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He has approached members of sta¡ at the Maple Day Centre who are happy to distribute his questionnaire over a period of one month. Revised statement 3: This research aims to ¢nd out how many people from our estate are interested in, and would use, a children’s play scheme in the school summer holiday. Members of the tenants’ association approach the local school and ask the head teacher if a questionnaire could be distributed through the school. The head teacher feels that it is not appropriate so the tenants’association have to revise their plans.

You know what you want to find out and you can decide upon the best way to obtain the information. Also, you will be able to decide early on how many people you need to contact (see Chapter 5). H O W T O C H O O S E Y O U R R E S E A R C H M E T H O D S / 35 However, in some types of qualitative research it may be difficult to define your methods specifically. You may decide that semi-structured interviews would be useful, although you’re not sure, in the planning stages, how many you will need to conduct.

RECOGNISING QUALITATIVE AND QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH When you start to think about your research methodology, you need to think about the differences between qualitative and quantitative research. Qualitative research explores attitudes, behaviour and experiences through such methods as interviews or focus 15 16 / A P R A C T I C A L G U I D E T O R E S E A R C H M E T H O D S groups. It attempts to get an in-depth opinion from participants. As it is attitudes, behaviour and experiences which are important, fewer people take part in the research, but the contact with these people tends to last a lot longer.

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A practical guide to research methods by Dawson C.


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