Geoff And Francis

Open Ended Questions – How to devise open ended questions in your survey questionnaire for PhD research

An open-ended question is an open question where the response is recorded verbatim. An open-ended question is nearly always an open question. (It would be wasteful to record yes-no answers verbatim.)Open-ended questions are also known as ‘unstructured’ or ‘free response’ questions. Open-ended questions are used for a number of reasons: The researcher cannot predict what the responses might be, or it is dangerous to do so. Questions about what is liked and disliked about a product or service should always be open-ended, as it would be presumptuous to assume what people might like or dislike by having a list of pre-codes. We wish to know the precise phraseology that people used to respond to the question. We may be able to predict the general sense of the response but wish to know the terminology that people use. We may wish to quote some verbatim responses in the report or the presentation to illustrate something such as the strength of feeling that respondents feel. In response to the question ‘why will you not use that company again?’, a respondent may write in: ‘They were that awful. They mucked me for months, didn’t respond to my letters and when they did they could never get anything right. I shall never use them again.’ Had pre-codes been given on the questionnaire this might simply have been recorded as ‘poor service’.The verbatim response provides much richer information to the end-user of the research. Through analysis on the verbatim responses, clients can determine if the customer is talking about a business process, a policy issue, a people issue (especially in service delivery surveys), etc. This enables them to determine the extent of any challenges they will face when reporting the findings of the survey to their management. Common uses for open-ended questions include : Likes and dislikes of a product, concept, advertisement, etc; Spontaneous...

Summarizing and interpreting the information in case study research – PhD Help Series

In case study research,making sense of information collected from multiple sources is a recursive process in which the researcher interacts with the information throughout the investigative process.In other words, unlike some forms of research in which the data are examined only at the end of information collection period ,case study research involves ongoing examination and interpretation of the data in order to reach tentative conclusions and to refine the research questions .Case study researchers adhere to several guidelines as they simultaneously summarize and interpret information gathered when doing case study research. read...

Specifying the inclusion and exclusion criteria for systematic literature review

Starting your inclusion and exclusion criteria before you conduct the review is important. This section is  Where you describe the criteria that you will be using to include any research studies in your review. Torgerson (2003) suggests that a high quality systematic review should have inclusion and exclusion Criteria that are ‘rigorously and transparently reported a priori (before you start the review) ‘(Torgerson 2003:26). You may well ask ‘ Why is it necessary’? The reason is so that your search can target the Papers that will answer your questions and exclude any irrelevant ones. The criteria need to be explicit And applied stringently. The criteria you will need to describe the types of research studies you will be Including , the participants, the interventions, comparative groups and outcome measures. PICO now Becomes PICOT. For qualitative systematic reviews use PEO( which will now become PEOT). read...

How to Formulate a Research Problem in your PhD Research Proposal

There are two types of research problems, viz., those which relate  to states of nature and those which relate to relationships between variables. At the very outset, the researcher must single out the problem he wants to study, i.e, he must decide the general area of interest or aspect of a subject matter that he would like to inquire into. Initially, the problem may be stated in a broad general way and then the ambiguities, if any related to the problem, are resolved. Then the feasibility of a particular solution has to be considered before a working formulation of the problem can be set up. The formulation of a general topic into a specific research problem, thus constitutes the first step in a scientific inquiry. Essentially two steps are involved in formulating the research problem, viz., understanding the problem thoroughly, and rephrasing the same into meaningful terms from an analytical point of view.    read...

Preparing for Interviews – Guide for Qualitative Research

There are many different types of question that can be asked and in many different ways. What is common to all questions, though, is that they must be worded in a way that is understood by the respondents and to which respondents can relate. This means ensuring that there are minority-language versions of the questionnaire if the sample is likely to include people who speak a language is unlikely to be sufficiently good to be able to complete an interview in it. By denying sections of the survey population the opportunity to participate in the study, the questionnaire writer is effectively disenfranchising them from influencing the findings. For many studies commissioned by the public sector in countries, it is important that the interview is capable of being conducted in any language that is spoken by a significant number of people in the any language that is the spoken by a significant number of people in the survey population to avoid the danger of disenfranchisement. In the UK Many government studies require questionnaire versions in Welsh, Urdu, Hindi and other languages, and in USA a Spanish-language version will often be required. read...

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