abundant data about your research. Generally, secondary data collection methods are deeply discussed in the Literature Review section.

    These methods specify criteria like author’s credential, publication date, source’s reliability, discussions’ quality, depth of analyses, the amount of contribution of the text to the growth of the research area, etc.  These methods save you time, effort, and money.

     Let’s go through the details of each of them:

    1) Choosing the research area:

    You must choose the research area based on your personal or professional interest. The statement you proposed for the research must be relevant to your research objective. If your research problem and area are interesting, the entire research process becomes easier. So, use your time to think about the research area.

    2) Formulating research objectives and questions:

    The next important aspect of the research process is formulating research objectives and questions. You may also need to develop hypotheses. Your research approach determines whether you should choose the formulation of research questions or the development of hypotheses. Several attempts and revisions may be required to present a proper research objective or hypothesis.


    3) Conducting Literature Review

    Usually, the literature review is the longest part of the research process. It begins even before the creation of the research objective. The reason is that you must meticulously check if the same research problem has already been addressed. So, even before deciding on your research objective, you would have to conduct a literature review on your area of interest.

    However, you will conduct the major part of the literature review after finalising the research objectives. For an effective literature review, you need to use a broad range of secondary data sources like books, magazines, newspapers, online articles, journals, etc.


    4) Choosing data collection methods:

    You must choose the data collection method(s) after analytically analysing the benefits and limitations of several alternative methods. In research studies using primary data collection, you have to mention the advantages and disadvantages of the chosen primary data collection method(s) in detail in your research methodology.


    5) Collecting the primary data

    After choosing the data collection method(s), you need to collect primary data. At this stage, sampling is an important component. If you choose the questionnaire primary data collection method, you need to conduct pilot data collection. Note that primary data collection is not a mandatory stage in all research; you can skip it if you are working on desk-based research.


    6) Data analysis:

    Data analysis plays a vital role in the achievement of the research objectives. This stage focuses on comprehensive editing and coding of data. Chosen data analysis methods depends on primary and secondary studies, as well as quantitative and qualitative studies. The primary data’s coding plays a vital role in decreasing sample group responses to a more controllable format for storage and future processing.

    7) Conclusions:

    Conclusions indicate the level of achievement of research objectives. It is the final part of your research where you need to justify the reason behind why that research objectives have been achieved. Moreover, conclusions should cover research limitations and suggestions for future research.

    8) Preparing the final draft:

    Preparing the final draft involves organising the separate chapters into a single file. You may get feedback on this draft which needs to be addressed carefully.


    4. Observational research and experimental research:

    When conducting research, the researcher can conduct various research types to reach conclusions. Two major categories of research are observational and experimental research.

    The major difference between the two is that in an experimental study, the researcher owns control of most of the variables. Conversely, in an observational study, the researcher only observes the subject without controlling any variables.

    Let’s go through other points of difference:

    Observational research

    Experimental research

    Observational research is a study where the researcher only observes the subject without being capable of controlling any variables. Two key research techniques used are natural observation and participant observation.

    Experimental research is a study where the researcher can control most of the variables.

    The researcher only observes but can’t control the research environment.


    The researcher can manipulate variables to make modifications in the environment.


    It is mostly conducted in the social sciences.

    It is mostly conducted in the natural sciences.

    Generally, it uses a natural setting where the research subjects can behave naturally without being controlled.

    Generally, it uses the laboratory setting because the variables can be easily controlled without any intervention.



    5. Qualitative research and quantitative research:

    Qualitative research:

    Qualitative research is a method that allows non-numerical data collection using methods like case studies, interviews, literature review (explores theories and concepts), observations described in words, and focus groups. Researchers can amass data based on personal experiences, behaviours, feelings, and reasons. Due to this reason, qualitative research is extensively used in fields like psychology, social science, philosophy, and other areas where it is necessary to know the link between what has happened and why it has happened.

    Generally expressed in words, it is used to understand concepts, experiences, and thoughts. With this research, you can gain in-depth insights on poorly understood topics.

    Qualitative research is a subjective approach that focuses on a process-oriented inquiry. It develops the preliminary understanding of data and is one of the exploratory research type methods.

    Quantitative research:

    This research method collects and analyses numerical data via statistical analysis. It allows you to do calculations of variables, disclose relationships, and make generalisations over a larger population. Therefore, quantitative research is mostly used in the natural and physical sciences like engineering, chemistry, biology, physics, finance, medical research, computer science, etc.

    It is extensively used to test or validate assumptions and theories. Moreover, it can be used to establish generalisable facts on a topic.

    Examples of quantitative research methods are observations recorded as numbers, experiments, and surveys (with closed-ended questions).

    It is an objective approach that endorses a final course of action. It is categorised as a conclusive research type method.


    6. Qualitative and Quantitative Data Analysis:

    Qualitative Data Analysis:

    It is typically in narrative form and includes the data amassed from sources. It uses intangible information. It aims to discover similarities and dissimilarities in the data. Moreover, it facilitates the development of themes from the data and suggests the categories.

    It is essential to note that qualitative data merely provides information in a non-statistical and descriptive way. It doesn’t provide specific measurements.


    Quantitative Data Analysis:

    Measured in terms of numbers, this data analysis presents data in measurement scales that can be further evaluated for more statistical operation. It is presented in a more structured way and is easy to deal with. Furthermore, it clearly defines the quantity.

    Its objective is to support or negate a hypothesis. Subsequently, the results can be contextualised to the wider population.

    Why is an online Research Methodology Course better than an Offline Research Methodology Course?

    Although there are tons of benefits of pursuing research methodology courses online compared to offline courses, the following points highlight the key benefits:

    The most obvious benefit of pursuing one of the research methodology courses online is it saves time and money. Without approaching any physical locations, students can access the course content anytime, anywhere. Moreover, they can trace the content back and forth in case they are confused about any topic.

    The certificate course in research methodology provides ready access to a potentially huge, geographically varied participant pool. This facilitates cross-cultural research that produces big sample sizes. Thus, it leads to great statistical power and helps attain access to selected specialist populations. For example, students can access the large sample sizes for research studies through an online support group or online discussion forums.

    The online research methodology courses are better choices compared to offline ones if the budget is limited and the duration is less. Within a few sessions, they try to deliver all important concepts with a thorough understanding. Moreover, students can ask their doubts tutors even after the particular topic is completed.

    The free online courses on research methodology eliminate paper and data entry expenses, decrease implementation time, and decrease surveying costs. Moreover, they feature easy representation of data in numerical and graphic format.

    Without any hesitation, students can contact the instructor as soon as they have any doubts. On the other hand, when pursuing an offline research methodologies course, students may have to wait for one or multiple sessions to get their doubts solved.

    The free online certificate course on research methodology can solve the students’ doubts through emails and other advanced software. Moreover, these courses allow students to get assistance from peers through which they would learn better while discussing a problem.

    In the online option, if a student wishes to ask a doubt, other students will not be distracted. This is because they can ask the doubts individually to the tutor after the completion of research methodology classes.

    Choosing a reliable research methodology free online course helps students learn trending aspects of research methodology. Consequently, they can incorporate such aspects in their future research.

    The research methodology certificate course provides all the course material for lifetime access. Hence, students can access any topic whenever they want. Also, these online courses record the students’ performance via tests, which helps them analyse and improve their performance.

    Research Methodology Course Syllabus

    The Research Methodology Course can be divided into modules:



    i. Research Methodology Definition

    ii. Characteristics

    iii. Objectives

    iv. Research and Scientific method

    v. Types of Research

    • Descriptive vs Analytical Research

    • Applied vs Fundamental Research

    •  Quantitative vs Qualitative Research

    •  Conceptual vs Empirical Research

    vi. Research Methodology: An Introduction

    vii. Research Process

    • Overview

    • Formulating the Research Problem

    • Defining the Research Problem

    viii. Research Questions

    ix. Research Methods vs Research Methodology



    i. Literature Review

    • Sources of Information

    •  Review Concepts and Theories

    ii. Formulation of Hypothesis

    • Sources of Hypothesis

    • Characteristics of Hypothesis

    •  Role of Hypothesis

    • Tests of Hypothesis

    iii. Research Design

    iv. Sampling Design

    v. Data Collection

    •  Observation Method

    •  Interview Method

    •  Questionnaires

    • Case Study Method

    vi. Processing and Analysis of Data

    • Processing Operations

    • Statistics in Research

    • Descriptive Statistics

    • Inferential Statistics

    • Elements / Types of Analysis

    vii. Interpretation of Data


    i. Types of Research

    • Legal Research

    • Medical Research & Dental Research (Clinical Trials)

    •  Design Research

    • Market Research

    • Technical Research

    • Social Research

    ii. Models of Research

    • Evolutive and Evaluative

    • Identificatory and Impact studies

    •  Projective and Predictive

    •  Collative

    • Historical

    • Comparative

    iii. Current trends in Research

    •  Mono-disciplinary Research

    • Trans-disciplinary Research

    •  Inter-disciplinary Research

    iv. Computer & Internet: Its Role in Research

    v. Threats and Challenges to Good Research


    i. Learning how to write a/an

    • Article

    •   Essay

    • Research Project

    • Research Paper

    •  Research Proposal Writing

    • Research Report Writing structure

    • Research Presentation Techniques

    • Judgement Writing

    • Legislation Drafting

    • Book

    • Thesis

    • Dissertation

    • Case Study on Writing a Proposal

    •  Case Study on Writing a Research Report

    •  Reviews - Book Review; Case Review

    ii. Criteria of Good Research

    iii. Research Ethics

    iv. Citation Methods

    • Text Note

    •  Footnote

    • End Note

    • Bibliography          

    v. Citation Rules

    • Blue Book

    • OSCOLA

    • Chicago

    •  MLA

    •  APA

    The Accelerating Demand for the Research Methodology Courses in India

    In this competitive and dynamic business world, the majority of organisations carry out research to obtain a better understanding of the environment, which leads to efficient decision-making. They make most of the decisions based on the investigations and diagnoses, which are the basis of research. Without a research expert, organisations can't gain valuable insights into the decision-making process. Therefore, they hire knowledgeable and skilled research experts who can provide them with thorough research. This is one of the causes behind the increasing demand for pursuing research methodology courses in India.

    Research Methodology courses train the candidates such that they learn to research to avoid waste of time and money. The candidates are taught how to prepare research papers and publish them in peer-reviewed journals so that the research can be presented to the world.  This practice helps them to conduct accurate research and make it available for all to access. Eventually, it will benefit all the people who are interested to know more about the particular topic. This is another cause of a  rising demand for pursuing a Research Methodology course in India.

    For postgraduate students, a research thesis/dissertation is the requirement to obtain a Master’s degree. General practitioners or consultants working in private practice can’t deter themselves from understanding research because they need to deal with various types of cases that might not be straightforward enough.

    Consultants working in teaching posts need to guide their students in conducting research. Professionals working in administrative posts need to make decisions for their organisations, and only research outcomes can significantly assist them in decision-making. Policymakers conduct research when framing policies. So, anybody related to medical science has to understand the research methodology.

    All the discussed, and many other professions entail research as one of their key requirements. Therefore, when it comes to employment in these professions, candidates must know all aspects of research methodology. This becomes extremely easy by pursuing a Research Methodology course.

    One of the keys focuses on research methodology that depends on sampling and learning about different samples to understand the usage of statistics. Pursuing a Research Methodology course trains you on aspects like sampling distributions, hypothesis testing, and central limit theorem. Completing the course makes you knowledgeable enough to detect false information. Moreover, the course teaches you what should be done under various circumstances. You would become an expert at deriving solutions that help tackle adverse situations.

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    FAQ on Research Methodology Courses

    When is a qualitative research methodology suitable?

    A qualitative research study is suitable when you want to understand customers’ viewpoints and feelings. This instinctive, highly subjective personal input can be attained only using qualitative research. Qualitative research only deals with smaller samples. For example, expert moderators being imaginative by the time restraints of a quantitative survey, employs a host of techniques during long interviews to attain in-depth information.

    How to determine product demand after an alteration in features, price, and/or distribution channels?

    Research's simulation software helps to examine the price, features, and/or distribution channels. By modifying the product's features or price, the simulation software automatically shows the resultant price share of your company's product as well as all competing products. Moreover, the simulation software is custom written depending on the outcomes of a choice modelling survey. Using a research's simulation software, you can observe the incremental changes due to changes in certain features of the product.

    What should be considered when doing observational research?

    The following aspects are important to consider for observational research. (i) Don’t get involved in the dynamics of the situation.  (ii) Record your feelings and impressions. Ask yourself how you feel while observing –surprised, frightened, amused, excited, anxious, etc. Now correlate your feelings to what you were observing.  (iii) Record the situation’s context: time, place, numbers of participants, participants’ gender, etc. (iv) Record your thoughts during the observation. Now check whether the situation reminds you of anything similar.  (v) Record all of the collected information in a journal. You can use abbreviations if required.

    What should be considered when doing topical research in an interview?

    (i) Plan your research questions and share them with the participant(s). (ii) Consider various forms of information sources like online websites, journals, encyclopaedias, newspapers, and magazines. (iii)Record the interview. (iv) After the interview concludes, you have to transcribe (copy) what was told during the interview. (v)Replay the interview; compare it to your notes, and make any corrections required. (vi)Share the printed copy of the interview among the participants.

    What is the survey method of research?

    The survey method of research involves asking questions regarding the occurrence of interest. In other words, this method gathers data for a study by inquiring people with questions about your research. Usually, researchers survey people who own specific knowledge or experiences about the study. Using the survey method, they prepare a formal list of questions to be asked to the participants. Moreover, they may distribute it to each participant online or in the mail. Subsequently, they can use the participants’ answers to understand the public perceptions or experiences about a particular product or service.

    How to conduct a Q Study?

    The basic steps involved in the Q Study process are as follows. A heterogeneous set of items (known as a Q sample) is taken from the concourse. Next, a group of respondents (called P set) is asked to rank-order (Q sort) the Q sample over a standardised continuum as per a specified condition of instruction. Based on their psychological significance, participants Q sort the Q sample. The resultant Q sorts are delivered to correlation and factor analysis. Finally, the interpreted results contribute to operant subjectivity.

    How does research methodology help in business?

    Usually, organisation members need to know all aspects of their services, products, programs, etc. Their research plan depends on the information to be collected to make key decisions about a program, service, product, etc. The research methodology offers essential information which directs managers to make cognizant decisions to resolve the problems. In businesses, the research methodology proves to be more efficient if they are more focused on their products, resources, and environments. Moreover, the use of research methodology saves time and cost.

    Which are the key aspects of research design?

    The important aspects of research design are dependent and Independent variables, extraneous variables, control, and confounded relationships.

    How to conduct research effectively?

    Following these steps makes your research effective. (i) Formulate the research problem (ii)Prepare extensive literature review (iii)Develop the objectives (iv)Prepare the Research Design, including the Sample Design (v)Data Collection (vi)Data analysis (vii)Generalisation and Interpretation (viii)Preparation of the Presentation or Report of the Results.

    Which are the top 5 methods used in Psychology Research?

    1) Observation Method: It finds explanations based on the observation. 2) Experimental Method or Experimental Observation: It involves the development of certain stimulating conditions or presenting certain impetuses that would produce a certain response. 3) Psychological Experiment: It studies the modifications in action, appearance, feelings, emotion, etc. 4) Variables – the variables like Dependent, Independent, and Intervening: experimentally studies the effect by considering a group of subjects. 5) Control: It instructs the experimenter to maintain experimental conditions uniform.

    Where does the research process usually begin?

    The research process usually begins with discovering a problem, followed by creating research questions or objectives. Based on the prepared research questions and objectives, researchers determine how best to respond to these questions. Accordingly, they determine what information to gather, how to gather it, and how it would be examined to answer the research questions.

    How does research methodology prove to be important?

    A research methodology provides research legitimacy and scientifically sound conclusions. The detailed plan derived from the particular research methodology helps researchers to stay on track. This makes the research process manageable and effective. Researchers who get criticism can refer to the corresponding research methodology and enlighten their approach. They can work on a specific plan to be followed all through their research. Moreover, the research methodology’s design process helps researchers choose the appropriate methods for the objectives.

    Which are the types of sampling design in research methodology?

    Two types of sampling design in research methodology are Probability sampling and non-probability sampling. The probability sampling method uses a random sample generated from the group of people or products you are interested in, known as the population. It is random sampling.  Non-probability sampling is not random because the researcher purposely chooses people or products for the sample. Other non-probability sampling methods are judgement sampling, deliberate sampling, or purposive sampling.

    Which are the common data collection methods in research?

    After a researcher has confirmed their population sample, they have to determine how to collect data. The best data collection method chosen depends on the research topic, methodology, population sample, and type of data.  Though there are various methods to collect the data, people mostly group them in ways like Surveys, Interviews, Observations, Focus groups, records, and Documents.

    What key factors to consider when selecting a research methodology?

    (i) The research objective: Researchers first determine the information required to fulfil the objectives. Accordingly, they choose a suitable research methodology. (ii) Type of data: Determine whether you need concise/data-driven research results/statistical answers or an understanding of perceptions/reasons/motivations/opinions. (iii) Nature of the research: Choose the one from qualitative or quantitative data collection. (iv)Sample size: How large should the sample be to answer the research questions and fulfil the objectives? (v) Time available: For time constraints, techniques like random or convenience sampling and tools must be considered. If more time is available, you can consider data collection or in-person interviews, or observation methods.

    Which research methodology is the best?

    You can choose either qualitative or quantitative research methodology depending on your needs. The qualitative research methodology is best because –(i) It uses a subjective and inductive approach. (ii) It employs an open and flexible approach. (iii) It can collect word-based data through focus groups and interviews.

    The quantitative research methodology is best because –(i) It uses an objective and deductive approach. (ii) It employs a closed and highly strategic approach. (iii) It can collect numeric data through surveys or laboratory instrumentation experiments.


    Why is a methods section important in research methodology?

    The methods section allows you to share how you carried out your research and state the reason for choosing the methods. It helps you demonstrate that your research was meticulously conducted and can be duplicated. Moreover, it gives your research legitimacy and positions it in your field, and also helps your readers to refer to it if they have any queries or critiques in other sections. This section proves your research to be legitimate because it describes your data collection methods.