The Six Steps of Research

The following are the major and most recommended six research steps. Like the name suggests, the ‘steps’, are sequential events that should therefore followed in an orderly manner to realize an effective and reliable research.

  1. Step 1: The identification of the problem. The problem in research terms simply means the goal of that research. This therefore becomes the first step, the researcher has to formulate and outline the major goal of his/her research. Every research has a reason behind it, that which drives an individual to conduct a research.  The problem can be as a result of any occurrences in the educational field in the case of an educational research (Gorard, 2013).
  2. Step 2:  Review of the literature.  In this second step, the researcher is therefore required to effectively and thoroughly go through all the available literature concerning his/her chosen topic.  The literature here refers to all the relevant written materials by other authors that share the same interest as the researcher (Creswell, 2008). The literature should have the same subject matter that serves the researcher’s interest. There is a need for the researcher to gather knowledge about his/her research topic so as to have multiple ways of tackling the research topic.
  3. Step 3:  Formulating the objectives of the research. In this third step, the researcher is required to identify and specify the reasons for the research, the research objectives. The objectives should be SMART and to the interest of the research goal (Creswell, 2008). The researcher should therefore state at least what he/ she intends to find out from his/her research.
  4. Step 4: data collection. In this step, many activities are executed like the identification of the data collection methods and appropriate methods of administering them e.g. the questionnaires among other. All the relevant data both primary and secondary are therefore collected waiting for analysis and interpretation in the fifth step.
  5. Step 5: Data analysis and interpretation. The collected data in step 4 is therefore analyzed; the meaning is extracted from the data and interpreted to suit the research. This step requires much synthesis of both the raw and processed data (Gauch, 2003). After this, the data is represented in the best suitable data representation methods. The data will therefore be evaluated in the last step.
  6. Step 6:  Evaluation and report of the research. The analyzed and interpreted data is evaluated to realize the objective of the study, the findings therefore forms the report of the research (Gorard, 2013).

The two documents, ‘the impact of White Boarding on learning by secondary school Biology students by Diandra Bush, and ‘New Dimensions in White by Chad Criswell’ share a greater alignment with the stipulated six research steps though as we are going to see, not all the two authors have fully shown conformity with the six steps. If we start with the first document by Diandra Bush, the author has stated the goal of his research clearly as it should be by the six steps of research.

The author’s goal of study is clearly stated as to identify the impact of white boarding on learning by secondary school biology. It can evidently be marked that the goal of the research is as well stated by the second author Chad Criswell as effects of dimensions in education. Both the authors therefore show perfect conformity with the first step. The author in the first document, Diandra Bush has shown great evidence of literature review. In the introduction part of his report, he has cited a remarkable number of literature that aided his study and effectiveness of his research, for instance she has mentioned some other books as well as authors of the very books for references. This has shown great conformity with the second research step.  I would however not say the same with the second document by Chad Criswell, there is though a little indication on the literature review part on his case hence I definitely see this step to be incomplete in his research process.

The objective of the research, the reason behind the study, is evident in both the two documents.  In the first document by Diana Bush, the reason is to conduct an investigation into the effectiveness of white boarding in high school biology classrooms where students work in small cooperative groups to promote higher level thinking and to interpret and discuss important topics, and in the second document, the reason is to identify the effect of white dimension on education. This has been clearly stated and is in adequate conformity with the third step of research. Data collection and statistical analysis is clearly indicated in the first document by Diandra Bush, he has used three major data collection techniques, white boarding activity points, in class tests and a survey.  These were standardized since all the students were subjected to equal and similar methodology as well as tests. In this manner, primary data was made available and were realistically appropriate.  This step has been clearly specified in the first document. On the other hand, the second document by  Chad Criswell, data collection methods have been, according to the six steps of research,  specified but not much information has been conveyed about the nature of the data collection techniques, this only suggests that this step in incomplete.

Still on data but now much into the analysis and interpretation, the fifth step, again this has been clearly specified by Diandra Bush in the first document.  The author outlines descriptive and comparative analyses he used with the aid ofStat View statistical analysis program. A clear detailed explanation of how the data was interpreted after analysis is outlined by the author like the use of t-test. This is however missing in the second document by Chad Criswel. Finally the last step of research has been indicated in both the documents. In the first document, the results have been appropriately outlined after the evaluation process; the author found out that those students who experience white boarding scored 9.2 more points on the same 100 points than those students who did not experience white boarding alongside other findings. In the second document, the author, Chad Criswel, has reported that dimensions have lots of educational positive contributions which he has listed in the report.

The research quality of each document would be evaluated as follows: the first document by Diandra Bush shows much credibility and is most reliable as compared to the second document by Chad Criswell. Basing my reasoning and arguments purely on the six research steps, the first document by Diandra Bush has a flowing and complete sequence of the six steps of research. The second document however has incomplete steps as seen above that makes it lose its credibility as well as reliability. Diandra Bush has a detailed data collection methods, he has explained his three techniques that he used to measure the influence of white boarding on the learning of students, the white boarding activity points, the survey and the in class tests. Bush went ahead to describe the homogeneity of the data collection techniques, all students were taught the same content, all students experienced the same white boarding activity and exposed to the identical tests. In addition to these, there was also a follow-up survey. This indicates that the methods of data collection by Bush were unbiased and considered suitable for the study.

On the other hand, Chad Criswell’s data collection methods, which were not clearly described did not indicated any form of homogeneity, his methods are considered biased and inconsiderate of the students’ intellectual differences.

The recommendations made by Diandra Bush are satisfactory as outlined by his study which is attributed by his most effective and reliable methods of data collection. His recommendations therefore, are so promising upon practice. White boarding experience on practice therefore can tremendously have profoundly great impact to the learners only when used appropriately with the necessary precautions. Well, on the other hand, an insight look at the Criswell work and his recommendations, they are worth it. Despite the little discrepancies and missing links in his steps of research, his point on the effects of dimensions on education is clear as supported by his findings. His recommendations are effective though not quite relating with his un-detailed data collection methods. Chad Criswel, in his research has a great impact in the educational field. His research findings as well as his recommendations are of great significance and as well promising if effective measures are employed.  He however has insufficient foundations of his research; his methods of data collection had some limitations that consequentially had an impact to the quality and credibility of his findings.

Both the authors have a great positive influence to my understanding as well as knowledge of the research. Starting with the first order Diandra Bush, his research has expanded my knowledge of quality research work as well as proper sequence of performing an educational research. On the other hand, Chad Criswell has new ideas of research methodology that drives my mind to the extreme end of dimensions. Generally, the two documents incorporate knowledge about technology in education.

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