Saturday, 1 December 2012



What is descriptive research?

This research is the most commonly used and the basic reason for carrying out descriptive research is to identify the cause of something that is happening.  For instance, this research could be used in order to find out what age group is buying a particular brand of cola, whether a company’s market share differs between geographical regions or to discover how many competitors a company has in their marketplace. However, if the research is to return useful results, whoever is conducting the research must comply with strict research requirements in order to obtain the most accurate figures/results possible.

Descriptive Research

This chapter discusses the types of quantitative study that fall under the broad heading of descriptive quantitative research. This type of research involves either identifying the characteristics of an observed phenomenon or exploring possible correlations among two or more phenomena. In every case, descriptive research examines a situation as it is. It does not involve changing or modifying the situation under investigation, nor is it intended to detect cause–effect relationships. Examples of descriptive research that yields quantitative data are correlation studies, developmental designs, observation studies, and survey research. The emphasis is on survey research.

Descriptive research

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Descriptive research, also known as statistical research, describes data and characteristics about the population or phenomenon being studied. Descriptive research answers the questions who, what, where, when and how.
Although the data description is factual, accurate and systematic, the research cannot describe what caused a situation. Thus, descriptive research cannot be used to create a causal relationship, where one variable affects another. In other words, descriptive research can be said to have a low requirement for internal validity.
The description is used for frequencies, averages and other statistical calculations. Often the best approach, prior to writing descriptive research, is to conduct a survey investigation. Qualitative research often has the aim of description and researchers may follow-up with examinations of why the observations exist and what the implications of the findings are.

What si causal research?
Casual Research explores the effect of one thing on another and more specifically, the effect of one variable on another. The research is used to measure what impact a specific change will have on existing norms and allows market researchers to predict hypothetical scenarios upon which a company can base its business plan. For example, if a clothing company currently sells blue denim jeans, casual research can measure the impact of the company changing the product design to the colour white. Following the research, company bosses will be able to decide whether changing the colour of the jeans to white would be profitable. To summarise, casual research is a way of seeing how actions now will affect a business in the future

What is Exploratory Research?

This genre of research simply allows the marketer to gain a greater understanding of something that s/he doesn’t know enough about. For example, just because we know that 3G phones exist, it doesn’t necessarily mean that we understand how they work. Exploratory research can help in this instance. Differing mainly in design from descriptive research, exploratory research is used principally to gain a deeper understanding of something. The design is far more flexible and dynamic than that of descriptive research.

Descriptive research is used to obtain information concerning the current status of the phenomena to describe "what exists" with respect to variables or conditions in a situation. The methods involved range from the survey which describes the status quo, the correlation study which investigates the relationship between variables, to developmental studies which seek to determine changes over time.
Statement of the problem
Identification of information needed to solve the problem
Selection or development of instruments for gathering the information
Identification of target population and determination of sampling procedure
Design of procedure for information collection
Collection of information
Analysis of information
Generalizations and/or predictions

Survey Studies
Survey studies assess the characteristics of whole populations of people or situations.
School Surveys - Used to gather data concerned with internal or external characteristics of a school system

Job Analysis - Used to gather information to be used in structuring a training program for a particular job

Documentary Analysis - Closely akin to historical research; deals with documenting present situations

Public Opinion Surveys - Used to enhance the decision making process by government officials

Community Surveys - Used to gather data concerned with internal or external characteristics of a community

Interrelationship Studies
Interrelationship Studies trace relationships among the facts obtained to gain a deeper insight into the situation
Case Studies - Probes in depth into an individual situation or personality with the intent of diagnosing a particular condition and recommending corrective measures

Causal Comparative Studies - Compares the likeness and difference among phenomena to determine if certain factors or circumstances tend to accompany certain events, conditions, or processes

Correlation Studies - Determine the extent of the relationship between two or more variables

Developmental Studies
Developmental studies are concerned with the existing status and interrelationships of phenomena and changes that take place as a function of time
Growth Studies - May be either longitudinal or cross-sectional. The longitudinal technique is the most satisfactory for studying human development. The cross-sectional technique is more commonly used because it is less expensive.

Trend Studies - Used to make predictions from social trends, economic conditions, technological advances, etc. to future status

Model or System Development - Creative development of a model or system (paradigm) based on a thorough determination of the present situation or system and the goals sought

Critical Examination of Source Materials - Descriptive studies cannot produce useful findings if the investigation is based on erroneous information

Technical Terminology - An absence of clearly assigned meanings for terms results in ambiguous communications which cannot provide a solid foundation for scientific understanding

Formulation of Hypotheses - Ambiguously formulated overgeneralized or logically unsound hypotheses lead to erroneous conclusions

Observation and Experimentation - Experimentation involves the manipulation of independent variables under controlled laboratory conditions and direct observation of the results. Observing the phenomena as they exist may be the only way to examine and analyze the factors that are associated with their occurrences in a natural situation

Generalization and Prediction - Universal generalizations that permit highly accurate predictions may be ideal, but even the physical scientists are less certain today than they once were of their ability to predict in certain areas except in terms of scientific probability.


1. Define descriptive research.
2. List eight steps involved in a descriptive investigation.
3. State the purpose of survey studies.
4. Name five types of survey studies.
5. State the purpose of interrelationship studies.
6. Name three types of interrelationship studies.
7. State the purpose of developmental studies.
8. Name three types of developmental studies.
9. Discuss five methods of evaluating descriptive research.

Descriptive Research
Descriptive research involves the collection of data in order to test hypotheses or to answer questions concerning the current status of the subjects of the study.
Conducting a Descriptive Research Study
The process of conducting a descriptive research study would include the following:
  1. State the hypotheses or questions you hope to answer with your descriptive study.
  2. Define subjects.
  3. Develop the instrumentation for your study. Usually this involves selecting or more often developing a questionnaire.
  4. Validate the questionnaire.
  5. Prepare a cover letter
  6. Pretest the questionnaire
  7. Plan how you will deal with non-respondents and with items not completed.
  8. Description and analysis of results.
Common Types of Self-report Research
Some of the common types of self-report research are:
  1. Survey research - a survey is an attempt to collect data from members of a population in order to determine the current status of that population with respect to one or more variables.
    • Sample survey - simple random sample or stratified random sample.
    • Census survey - entire population is surveyed
  2. Developmental studies
    • Cross sectional approach - different ages of subjects are studied at the same time.
    • Longitudinal approach - follow up a single group of subjects.
  3. Follow-up studies
  4. Sociometric studies
An Example of Questionnaire Development
The teacher or other educator conducting descriptive research will frequently need to develop a questionnaire to gather the data for the descriptive research study.
Jon Enderle and Susan Severson, the authors of the Enderle-Severson Transition Rating Scale(ESTR), wished to gather information directly from students in regard to their perceptions of their transition planning for the next stage in their development. They also wished to gather this information around the same areas measured by the ESTR Scale (Jobs and Job Training, Recreation and Leisure, Home Living, Community Participation, and Post Secondary Training and Learning Opportunities). They developed a series of open-ended questions and check boxes for each of the areas of the ESTR scale.
Click Here to Display the Future Outcomes/Goals Assessment Scale
A Hypothetical Example of a Questionnaire For A Descriptive Research Study
You are an educational researcher who is interested in the relationship between classroom size and teacher characteristics such as gender and height. To get some preliminary data that might shed some light on this question you decide to do a descriptive study in regard to some of the variables that might be of importance to you. You decide that you need to get information from teachers about themselves, about their classroom, and about how they were assigned to their particular classroom.
You need to specify the following information for your descriptive study (as you need to do to complete Assignment 10) for Ed 603.
  1. The research problem for the study
  2. The subjects for the study
  3. Specific questions to be answered by the questionnaire
  4. The questionnaire developed to answer the questions
The research problem for the study
What is the height, room size, and gender for elemenary classroom teachers in a Midwest urban school district?
The subjects for the study
The subjects for the study will be all of the classroom teachers in five elementary schools, randomly selected from among all of the elementary schools in an urban midwest school district.
Specific questions to be answered by the questionnaire
  1. What is your teaching assignment in your school?
  2. What room are you assigned to teach in?
  3. How was this room assigned to you?
  4. What is the lenght of your assigned classroom?
  5. What is the width of your assigned classroom?
  6. How many students are assigned to your classroom?
  7. What is your gender?
  8. What is your height?
  9. How many have you been teaching?
  10. How many years have you been teaching in your present school?
Questionnaire developed to answer these questions
The Education Department of Local U is conducting a survey of the elementary teachers in your school district. Please complete the following questionnaire. Your responses to this questionnaire will be kept confidential.
  1. What is your primary teaching assignment?
    • _____Kindergarten Teacher
    • _____First Grade Teacher
    • _____Second Grade Teacher
    • _____Third Grade Teacher
    • _____Fourth Grade Teacher
    • _____Fifth Grade Teacher
    • _____Sixth Grade Teacher
    • _____Other (please specify) ___________________________
  2. What is your gender (male or female)? __________
  3. How tall are you? _______inches.
  4. How long have you been teaching? _____years.
  5. How long have you been teaching in your current school? _____years.
  6. What is the room number of your classroom? __________
  7. How was this room assignmed to you?
    • _____I selected it.
    • _____The principal assigned it to me.
    • _____The principal assigned it to me in consultation.
    • _____The room assignment was specified by the grade I teach.
    • _____Other (please specify)____________________________
  8. What is the length of your classroom? _____Feet _____Inches
  9. What is the width of your classroom? _____Feet _____inches
  10. How many windows does your classroom have, excluding window in door? _____
  11. How many students are assigned to your classroom? _____

Contoh Analisis Deskriptif

Contoh Analisis Deskriptif
Contoh Analisi deskriptif pada sebuah kegiatan penelitian tindakan kelas ini dapat dijadikan rujukan bagaimana melakukan analisis deskriptif. Pada dasarnya untuk melakukan analisis deskriptif, yang dilakukan sesungguhnya adalah mencari pola tindakan yang muncul dari berbagai tindakan yang dilakukan. Untuk sebagian orang, terutama orang sains, melakukan analisis deskriptif ini sungguh sesuatu yang tidak nyaman. namun, perlu diingat, bahwa melakukan analisi deskriptif bukan berarti tidak melakukan analisis kuantitatif. analisis rata-rata dan grafik dapat pula disajikan.

Berdasarkan hasil olah data sederhana, data hasil ulangan harian siswa kelas VII diperoleh grafik sebagai berikut: 
Tabel 1. Grafik Nilai Ulangan Harian Siklus I

Tabel 2. Grafik nilai rata-rata kelompok

Dari tabel tersebut di atas, dapat dikatakan bahwa hasil rata- rata nilai Ulangan Harian I adalah 55,03, hasil rata- rata nilai Ulangan Harian II adalah 50,34, hasil rata- rata nilai Ulangan Harian III adalah 56,37. Dengan demikian terjadi penurunan rata-rata nilai ulangan harian I dan II sebesar 4,68, terjadi peningkatan rata- rata nilai ulangan harian II dan III sebesar 6,03, dan terjadi peningkatan rata- rata nilai ulangan harian I dan III sebesar 1,34. Hasil rerata nilai ulangan harian pada kelompok 1 sampai dengan 6 adalah sebagai berikut 55,28 ; 54,06 ; 53,94 ; 52,00 ; 54,22 ; dan 54,24.

Dari hasil analisis data nilai ulangan harian kelompok, diketahui bahwa rata-rata nilai ulangan harian siswa pada kelompok 1 lebih baik daripada nilai kelompok yang lain. Dan rata-rata nilai kelompok 4 ternyata paling buruk dibandingkan dengan kelompok yang lain. Secara umum dapat dikatakan bahwa nilai rerata yang diperoleh masih berada di bawah 65, yaitu nilai yang dimungkinkan agar tindakan dapat dihentikan. Tabel tersebut juga menunjukkan hasil yang fluktuatif. Artinya tindakan guru dalam pembelajaran masih dipengaruhi oleh banyak hal di luar pengamatan observer.

Dari hasil ulangan harian, dapat dilihat bahwa rata-rata nilai ulangan harian dalam kelompok tidak berbeda jauh, artinya kemampuan siswa dalam memahami konsep matematika di tiap kelompok berimbang. Dengan kata lain, dapat dikatakan pula bahwa anggota kelompok adalah heterogen. Berdasarkan tindakan yang dilaksanakan pada saat pembelajaran kooperatif, digambarkan denah ruang kelas saat pembelajaran berlangsung adalah sebagai berikut.

Gambar 1. Denah kelompok siswa dalam pembelajaran.

Dari fakta tersebut, ditemukan bahwa kelompok yang berada dekat dengan meja guru memperoleh nilai yang baik, bahkan rata-rata nilai siswa di kelompok 1 adalah yang terbaik di kelas. Sedangkan kelompok yang jauh dari meja guru, dalam hal ini adalah siswa di kelompok 4, memiliki rata-rata nilai yang kurang baik, berdasarkan table 2 tersebut di atas. Berdasarkan penjelasan di atas, dapat disimpulkan bahwa rata-rata nilai ulangan harian siswa belum memenuhi indikator keberhasilan tindakan. Artinya tindakan yang dilakukan guru belum dapat meningkatkan pemahaman konsep siswa. Guru juga belum dapat memberikan pembimbingan secara merata, hal tersebut ditunjukkan dengan nilai rata-rata siswa di kelompok yang jauh dengan meja guru memperoleh nilai rata-rata yang masih di bawah rata-rata nilai ulangan haris kelompok yang lain.