What do you mean by the terms "research methods" and "research methodology"?

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clairewait | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Research methodology is a term that basically means the science of how research is done scientifically.  It is a way to systematically and logically solve a problem, help us understand the process not just the product of research, and analyzes methods in addition to the information obtained by them.

Quantitative Research Methods (typically tests a hypothesis):

  • surveys
  • experiments
  • statistical analysis
  • analysis of previous research

Qualitative Research Methods (typically generates a hypothesis based on data collection):

  • case studies
  • questionnaires
  • personal accounts
  • unstructured interviews
  • participant observations
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kmj23 | (Level 1) Educator

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The term "research methods" refers to the different ways that you can collect data (information) for your research project. Research methods generally fall into one of two categories. If you want quantitative data, which consists of numerical data, then you might use a survey or online poll as your research method. In contrast, if you want qualitative data, which offers more description, then choose an interview or focus group as your research method.

When it comes to research methodology, you need to go a little deeper. This is your opportunity to reflect on your research methods. If you used a survey, for example, think about the advantages and disadvantages of using this method. Similarly, think about why you collected quantitative data instead of qualitative data.

After completing your research, you should also evaluate the method you used; this is part of your research methodology. Think about whether your research method was easy to carry out. Did it give you the results you needed? Would you use this method again? These are all questions to consider in your methodology.

See the reference links for more information.

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