Intro to Computing Research
Research
Philosophy
Research
Approach
Research
Strategies
Time
Horizons
Data
Collection
Research Onion
Research Philosophy
• Your research philosophy depends on the way that
you think about knowledge is developed or created,
how we gain understanding of things
(“epistemology”).
• Your way of thinking will affect the way you go
about doing research.
• Generally, there are two key research philosophies,
the positivism and phenomenology.
Research
Philosophy
Positivism
Research
Approach
Research
Strategies
Time
Horizons
Data
Collection
Phenomenology
Philosophy - Positivism
• You are working with an observable reality.
Research can produce laws. Results can be
generalised, similar to those produced by
natural scientists.
• You are working objectively, with little or no
personal interpretation of the data.
• You need a structured methodology to gain
quantitative data which is replicable and can be
analysed using stats.
Philosophy - Phenomenology
• You are researching human behaviour. This may
be too complex to follow a definite law in the
same way as the natural sciences.
• Generalisability is not of crucial importance,
since we are focussing on a particular problem
or situation
• Phenomenology highlights the details of the
situation to understand a reality working behind
them.
Research
Philosophy
Positivism
Research
Approach
Research
Strategies
Time
Horizons
Data
Collection
Phenomenology
The Research Approach
Deductive
Inductive
Theory
Theory
Hypotheses
Tentative
Hypotheses
Data
Patterns
Data
Confirmation
Data
Deductive approach:
testing theory
Inductive approach:
building theory
Deductive vs. Inductive
Deductive Approach
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Scientific principles
Moving from theory to data
The need to explain causal
relationships between variables
The collection of quantitative
data
The application of controls to
ensure data validity
A highly structured approach
Researcher independence of
what is being researched
The necessity to select samples
of sufficient size in order to
generalise conclusions
Inductive Approach
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Gaining an understanding of the
meaning humans attach to
events
A close understanding of the
research context
The collection of qualitative data
A more flexible structure to
permit changes of research
emphasis as the research
progresses
A realisation that the researcher
is part of the research process
Less concern with the need to
generalise
Research
Philosophy
Positivism
Deductive
Research
Approach
Research
Strategies
Time
Horizons
Data
Collection
Inductive
Phenomenology
Research Strategies
Survey Method
• The survey method is usually associated with the
deductive approach – surveys are “experiments”.
• It allows the collection of a large amount of data from a
sizeable population in a highly economical way.
• It is often conducted on questionnaire to answer those
‘What’ and ‘How’ questions. Its data are standardised
and so allow easy comparison.
• It gives you more control over the research process,
however, it takes time to design and pilot a good
questionnaire.
Experimental Method
The Experimental Method is a classical form of research
that comes from the natural science. The process
usually involves:
1. The definition of a theoretical hypothesis.
2. Select a sample of a population.
3. Allocate samples to different experimental conditions.
4. Introduce planned change on one variable (the
“independent” variable).
5. Measure the change of an associated “dependent”
variable.
6. Control of other variables.
Research
Philosophy
Positivism
Deductive
Research
Approach
Experiment
Research
Strategies
Survey
Time
Horizons
Grounded Research
Data
Collection
Focus Group
Case Study
Ethnography
Inductive
Phenomenology
Time Horizons
• Consider the amount of time you have, do you want
your research to be a ‘snapshot’ or a ‘diary’?
• The snapshot reflects the cross-sectional studies.
• The diary reflects the longitudinal studies
Research
Philosophy
Positivism
Deductive
Research
Approach
Experiment
Research
Strategies
Cross Sectional
Time
Horizons
Data
Collection
Survey
Grounded Research
Focus Group
Longitudinal
Case Study
Ethnography
Inductive
Phenomenology
Types of Data
• Quantitative
• Qualitative
Research
Philosophy
Positivism
Deductive
Research
Approach
Experiment
Research
Strategies
Cross Sectional
Time
Horizons
Data
Collection
Survey
Quantitative
Grounded Research
Qualitative
Focus Group
Longitudinal
Case Study
Ethnography
Inductive
Phenomenology
Stages in a Research Project
Wish to do
Research
Literature
Review
Data
Collection
Report
Writing
Research
Topic,
Questions
Design
Research
Approaches
Data
Analysis
Report
Submitting
Negotiate
Access
What is a Computing Independent Study?
• Artefact – based
– construction of an artefact
– primary research on the artefact
• Research – based
– secondary research via the literature.