Research methodology describes the research design, data collection and analysis of data for interpretation of phenomenon under the study. Research methods are classified in to two namely qualitative and quantitative. The classification is based on the kind of phenomenon under the study. There is no research method, which is more suitable than the other the suitability depends on the nature of the study. Qualitative method is used in study of natural phenomenon that is observed in natural social science. They facilitate the researcher to research and study cultural phenomenon under social science. This method is naturalistic and studies the behavior of people and culture of communities in a setting. Qualitative study derives meaning by interpreting the subject matter under the study. It also helps researchers to discover and bring solution to people. This method employs different body of knowledge, data collection technique and examination strategies. Sources of data in this method can be either primary or secondary. Commonly used sources include survey, observation, interview and questionnaire, documented texts (Creswell, 2003). Written history about culture of people, environment and philosophical opinions can also be used as sources of data. The research method does not use hypothesis to interpret the data and relies on understanding the social situation under the situation. Hence, the result derived form qualitative method can generate multiple realities.
On the other hand, quantitative method involves study of phenomenon by using statistical and mathematical computation. For this method to be used, the researcher needs to generate a hypothesis before beginning the research. The purpose of the research under quantitative method is to establish relationship between variable under the study using mathematical computations. This design is more systematic that qualitative this is because procedures and variables of the study are established before the study. The study is also of deductive nature and is used to verify whether the hypothesis give true reflection about a phenomenon. This method is merely based on facts. Primary data, which is obtained through interview, observation, survey and questionnaires, is mainly used in the study.
Research design gives a reflection on how the research is to be undertaken. This includes all parameter of the study like sample size, measures, sources of data, data analysis technique and programs to be used. The main aim of generating research design is to identify elements that will maximize the validity and reliability of the findings. Hence, the research design is a plan that outlines how the research is to be carried out. The data analysis can use either descriptive or inferential statistic. Descriptive statistics helps to describe, summarize data hence attaching meaning to it. This allows us to make conclusion and reach to hypothesis. Measure of central tendency and spread are type of statistic that is used in descriptive method. Central tendency helps in measuring central position for a distributed data. Modes, mean and median are used in central tendency. Measures of spread include range, absolute deviation, variance, quartiles and standard deviation (DePoy & Gitlin, 2010). This is mainly used in quantitative method where mathematical computation is applied. Inferential statistic helps in generating a conclusion about a parameter using a sample. A sample is a representation of a population. Methods used include testing of hypothesis and estimation of parameters.
Creswell, J. W. (2003). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods
approaches. Thousand Oaks, Calif. [u.a.: Sage Publ.
DePoy, E., & Gitlin, L. N. (2010). Introduction to research: Understanding and applying
multiple strategies. St. Louis, Mo: Elsevier Mosby.