# Dibrugarh University Solve Question Papers: Basics of Academic Project Preparation (May' 2018)

2018 (May)
COMMERCE (Speciality)
Course: 604: (Basics of Academic Project Preparation)
(NEW COURSE)
Full Marks: 80
Pass Marks: 24
Time: 3 hours
The figures in the margin indicate full marks for the questions

1. (a) Fill in the blanks:                                   1x4=4
b)      Survey can be used if the respondents are illiterate.
c)       Questionnaire means a set of questions written for a research purpose.
d)      Presentation of data in the tabular form is one of the techniques of data processing.
(b) Write True or False:                                                 1x4=4
a)      Quantitative research is variable based.        True
b)      The main role of interviewer is to maintain privacy of respondent.                   True
c)       Questionnaire contains indefinite questions.                              False
d)      A bibliography contains the sources of inspiration taken and consulted.         False
2. Write short notes on (any four):                          4x4=16
a)      Hypothesis: Ordinarily, when one talks about hypothesis, one simply means a mere assumption or some supposition to be proved or disproved. But for a researcher hypothesis is a formal question that he intends to resolve. Thus a hypothesis may be defined as a proposition or a set of proposition set forth as an explanation for the occurrence of some specified group of phenomena either asserted merely as a provisional conjecture to guide some investigation or accepted as highly probable in the light of established facts. Quite often a research hypothesis is a predictive statement, capable of being tested by scientific methods, that relates an independent variable to some dependent variable. For example, consider statements like the following ones:
“Students who receive counselling will show a greater increase in creativity than students not receiving counselling”  Or “the automobile A is performing as well as automobile B.”
These are hypotheses capable of being objectively verified and tested. Thus, we may conclude that a hypothesis states what we are looking for and it is a proposition which can be put to a test to determine its validity.
Characteristics of hypothesis: Hypothesis must possess the following characteristics:
(i) Hypothesis should be clear and precise. If the hypothesis is not clear and precise, the inferences drawn on its basis cannot be taken as reliable.
(ii) Hypothesis should be capable of being tested.
(iii) Hypothesis should state relationship between variables, if it happens to be a relational hypothesis.
(iv) Hypothesis should be limited in scope and must be specific. A researcher must remember that narrower hypotheses are generally more testable and he should develop such hypotheses.
(v) Hypothesis should be stated as far as possible in most simple terms so that the same is easily understandable by all concerned. But one must remember that simplicity of hypothesis has nothing to do with its significance.
b)      Research Project
Ans: Research project is a particular type of Project which are designed to gain knowledge about some specified area. Project is where we know the path to achieve the goal and research project is something where we only know the problem and over a period of time we will apply new methods to generate solutions. In research project there is no guarantee that solution will be found in the given time frame. In short, we can say that research projects are undertaken in order to acquire new knowledge.
c)       Check List: CHECK LIST: The check-list is a list which consists of a list of items with a place to check ‘yes’ or ‘no’. The main aim of the lists is to call attention to various aspects of an object or situation so that nothing importance is left. Check-list is, basically, a type of questionnaire in the form of a set of categories for the respondent to check. It is generally used to record the phenomena under study that are presence or absent.
Uses of check list are:
1.       It is an important tool for educational survey.
2.       It also applied to classroom in some purposes such as to study working habits of student of students.
3.       Check list also helps in rating personality.
d)      Random Sampling Method: Off all the methods of selecting sample, random sampling technique is made maximum use of and it is considered as the best method of sample selection.  Random sampling is made in following ways:
(i) Lottery Method: In this the number of data are written on sheet of paper and they are thrown into a box.  Now a casual observer selects the number of item required in the sample.  For this method it is necessary that sheet of paper should be of equal dimensions.
(ii) By Rotating the Drum:  In this method, piece of wood, tin or cardboard of equal length and breadth, with number 0,1 or 2 printed on them, are used. The pieces are rotated in a drum and then requisite numbers are drawn by an impartial person.
(iii) Selecting from Sequential List:  In this procedure units are broken up in numerical, alphabetical or geography sequence.  Now we may decide to choose 1, 5, 10 and so on , if the division is alphabetical order we decide to choose every item starting from a, b, c and so on.
(iv) Tippet’s Number:  On the basis of population statistics, Tippet has constructed a random list of four digits each of 10, 400 institutions.  These numbers are the result of combining 41,600 population statistics reports.
1.       Due to impartiality, there is possibility of selecting any unit as sample.
2.       Units have the characteristic of universe, hence units are more representative.
1.       The selector has no control over the selection of units. The researcher can not contact the far situated units.
2.       He can not prepare the whole field when the universe is vast.
e)      Requisites of a Good Table: When a mass of data has been assembled, it becomes necessary for the researcher to arrange the same in some kind of concise and logical order. This procedure is referred to as tabulation. Thus, tabulation is the process of summarising raw data and displaying the same in compact form (i.e., in the form of statistical tables) for further analysis. In a broader sense, tabulation is an orderly arrangement of data in columns and rows.  Features of a good Table:
1. Every table should have a clear, concise and adequate title so as to make the table intelligible without reference to the text.
2. Every table should be given a distinct number to facilitate easy reference.
3. The column headings (captions) and the row headings (stubs) of the table should be clear and brief.
4. The units of measurement under each heading or sub-heading must always be indicated.
5. Source or sources from where the data in the table have been obtained must be indicated just below the table.
3. (a) What do you mean by ‘Research’? What are its characteristics? Explain the most common problems faced by researchers in India.                      2+4+8=14
Ans: Research is an art of scientific investigation. Research covers the search for and retrieval of information for a specific purpose. Research has many categories, from medical research to literary research. Basically research is a search for truth with the help of some study, observation, comparison and experiments. It is search for knowledge with the help of objective and systematic method of finding solution to a problem.
Some people consider that research is a movement, a movement from the known to the unknown. It is a voyage of discovery. We all possess the vital instinct of inquisitiveness because when the unknown confronts us, we all wonder at it and our inquisitiveness makes us probe and by to attain full and fuller understanding of the unknown. C.R. Kothari in his book, Research Methodology, defines that this inquisitiveness is the mother of all knowledge and the method, which men employ for obtaining the knowledge of whatever the unknown can be, is termed as research. Research is an academic activity and, as such, the term should be used in a technical sense.
Research in common man’s language refers to “search for knowledge”. Research is simply the process of finding solution to a problem after a complete study and analysis of situational factors. Research is purposeful investigation. It provides a structure for decision making. It provides an analytical framework for the subject matter of investigation. It establishes the relationship between different variables, especially the relationship of the dependent variable with the valuable independent variables. In short, the search for knowledge through objective and systematic method of finding solution to a problem is research.
Definition of Research: According to P.M. Cook, “Research is an honest, exhaustive, intelligent searching for facts and their meanings for implications with reference to given problem. It is the process of arriving at dependable solutions to problems through the planned and systematic collection, analysis and interpretation of data. The best search is that which is reliable, verifiable and exhaustive so that it provides information in which we have confidence.”
Characteristics of Research: The characteristics of research are as follows:
a)      Systematic Approach: Each step must on your investigation be so planned that it lead to the next step.
b)      Objectivity: It implies that true research should attempt to find an unbiased answer to the decision making problem. Its means true research have a pre-planned objective.
c)       Relevancy: A research should be relevant according to objective and according to information required for that. It furnishes three important tasks:
Ã˜  It avoids the collection of irrelevant data or information and saves money and time.
Ã˜  It compares the information to be collected with researcher’s criteria for action.
Ã˜  It enables to see whether to research is proceeding in right direction.
Problems Encountered by Researchers in India
Researchers in India, particularly those engaged in empirical research, are facing several problems. Some of the important problems are as follows:
1. Lack of scientific training: The lack of a scientific training in the methodology of research is the greatest hindrance for researchers in our country. There is paucity of competent researchers. Most of the work, which goes in the name of research is not methodologically sound and cut and paste job. The consequence is obvious, viz., the research results, quite often, do not reflect the reality or realities.
2. No interaction between university-industry research programme: There is insufficient interaction between the university research departments on one side and business establishments, government departments and research institutions on the other side. A great deal of primary data of non-confidential nature remains untouched/untreated by the researchers for want of proper contacts. Efforts should be made to develop satisfactory liaison among all concerned for better and realistic researches.
3. Lack of secrecy: Most of the business units in our country do not have the confidence that the material supplied by them to researchers will not be misused and as such they are often reluctant in supplying the needed information to researchers. Thus, there is the need for generating the confidence that the information/data obtained from a business unit will not be misused.
4. Duplication of research: Research studies overlapping one another are undertaken quite often for want of adequate information. This results in duplication. This problem can be solved by proper compilation and revision, at regular intervals, of a list of subjects on which and the places where the research is going on.
5. No code of conduct: There does not exist a code of conduct for researchers and inter-university and interdepartmental rivalries are also quite common. Hence, there is need for developing a code of conduct for researchers which, if adhered sincerely, can win over this problem.
6. Lack of assistance: Many researchers in our country also face the difficulty of adequate and timely secretarial assistance, including computerial assistance. This causes unnecessary delays in the completion of research studies. University Grants Commission must play a dynamic role in solving this difficulty.
7. No proper library facility: Library management and functioning is not satisfactory at many places and much of the time and energy of researchers are spent in tracing out the books, journals, reports, etc., rather than in tracing out relevant material from them.
8. Outdated library: There is also the problem that many of our libraries are not able to get copies of old and new Acts/Rules, reports and other government publications in time. This problem is felt more in libraries which are away in places from Delhi and/or the state capitals. Thus, efforts should be made for the regular and speedy supply of all governmental publications to reach our libraries.
9. Delay in availability of published data: There is also the difficulty of timely availability of published data from various government and other agencies doing this job in our country. Researcher also faces the problem on account of the fact that the published data vary quite significantly because of differences in coverage by the concerning agencies.
Or
(b) What is ‘Research Design’? What are its functions? Discuss the essential features of a good research design. 2+6+6=14
Ans: Research Design
The most significant part that follows the task of defining the research problem is the preparation of the design of the research project, popularly known as ‘research design’.  A research design is the arrangement of conditions for collection and analysis of data in a manner that aims to combine relevance to the research purpose with economy in procedure.  According to Pauline V Young, “The logical and systematic planning and directing a piece of research is called research design”.  First, it is the plan that specifies the sources and types of information relevant to the research questions.  Second, it is strategy or blueprint specifying which approach will be used for gathering and analysing the data.  Finally, since most business research studies have time and economic constraint, both time and cost budget are typically included.
Need for Research Design: It is needed because it facilitates the smooth sailing of the various research operations, thereby making research as efficient as possible yielding maximum information with minimal expenditure of efforts, time and money. Research design stands for advance planning of the methods to be adapted for collecting the relevant data and technique to be used in their analysis keeping in view the objective of the research and the availability of staff, time and money.  A research design usually involves he consideration of the following factors:
a)      The mean for obtaining information.
b)      The availability and skills of the researcher and his staff, if any.
c)       The objective of the problem to be studied.
d)      The nature of the problem to be studied.
e)      The availability of time and money for the research work.
Features of a good research design
A good design is often characterised by adjectives like flexible, appropriate, efficient, economical and so on. Generally, the design which minimises bias and maximises the reliability of the data collected and analysed is considered a good design. The design which gives the smallest experimental error is supposed to be the best design in many investigations. Similarly, a design which yields maximal information and provides an opportunity for considering many different aspects of a problem is considered most appropriate and efficient design in respect of many research problems. Thus, the question of good design is related to the purpose or objective of the research problem and also with the nature of the problem to be studied. A design may be quite suitable in one case, but may be found wanting in one respect or the other in the context of some other research problem. One single design cannot serve the purpose of all types of research problems.
A research design appropriate for a particular research problem, usually involves the consideration of the following factors:
a)      the means of obtaining information;
b)      the availability and skills of the researcher and his staff, if any;
c)       the objective of the problem to be studied;
d)      the nature of the problem to be studied; and
e)      the availability of time and money for the research work.
If the research study happens to be an exploratory or a formulative one, wherein the major emphasis is on discovery of ideas and insights, the research design most appropriate must be flexible enough to permit the consideration of many different aspects of a phenomenon. But when the purpose of a study is accurate description of a situation or of an association between variables (or in what are called the descriptive studies), accuracy becomes a major consideration and a research design which minimises bias and maximises the reliability of the evidence collected is considered a good design. Studies involving the testing of a hypothesis of a causal relationship between variables require a design which will permit inferences about causality in addition to the minimisation of bias and maximisation of reliability.
Some of the essential characteristics of research design are mentioned below
a)      Objectivity: The findings obtained by the research should be objective. It is possible by allowing more than one person to agree between the final scores/ conclusion of the research.
b)      Reliability: If the similar research is carried out time and again in a similar setting it must give similar result. So the researcher must frame the research questions to make it reliable and provide similar outcomes.
c)       Validity: Any measuring device can be said to be valid if it measures what it is expected to measure and nothing else. To make a research valid the questionnaire framed before research must be framed accordingly.
d)      Generalization: The information collected from given sample must be utilized for providing a general application to the large group of which the sample is drawn.
4. (a) What do you mean by ‘Primary Data’? Explain the various methods of collecting primary data.     2+12=14
Ans: Primary Data: Primary data are information collected by a researcher specifically for a research assignment. In other words, primary data are information that a researcher must gather because no one has compiled and published the information in a forum accessible to the public. Companies generally take the time and allocate the resources required to gather primary data only when a question, issue or problem presents itself that is sufficiently important or unique that it warrants the expenditure necessary to gather the primary data. Primary data are original in nature and directly related to the issue or problem and current data. Primary data are the data which the researcher collects through various methods like interviews, surveys, questionnaires etc. The primary data have own advantages and disadvantages.
Methods of Collecting Primary Data
Following are the important methods of collecting primary data:
(a) Observation Method: It is the most commonly used method especially in studies relating to behavioural science.  In this method information are sought by way of investigator’s own direct observation without asking from the respondent.  For instant, in study relating to consumer behavior, the investigator instead of asking the brand of wrist watch used by the respondent may himself look at the watch. There are many types of observations:
(i) Structured and Unstructured Observation :The observation which is characterized by a careful definition of the units to be observed, the style of recording the observed information, standardized conditioned of observation and selection of pertinent data of observation is called structured observation. These observations are considered appropriate in descriptive studies.   When the observation is to take place these characteristics to be thought of in advance, it is termed as unstructured observation.  These observations are most likely in exploratory studies.
(ii) Participant and Non-participant Observations:  These observations are used in social science.  If the observer observes by making himself, more or less, a member of the group he is observing so that he can experience what the members of the group experience, the observation is called participant.  But when that observer observes as detached emissary without any attempt on his part to experience through participation what others feel, the observation is termed as non-participant.
(iii) Controlled and Uncontrolled Observations:  If the observation takes place in natural settings it may be termed as uncontrolled observation.  The major aim of this type of observation is to get a spontaneous picture of life and person. But when observation takes place according to definite pre-arranged plans, involving experimental procedures, the same than termed as controlled observation. Such observations has tendency to supply formalized data upon which generalization can be built with some degree of accuracy.
a)      Subjected bias is eliminated, if observation is done correctly.
b)      The information obtained under this method relates to what is currently happening, it is not complicated by either the past behaviour or future intentions or attitudes.
c)       This method is independent of respondent’s willingness to respond and as such is relatively less demanding of active cooperation on be part of respondents as happen to be the case in the interview or the questionnaire method.  This method is particularly suitable in studies which deal with subject, i. e. respondents who are not capable of giving verbal report of their feelings for one reason or the other.
a)      It is an expensive method.
b)      Information provided by this method is very limited.
c)       Sometimes unforeseen factors may interfere with the observational task.  At times, the fact that some people are rarely accessible to direct observation creates obstacles for this method to collect data effectively.
(b) Interview Method: This method involves presentation of oral-verbal stimuli and reply in terms of oral-verbal responses. There are two types of interview method:
(i) Personal Interview:  In this method of data collection, there is a face-to-face contact with persons from whom the information is to be obtained.  The interviewer asks them questions pertaining to the survey and collects the desired information. The information thus obtained is original in character.
Techniques:  There are various techniques of personal interviews:
Structured and unstructured: this interview involves the use of a set of predetermined questions and of highly standardized techniques of recording.  The interviewer follows a rigid procedure laid down, asking questions in a form and prescribed order. It is used in descriptive studies. Unstructured interviews are characterized by a flexibility of approach of questioning. It don’t follow a system of predetermined questions and standardized techniques of recording. The interviewer has greater freedom. This method is used in exploratory or formulative studies.
Focused Interview: It is to focus attention on the given experience of the respondents and its effects.  The interviewer has freedom to decide the manner and sequence of the questions.  These are generally used in the development of hypothesis and constitute a major type of unstructured interviews.
Clinical Interviews:  It is concerned with broad underlying feelings or motivation or with the course of individual’s life experience.
Non-directive interviews:  In this the interviewer’s function is simply to encourage the respondent to talk about the given topic with a bare minimum of direct questioning.
b)      Interviewer by his own skill can overcome the resistance, if any, of the respondents.
c)       There is a greater flexibility under this method as the opportunity to restructure questions is always there, especially in the case of unstructured interviews.
Disadvantages:  There are certain weaknesses of interview method:
a)      It is very expensive method, especially when large and wide spread geographical sample is taken.
b)      There remains the possibility of the bias of interviewer as well as that of the respondents.
c)       Certain types of respondents such as important officials or executives may not be easily approached under this method and to that extant the data may prove inadequate.
(ii) Telephone Interview: This method of collecting information consists in contacting respondents on telephone itself. It is not a very widely used method, but plays important part in industrial surveys, particularly in developed regions.
Merits:  The chief merits of such systems are:
a)      It is more flexible in comparison to mailing method.
b)      It is faster than other methods.
c)       It is cheaper than personal interviewing method.
Demerits:  It is not free from demerits:
a)      Little time is given to respondents for considered answers; interview period is not likely to exceed five minutes in most cases.
b)      Surveys are restricted to respondents who have telephone facilities.
c)       Extensive geographical coverage may get restricted by cost consideration.
(c) Questionnaire Method: In this method a list of questions pertaining to the survey is prepared and sent to the various informants by post. The questionnaire contains questions and provides space for answers.  A request is made to the informants through a covering letter to fill up the questionnaire and send it back within a specified time.  This method is adapted by private individuals, research workers, private and public organisations and even by govt.
Merits:  This method is most extensively employed in various economic and business surveys. The main merits are as follows:
a)      There is low cost even when the universe is large and is widely spread geographically.
b)      It is free from the bias of the interviewer; answers are in respondent’s own words.
d)      Respondents who are not easily approachable can also be reached conveniently.
e)      Large sample can be made use of and thus the results can be more dependable and reliable.
Demerits:
a)      Low rate of return of the duly filled in questionnaires, bias due to no-response is often indeterminate.
b)      It can be used only when respondents are educated and cooperating.
c)       There is inbuilt inflexibility because of the difficulty of amending the approach once questionnaires have been sent.
d)      The control over questionnaire may be lost once it is sent.
e)      There is also the possibility of ambiguous replies or omission of replies altogether to certain questions, interpretation of omission is difficult.
f)       It is difficult to know whether willing respondents are truly representative.
g)      This method is likely to be the slowest of all.
(d) Schedule Method: This method of data collection is very much like questionnaire method, with a little difference which lies in the fact that schedules are being filled in by the numerators who are specially appointed for this purpose.  These numerators along with schedules go to respondents put to them the questions from the Performa in the order questions are listed and record the replies in the space provided. Numerators explains them the object of the investigation and also removes the difficulties felt by the respondents.  The numerators should train to perform their job well and the nature and scope of the investigation should be explained to them thoroughly.  The numerators should be intelligent and must possess the capacity of cross examination in order to find out the truth.  This method of data collection is very useful in extensive enquiries and can lead to fairly reliable results.  It is, however very expensive and is usually adopted in investigations conducted by governmental agencies or by some big organisations.  Population census all over the world is conducted through this method.
(e) Other methods of collecting Data: There are some other methods of data collection particularly used by big business houses I modern time:
1.       Warranty cards
2.       Distributor or store audits
3.       Pantry audits
4.       Consumer panel
5.       Use of mechanical device
6.       Project techniques
7.       Depth interviews
8.       Contact analysis
Or
(b) What is ‘Interview Skill’? Why is it so important in conducting an interview? Discuss in brief any four main areas of interview skill.                 2+4+8=14
Ans: The work of investigator starts once the type of interview is chosen. The interviewer while performing his/her duty can do much to create good interview condition, ‘train’ the respondent accordingly.
Role of Interview in Data collection
Data collection is an essential component to conducting a research/ an evaluation. In order to collect data, the researcher should be able to access the data that needs to be collected for the study. The nature of the data for collection determines the method to be employed in collecting this data. Towards this end, various methodologies qualitative and quantitative are available for data collection, of which interviewing is a part of.  It is this paper’s purpose to discuss interviewing as a data collection method, particularly focusing on its value, strengths and weaknesses. For purposes of this discussion, interviews shall be defined as controlled conversations that the interviewer uses to obtain data required from the respondent by means of asking serious questions verbally. The essay will not delve into the different interviewing techniques, but tackle interviewing in the collective.
Interviews are a key qualitative data collection method for social research. There are many reasons to use interviews for collecting data and using it as a research instrument. They are mainly useful in cases where there is need to attain highly personalized data, as well as in cases where there are opportunities for probing to get underlying factors. They also become a viable option where there are limited respondents and a good return rate is important, and also where respondents are not fluent in the native language of a country, or where they have difficulties with written language.
The main advantage of interviews stems from their capability to offer a complete description and analysis of a research subject, without limiting the scope of the research and the nature of participant’s responses (Collis & Hussey, 2003). Interviews are thus useful for gaining insight and context into a topic. They can provide information to which the interviewee was previously privy to, unlike other data collection methods such as questionnaires may act as blinkers to the responses required. They thus become critical for discovery oriented researches where the researcher is, in advance, only roughly aware in of what they are looking for. In an interview, there is leeway for a respondent to describe what is important to them, and from their responses useful quotes and stories can also be collected.
In response to the need to seek complete description and analysis of subject matter, interviews from the onset, facilitate for the accurate screening for the right interviewee. Due to the nature of information sought, which has to be in depth, accurate, and reliable, the interviewer has to find the right individual who has the desired information. If the assessment is around certain work processes, then individuals directly involved in the work, or those directly affected by the work are purposefully sampled. In line with the above, face to face interviews will go further in making screening more accurate, as an individual being interviewed is unable to provide false information during screening questions such as gender, age, or race.
When conducted face to face, another key advantage of using interviews as a data collection method surfaces. This one stems from their ability to capture verbal and non-verbal questions in the data collection process. One is able to pay attention to body language and expressions which may indicate levels of excitement or discomfort brought about by certain questions. Such question can highlight where there is a chance of information being falsified, where there is dissonance between what is being said and what one strongly feels about the matter, or even to validate a point being emphasized. An example may be the signal brought about by someone claiming to enjoy their work, whilst showing signs of distress as they do so. A skilled interviewer is then supposed to capture such, and use it to probe and find the underlying reasons behind the action. The observation can also be used probe subsequent interviewees and solicit for the right answers.
The four main areas of interview skills that are required in research work are mentioned below. These are:
2.       Listening to the replies.
4.       Reporting back the overall findings.
The essence of this approach is that the interviewer should be proficient enough in these four areas.
The first part of interview is asking questions. The interviewer asks the pre-set question in order with emphasis on certain words to help the respondent understand the question.
The second part of interview is listening to the reply. This part is easy and more interesting. In this stage the investigator should listen to the reply carefully and should not be distracted if the respondent sounds boring.
In addition to asking and listening questions, the duty of the interviewer is to records the answer. This technique is easy for close-ended questions. But in case of open-ended question the job is more difficult. The investigator should record in writing what is said verbatim without correcting grammar or slang.
The last stage of interview skill is reporting back the overall findings. After leaving the place the duty of investigator is to edit the questionnaire and record other details which include time and place. Further, he has to make his experience in this regard too. Thus, in the interview process the interviewer must be very careful while constructing the interview schedule because must of success depends on interview schedule and analyzing the interview results.
5. (a) What is ‘Data Collection’? Explain the various tools used in data collection in any research survey. 2+12=14
Ans: Data Collection: Data collection is the process of gathering and measuring information on variables of interest from all the relevant sources to find the answers to the research problem, test hypotheses and evaluate outcomes. The task of data collection begins after a research problem has been defined and research design/plan chalked out. While deciding about the method of data collection to be used for the study, the researcher should keep in mind two types of data viz., primary and secondary. The primary data are those which are collected afresh and for the first time, and thus happen to be original in character. The secondary data, on the other hand, are those which have already been collected by someone else and which have already been passed through the statistical process. The researcher would have to decide which sort of data he would be using (thus collecting) for his study and accordingly he will have to select one or the other method of data collection.
Tools of data collection: The data collection devices have always been useful in research project which include Questionnaire, Rating Scale, Attitude Scale, Checklists, Tests and Inventories. A researcher depending upon the nature of the study may choose one of the devices effectively. In this unit we will discuss about the tools of data collections. Some specific tools are explained below one by one.
a) QUESTIONNAIRE: In this method a list of questions pertaining to the survey is prepared and sent to the various informants by post. The questionnaire contains questions and provides space for answers.  A request is made to the informants through a covering letter to fill up he questionnaire and send it back within a specified time.  This method is adapted by private individuals, research workers, private and public organisations and even by govt.
Merits:  This method is most extensively employed in various economic and business surveys. The main merits are as follows:
a)      There is low cost even when the universe is large and is widely spread geographically.
b)      It is free from the bias of the interviewer; answers are in respondent’s own words.
d)      Respondents who are not easily approachable can also be reached conveniently.
e)      Large sample can be made use of and thus the results can be more dependable and reliable.
Demerits:
a)      Low rate of return of the duly filled in questionnaires, bias due to no-response is often indeterminate.
b)      It can be used only when respondents are educated and cooperating.
c)       There is inbuilt inflexibility because of the difficulty of amending the approach once questionnaires have been sent.
d)      The control over questionnaire may be lost once it is sent.
e)      There is also the possibility of ambiguous replies or omission of replies altogether to certain questions, interpretation of omission is difficult.
b) RATING SCALE: Rating Scale is a device for obtaining judgement of the degree to which an individual posses certain aspect of a thing or traits and not easily detectable by objective tests. The rating scale consists of five to seven characteristics to be judged and some types of scale are used to indicate the degree to which each quality is present. Descriptions of various degrees of quality are arranged along a line from high, medium and low and this line is called the scale.
a)      It is useful in rating teaching and teachers.
b)      It is determined by subjectively.
a)      People differ markedly in their ability to make ratings.
b)      Ratters are sometimes unable to justify and thus provide absurd rationalizations.
c) ATTITUDE SCALE: Attitude Scale is one of the most common measuring attitudes which provides an individual with a list of sentences and asking them to respond to each sentence in accordance with their true feelings. These lists are called scales. There are three procedures which have been used for eliciting opinions and attitudes. The three used scales are: Likert scale, Guttmann scale and Thurston scale.
a)      It is used to educational research.
b)      It is used to obtain the measure of the belief of an individual or group to some inquiry.
a)      An individual may not be a good judge himself and may not be aware of his/her real attitude.
b)      Persons who has not faced real situation can’t give real attitude on specific phenomena.
D) CHECK LIST: The check-list is a list which consists of a list of items with a place to check ‘yes’ or ‘no’. The main aim of the lists is to call attention to various aspects of an object or situation so that nothing importance is left. Check-list is, basically, a type of questionnaire in the form of a set of categories for the respondent to check. It is generally used to record the phenomena under study that are presence or absent.
Uses
4.       It is an important tool for educational survey.
5.       It also applied to classroom in some purposes such as to study working habits of student of students.
6.       Check list also helps in rating personality.
e) TESTS: A test is a procedure for observing human behaviour and analyzing it with the help of numerical scale or category system. A psychological test is, basically, a standardized measure of a sample of behaviour. It is classified into three categories such as personality tests, aptitude test and educational test.
f) INVENTORY: An inventory is, basically, a kind of self-report instrument. It helps to measure certain tendencies on traits. Out of the various types of inventory, interest inventory is one of the preferred ways of measuring interest which yield to measure the type of activities that an individual has a tendency to like and choose.
a)      Interest inventories are useful in vocational guidance.
b)      It is not time-bound.
Disadvantage: Because of individual unwillingness to report their reactions, such instruments have little value.
The six tools explained above are useful according to the nature of survey. In selecting the devices, it is necessary for a researcher to develop skill in framing such devices and using them efficiently and effectively.
Or
(b) What is ‘Questionnaire’? Explain the various steps of designing a good questionnaire.         2+12=14
Ans: Questionnaire is a list of questions which is send to the informants for collecting data. In this method a list of questions pertaining to the survey is prepared and sent to the various informants by post. The questionnaire contains questions and provides space for answers.  A request is made to the informants through a covering letter to fill up the questionnaire and send it back within a specified time.  This method is adapted by private individuals, research workers, private and public organisations and even by govt.
DESIGNING A QUESTIONNAIRE
In the research process, the design of the questionnaire is highly iterative, since it is the integral part of any research design. A good questionnaire is clear, unambiguous and workable. It should be design in such a way so that it can minimize potential errors from respondents. Further, questionnaire preparation is an art, it requires skill, patience and creativity. The guidelines for preparing a good questionnaire are explained below:
1.             Determine the specific data to be sought.
2.             Determine the question content.
3.             Decide on question response format.
4.             Deciding of wording of a format.
5.             Framing cross-check question.
6.             Eliminate bugs by pre-testing, Revise and Final draft.
Step 1: Determine the specific data to be sought: Before developing a questionnaire one must determine what the study is all about and what exactly needs to be measured. Over sighting the above step many lead to inappropriate data collection.
Step 2: Determine the question content: A clear statement of problem definition and objectives of the study are highly important for the guidance of research project and taking decision on question content.
Further, it can be mentioned that each question should follow comfortable from the previous questions. Transitions between questions should be smooth. Questionnaire that jumps from one unrelated topic to another feels disjointed are not produce good response rate. Moreover, the question should be placed in under, what facilitates a smooth interchange between the interviewers and respondent.
Finally, personal questions should not be asked at the beginning. For example, if the beginning point the all efforts will come to an end. Thus personal questions should be saved until late in the questionnaire.
Step 3: Decide on question response format: Once the above three points have been addressed the next step is to decide whether structured or unstructured questions to be used for a given objectives. Formation of questionnaire helps the interviewer to maintain the interest of the respondent. Even more detailed decision is necessary. Should a structured question take the form a numerical scale (for instance, rating (for instance, rating something from 0 to 9 in terms of favour ability) or a verbal scale.
Step 4: Deciding the wording of the questions: The wording of a question in a questionnaire is extremely important. While framing such questions the researcher must phrase questions in terms the respondent will understand. But he must be careful not to seem patronizing to respondents. After framing the questions the researcher should decide which question will come first and which one is fall later. In questionnaire the general questions come first and more specific questions comes in the later part of the interview. This is called funnel approach.
Step 5: Framing Cross-Check Questions: Sometimes cross-check questionnaire is framed by including several question on one topic area in order to see or verify whether the respondent answer the questions in the same way. Such procedure allows the researcher to eliminate from the analysis phase of research which the respondents have misunderstood.
Step 6: Pre-test Revise and Final Draft: All the interviewing experience the method of pre-test as a means of ensuring that all the above considerations are observed to the fullest possible extent. Pre-testing implied that it is tried out on a few respondents and their reaction to the questionnaire is observed. Thus, the researcher can be mindful of the practical problems inherent in the questionnaire with the help of pre-test. Pre-testing is done on a representative sire or sample. The response then loaded and analyzed. Sometimes, several pre-test are necessary, with the questionnaire being revised between the pre-tests. Thus, pre-testing gives advance view and problems, interviewer limitations and date and time.
The importance of cover letter should not be underestimated. Questionnaire has to be attached with the cover letter to persuade the respondent to complete the survey.
6. (a) What is ‘Data Processing’? Discuss the various steps involved in processing of data.           2+12=14
Ans: Processing of Data
The data after collection has to be processed and analysed in accordance with the outline laid down for the purpose at the time of developing the research plan. This is essential for a scientific study and for ensuring that we have all relevant data for making contemplated comparisons and analysis. Technically speaking, Data processing is concerned with editing, coding, classifying, tabulating and charting and diagramming research data. The essence of data processing in research is data reduction. Data reduction involves winnowing out the irrelevant from the relevant data and establishing order from chaos and giving shape to a mass of data.
Data processing in research consists of four important steps. They are:
1. Editing: Editing of data is a process of examining the collected raw data to detect errors and omissions and to correct these when possible. As a matter of fact, editing involves a careful scrutiny of the completed questionnaires and/or schedules. Editing is done to assure that the data are accurate, consistent with other facts gathered, uniformly entered, as completed as possible and have been well arranged to facilitate coding and tabulation.
With regard to points or stages at which editing should be done, one can talk of field editing and central editing. Field editing consists in the review of the reporting forms by the investigator for completing (translating or rewriting) what the latter has written in abbreviated and/or in illegible form at the time of recording the respondents’ responses. This type of editing is necessary in view of the fact that individual writing styles often can be difficult for others to decipher. This sort of editing should be done as soon as possible after the interview, preferably on the very day or on the next day. While doing field editing, the investigator must restrain himself and must not correct errors of omission by simply guessing what the informant would have said if the question had been asked.
Central editing should take place when all forms or schedules have been completed and returned to the office. This type of editing implies that all forms should get a thorough editing by a single editor in a small study and by a team of editors in case of a large inquiry.
2. Coding: Coding refers to the process of assigning numerals or other symbols to answers so that responses can be put into a limited number of categories or classes. Such classes should be appropriate to the research problem under consideration. They must also possess the characteristic of exhaustiveness and also that of mutual exclusively which means that a specific answer can be placed in one and only one cell in a given category set.
Coding is necessary for efficient analysis and through it the several replies may be reduced to a small number of classes which contain the critical information required for analysis. Coding decisions should usually be taken at the designing stage of the questionnaire. This makes it possible to precode the questionnaire choices and which in turn is helpful for computer tabulation as one can straight forward key punch from the original questionnaires.
3. Classification: Most research studies result in a large volume of raw data which must be reduced into homogeneous groups if we are to get meaningful relationships. This fact necessitates classification of data which happens to be the process of arranging data in groups or classes on the basis of common characteristics. Data having a common characteristic are placed in one class and in this way the entire data get divided into a number of groups or classes. Classification can be one of the following two types, depending upon the nature of the phenomenon involved:
(a) Classification according to attributes: As stated above, data are classified on the basis of common characteristics which can either be descriptive (such as literacy, sex, honesty, etc.) or numerical (such as weight, height, income, etc.).
(b) Classification according to class-intervals: Unlike descriptive characteristics, the numerical characteristics refer to quantitative phenomenon which can be measured through some statistical units. Data relating to income, production, age, weight, etc. come under this category. Such data are known as statistics of variables and are classified on the basis of class intervals.
4. Tabulation: When a mass of data has been assembled, it becomes necessary for the researcher to arrange the same in some kind of concise and logical order. This procedure is referred to as tabulation. Thus, tabulation is the process of summarising raw data and displaying the same in compact form (i.e., in the form of statistical tables) for further analysis. In a broader sense, tabulation is an orderly arrangement of data in columns and rows. Tabulation is essential because of the following reasons.
1. It conserves space and reduces explanatory and descriptive statement to a minimum.
2. It facilitates the process of comparison.
3. It facilitates the summation of items and the detection of errors and omissions.
4. It provides a basis for various statistical computations.
Or
(b) What is a ‘Report’? What are the characteristics of a good report? Briefly describe the structure of a report. 2+4+8=14
Ans: Meaning of Research Report: A research report is more or less an official document that presents the information for an interested reader. It involves investigation and analysis and the facts may lead to conclusions and recommendation. The facts must be accurate, complete easy to find and usually must be interpreted. They provide valuable record for the business. They can also be made use of in future.
A research Report can be Defined as: “The process of communicating the results of an investigation. It is a document which reflects the research conducted and the care that has been exercised throughout the study”.
Characteristics of a Good Research Report
A research report must posses the following qualities
1.       Grammatical Accuracy: The grammatical accuracy of language is of fundamental importance. It is one of the basic requisite of a good report as of any other piece of composition.
2.       Accuracy of Facts: The scientific accuracy of facts is very essential to a good report.
3.       Simple and unambiguous language: A good report is written in a simple, unambiguous language.
4.       Reader Orientation: A good report is always reader oriented. While drafting a report, it is necessary to keep in mind the persons who are going the read it.
5.       Objectivity of Recommendation: If recommendations are made at the end of a report, they must be impartial and objective. They should come as a logical conclusion to investigation and analysis.
6.       Clarity: The report writer must proceed systematically. He should make his purpose clear define his source, state his findings and finally make necessary recommendations. He should divide his report into short paragraphs giving them headings.
7.       Relevance: The facts presented in a report should be only accurate but relevant also.
Structure/Layout of a research report
The layout of the report means as to what the research report should contain.  A comprehensive layout of research report should compromise of following:
(A)  Preliminary Pages/prefatory:  The preliminary page of a report should carry the following:
(a) Title Page: The title page should carry:
Ã˜  The name of the topic
Ã˜  The relationship of the report to a course
Ã˜  The name of the author
Ã˜  The name of the institution where the report is to be submitted
Ã˜  The date of presentation of the report.
(b) Preface: The preface should be started with the brief introduction.  It may include reasons why, in the first place, the topic was selected by researcher.  Preface should also contain the objective of the research, sources of data for research study.
(c)  Acknowledgement: The acknowledgements are written to thank those who have helped the researcher for a variety of reasons.  Preface/acknowledgement is usually signed or initiated by its writer. All pages in the preliminary section are numbered with Roman numerals.
(d) Table of Contents: Table of content provides an outline of the content of the report. It appears after the preface/acknowledgement.  It may contain only a list of chapters and their appropriate Roman numerals, followed by page numbers on which each chapter begins.
(B)   The Main Body or Text:   The main text of the report should have following sections:
(a)  Introduction:  The introductory chapter normally includes the following:
Ã˜  Statement of problem
Ã˜  Objectives/purpose of the study
Ã˜  Review of literature
Ã˜  Justification for the present study
Ã˜  Scope of the study
Ã˜  Conceptual framework
Ã˜  Limitations of study
(b)  Statement of Findings and Recommendations:  After introduction a research report must contain statement of finding and recommendation in non-technical language so that it can be easily understood by all concerned.  If the findings happen to extensive, at this point they should be put in summerised form.
(c)   Results: A detailed presentations of the findings of the study, with supporting data in the form of tables and charts together with a validation of results, is the next step in writing the main text of report.  All relevant results must find a place in the reports.  All the results should be presented in a logical sequence and splitted into readily identifiable section.
(d)  Implications of then results:  Towards the end of the main text, the researcher should again put down the results of his research clearly and precisely. He should state the implications that flow from results of the study, for the general reader is interested in the implications for understanding the human behaviour.  Such implications have three aspects:
Ã˜  A statement of inference drawn from the present study which may be expected to apply in similar circumstances.
Ã˜  The condition of the present study which may limit the extent of legitimate generalization of the inference drawn from the study.
Ã˜  The relevant questions that still remains unanswered or new questions raised by study along with suggestions for kind of research that would provide answers for them.
(e)  Summary:  It has become customary to conclude the research report with a very brief summary, resting in brief the research problem, methodology, the major findings and major conclusions drawn from the research results.
(C)  End Matter:  At the end of the report, appendices should be enlisted in respect of all technical data such as questionnaires, sample information, mathematical derivations and the like ones.
(i)  Bibliography:  Bibliography of the sources consulted should also be given.  It is list of documents, books, periodicals, and manuscripts etc. which have some useful information of the given subject matter.
(ii)  Glossary:  It contains explanation or sample definition of technical terms used in a particular paper.
(iii)  Appendices:   An appendix is used for additional or supplementary material used which has not found place in the main text.
(iv) Index:  Index should invariably be given at the end of the report. The value of index lies in the fact that it works as a guide to the reader for contents in the report.