There are two broad techniques to acquiring and reporting information in the realm of research: qualitative and quantitative approaches. The goal of qualitative research is to gain a deeper understanding of a phenomenon. Using survey methods, the quantitative approach approximates phenomena from a larger number of people. They outline the procedures that are often utilised in each strand of research in this research corner. Each method has advantages and disadvantages and is better suited to particular types of issues.
Qualitative Research Definition
Qualitative Research is used to understand human behaviour, patterns, experiences, intentions, and attitudes; based on the observation and interpretation of people. It is an exploratory technique that deals with complicated phenomena that are not at all possible.
The qualitative approach to data collection focuses on describing a phenomenon in-depth and in detail. In most cases, this is done through interviews, open-ended questions, or focus groups. In most situations, only a limited number of people take part in this type of study because it takes a lot of resources and time to complete. Interviews can be highly structured and directed by open-ended questions, or they can be less planned and more conversational in nature.
Qualitative research findings cannot be applied to the entire population due to the high cost of conducting this sort of study and the small number of participants. Such study, however, can serve as a springboard for larger studies and more in-depth understanding, which can inform theory, practice, and specific situations.
Allows for the discovery of previously unknown occurrences.
Can give you a better grasp of how things work.
Provides one-on-one assistance and anecdotal information.
Provides verbal information that can be transformed to numerical form on occasion.
May expose facts that would not have been revealed if the survey questions had been pre-determined.
Quantitative Research Definition
Quantitative Research relies on the science that develops numerical data and creates hard facts. It also establishes the cause and effect between two variables using computational and statistical methods. As a result, the results in this method are precise, labelling it as Empirical Research.
The quantitative method of data collection focuses on characterising a phenomenon over a larger number of people, allowing for the summarization of characteristics across groups or relationships. This method involves polling a large number of people and using statistical tools to identify overarching patterns in the relationships between processes.
More importantly, these surveys can be used by people of all ages. You can compare the two groups on the outcomes you care about and see how much of an impact the training made. It is also quite simple to survey people multiple times, allowing the conclusion that particular characteristics (such as matching) influence specific outcomes (such as happiness or achievement) later in life.
Enables the collecting of information from a huge number of people.
Can be carried out in multiple groups, allowing for comparison.
Allows for population generalisation.
Information is provided in the form of a number or a rating.
This information is useful for the purpose of enacting policy or recommendations.
Statistical techniques that allow for the determination of relationships between variables are referred to as.
Difference Between Qualitative and Quantitative Research
Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methods
Data Collection Methods
Observations: Observing people where variables can't be controlled.
Experiments: Situations in which variables can be controlled but are often manipulated to establish cause and effect relations.
Surveys: List of multiple choices that are given to a particular sample in any form.
Content Analysis: Systematic recording of themes and words in texts to identify the communication patterns.
Ethnography: Participating in a community for a longer period to observe the behaviour or culture.
Literature Review: Survey of already published works by others.
Interviews: Asking open verbal questions for people to answer.
Focus Groups: Discussions between a group of people about one topic for gathering opinions that can be used for research.
Case-Studies: An in-depth study about a group, event, organization, element, or person.
Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methods Examples
You conduct a survey at your university with 250 students. You ask them questions like "How satisfied are you with your professor's teaching, on a scale of 1-10?" You then collect the data and perform a statistical analysis to draw conclusions as "On an average, the students rated the professor with 4.”
You conduct in-depth interviews with 15 students. You approach them with questions as, in, "How satisfied are you with the curriculum?" or "What is the most interesting element about your program?" and "What do you think can better your program?” Based on the answers you get, you can either ask to follow up questions for getting clarification or use transcription software to find patterns for providing solutions.
You conduct interviews to see how students are dealing with their studies. Through both open-ended questions and surveys, you can learn about things that wouldn't usually surface. You will be able to collect new insights so that you can use them on a larger scale. It is also possible to start the survey to get hold of the trends, followed by the one-one interviews to find the reason for these trends