1)Select two types of quantitative research design to compare.
2)Briefly describe each of the designs that you selected. Include the types of samples used to
conduct these research methods and the process of selecting a sample. 3)Explain two
similarities and two differences between the designs you selected.
4)Describe at least on strength and one limitation of each design.
5)Describe an insight or conclusion you can draw from the comparison.
6)Explain any ethical, legal, and socio-cultural considerations that may be relevant for the
designs you selected.
There are various quantitative research designs categorized as correlational, descriptive,
casual-comparative and experimental research. These research designs collects numeric
information aimed at explaining, predicting and controlling phenomena of interest. Data analysis
is mainly statistical (Ouyang, 2012). This paper delineates on descriptive research and
correlatonal research designs.
Descriptive research design involves collection of data to test hypothesis or to answer
questions concerning a status of the subject of the study. This design reports the findings as it is
in the field and does not describe the cause of the situation but rather is aimed and answering the
question, what is? (Ouyang, 2012). The design can be applied to investigate such questions as,
“Do teachers hold positive attitude towards online learning programs? Furthermore, descriptive
research designs report summary data such as measures of central tendency such as mode, media,
mean, variance, standard deviation and correlation between variables. This research uses samples
that relates to the subject of study. The process of selecting these samples begins by recognizing
and identifying the topic to be studied then selecting a sample size (Cohen, Manion & Morrison,
2000). This process requires the researcher to consider the group of people or the respondents
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that the sample will be drawn, the procedure of selecting them, their demographic features and
many others. One of the methods that can be used is simple random sampling, whereby the
respondents are selected randomly to form the sample size.
On the other hand, correlation research design determines whether and to what degree a
relationship exists between two or more quantifiable variables. This kind of research design does
not establish cause and effect relationship. The relationship between the variable is usually
expressed by correlation coefficient, which is a number ranging from 00 to 1.00. In this design,
there is no manipulation of an independent variable. Types of correlational research includes
observation, survey and archival. In this study, when there is no association between two
variables, this means that there is no causal connection. The sample used in this research must be
representative (Creswell, 2012). The process of selecting the sample begins by determining the
purpose, the kind of the study, the cost, and the distribution of the population and consideration
of other demographical factors. After this, a decision is arrived at that ensures that the sample
selected is representative of the entire population.
The similarity of these two-research designs is that the process of data analysis is
statistical. Second similarity is that numerical data is collected and this is used in explaining,
predicting and controlling the phenomena of interest. Third similarity is that the methods are not
cause and effect and take a form of case study and observation as instruments of data collection.
The difference between the two methods is that descriptive method focus on describing
what is? while correlation method focus on exploring relationships among study variables.
Second difference is that in descriptive research, parameter of describing collected data is their
central tendency such as mean, median and mode and there dispersions such as range, variance
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and standard deviation. Relationships of variable are expressed in terms of Pearson correlation
that ranges between -1 to +1 while in correlation the relationships in variables is expressed in
terms of correlation coefficient and it ranges between 0.00 to 1.0 (Gay, 1996).
Strength of descriptive research method is that it provides a multifaceted approach as data
can be gathered through case studies, observation, or surveys hence giving a researcher an
opportunity to analyze the information in various angles. Its limitation is that it is less
confidential as respondents are likely to give information that they feel the researcher wants to
hear (Gay, 1996). On the other hand, strength of correlational research design is that it allows
researcher to collect more data and is more applicable to everyday life because it happens outside
the lab. Its limitation is that it is limited to cover the relationship between two or more variables
and they cannot prove a conclusive reason for why there is that relationship.
From this comparison, it is apparent that both research designs seek to achieve certain
objectives. Descriptive research design aims to investigate about a situation while correlation
design aims at investigating on the relationships between two or more variables. They also
incorporate various methods of data collection such as case studies and observation. Samples are
used in gathering of information. The two methods further, have strengths as well as limitations.
For instance, correlation method enables collection of more information and respondents actual
occurrences. However, it does not provide concrete reason for the existence of relationships
When using these designs it is important to consider the ethical, legal and socio-cultural
factors to ensure that they become successful and help the researcher to achieve his or her
objectives. Some of the ethical considerations include providing informed consent. Before
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beginning the experiment, the subjects need to be informed and if they are underage, permission
should be sort from those that are in charge of the subjects. It is also important to ensure that the
subjects are not harmed either physically or mentally during the study. If the experiment is
dangerous, the respondents must be informed to enable them take precautionary measures. It is
also important to ensure that the privacy of the subjects remains confidential. Scores of
individual should not be reported to public or to third parties without consultation. Legal
considerations should also be considered when using this design; subjects may institute a legal
case for researcher that investigates on them without their knowledge and in the event that the
researcher discloses private information to the public without their consent. Socio-cultural
consideration is also vital in gathering information. People cultures vary from one another and
therefore understanding and respecting the socio-cultural ideologies of such respondents is
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Cohen, L., Manion, L., & Morrison, K. (2000). Research Methods in Education. (5 th ed.).
Routhledge/Falmer: London/New York
Creswell, J. (2012). Educational research: Planning, conducting, and evaluating quantitative
and qualitative research. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Gay, L. (1996). Educational research: Competencies for analysis and application. Upper Saddle
River, NJ: Merrill.
Ouyang, R. (2012). Basic inquiry of Quantitative research.