COLLECTING THE DATAQuantitative and Qualitative Dataquantitative data is favoured by the positivist approachQualitative data collected by the interpretist approachWays of Collecting DataThere are six major ways Interviewsquestionnaires observation techniqueslogs and journalsscalessecondary data-Scales –quantitative-logs and journals are in general qualitative data all the rest can be either qualitative or quantitative- Each method can be checked for neutrality and applicability-With neutrality the researchers does not lookout to influence the data in order to arrive at a preconceived truth- Applicability relates to whether a measuring instrument is suitable for a measuring particular problemInterviewsthey can be structured or semi-structured or unstructuredstructuredthe questions are known by the interviewer in advancesemi-structuredthe interview is free to improvise with questionsgeneral directory are given but not the questions also known as open-ended questionsunstructuredare similar to a conversation except the researcher and subject are aware that they are in an interviewNeutralitysuffers limited neutrality: people react differently to different people depending also on the approachinterview factors can play a role e. g.
age, gender, ethnicity, dress, context, manner of speaking of the interviewer etcalso each interviewer will react differently to these factors (i. e.
the reactive effect)this can jeopardize objectively in the positivist approachit is less of a problem with interpretist approach but is still valuableone solution is to train interviewers so they can follow an explicit protocol. formatadvantage: -ambiguous questions can be clarified-response rates are high with this method esp. for face-t-face interviews and less for telephone interviewsApplicability It is good if want high response ratewant to gather in-depth information (esp. interpretive studied)in cases where anonymity is not important i. e. if the subject is not sensitivehave enough time and moneythe respondent is illiterateQuestionnairesThere are many types Mailed questionnairesFace-to-face questionnairesGroup questionnairesBilingual questionnairesMailedpopular and used by agencies to survey clients in program evaluation or needs assessmentsFace-to-face -given in some was as structured interviewsGroup questionnaires-given to groups e. g.
looking for feedback on foster parent training session then questionnaires are given to whole group at one timeBilingual questionnaires-depending on the community and population may be neededNeutralityrelatively neutral: no interview bias and responses are clearif the questionnaire is well constructed, the responses will be neutral i. e. no ambiguitiesQuestionnaires should be clear as possible. e.g. no double negative questionsno double-barrelled questions Advantages: mailed questionnaires have low response rates, Factors: Limit lengthStructure of the questionsContent of the questionnaireFormat Cover letterFollow-upSolutions: they should be as short as possiblequestions should be close-ended or open-endedClose ended- questions give choices to the respondent Open-ended leaves room for the subject to create a response. they can be intimidatingcontent limit sensitive questions or place them at the end of the questionnaireformat – no typographical errors / clear uncluttered layoutCover letter –describes the purposes of the study and encourages a response.
show how confidentiality will be ensured/ offer incentives coupons or a pen Follow-up a second mailing may improve response rate. Applicability