Research Methodologies Comparative Chart Qualitative Research

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Research Methodologies Comparative Chart

Qualitative Research: all qualitative researches have two things in common; they focus on phenomena that occur in natural settings and they involve studying those phenomena in all their complexity (Leedy & Ormond, 2005, p. 133).



Methods of Data Collection


Case Study

A type of qualitative research in which in-depth data are gathered relative to a single individual, program, or event for the purpose of learning more about an unknown or poorly understood situation (Leedy & Ormond, 2005, p. 108).

  • observations

  • interviews

  • appropriate written docs

  • study and analyze the instructional strategies that a master teacher uses to teach (Leedy & Ormond, 2005, p. 135)


A type of qualitative inquiry that involves an in-depth study of an intact cultural group in a natural setting (Leedy & Ormond, 2005, p. 108).

  • site-based field work

  • participant observation

  • structured or unstructured interviews

  • study the characteristics of elementary children in impoverished neighborhoods

Phenomenological Study

A qualitative method that attempts to understand participants’ perspectives and views of social realities (Leedy & Ormond, 2005, p. 108).

  • lengthy interviews (2+ hours)

  • purposeful sampling

  • study a family taking care of an individual with a life-threatening illness

Grounded Theory Study

A type of qualitative research aimed at deriving theory through the use of multiple stages of data collection and interpretation (Leedy & Ormond, 2005, p. 108).

  • study the interactions between educational researchers and teachers

Content Analysis

A detailed and systematic examination of the contents of a particular body of material for the purpose of identifying patterns, themes, or biases within that material (Leedy & Ormond, 2005, p. 108).

  • identify specific material to be studied

  • define characteristics to be examined

  • break complex items into manageable segments

  • code materials based on set parameters

Historical Research: in general, historical research is ‘an attempt to solve certain problems arising out of a historical context through gathering and examining relevant data.’ (p. 108)



Methods of Data Collection


External Evidence

External evidence is primarily concerned with the question, Is the article genuine (Leedy & Ormond, 2005, p. 167)?

  • original manuscripts

  • original documents

  • establish authenticity of document

  • determine if a primary source document from the Revolutionary War is credible

Internal Evidence

What does it mean, what was the author trying to say, to what individuals or events do certain phrases refer, or what interpretations can be extracted from the words (Leedy & Ormond, 2005, p. 167)?

  • original manuscripts

  • original documents

  • analyze correspondence letters between two historical figures

Descriptive Research: involves either identifying the characteristics of an observed phenomenon or exploring possible correlations among two or more phenomena (Leedy & Ormond, 2005, p. 179).



Methods of Data Collection



A statistical investigation of the relationship between two or more variables (Leedy & Ormond, 2005, p. 108).

  • study the correlation between age and reading ability


An observational-descriptive type of research that either compares people in different age groups (a cross-sectional study) or follows a particular group over a lengthy period of time (a longitudinal study) (Leedy & Ormond, 2005, p. 108).

  • observations

  • interviews

  • appropriate written documents

  • cross-sectional study

  • longitudinal study

  • study the effects of medications

Observational Studies

A type of quantitative research in which a particular aspect of behavior is observed systematically and with as much objectivity as possible (Leedy & Ormond, 2005, p. 108).

  • observations

  • interviews

  • appropriate written documents

  • study the ways people act and interact (Leedy & Ormond, 2005, p. 179)

Survey Research

Acquiring information about one or more groups of people-perhaps about their characteristics, opinions, attitudes, or previous experiences-by asking them questions and tabulating their answers (Leedy & Ormond, 2005, p. 183).

  • observations

  • interviews

  • learn about a large population by surveying a sample of that population (Leedy & Ormond, 2005, p. 183)

Experimental and Causal-Comparative Designs: the researcher considers many possible factors that might cause or influence a particular condition or phenomenon. The research then attempts to control for all influential factors except those whoe possible effects are the focus of investigation (Leedy & Ormond, 2005, p. 217).



Methods of Data Collection


Pre-experimental Designs

In pre-experimental designs, it is not possible to show cause-and-effect relationships, because either (a) the independent “variable” doesn’t vary or (b) experimental and control groups are not comprised of equivalent or randomly selected individuals. Such designs are helpful only for forming tentative hypothesis that should be followed up with more controlled studies (Leedy & Ormond, 2005, p. 223).

  • one-shot experimental case study

  • one-group pretest-posttest design

  • static group comparison

  • draw conclusions about what causes what – does walking on a cold, damp ground cause you to become ill?

True Experimental Designs

A study in which participants are randomly assigned to groups that undergo various researcher-imposed treatments or interventions, followed by observations or measurements to assess the effects of the treatments (Leedy & Ormond, 2005, p. 108).

  • pretest-posttest control group design

  • Solomon four-group design

  • posttest-only control group design

  • within-subjects design

  • study the effects of illustrations in teaching science concepts to sixth graders (Leedy & Ormond, 2005, p. 226)

Quasi-experimental Designs

A method similar to experimental research but without random assignment to groups (Leedy & Ormond, 2005, p. 108).

  • nonrandomized control group pretest-posttest design

  • simple time-series design

  • control group, time-series design

  • reversal time-series design

  • alternating treatment design

  • multiple baseline design

  • determine if instruction in playground safety would decrease elementary school children’s risky behaviors on the playground (Leedy & Ormond, 2005, p. 229)

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