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EDPOL 506: Research Techniques for Community Organizers and Community Educators

Research Methods Definition

Research methods are the strategies, processes or techniques utilized in the collection of data or evidence for analysis in order to uncover new information or create better understanding of a topic. There are different types of research methods which use different tools for data collection.

Resarch Methods

Qualitative vs. Quantitative Research

Quantitative Research is used to quantify the problem by way of generating numerical data or data that can be transformed into useable statistics. It is used to quantify attitudes, opinions, behaviors, and other defined variables – and generalize results from a larger sample population.

Qualitative Research is primarily exploratory research.  It is used to gain an understanding of underlying reasons, opinions, and motivations. This data is usually gathered using conversational methods such as interviews or focus groups.

Some journals and even some disciplines may have a preference as to what type of empirical research they wish to publish.  Some authors who have written an article that is primarily qualitative in nature, may seek out journals that are "qualitative research friendly." We have listed a few such journals below