In previous posts, we have covered the
- The Research Hypothesis
- The Research Question
- Research Aims and Review of Literature
- Research Variables
- Dummy Tables
- Data Collection Forms
It is about time to explore a very important part of the research process- The Study Designs. Please note that I will focus more on the quantitative designs here and not venture into the qualitative designs.
Let me confess, although I love the qualitative designs, I have not really worked much with it and hence do not really have much experience to share on those designs. Maybe at a later when I work more on those.
The study design is important to answer the research question in an appropriate manner. An ill conceived design that is not in alignment with the question does not help to answer the research question.
A few common errors (I have been guilty of these too) include
- Mixing up designs or using an inappropriate design
- Trying to answer too many research questions in one go and thus not being able to use a single design
- Trying to be as complex as possible. Please note that the more simple the research is, the more powerful it is. Complex, esoteric research is good to stoke your ego but not really for much else.
Your entire research can fall on the choice of an inappropriate design.
I am sharing a few of my thoughts on research designs. I am also sharing the links to a few sites that provide useful information on the quantitative designs. Recommend that you bookmark and keep track of these sites as they update themselves. I have found these very useful.
The STROBE Statement for Observational studies (Check the available checklist section)