Unit 2-1.1: Critically compare research tools.
Since my survey was a form of quantitative research, I needed to ensure that all my questions fitted the characteristics of this form. Therefore, all my questions were closed and all had a set number of answers and tick boxes. That way, it would be much easy for me to analyse them at the end and put them into a data format. However, is till needed to make sure that all my questions related to my topic- David Cameron allowing 20,000 refugees into the UK over 5 years. I definitely conducted questions relating to this area but whilst I was thinking About it, I realised that there was much more to this topic than allowing them in and how the target audience might have felt, such as struggles that the government might face with funding and employment, and also introducing the topic with questions like ‘are you currently aware of the Syrian war resulting in the refugee crisis?’ this questions still related to the topic but introduced it almost in a gentle way. As well as having to decide how to conduct my questions, I needed to do the same for my target audience. This was a little bit tricky because anybody could watch the news or read about it nowadays. However, I decided that my target audience would be college students (aged 16+) because these are the types of people who are likely to have the most understanding of the topic and its new and/or understand the questions my survey had to offer a little more. And because of this, I felt that they were the kind of people who felt the most confident in saying yes to answering my survey.
Overall, I have mixed feelings about the effectiveness of my survey. Firstly, I felt like it was a success in many ways because everybody who took the survey understood the topic from the first question because I purposely conducted a question that introduced the topic “Are you currently aware of the Syrian War resulting in the refugee crisis?” I also conducted questions that related specifically to the topic of David Cameron’s plan to allow them in, the refugee crisis itself and what the target audience felt about the whole issue- even with those questions I managed to make them closed by the tick boxes for each answer. However, when I was receiving some of the surveys back, I had a few comments written on them which meant I had made a few spelling errors of that some of the questions didn’t make sense that much. But after reading these comments and the part of my survey they related to, I realised that they were right in a way and that next time I will double-check each question carefully before publishing/printing out my survey. But overall, I feel that the questions I conducted for my survey were easy to understand and were related to the topic I was investigating and, as a result, I managed to get a suitable number of surveys completed and all the answers on each one completed too.
But although the questions were what I believe was a strong part f this research process, there were some drawbacks with the distribution of the surveys this was because I had originally posted them via my Facebook account because I thought that many people would become aware of them and be interested to complete them. However, by the end of the week I saw that I only had a total of four responses when I required a minimum of 20. this made me realise that Survey Monkey probably wasn’t the best method of gathering my survey answers for a number of reasons: maybe people didn’t get much information about it through it just being posted and it could have also been due to poor or no access at all for some people online. This is when I was advised to create a paper hand-out version of my survey to hand out to the people in my target audience around the college. Whilst doing this I found that this was a much better version of doing it than online because I was able to get the correct number of surveys completed in a much shorter amount of time plus analyse the answers and put them into a pie chart that same day.
If I was to do this again, I would use this experience as a lesson to do the whole survey as a paper hand-out, like this time because I would be most likely to have the same benefits I did this time: receiving the results back quickly and of the appropriate number of respondents to the surveys too. However, what I wouldn’t change would be the target audience of my survey because I still believe that my target audience of students aged 16+ and adults would have the most knowledge out of people who would have some or most knowledge of the topic, which would make it easier for them to answer the questions.
Unit 2-2.1: Critically compare a range of research tools.
At the very beginning of our lessons based around various forms of research, we have looked at two of the most heard-of forms of research. These are primary and secondary research. Here, I will be looking at the pros and cons of each form in relation to what I have carried out previously and about the biasness and influence of their primary research.
Firstly, Secondary research is a form of research that means that information is gathers for the user already. These include online news articles/reports, interviews, facts and even statistics. Whilst I was carrying out my secondary research, I looked at different online sources and websites for my information- which was based around the refugee crisis. Whilst doing this I also considered the pros and cons of this form of research:
One obvious pro is that the research already exists and so, is ready to use and that it comes from a variety of sources such as online, newspapers, books and in some case, even family trees. Nearly all pieces of secondary research contain different pieces of information so you are probably more likely to learn more about a topic and adding to this, you are free to develop or expand on a piece of information to provide more facts and possibly opinions on it.
However, some of the cons are: that if it’s an online source, others could possibly end up with the same information, and it may only be useful on the day of publication; the information may not even be true (especially if it comes from social media) along with some severe biasness within it. And finally, t could contain not enough or very vague information and use of slang (particularly if it comes from social media).
We also looked at and carried out some primary research too. This form is very different to secondary because the researcher carries out the research to find the information themselves. The information they gather can very from vox pops, face-to-face interviews to questionnaires and surveys- both of which can be put into statistical data. The research I carried out applied to nearly all of these; I went out into the city centre and interviewed the general public to generate my vox pops relating to the refugee crisis. And I also created a questionnaire which I handed out to various people around the college in order to gain responses to my topic which I could then put into a pie chart or other data format. In many ways, there are definitely a number of pros for primary research but on the flip side, there are always some cons too.
Obviously, the research is your own so nobody else will have the same information as you, as well as the information being received may not be available anywhere else. There may be more value and trust in the research since it has been gathered by an individual and not come from any website etc and finally, it is most likely an up-to-date version since it has been taken for recent use,
As for the cons: the research can be time-consuming and sometimes costly to gain the information (depending on the method)
When conducting wither of these types of research, it is vital that as much level of biasness possible is eliminated. This is because when the research levels are low, the whole report/article will be low of biasness too because the research is applied into it too. We considered what bias actually was in terms of research, where it may appear and how we could reduce the chance of it appearing in our research, whether it is secondary or primary. Within the secondary research, there was probably more of a chance of it being bias because it is a source of information that is provided by someone else and there could be a chance of: the information being edited in any way (especially on social media), only some of the information being available or correct and/or the information being made up of mainly or only opinions. This mostly applies to social media sources.
However, whilst conducting my secondary research, I ensured that I used a number of different forms of multimedia and sources so that I reduced the risks of the information being the same and I also searched for the same topic but of different elements of it so that I could examine the facts behind them and make certain that they were also from trusted sources like online newspapers for example.
As for primary research, this was easier for me to reduce the biasness in because I was in control of the process and it was my decisions to decide what methods I used to gather the research. I could reduce the levels of biasness in any way I felt was appropriate. But this is referring to the primary research I carried out, although I could apply this to any other form of primary research being carried out by anyone. The reasons this form of research could be less likely to be bias is because: The researcher can choose a method that will reduce the levels of biasness and fit in with their research form and topic being investigated. This means that they can design a method of research such as surveys and interview questions so that they are open, neutral and reduce the risk of pressuring the interviewee into answering it a certain way.