Data Collection Plan in Research


Work on the study of a particular issue requires compliance with a specific method of collecting and evaluating the received information. One of the most common ways of interpreting data is a mixed method that involves the use of both quantitative and qualitative data by the authors. A special place in this process is occupied by the data collection plan that is based on the evaluation of respondents’ interviews and the compilation of statistical reports by their responses. As a basis for the paper, a data collection plan included in a mixed research method will be used and will involve a concurrent approach to assessing information. Two research questions provide a qualitative approach that will be dominant and a quantitative one. It is supposed that this type of work will help to comprehensively assess the problem under consideration and draw conclusions based on diverse information obtained during the study.

Research Questions

The emphasis on research questions makes it possible to distinguish two methods of data collection since one of them will be related to qualitative analysis and the other to a quantitative one. It should be noted that the first variant will be dominant, that is, the evaluation of oral responses of study members will play a major role in the process of assessing results and conclusions. Accordingly, the statistical information obtained during the study will supplement all the findings. Thus, the question based on the qualitative approach sounds as follows: what are the math teachers’ perceptions and concerns toward integrating digital games in their classrooms? The quantitative question that will complement the previous one is the following: how do math teachers’ experiences affect teachers’ perception regarding integrating digital games in their classrooms?

Mixed-Method Research Design

The design that will correspond to the claimed type of research is embedded concurrent where the main role belongs to qualitative analysis. However, both data collection processes will take place in parallel. According to Creswell and Clark (2007), “concurrent timing occurs when the researcher implements both the quantitative and qualitative strands during a single phase of the research study” (p. 66). In this case, the central emphasis will be on the opinions of all teachers regarding the introduction of digital games in the learning process. The main purpose of the additional (quantitative) method is to supplement the already available data with statistical information compiled as a result of all the responses. Thus, tables with statistical data will be compiled. However, this evaluation will be added since the primary attention will be paid to the qualitative approach. This type of work makes it possible to integrate different types of data within one research and obtain the most accurate result.

As Patton (2005) claims, weight in favor of one of the methods opens the possibility of focusing on a particular type of work and at the same time supplementing it with essential information. The validity of this mixed-method research design is confirmed by the need to assess the interest of the participants in the percentage ratio and not just by analyzing their responses. Therefore, this approach opens up significant advantages for the authors.

Data Collection Strategy

As the strategy that will be effective for collecting information for this study, it is necessary to resort to the help of two methods. The qualitative assessment will be dominant, and the quantitative one will be an auxiliary. Thus, the source of information in the first case will be interviewed, and in the second one – surveys followed by the inclusion of answers in the tables.

Interviews with the Participants

Five questions will be used as the basis for assessing the interest of math teachers in the implementation of digital games in the learning process. According to Teddlie and Yu (2007), face-to-face interviews help to receive relevant information directly from participants, avoiding bias and uncertainty. The questions will be drawn up by the topic of the study and will include the main points that are necessary for comprehensive research.

Surveys for Quantitative Data Collection

It is supposed that surveys will be used to analyze two spheres. The first of them will be background/demographic information, which will involve the following data: the number of years of teaching experience, duration at the current school, the duration of using digital games in their teaching, and the level of expertise in using digital games. The complexity of these topics will provide an opportunity to assess the professional level of teachers in terms of their career and experience and will help to make a competent opinion concerning the validity of the proposed measures. The second sphere that is necessary for analysis is the teachers’ perception scale through which the participants’ responses will be assessed not through conversations but questionnaires. As a design, answers and a corresponding gradation from one to five will be used where one will mean complete disagreement, and five – unconditional agreement.

The division into two separate levels will provide a possibility to accurately determine the degree of teachers’ interest in the innovations and to determine what criteria can influence their choice. As Teddlie and Yu (2007) note, a survey sample is as useful as interviews. Nevertheless, in this case, the priority will be given to conversations as the main source of data.

The rationale for Selecting the Design

The rationale for using this design is that the concurrent way of collecting information allows receiving the necessary picture of the problem as a whole with the help of different assessing methods. According to Creswell and Clark (2007), when data are evaluated in parallel, the authors of studies have a chance to address a specific issue from different angles. In this case, to evaluate the implementation of digital games in the education of children, different criteria play an essential role – the experience of teachers, their careers, and the degree of interest in innovations. Therefore, a comprehensive assessment method helps to successfully consider all the significant aspects.

Strengths and Limitations of the Plan

The used method to collect data allows reducing time and resources for research, which is certainly a plus. Also, the strengths of both qualitative and quantitative methods manifest themselves in the study. However, such an approach may have some limitations that also deserve particular attention. For example, unprepared authors are unlikely to be able to successfully implement this model in practice since the evaluation of data requires a qualified approach. Also, as Creswell and Clark (2007) remark, a priority in favor of one of the methods may lead to unequal evidence complicating the process of data interpreting. Therefore, all these nuances should be taken into account.

Conclusion

Embedded concurrent type of data collection with the dominant qualitative method can help to comprehensively assess the considered problem and make corresponding conclusions. The chosen strategy combines the elements of two types of research, and such a scheme has both advantages and disadvantages. Interviews will be used as the primary source of receiving information from the participants, and surveys will be implemented as supplementary ones. The rationale for using this technique is due to its convenience and the reliability of the obtained facts.

References

Creswell, J. W., & Clark, V. L. P. (2007). Designing and conducting mixed methods research (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Patton, M. Q. (2005). Qualitative research & evaluation methods: Integrating theory and practice. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Teddlie, C., & Yu, F. (2007). Mixed methods sampling: A typology with examples. Journal of Mixed Methods Research, 1(1), 77-100.