|Module 1: Producing Data
3. Sources of data
3.3. Selecting a method to produce data
When selecting a method to produce data, you need to ask the question, “What do I want to know?” Let’s say, for instance, you are dissatisfied with the format of a subject and you believe that other members of the class share your dissatisfaction, though you are not certain. How can you provide evidence that either supports or negates your claim? What method of data generation can you use? The question that you have leads you to decide to use a survey to obtain the evidence.
Once you have decided on the method of data generation, you need to decide how you will set up your study so that other people will be willing to accept the data that you produce.
Let’s say, for instance, that you have decided on a survey, you now need to consider:
- the form of the questions in your survey;
- when and where the survey will be administered;
- the method of sampling that you will use; and
- what your sample size will be. (You need to check sampling error to decide what size will be good enough for your purposes.)
Now you have finished Module 1.
This page last updated 20 August 2009