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A survey is a powerful tool in research analysis. A researcher therefore, should develop a survey plan to enable him learn more about the research he is undertaking. The following is a plan showing the procedures used in a survey study.

  1. Establish the goals of the survey study

What is the aim of the study or what are you trying to find out as you do the study? The researcher should be very specific. The goals for the study should be written down in a chronological order starting with the most important.

  1. Who will you ask or what will be your sample?

The research should identify the sample of his study.

 

  1. What method of surveying will you use in the study?

There are various methods of surveying; therefore, a researcher should identify the method which fits the study. The simplest design method that will provide precision required should be chosen. For example, the researcher can use the following methods of surveying;

  • Personal interview: the researcher can conduct a face-to-face interview.
  • Telephone: this is the most popular method of surveying.
  • Mail: this method is probably the cheapest and lacks bias since the interference from the interviewer is minimized.
  • Web based: used where the target population is online.

 

  1. Plan the research carefully

After identifying the sample and the method to use in surveying, a researcher should develop a time line by estimating how long it would take to finish the study. Also, the cost incurred in every step of the study should be estimated.

  1. Design a survey

The researcher should write the survey based on the method of study chosen.

  1. Pretest

This helps the researcher in determining whether the survey will be easy to understand and whether people will be able to fill it out. Pretesting will help in determining the problems that may occur in the course of the study.

  1. Test

The data collected is recorded properly in a permanent notebook in an organized format.

 

  1. Analyze

If the data collected is quantifiable, analysis is done using statistics and a conclusion is drawn from the analysis.

A plan of an experimental study

When conducting an experiment, a researcher tries to learn something new or to get an explanation of ‘why’ something happens. For a successful experimental study, a researcher should follow all the steps of scientific method, making sure that the hypothesis is valid and testable. For a researcher to realize an excellent result of a study, the following procedure should be adhered to.

  1. Specify the sample

A researcher should specify the sample to use in the experiment. The sample should be small enough to be practical and large enough such that a statistically viable study is realized. A random selection of the sample should be done to enable generalization of the findings.

  1. Divide the sample into control and test group

The sample group is dived into test group and control group to avoid confounding the variables.

  1. Determine the time scale

The researcher should determine the time scale of the experiment and the frequency of sampling to give a clear data to fit the experiment.

  1. Conduct the experiment

The experiment is conducted according to the method stipulated at the design phase. The independent variables are manipulated and a usable data is generated for the dependent variables.

  1. Analysis

The raw data of the results is gathered. The gathered data is analyzed using statistical methods checking whether there is any relationship between the variables. Depending on the results of the analysis the null hypothesis is either accepted or rejected. Finally, the researcher should prepare a complete, correct, and readable report of the experiment.

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