NURS 350 Assignment quantitative versus qualitative research designs

NURS 350 Assignment quantitative versus qualitative research designs
NURS 350 Assignment quantitative versus qualitative research designs
Compare and contrast quantitative versus qualitative research designs. Provide an example of each and explain why your examples meet the criteria for these designs.
The differences between quantitative and qualitative research
NURS 350 quantitative versus qualitative research designs
Quantitative and qualitative research use different research methods to collect and analyze data, and they allow you to answer different kinds of research questions.

Qualitative vs. quantitative research

Quantitative research
Qualitative Research

Focuses on testing theories and hypotheses
Focuses on exploring ideas and formulating a theory or hypothesis

Analyzed through math and statistical analysis
Analyzed by summarizing, categorizing and interpreting

Mainly expressed in numbers, graphs and tables
Mainly expressed in words

Requires many respondents
Requires few respondents

Closed (multiple choice) questions
Open-ended questions

Key terms: testing, measurement, objectivity, replicability
Key terms: understanding, context, complexity, subjectivity

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Data collection methods
Quantitative and qualitative data can be collected using various methods. It is important to use a data collection method that will help answer your research question(s).
Many data collection methods can be either qualitative or quantitative. For example, in surveys, observations or case studies, your data can be represented as numbers (e.g. using rating scales or counting frequencies) or as words (e.g. with open-ended questions or descriptions of what you observe).
However, some methods are more commonly used in one type or the other.
Quantitative data collection methods

Surveys: List of closed or multiple choice questions that is distributed to a sample (online, in person, or over the phone).
Experiments: Situation in which variables are controlled and manipulated to establish cause-and-effect relationships.
Observations: Observing subjects in a natural environment where variables can’t be controlled.

Qualitative data collection methods

Interviews: Asking open-ended questions verbally to respondents.
Focus groups: Discussion among a group of people about a topic to gather opinions that can be used for further research.
Ethnography: Participating in a community or organization for an extended period of time to closely observe culture and behavior.
Literature review: Survey of published works by other authors.

When to use qualitative vs. quantitative research
A rule of thumb for deciding whether to use qualitative or quantitative data is:

Use quantitative research if you want to confirm or test something (a theory or hypothesis)
Use qualitative research if you want to understand something (concepts, thoughts, experiences)

For most research topics you can choose a qualitative, quantitative or mixed methods approach. Which type you choose depends on, among other things, whether you’re taking an inductive vs. deductive research approach; your research question(s); whether you’re doing experimental, correlational, or descriptive research; and practical considerations such as time, money, availability of data, and access to respondents.
Research questionHow satisfied are students with their studies?
Quantitative research approach
You survey 300 students at your university and ask them questions such as: “on a scale from 1-5, how satisfied are your with your professors?”
You can perform statistical analysis on the data and draw conclusions such as: “on average students rated their professors 4.4”.
Qualitative research approach
You conduct in-depth interviews with 15 students and ask them open-ended questions such as: “How satisfied are you with your studies?”, “What is the most positive aspect of your study program?” and “What can be done to improve the study program?”
Based on the answers you get you can ask follow-up questions to clarify things. You transcribe all interviews using transcription software and try to find commonalities and patterns.
Mixed methods approach
You conduct interviews to find out how satisfied students are with their studies. Through open-ended questions you learn things you never thought about before and gain new insights. Later, you use a survey to test these insights on a larger scale.
It’s also possible to start with a survey to find out the overall trends, followed by interviews to better understand the reasons behind the trends.
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