This chapter is about research method that we have applied for this thesis and the grounds that why we have choose this method in our research. In this subdivision, this survey ‘s research method is started with Research scheme, research types, informations aggregation techniques which we have followed. Furthermore, we will speak about research credibleness and research ethical issues.
Students and research workers have to happen out the best suitable manner to depict and document their proceedings, findings, thesis and thesiss depending upon the features every bit good as nature of the research. There are two chief methods to document a research: Qualitative research and Quantitative research. Before traveling into the inside informations of our preferable pick, we would wish to convey our clearer position to both footings. Quantitative research, in its simplest significances, is more appropriate when the difference in footings of measurings and sums ( more or less, bigger or smaller, frequently or rarely ) is to be studied ( Thomas R. M, 2003 ) . Seal ( 1999 ) argues that in quantitative research, research workers can utilize tabular arraies of Numberss based on standardised measuring devices which are introduced and described in the literature to sum up the measurings. Thomas ( 2003 ) defined quantitative research as followers:
“ Quantitative research uses Numberss and statistical methods. It tends to be based on numerical measurings of specific facets of phenomena ; it abstracts from peculiar cases to seek general description or to prove causal hypotheses ; it seeks measurings and analyses that are easy replicable by other research workers ” .
In the contrast, qualitative research is more concerned in the reading of events and societal behaviours ( Thomas R. M, 2003 ) . Harmonizing to Cresswell ( 2007 ) qualitative research is an inquiry procedure of understanding based on distinguishable methodological traditions of enquiry that explore a societal or human job. A research worker builds a complex, holistic image, analyzes the universe, studies detailed positions of sources and conducts the survey in natural scene. Thomas ( 2003 ) defined qualitative research as followers:
“ Qualitative research is multi-methods in focal point, affecting and interpretative realistic attack to its capable affair. This means that qualitative research workers study things in their natural scenes, trying to do sense of, or interpret phenomena in footings of significances people bring to them. Qualitative research involves the studied usage and aggregation of a assortment of empirical stuffs – instance survey, personal experience, introspective, life narrative, interview, experimental, historical, interactive and ocular texts that describe everyday and debatable minutes and significances in people ‘s lives ” .
Qualitative research can be achieved through many informations aggregation methods such asobservation, interviews, focal point groups and paperss and others ( Fisher et al. , 2007 ) . The nature of our research inquiry clearly indicates that we need a elaborate and deep survey about the issue. A qualitative survey is utile attack to acquire deep apprehension ( Creswell, 2007 ) and research inquiries get downing with why or how are hard to quantify, which is cause of a qualitative attack recommendation for such types of research inquiries that have an exploratory research methodological analysis ( Yin, 2003 ) . Along with the research inquiry, this research survey is aimed to intensify the apprehension of Virtual University ‘s working in Pakistan. This aspect strengthens our pick to carry on a qualitative research along with several others e. g. nature of research inquiries. Our purpose is seeking to happen an reply that what benefits are being provided by practical university in Pakistan. Benefits ca n’t be step and taken into an sum particularly in our research survey. Some may reason that benefits can be step in currency or something else but that ‘s really rarely and in rather different scenes. Second, the chief research inquiry focuses on how does ICT supported distance instruction work in Pakistan. This inquiry ca n’t be answered in magnitudes and measurings. Aforesaid conditions set qualitative research as best option for us to follow in order to carry on this research survey and reply the research inquiries.
Yin ( 1994 ) besides describes different intents of research: explanatory, Exploratory and descriptive. Harmonizing to Yin ( 1994 ) , a research worker can utilize a research scheme to on the footing of its attack and features. Research method is important to the acquisition of scientific values and cognition as explained by Marczyk et Al. ( 2005 ) : “Sciencecan be defined as a methodological and systematic attack to the acquisition of new cognition ” . Supplemented by ( Bryman 2001, confirm it with the mention manner ) explicit findings gathered through systematic attack harmonizing to the research inquiry ( s ) should be included in the every research. Our research survey has twofold intent: to understand the working of ICT supported engineerings in Pakistan and how the ICT can be used and implemented to carry through the educational demands and maximal benefits. The encephalon storming session started with the phenomenal success of Virtual University of Pakistan. Virtual University is the first, yet one and merely, of its sort in Pakistan and have a phenomenal success ratio along with the high quality instruction. The formless and unorganised brainstorming to this research essay was started with the construct of vitamin E acquisition in Pakistan. E acquisition is widely accepted all over the universe and believed to hold its blend in instruction sector and has already formed a new moving ridge of larning system, although, the descent of distance acquisition is associated to late 1800. Virtual university in Pakistan was inaugurated in March 2002. The thought behind the development of this establishment was to utilize the antecedently established substructure ( for conventional acquisition institutes ) and provide quality instruction with a blend of handiness and flexibleness. During our pre-study and unstructured encephalon ramping stage, we came across the fact the intercrossed acquisition theoretical account is chiefly used for such sort of undertakings.
We started to research the research country by researching vitamin E acquisition in its different forms in general, different theoretical accounts for vitamin E acquisition, engineerings used for vitamin E acquisition, in house and off the shelf merchandises and solutions to different challenges. This later was followed by concentrating on vitamin E acquisition in Pakistan and its success during past twosome of old ages. This literature survey helped us to contract down the research subject with a well defined focal point point, define the job country to work upon and form good structured research inquiries. Pre survey along with the literature survey besides helped us to develop the theoretical foundation of our research survey. The information for research survey, including both certification provided by the university forces and in-detail interviews with forces stand foring Virtual University of Pakistan and the pupils of Virtual University of Pakistan. Students will be selected indiscriminately and will be contacted for interviews to forestall the influence of some specific group representation. The interviews and informations gathered will be analyzed by utilizing the analysis model and will be presented in the analysis subdivision of this study.
There are diverse manners of research surveies out at that place. This research essay is influenced from pragmatism and positivism with a blend of explanatory survey. Pragmatism focuses on thought and work outing jobs in a realistic manner. Oxford University imperativeness defined pragmatism as “ believing about work outing jobs in a practical and reasonable manner instead than by holding fixed thoughts and theories ” [ mention ] where as Cambridge online dictionary defines it as “ when you deal with a job in a realistic manner instead than obeying theories and fixed regulations ” . Positivism in its significances defined by Oxford University Press is “ a system of doctrine based on things that can be seen or approved, instead than on thoughts ” . Our research survey is explanatory in nature as explanatory research survey is used to intensify the cognition of the object field and to seek the comprehension. Positivism and pragmatism are clearly defined in theacademicliterature and possibly hold really good formed boundaries in the literature but when it is the instance to implement them in pattern, they sometimes overlap. However we are non claiming that our research have purely followed any of these, since they are wide constructs in scientific debate, but saying our research survey has sunglassess of these comprehensive constructs.
Our research survey is explanatory and we think it ‘s instead of import to advert what type of cognition is sought and aimed for given that there are several types and classifications and unmeasurable cognition bing in a assortment of formats out at that place, and the replies every bit good as analysis might hold different intensions depending upon the sort of cognition is aimed for. Sociologysection at Ohio province university has categorized the intent of research as followers: Exploratory, Descriptive and Explanatory. The intent of explorative research surrounds the finds in the focussed subject and unveils the facts about it. It besides helps in the preparation of inquiries, set waies and provides the feasibleness of future surveies. Specific inside informations of the state of affairs are studied in Descriptive Research with a well formed and focused research inquiry. Whereas, Explanatory research focuses on the ground behind the state of affairs being or have been occurred. Explanatory research usually uses theory and much of the research being published in diary presents is explanatory [ Ohio State University ] .
While composing a research essay, along with other deliberations, it was taken attention at a great extent to supply the fullness cognition of the topic to the reader. A reader of an academic research essay can be a cognition searcher, a pupil, an industry professional and a research bookman. A reader should besides be able to happen out the connectivity and the ruddy yarn throughout the research survey. Whereas the research survey should, in itself, be able to exhibit connectivity, grounds and scientific debate every bit good as the outgrowth of the research country and research job. To guarantee this, we found thematic construction good suited for our intent. Thematic construction, in linguistics, as defined by Wikipedia has three intents in it as followers:
“ to convey given information and new information ”
“ capable and predicate ”
“ Frame and penetration ”
The actual procedure, nevertheless, from the really get downing to stop was literary since the cognition retrieved from the literature, the pre-study stage and the information received from different beginnings was gathered, processed and analyzed in different unit of ammunitions and so was added to the research study. To guarantee the connectivity, we besides plotted the summery to each chapter at the terminal and an debut was to the chapter was besides placed at the start of each chapter. We categorized the day of the month in each chapter with part classs called as headers and sub subdivisions called as subheadings to guarantee the hierarchal construction of the study and, slightly, do it instead easier for the reader to understand.
The undermentioned figure shows the stairss taken and the procedure to finish the research survey.
Different type can be used during a research survey to beef up the research and support findings. Date gathered during the survey besides richens the quality of research and back up the treatment and analysis ( Seals 1999 ) . During our survey, we found three basic types of informations assemblage are appropriate for to back up our debate ; Interviews, observations and certification ( Seals, 1999 ) . Different types of informations garnering techniques non merely back up the cogency of the information gathered and assist in the generalisation. Furthermore, cyberspace was besides used as secondary type to garner quality informations ( Creswell, 2007 ) but besides fortify the research to organize the triangulation in the research survey. Additionally, cyberspace was besides used as a secondary type for day of the month assemblage.
Interview usher coevals
An interview usher indicates the subjects and sequence of these subjects in the interview, which should be prepared before carry oning the interview ( Kvale, 1996 ) . Our interview usher ( Appendix No ) contains inquiries which we selected to maintain in position the focal point of our survey. We have unfastened inquiries to acquire maximal information from interviewees. Nodoubt replies of such inquiries hard to compare with each others ( interviewees ) , but its sure that the subject of these replies will be common ( Ostbye et Al. 2003: 143 ) .
Interviews were the basic component of our informations assemblage scheme as mentioned earlier. Harmonizing to Yin ( 2003 ) in information assemblage and analyzing, interviews are the basic and cardinal beginnings. Since we have adopted a qualitative attack in order to carry on our survey so the possibility to plan questionnaires was eliminated. Harmonizing to Preece et Al ( 2003 ) there are four types of interviews: Structured, Semi Structured, Unstructured and group interviews. Whereas group interviews are more a sort of treatment in which interviewer has less control over the interview activity. The remainder ; semi structured, structured and unstructured interviews provide much control to the interviews in the signifier of predefined set of inquiries. Preece et Al, ( 2003 ) besides argued about the pick of interviews types depending upon the aim and the research inquiries. Our research inquiries and aim has set us to plan semi-structured interviews since the purpose is to hold an overall apprehension of the working of ICT based distance larning in Pakistan. Harmonizing to Preece et Al, ( 2003 ) semi structured interviews are more appropriate when the purpose is to acquire a comprehension or feed back to some specific issue. Semi structured interviews are a blend of structured and unstructured interviews dwelling both unfastened and closed inquiries. In order to keep consistence, we designed interviews so that we can get down questioning in a pre-planned manner and subsequently can delve deeper into the subject and question the interviewee to acquire the really relevant information. Now we would wish to convey our reader to our designed construction of the interview.
Structure of the interview
In order to plan the interviews, we followed preece et Al, ( 2003 ) who outlined 5 chief Sessionss in an interview viz. ; Introduction session, warm up session, chief session, cool – off session and shutting session.
Introductory session: apparent by its name, both interviewees and interviewer were officially introduced to each other and the aim of the research was explained to the interviewee. Confidentiality and other ethical issues were besides discussed and got approved during this session.
Warm up session: non endangering inquiries were posed during this session to garner basic information about the interviewee and his/her duties in the organisation. E. g. for how long have you been working in this organisation?
Main session: Main session consisted of the inquiries to adhere the job and was focused to reply the research inquiries. Questions in chief session were good aligned to garner the basic apprehension to the really elaborate information about the focussed subject.
Cool off session: cool off Sessionss consisted of instead of import and unfastened inquiry to proceeding towards the terminal of the interview. E. g. would you like add any more item?
Closing session: interviewer thanks to the interviewee and switches off the entering signaling that interviewee has ended.
Not holding so much structurised interviews entertained interviewees with a less controlledenvironmentwhich helped them to explicate their position and point of views in a different angle and their engagement towards the topic. This sort of interview technique besides has disadvantages as there is no clear boundary to specify what lies outside of the aim and how to command the interviewee and mold them back to the subject.
Different informations aggregation motive has different grade of interview constructions. When selected the interview construction there are a few different types to see in order justifying that why the particular type was chosen.
“ At one extreme is the structured interview, where the interviewer asks the respondent a preset set of inquiries which can non be changed or restructured. An unstructured interview on the other manus, takes on an opposite attack. In such an interview the respondent is able to speak freely about the subject without any guidance or influence from the interviewer ( Teorell & A ; Svensson, 2006 ) . In between these two extremes is the semi-structured interview where the preparation of the inquiries can change depending on the respondent. The interviewer merely uses an interview usher with a few subjects and issues that need to be covered ( Fisher, 2007 ) . The pick of the degree of construction should be guided by the intent of the research ” ( Franzen & A ; Gunes 2008 ) .
We selected semi-structure interviews because we want to give the interviewee the opportunity to lend more without interrupting and restricting. Our intent to choose semi-structure interview is that the interviewee non merely answer to our inquiries, but besides can show extra point ‘s remarks which may lend to the research even further.
In add-on, Franzen & A ; Gunes ( 2008 ) explain:
“ Furthermore, semi-structured interviews will enable adaptation to each respondent and interview scene by al- mooing us to: alteration preparations of the inquiries, reorder them, and follow up with new inquiries if needed. A job with a less structured attack is the increased trouble of transporting out the analysis due to the complexness of the information gathered ( Holme & A ; Solvang, 1997 ) . However, we believe the additions will be superior to this drawback. ”
Respondent / Interviewee Preparation and Scheduling
The choice of interviewee or respondent is really of import because right information is merely acquire from relevant individual. In order to acquire information about first portion of our thesis “ working of ICT based instruction ” , we selected managerial staff that has complete background, history and current position of VU undertaking. For this intent foremost we get elaborate information like appellations, functions and responsibilities of all employees from all sections of VU. As this was hard undertaking but we clearly mentioned our intent of research, which prepare their head to collaborate with us.
To acquire in contact with the right individuals we started by reaching the highest possible employees by electronic mail. Many phone calls and electronic mails were necessary to happen the right individual, and agree on an interview day of the month. These are all people with busy agendas and any assignment had to be done early. Since clip ismoneyit is of import non to blow the interviewee ‘s clip. Being good prepared and holding clear inquiries will do the interview a reasonably speedy and easy procedure for all parts involved ( Kvale, S. 1996 ) . Interview is non merely manner to aggregation of informations even building of informations ( Kvale, 1996 ) . In order to hold entree of inteviewees ‘ informations for subsequently utilize a location and a recording device is necessary. The most appropriate campaigners for interviews were the proficient staff and managerial staff of VU because they can supply coveted information.
Table: Structure of Interviewees
Sr. # .
Interviewees ‘ Name
Designation & A ; Department
Number of Interviews
Way of Interview
Interview Plan / Procedures
We will take up interview with a brief debut of ourselves, grounds to carry on interview and background of our research undertaking. Furthermore, we will besides acquire bio informations of our selected interviewees to understand their cognition and experience in relevant country ( Briony, 2006 ) . Bing good prepared and holding clear inquiries will do the interview a reasonably speedy and easy procedure for all parts involved ( Kvale, S. 1996 ) . Normally our interview clip will be in between 50 to 70 proceedingss to guarantee our interviewee non experience wastage of clip, and will seek to do the interviewees feel comfy and free.
We will besides maintain in position all regulations and ordinances of interview like our functions, environment and inquiries type which will be asked. Our function being an interviewer good behaved and will take to normal conversation ( Ostbye et al. 2003: 104 ) . In our instance, we can non carry on face to confront interview which is really expensive and clip wastage for us travel to Pakistan. So, we will carry on interview by utilizing Skype and electronic mail. As we could non cognize the environment of interviewee ‘s topographic point but we will carry on interview at that day of the month and clip which will be executable for interviewees.
There are different ways to carry on interview, for illustration by mail, electronic mail, telephone, VoIP, or face to face. We will prefer electronic mail and VoIP ( Skype ) . We decided that we will carry on foremost interview by electronic mail, the end product of this interview and from this interview we will develop follow-up inquiries. After first electronic mail interview analysis, we will carry on 2nd interview by Skype which give us the chance to inquire follow-up inquiries to acquire more elaborate information.
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Several types of paperss were collected from the forces stand foring of Virtual University of Pakistan to understand the working of the organisation. However, we do n’t claim that all facets of organisational working were got into attending e. g. fiscal affairs, policy affairs. These paperss helped us to understand the initial set up phase of VU, intents of VU undertaking, contents development, contents bringing, pupil instructor interaction, Learning Management system and many others things which we do non believe suited to add in our research. Most of these paperss were gathered electronically in digital signifier. Some of them were for public usage and can besides found on the Virtual University ‘s web site and some were confidential and the exclusive intent to present them was to hold a better apprehension. These paperss provide us valuable information which helped us to construction more appropriate interview inquiries.
Use of literature
We conducted a literature reappraisal to supply the rational job country and place of our research to the current literature within the subjects of involvement ( Creswell, 2007 ) . We preferred the choice of those articles about e-learning which are largely cited or referenced by other writers. Articles are primary based on scientific articles found from the Electronic Library Information Navigator ( ELIN ) and the Internet, complemented with commonly well-recognized mention literature. To seek relevant informations, we used keywords of ” e-learning ” , “ e-learning system ” , “ ICT based acquisition ” , ” ICT based instruction ” , “ VirtualEducation” , “ Virtual University ” , and ” Virtual Learning ” in different combinations. We besides used books which were issued from Economic School ‘s Library every bit good as used e-book. We took initial measure to research about e-learning from an e-book ” Theory and Practice of Online Learning ” . These beginnings of information were used to acquire elaborate information about e-learning basic constructs, e-learning system, e-learning theoretical accounts, larning techniques and methods used for research in this country of survey. This was done to reexamine Published literature from e-libraries, books, diaries and documents related to the proposed subject. The literature reappraisal provide context of our research and state approximately work done by others research workers antecedently in this country of survey ( Dawson, 2005 ) .
Literature has been an of import portion of research survey with an purpose to roll up the beginnings of literature from both, bookmans and E larning practicians. Of class, at some certain points we had to contract down our research merely on the E acquisition in Pakistan. We collected scholarly articles and research documents to lighten up and intensify our constructs about E larning. We besides used on-line web beginnings and hunt engines (Google, yokel ) and lexicons, wherever we found it dependable, to do us better understand different constructs and show them in the most appropriate manner to our reader. After roll uping literary stuff, while construing it we found it instead of import to hold a critical position on the beginnings every bit good as the stuff itself since some of the stuff was instead old and was showing rather different expression as compared to current times. Whereas some of the recent research articles glorifies the present tendencies.
Data analysis is stems the research work and is an of import portion. Data analysis has some certain stairss as argued by Miles and Huberman ( 1994 ) , informations analysis consists of informations decrease, informations show and informations Marczyk et Al ( 2005 ) “ in most type of research surveies, the procedure of informations analysis involves the undermentioned three stairss: ( 1 ) fixing the information for analysis, ( 2 ) analysing the information and ( 3 ) construing the information ” . In our research survey, the first measure fixing informations was performed in the signifier of literature reappraisal and the survey of paperss provided by the practical university forces which in title was a uninterrupted and iterative procedure.
It is of import to warrant that a research survey has dependability and cogency. In this subdivision, we are traveling to show that how we have worked and followed the cogency and dependability which are belong to the scientific quality research ( Creswell, 2007 ; Seale, 1999 ) . Furthermore, Bias and Ethical motives are besides discussed to back up the research quality of our thesis.
Research dependability and cogency are two factors that must be considered to do the research trustworthy ( Bjorklund & A ; Paulsson, 2003 ) . In our research cogency is concerned in which extent we truly measured what we set out to mensurate, and dependability is concerned that our consequences will be same if our research consequences probe by person once more with the same set of instruments.
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Kvale ( 1996 ) describes cogency is “ a method investigates what it is intended to look into. ” In our survey, the interview cogency are chiefly involves if we can right understand what the interviewee mean. As Kvale ( 1996 ) provinces when choose the transcript ‘s lingual manner it is besides of import to accomplish valid interlingual rendition from the unwritten to written certification. Therefore, we checked the text with our interviewee after transcribing. We send them our written text of their sentiment, if some parts of the written text they do non hold, we will pass on with them and modify the written text.
aˆ¦aˆ¦aˆ¦ . To be addedaˆ¦by Mraˆ¦ Waqasaˆ¦ .
Ethical behaviour helps to protect persons, communities and environments, and offers the potency to increase the amount of good in the universe ( Israel, 2006 ) . Bing responsible research workers, we have to do certain our behaviours will non harm any participants who are belonging to our research procedure during research or after the publication of concluding study. So to do certain good moralss in the research, we informed interviewees by electronic mail and by telephone ( Appendix No ) about issues including the research subject, research inquiry, research range, informations confidentiality, privateness, personal individuality, research result and the questionnaires ( Appendix No ) before interview. It has besides been indicated to Interviewees that what may go on to the informations, including its possible usage in any studies or publications because this survey might be used by the other people subsequently. So, we managed this research in this manner that there should non be any harm to interviewees and their institute. To maintain in position Privacy, namelessness and confidentiality factors ; interviewees have been informed that they can retreat from the interview without stipulating any ground ( Singer & A ; Vinson, 2002 ) . For better apprehension, the canned interview informations will direct back to interviewees to verify that everything harmonizing to interviewees ‘ words of oral cavity and non any alteration has made in their replies. In add-on, interviewee knows the intent of utilizing the information and where it will be used. Therefore, the empirical informations used in this survey should non harm any interviewee ( Israel & A ; Hay, 2006 ) .
Informed consent, confidentiality, and the function of the research worker are the ethical guidelines ( Kvale, 1996 ) , so we make certain that our interviewees will non hold any job to understand our research subjects and information which we want to acquire from them, for illustration, our intent of research, nature of research, who is the research worker, how long is the interview will take, how we will utilize their informations and how to circulating the research findings ( Briony 2006 ) . Furthermore, the interviewees have been requested kindly for their cooperation and non oblige them for participate in our research
To guarantee high quality research survey, research worker should believe over the prejudice. A research worker should progress into a research with a clear and unfastened head in order to avoid any prejudice to act upon the terminal consequence ( Backman, 1998 ; Oates, 2006 ) . There is no clear definition of prejudice but it can be related to prepossession and bias ( Hammersley & A ; Gomm, 1997 ) . Harmonizing to Harmmersley and Gomm ( 1997 ) , prejudice has considered a positive characteristic because prejudice reveals concealed facets of phenomena. Unbiased research non merely concentrating on our ain believes and premises, but give importance to others point of positions and experiences.
We address the possible prejudice by reflecting and showing our place as research workers. “ A consideration of ego as a research worker and ego in relation to the subject of research is a stipulation for get bying with prejudice. ” ( Norris, 1997, pp. 3 ) . We besides be self-critical throughout the full work ( Norris, 1997 ) , we tried to hold periodical treatments among our group members and had critical analysis about the pros and cons of our theoretical model, methods and findings. We purely follow right path and follow the way which we had planed every bit good as we tried to be cognizant when, how and why we have deviated from the planned path. Our scheme leads us to come back on right path.