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In the context of educational research, both qualitative and quantitative research designs have different, experimental approaches (Smeyers, 2005). A qualitative research model provides for an unrestrictive structure that supports an extensive, exploratory research using philosophical theories (Creswell, 2011).
In order to dig out applicable themes and patterns, this report includes a modified model of heuristic analysis. To understand the rationale of this report, an understanding must be established regarding the similarities and differences between quantitative and qualitative models.
Understanding Quantitative and Qualitative models
Creswell (2011) described the ending of the 20th century as having two models to educational research: quantitative and qualitative models. Although quantitative research is a more conventional process in research methodology, qualitative research developed as a valid research design. While these two research designs in some aspects matches one another, the designs remain different.
Creswell (2011) proposed, “The theoretical roots of qualitative and quantitative research are in the realistic and the positivistic approaches to science, respectively” (p.202). Besides, they argued that qualitative model is the theory-building and theory-ending, behind a researcher’s synthetical perception; while, quantitative research begins with a theory that is tested, hence more supportive of an analytical perception.
In the areas of critical practicality, remaining practical and ethical will continue to exist regarding the collecting and analyzing of data concerning the social world because of the difficulty of providing philosophical concerns regarding “data accuracy or the reliability of statements that researcher makes” (Creswell, 2011).
In qualitative research, for example, the emphasis is on collecting information concerning the lived experiences of the research participants. The qualitative researcher, according to Creswell, remains an anxiety regarding the authenticity of the participants’ statement and their consequences on the projected epistemic framework derived from the collected information.
Similarities between Quantitative and Qualitative models
Neuman (2003) described four similarities between qualitative and quantitative research frameworks:
- Both models involve the inferencing of data as the root of examination;
- Both models involve a public system or process in which the discovery of data are open to other researchers;
- Both models encourage researchers to recognize multiple process, causes, properties, or mechanisms within the data; and
- Both models encourage researchers to avoid mistakes in investigation to include fake conclusions and confusing suppositions. (p. 439).
Summary of the differences between the two types of models
In quantitative model, data collected passes through the method of statistical analysis (Creswell, 2011; Neuman, 2003).
Furthermore, Neuman observed that quantitative researchers are not capable of beginning data analysis until all information is gathered and changed into numbers; as a result, quantitative research is more homogeneous than qualitative research designs. Consequently, the measurement of social life in quantitative research, according to Neuman, is in the form of statistics, hypotheses, and variables.
Whereas quantitative research builds upon applied mathematics with a standardized set of data analysis techniques, qualitative research is less standardized and more synthetic (Neuman, 2003).
The fact that qualitative researchers rarely use statistical analysis does not mean that the qualitative data analysis is exploratory (Neuman, 2003). The process to extract and clarify qualitative data is precise and logical (Creswell, 2011; Neuman, 2003).
Information derived from qualitative research studies is in the form of textual descriptions, expressions, or symbols defining people, actions, and events within a shared context (Creswell, 2011; Neuman, 2003).
Because of the inductive element linked with qualitative model, the researcher becomes the primary instrument for gathering data while looking for up-and-coming patterns and themes from textual descriptions (Creswell, 2011; Neuman, 2003). Qualitative researchers, according to Neuman, merge empirical data to create new and reasonable theories in order to explain phenomena in social life.
Creswell, J. W. (2011). Educational Research: Planning, Conducting, and Evaluating Quantitative and Qualitative Research. New York, NY: Addison Wesley.
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Neuman, D. J. (2003). Building Type Basics for College and University Facilities. New Jersey, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
Smeyers, P. (2005). Symposium: the Inherent Risks of Human Learning. Illinois: University of Illinois.