Data Collection Strategies
Why is survey research the most used and misused of the research methods? In many cases, researchers use a survey methods approach because it fits the problem and goal, is convenient, and also makes it possible to assess larger samples economically. Unfortunately, many survey studies are poorly designed and executed, resulting in a less than optimal quality level for the data.
Which data collection method is appropriate for your Research Proposal depends upon many factors. These include population-related considerations, reliability and validity concerns, survey error, response rates, as well as logistical and cost considerations. Many data collection methods are available, from traditional telephone or face-to-face methods, to web surveys and computer-assisted interviewing. Again, your literature review can help guide you toward the optimal data collection method for your study.
Once a data collection method has been selected, the survey and method can be pilot tested, which can be a critical key to ensuring the success of the survey. Piloting can consist of a standalone study or a simple assessment of as many participants as is necessary to work out problems from a survey instrument.
To prepare for this Discussion, choose two data collection strategies, with one of them being a strategy you intend to propose for your Final Project. Consider strengths and weaknesses of each strategy. Then think about why the data collection strategy for your Final Project might be the optimal data collection strategy for that particular research question.
With these thoughts in mind:
Post by Day 4 a brief description of the two data collection strategies you selected, including the strengths and weaknesses of each. Identify which of the two data collection strategies you are proposing for your Final Project, and explain why it might be the optimal data collection strategy for your research question.
The topic of interest for my research proposal is ?the psychosocial role of social workers in improving quality of life of chronic kidney disease patients. The basis of the topic is the increased concerns about chronic disease patients, who have been identified as experiencing challenges in their emotional, psychological, physical, and social status (Finnegan-John & Thomas, 2012). As such, there is a need to examine whether psychological and social support to these patients improve their quality of life.
The topic this week is data collection. This is an interesting topic because, similar to sampling, it is one of the more “neglected” aspects of survey research. For example, many students will say “I think I am going to collect my data online.” This may not be a good idea, depending on the nature of your measures. In fact, there are still many issues with online data collection (online data are often at least a little less reliable than paper and pencil collected data). Another issue is the overall quality of the data. The more controversial the topic (e.g., abortion, gun control, legalization of marijuana), the more the variation in responding, so the tighter you want your methodology to be. With other data collection techniques (phone, mail, etc.) – they are not used often, and there is a “proper” place for all of them. For example, mail surveys work very well in longitudinal studies where participants are already involved, and phone surveys are an “art form” that work extremely well for what they are, but tight protocol must be followed… So, before you jump into your data collection… make sure you review SEVERAL articles that used techniques you think you might want to use… Read between the lines as well as the limitations sections… What would they change? What problems did they have? What are the pitfalls of the particular technique? Keep in mind that if you get a huge online sample of poor quality data, then compare that to a “barely” acceptable sample of high quality paper and pencil collected data, you will want the quality over the quantity. Also – keep “cost” in mind… and cost not only includes money, but time as well… Do you have the funds, as well as the time to collect data the way you think you may want to? FINALLY… Make sure you work on your basic writing and APA style… use your resources – the APA manual, the Writing Center, and others to get the help you need…