Research design

What is research design?

We ask questions all the time. Research is a formal way of doing this. It uses methodologies (formal frameworks for collecting and analysing data). After you have decided what your research questions are, you start designing your research. This means you need a plan based on your research questions. There are many philosophies of research and you can find more in depth information on the Open Learn course Understanding Different Research Perspectives.

How do we choose a research design? 

Methodology is the actual approach on how you go about answering your research questions (also called proving your hypothesis). A methodology can contain various research methods (tools with which you gather your data: questionnaires, experiments, interviews).

It depends on whether we want to:

  • describe what is happening
  • examine why it is happening (expressing causal connections)
  • be able to generalise to a wider population
  • examine these behaviours over time

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PILOT - Research design by Learning from WOeRk, University of Plymouth modified by Marion Kelt, Glasgow Caledonian University is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License