- January 24, 2024
- Posted by: IGBAJI U.C.
- Category: Academic Writing Guide
Measurement Instruments in Academic Research
The assessment and evaluation of subjects in research are carried out by instruments known as measurement tools. These instruments exist to ease data collection and accumulate different variables ranging from physical demonstration to the in-depth review of psychological performance.
The idea surrounding the said data in research is one that refers to all forms of information retained from the entire span of the study, for this to be realized there are various apparatuses recommended by researchers based on the nature of the study.
Before applying measuring tools, it’s important that the tools used are directly required for that specific study, this would ensure validity in the conclusion and prior adequateness in data collection.
Types of measurement instruments
Questionnaires are bywords of multiple choice questions, attitude scales, closed questions, and open-ended questions; this is especially used for the accrual of data involving a large number of persons. It is a malleable apparatus as it doesn’t elicit haste or pressure respondents while evoking answers.
A questionnaire is an expedient measurement tool that simplifies the collection of data in a rather minute period, while it is easy to administer it is sometimes circumscribed to the literate as this method can contain misleading and confusing questions that may not be primarily comprehensible to every class of individual.
However there are certain characteristics that detail a proper questionnaire, they are;
- Questions contained in a questionnaire must be able to evoke a detailed answer
- Questions contained in a questionnaire must not connote ambiguity in meaning
- Questions contained in a questionnaire must not be engineered to trigger demanding calculations
- Questions contained in a questionnaire must not submerge respondents in a state of indecisiveness, at most, deciding upon cataloging
- Questions should not lead respondents to biased answers, they should rather encourage independent thinking as the entire point of the questionnaire is to catalog a variety of opinions directly responding to the research at hand
- Questions contained in a questionnaire should not be wordy
- Questions contained in a questionnaire must ensure the precise object of the inquire
Questionnaires are mostly attached to research reaching
- Case study
Interviews are somewhat similar to a questionnaire, they are otherwise identified as oral questionnaires that engage variables and researchers in a face-to-face consultation, they, likewise, can be doctored via cyber interlinks like through a phone conversation and/or video chat or an advanced mailing system.
This usually invokes the collection of data through means of penning down information with writing tools.
Interviews are classified into 3 categories; formal, informal, and sometimes semi-formal. A formal interview permits the respondent to verbally engage, at will, a specific topic, an informal interview on the other hand only stimulates responses and answers from variables based on questions asked by the researcher.
They are usually limited in terms of data collection and disadvantageous as a structured line of questioning can be eroded by malice or biasness exuding from the researcher.
Interviews are measurement tools used in collecting data in research the likes of;
- Case study
Frequently used in pure and applied science research, experiments are exercises carried out in laboratories by researchers aiming to test physical reactions and abstract interaction of variables in a research study; they customarily focus on research topics for the central reason of actualizing an objective. An instrument like this ensures rapid immediate outcomes with an error-free valid resolve. While it’s a sure guarantee for progress in objective, the mismanagement and wrong handling of chemicals lead to irrevocable consequences for the researcher, sometimes the variables.
They are measurement tools used for;
- Pure science
This kind of instrument overhauls the behavior of individuals in situations that are perceived and recorded. This instrument when executed for the accomplishment of a research objective is classified into two separate categories.
- Participant observation
- Non-participant observation
Participant observation permits and requires an active researcher to serve as a variable being studied, this often ensures precise and appropriate outcomes but sometimes results can suffer from biases and malice,
Non-participant observation involves an outside independent variable to be observed, this type of observation is free from malice and biasness but is very susceptible to inaccuracy and delay.
The idea of observation is one that requires a distinct level of adroitness as the requirements to enable a viable and sustainable result is one that demands meticulous preferences in identifying specific characteristics that would lead to a solution for the problem at hand.
There are certain guidelines required for developing an observation method
- The goal of the instrument must be identified vividly
- Background study of the subjects must be carried out while it is subjected to prevailing conditions in the study, this is to be aimed at describing likely traits performed by the variable.
- Cultivate a catalog of all traits exhibited by the variable.
Individual behaviors can be observed and recorded under the following categories for ease:
- What do people do
- Why do they do them
- What are their functions in such activities; are they the subjects or the objects?
- What are the links that partner these people with these events
- The aftermath; what situations do these people find themselves in afterward
They are measurement instruments used in research such as:
- Pure science
- Case study
5. Focus group discussion
Focus group discussion is an instrument that allows the collection of data by researchers via a large group of variables at a singular moment.
The focus group discussion is dissimilar to an interview as an interview requires a one-on-one verbal consultation; a focus group discussion is typically hinged on behavioral science and assessments, library and information science, information technology, and lastly records.
It is important to note that the approach is used to elicit qualitative data in expressing definitions of occurrences under supervision, however, it is important to understand the structure and composite of this particular instrument, while it encourages the presence of many people, its entire composition shouldn’t surpass 10 members at a time.
This instrument can be applied in research like
- Case study