Practical Portfolio User Studies Survey 2012


Extract from AIS3705  Practical Portfolio \ by Mahlaga Molepo


TASK 2.4 Data collection methods


2.4.1 Introduction

Data collection methods are an important aspect of social science research. After a research design has been chosen, a researcher can use a number of data collection methods to collect data for analysis. This discussion will look at measurementas the first process in data collection which follows specific rules and criteria and is used by social science researchers to record the value of a particular variable. The ordinal level of measurement will be highlighted as one measurement technique chosen for the construction of a questionnaire to be used to gather data from the chosen sample population. In contrast, measurement errors will also receive attention as I seek to highlight to the reader the probability of measurement errors during data collection. Usage of existing data will be discussed against the backdrop of the need to use available material that can help answer specific research questions. Note that sampling will be used to enable me to collect data from a representative sample frame of the entire population of library users in Alexandra Township. The strategy is to use a research design that will be systematic in obtaining specific information using structured interviews and focus groups interviews. A self-administered questionnaire will be cited as a data collection instrument with questions for respondents.   Measurement

Measurement is usually applied to the research in order to help find accurate answers to the questions and sub-problems that were highlighted in Since the social problem been investigated was undertaken within a library environment, the measurement helps analyse questionnaires which were given out to respondents at Alex-San Kopano Community Library. According to RSC201H (2009:171) measurement is defined as when a researcher “records” the value of a particular variable in order to describe the variable. Moreover, measurement gives a researcher objective evaluations which can be verified by other researchers, whether they are valid and reliable. A questionnaire which does not adhere to the criteria of a measurement would not be able to pose appropriate questions to respondents thereby preventing the researcher to engage with respondents in a manner that would help find accurate answers to the research questions. Choosing the right type of a measurement is an important step forward. In the next section, the ordinal level of measurement will be discussed as chosen for this research project.