The trends in higher education both at undergraduate and graduate level show the increasing gap between African American male and female, whereby females are outnumbering the males in attainment of higher education. The trend needs to be analyzed for the purpose of finding out the reasons for this increasing gap by using the quantitative and qualitative methods and a mix of both. The dissertation aims at discussing the relative merits and demerits of qualitative and quantitative research along with the comparison of non-experimental, experimental and quasi-experimental research designs. The dissertation will also include the questions about the research on a given topic.
Qualitative and quantitative research are used in several disciplines of the studies including social sciences and science. Qualitative research deals with the entire description of the issues / events, however, quantitative research relies on statistical data for the creation of statistical models in order to describe events. Both qualitative and quantitative research have several advantages and disadvantages in accordance with the aim and objectives of research. Qualitative research focuses on a small sample in depth and relies on recorded observation and attained information. The qualitative research provides the rich and detailed picture through the date collected in order to ascertain why people behave in a particular way. In qualitative research, the results may be unexpected as the data is collected to fill in the larger picture. The qualitative research determines how frequently things happen and why do these things happen. The qualitative research is also used for monitoring specific behavior of a group of people or community. It includes the methods like interviews reviews, observations and focus groups. Quantitative research relies on numbers and is numerically driven (Charmaz 2003).
It is used for statistical analysis and large scale surveys. The quantitative research ask questions such as when, where, how, how often, and after asking so many questions, the data is compiled and results are ascertained. Both qualitative and quantitative methods can be combined for the large scale projects. In experimental research, random assignment of subjects to the situation is carried out whereas, in non-experimental research, quantitative research is carried out without manipulation of treatments and random assignments. Quasi-experimental research design is a procedure in which the researchers select themes for different situations from preexisting collection of samples. It shares many similarities with the traditional experimental research design, and, it allows the researcher to control the research (Charmaz, 2003). Developing good research idea and questions is both the science and art, and, there are few basic elements of composing the questions for research. These include the identification of the research topic and then composing the research questions that narrows down the scope of the research to the specific questions that the researcher seek to answer. The questions should be open-ended for the purpose of allowing researcher to generate hypothesis. After establishing the possessed level of knowledge, development of questions should expand the range and knowledge base (Bufkin 2012).
Bufkin. Melissa A. (2012). Qualitative Studies: Developing Good Research Questions. University of Southern Mississippi.
Charmaz, Kathy. (2003). Grounded theory. The SAGE Encyclopedia of Social Science Research Methods.
Frierson, H. T., Pearson Jr. W., & Wyche, J. H. (2009). Black American males in higher education: Diminishing proportions. Journal of African American Males in Education.
Huffington Post. (2013). More women earn B.A. degrees than men.
The gender gap. (2012). Journal of Blacks in Higher Education.