6 Purposes of Educational Research: What are its Types & Methods

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Educational research is the process of investigating and studying educational issues. And problems to improve the effectiveness of teaching and learning. 

This type of research can include quantitative research, which involves collecting numerical data. And using statistical methods to analyze it, or qualitative research, which involves collecting non-numerical data. Such as observations or interviews and analyzing them to identify patterns or themes.

Educational research can also include research, which involves identifying a problem and collecting data about it. And using that data to make changes or improvements to the setting. The goal of educational research is to generate new knowledge. And understanding education and using that knowledge to improve educational practice.

6 Purposes of Educational Research: What are its Types & Methods definepedia.in

Definition

Education research is the study of how people learn and how to make education better. It looks at different aspects of education like teaching methods, student’s characteristics, and the environment in which learning takes place. The goal of education research is to understand how to improve education for students.

– Definepedia

A cyclical process of steps that typically begins with identifying a research problem or issue of study. It then involves reviewing the literature, specifying a purpose for the study, collecting and analyzing data, and forming an interpretation of information. This process culminates in a report, disseminated to audiences, that is evaluated and used in the educational community.

– Creswell

Types of Educational Research

There are three main types of educational research: descriptive, correlational, and experimental. Each of these types of research has its own unique characteristics and may overlap with one another in certain situations.

Descriptive research focuses on describing the current state of a phenomenon. So that Correlational research examines the relationship between two or more variables. And experimental research manipulates one or more variables to determine cause-and-effect relationships.

Descriptive educational research

It is a method of gathering information about the current state of things in the field of education. The researcher’s goal is to understand the characteristics of the topic studies. So, This type of research is often used as a starting point to identify a problem and can provide a valuable understanding of how to improve education for students.

Key Points

  • Descriptive educational research is a method of gathering information about the current state of things in the field of education.
  • It is an observational research method that uses quantitative research methods such as surveys and questionnaires to gather data.
  • The goal is to understand the characteristics and attributes of the topic being studies.
  • It is often used as a starting point to identify a problem or issue in education.
  • The researcher’s goal is to understand the characteristics. And attributes of the topic being studie through the use of methods. Such as surveys and questionnaires.
  • it is a way to understand how to improve education for students by providing valuable insights into the current situation.

For example, imagine a school district wanting to improve its students’ reading abilities. so, They might conduct a descriptive research study to understand the current literacy levels of their students by administering reading assessments.

And surveys to gather data on student reading habits and preferences. This information would then be use to inform the development of a new reading program tailored. To the specific needs of the district’s students.

Correlational Educational Research

Correlational research is a method of studying how two or more things are relate to each other in education. It helps to understand the connection between different factors. For example, how much time a student spends studying and their grades. It does not assume that one thing causes the other, it looks at the relationship between them.

For example: A researcher might study the relationship between the number of extracurricular activities a student participates in and their academic performance.

The researcher would collect data on both variables. And analyze it to see if there is a positive correlation (meaning as the number of extracurricular activities increases. So does academic performance).

A negative correlation (meaning as the number of extracurricular activities increases, academic performance decreases) or no correlation (meaning there is no relationship between the number of extracurricular activities and academic performance).

Correlational research helps to understand how different aspects of education are relates, but it does not need to change the natural environment, which means it doesn’t need any external conditioning.

Experimental Educational Research

Experimental research is a method of studying cause and effect in education. It helps to understand how changes in one thing can affect another thing. In this type of research, the researcher creates an experiment to test their ideas.

So, They create two groups, one is called the control group and the other is named the experimental group. The control group is quit as it is, and the experimental group is change in some way.

For example, a new teaching method is introduce to the experimental group. And the control group continues with their usual method. The researcher then compares the results of the two groups to understand the effect of the change.

For example, a researcher wants to know if a new teaching method improves students’ test scores. They would divide students into two groups, an experimental group, and a control group.

So, The experimental group would receive the new teaching method. And the control group would continue with the usual method. The researcher would then give a test to both groups, and compare the scores to see if the new teaching method had an effect on test scores.

Experimental research is unique in its ability to establish a cause-and-effect relationship between variables, but it requires a hypothesis and statistical analysis to approve or disprove this theory.

6 Purposes of Educational Research

Improve Practice: Educational research can provide evidence-based methods for teaching. And learning, allowing educators to make informed decisions on how to improve their practice. And so, enhance student learning outcomes.

Add to Knowledge: By conducting new research, educators can gain new insights. And perspectives on a topic, expanding the existing body of knowledge in the field. And leading to the development of new theories and models.

Address Gaps in Knowledge: Research can be use to identify areas where current knowledge is lacking. and conduct studies to fill those gaps, ensuring that all aspects of a topic are well-understood. And so that no important information is missing.

Expand Knowledge: By building upon previous studies, research can help to refine. And develop existing theories and models, leading to new discoveries and breakthroughs in the field of education.

Replicate Knowledge: Repeating previous studies can confirm or refute previous findings, establishing reliability. And so that the validity of research and identifying any sources of error or bias.

Add Voices of Individuals to Knowledge: Research that focuses on understanding the perspectives and experiences of individuals. Particularly those who are under-represent or marginalized can help to ensure that the knowledge generated is inclusive. And reflects the experiences of diverse groups of people.

Educational Research Methods

Surveys/Questionnaires

Surveys and questionnaires are research methods that are widely used in education to collect data from a specific population. Such as students, teachers, or parents. These methods involve administering a set of standardized questions to gather information on a variety of topics related to education.

Such as student learning outcomes, teacher effectiveness, or parent satisfaction with a school. Surveys and questionnaires are popular research methods in education due to their ease of use. and ability to collect large amounts of data from a wide range of participants.

Additionally, surveys and questionnaires can be administer in various formats, such as online, paper-based, or face-to-face. And can be design to suit different age groups and educational settings.

The results of surveys and questionnaires are usually analyzed using statistical techniques to identify patterns. and trends in the data, which can then be use to inform educational policy and practice.

Interviews

Interviews are a popular qualitative research method in education that involve conducting face-to-face conversations. With research, participants gather in-depth information on a specific topic.

So, The main purpose of interviews is to gain a deeper understanding of the experiences, and thoughts. And perspectives of the participants on the research topics.

Interviews can be classify into three types: structured, semi-structured, and unstructured. A structured interview is a type of interview that follows a pre-determined sequence of questions, which are the same for all participants.

The questions are standards, and the interviewer is expecting to follow a specific script. which makes the data collection process consistent and reliable. So, Structured interviews are useful for collecting data from a large sample of participants. And for comparing the responses across different groups.

Semi-structured interviews: it has a set of predefined questions, but the interviewer also has the freedom to probe deeper into the responses. And to follow up on the unexpected answers that participants may give. This type of interview allows the researcher to explore a specific topic in more depth. while still maintaining some degree of consistency in the data collection process.

Unstructured interviews: it is also known as open-ended interviews, do not follow a pre-determined set of questions. Allowing the interviewer to explore the topic in an open-ended manner. This type of interview is useful for collecting rich and in-depth information on a specific topic. But it can be challenging to analyze and compare the data across participants.

Observation

Observation is a way of gathering information by closely watching, listening, and recording the actions and traits of people, things, or events. Teachers can use this method to study how students behave in different situations.

There are two types of observation: quantitative and qualitative. So, Quantitative observation involves collecting numerical data. And, qualitative observation involves collecting detailed descriptions and explanations.

Reference

  1. Formplus Blog. What is Educational Research? + [Types, Scope & Importance]. Formplus. Published September 4, 2020. Accessed January 19, 2023. https://www.formpl.us/blog/educational-research
  1. What is Educational Research? Research Rundowns. Published July 19, 2009. Accessed January 19, 2023. https://researchrundowns.com/intro/whatisedresearch/

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