In a previous blog, I wrote about how best to draw a sample. In the blog, I briefly described the difference between a select and a random sample. There is a substantial difference between the two.
In a random sample, everyone in the focus population has an equal chance of being in the sample. This sample is also called a probability sample or random selection. There are several methods for doing a random sample:
In a select sample, not everyone has a chance to be in the sample group. The results apply only to the group being studied. There are a number of selective sampling options:
From the conversations I have with various people who do research stems some confusion about the term research methods. There are theories on which you can conduct a research study, and you have multiple ways of collecting data.
In my blogs, I regularly talk about research methods, referring to the various ways of collecting data.
Once you have clarity about your research questions, you examine what information you can collect and how. There are many different methods to do this. You have qualitative research methods and quantitative research methods. Qualitative research methods are not about facts and figures but rather about how and why. Quantitative research methods are more about facts and figures that can be compared. Also, check out my blog about the difference between qualitative and quantitative research methods.
There are all sorts of research methods. My overview blog of different research methods lists different ways. Also, be creative with the ways you collect data. Look beyond the standard practices of research and make interesting combinations.
Once you have chosen a research method, thorough preparation is essential. Look at what you need per method and take the time to set up your measuring instrument properly. Discuss it with colleagues and test the measuring instrument before using it.