For performing research for various academic tasks and projects, students often employ the two most commonly used methods – quantitative and qualitative research. Therefore, the terms quantitative and qualitative have higher significance in the academic aspect for students. The term quantitative research signifies the relationship and analysis of different numerical values and statistics; whereas, qualitative research signifies the meaning and emotional context of the idea. And if students are told to perform detailed research for their project or dissertation, they have to employ both the methods to advance their research.
Under this method, the data is presented in the form of numbers of statistical representations. In order to measure the authenticity and value of certain aspects, researchers employ the quantitative analysis method. The data gets collected with the help of surveys, close-ended questions, and experiments.
Observations: Either under a controlled observation or a natural environment, close observation takes place in order to study the person or his/her surroundings.
Experiments: This method is employed to study the cause-and-effect relationship between various related variables.
Surveys: A selected sample size is studied by introducing them to various multiple-choice questions.
In terms of the quantitative approach, this method is more descriptive in terms of research. It is used to study the basic concepts, opinions, and experiences regarding relevant theories and subjects. In order to study complex theories, this method is often employed to explore and understand the research in a more-deeper context.
Focus groups: Under this scenario, a particular sample group is selected for discussion over a selected topic or subject. Therefore, the analysis depends upon the common opinion collected from it.
Interviews: Here, the information is collected by asking open-ended questions from a person.
Ethnography: This is used to understand the behavior and culture of a particular community. The information gets collected by actively participating with them for an extended period of time.
Literature review: The information is collected by performing a detailed survey of various past publications and work submitted by eminent scholars and academicians.
Implications of quantitative and qualitative research
With the help of below mentioned guidelines, we can easily decide whether to employ the qualitative or quantitative research method for our study.
If the research needs to focus on proving or examining the relevance of a theory or hypothesis, then the quantitative research method is used by students for their work.
In case of understanding and learning something related to a particular concept, the qualitative research method should be implied by students.
However, in most cases, students tend to use a mixture of both to present a more-deeper context and understanding of the subject they study. It completely depends on the needs of the subject of whether it demands a deductive or inductive approach for the study.
The approach of quantitative research
Here, the sample size taken for research is much larger in context of the other. For instance, the smallest survey starts from three-digit numbers. The number of questions asked here might be less, but the analysis would help arrive at a better conclusion in terms of numeric or arithmetic operations.
The approach of qualitative research
Only a selected set of volunteers or groups is selected under this approach for study, beginning from 10 or 15 individuals. The individuals are often asked with open-ended questions so that a detailed answer is obtained, offering deeper understanding.
The approach of mixed-method research
With the help of open-ended questions, the researcher would develop the learning of a particular opinion or concept towards an issue. It would thus bring in a new dimension to the subject. However, in terms of the quantitative aspect, it would give a more comprehensive outlook to the whole analysis. Researchers must conduct a detailed survey to collect enough information to meet the needs of this parameter.