Course Title: Basic Research Methods

Course Code. RDS 422                                                                                              Full Marks: 70

Year: First                                                                                                               Pass Marks: 28

Paper: II                                                                                                         Teaching Hours: 105


Course  Objectives

This course is designed to acquaint the students with basic understanding of research methodology and to enable them to use simple statistical analysis. After completing the course, the students will be able to apply their knowledge and skills to developing research tools both in quantitative and qualitative research, and collect and analyze qualitative and quantitative data. Furthermore, they will also able to develop proposal/concept note for carrying out the research and familiarize them about ethical issues.

Content                                                                                                                                              TH

Unit-I: Concept of Research                                                                                                10

  • Defining the concept of research
  • Research and scientific method
  • Aims of social science research
  • Characteristics of good research
  • Researching the social phenomenon: A complex process
  • Scope and needs of social research
  • Types of research: Application based research, objective based research and information based research
  • The research process: Steps in social science research

Unit-II: Research Design                                                                                                                  15

  • Meaning and definition
  • Purpose of research design
  • Essential elements of good research design
  • Types of research designs
  • Quantitative research designs: Descriptive, exploratory, correlational, developmental and experimental (Definition, process, advantages and limitations)
  • Qualitative research designs: Ethnographic and case study design
    • Quantitative and qualitative debate


Unit-III:  Hypothesis, Variables and Measurement Scales                                                            15

  • Hypothesis: Meaning and definition, Important functions of hypothesis
  • Types of hypothesis: Null and alternative, Directional and non-directional
  • Variable: Concept, need and importance
  • Types of variables: Dependent, independent and intervening
  • Concept and definition of measurement
  • Types of measurement scales: Nominal, ordinal, interval, ratio

Unit-IV: Sampling Methods                                                                                                 10

  • Key terminology: population, sample, sampling, universe, sampling frame, Sample size determination, theoretical population, study population
  • Types of sampling techniques
    • Probability sampling: simple random sampling, systematic sampling, stratified sampling, cluster sampling (Definition, procedure, advantages and limitations)
    • Non-probability sampling: Snowball sampling, quota sampling, expert sampling, convenience sampling
  • Sampling biases and errors

Unit-V: Data Collection Techniques and Tools                                                                               15

  • Sources of data: Primary and secondary
  • Nature of data: Quantitative and qualitative
  • Quantitative data collection techniques and tools: Questionnaire, Interview schedule, Non-participant observation (Definition, types, design, techniques/ process, advantages and limitations )
  • Qualitative data collection techniques and tools: Focus group discussion, Participant observation,  Rapid rural appraisal (RRA),Participatory rural appraisal (PRA),

Unit-VI:  Methods of Data Management and Analysis                                                         20

  • Data processing and management skills: Data checking, editing, coding, recoding, data entry, classification, tabulation and presentation of data
  • Application of statistics in rural development research
  • Methods and procedures for quantitative data analysis
  • Descriptive statistical analysis: Central tendency ( mean, median, mode), Dispersion (Range, Quartile deviation, mean deviation, standard deviation, coefficient of variance)
  • Bivariate statistical analysis: Definition, types, calculation and applications of correlation (Karl Pearson, Spearman Rank correlation) and Simple regression analysis
    • Methods and procedures for qualitative data analysis
    • Thematic analysis and narrative analysis: Procedures (recording and transcribing, translating, identifying themes/sub-themes, comparing, exploring and interpretation of relationships and patterns)

Unit-VII: Developing Research Proposal and Research Report Writing                                         20

  • Concept and need of research proposal
  • Key steps in research proposal development
  • Major components/elements of research report
  • Research report preparation and presentation
  • Basic concept of APA format in research report
  • Ethical issues in research: Informed consent, privacy, anonymity and confidentiality


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