When you have decided an appropriate research design, the next step is to consider data sources to gather information. You can choose either human sources such as quantitative surveys and qualitative case studies or use non-human sources such as existing statistics and documents. But first having an in-depth understanding of both so as to make a wise decision is suggested.
Human data sources
One of the most significant decisions that you need to make when using human subjects in your research is whether it relates to the sample selected to represent your chosen population. You have two sampling techniques: probability sampling that is used for quantitative research and non-probability sampling that is used for qualitative research.
The aim of descriptive quantitative is to give the most accurate description of a trend. You can ask every member of the relevant population to collect data, but this is not possible. That is why probability sampling is used for quantitative research. There are three types of probability sampling: random sampling, systematic random sampling, and stratified random sampling.
In the random sampling method, subjects are chosen randomly with the assumption that any element has the same chance as any other of being included in the sample. In systematic random sampling, the subjects are chosen consistently. For instance, every second name or every seventh person. A stratified random sampling selects subjects randomly from categories.
Non-probability sampling methods are used when you have to expand your understanding of an event. The most common methods that fall under this sampling type are purposive samples, theoretical samples, quota sampling, convenience sampling, and snowball sampling.
Non-human data sources
You can also collect your data from existing sources if you are not considering humans for the collection of your data. However, you still have to ponder over the types of these sources. Here are the existing sources that you can consider for data collection.
So go on and re-think on your research parameters and choose its ingredients wisely and in a well-informed manner.
Mike Cornell and Emma Jones are behind the success of Elearning Blog, a blog solely focused on providing free resources and tips for e-learning.