Wednesday, 17 June 2015

STEPS OF RESEARCH


The various steps involved in the research process can be summarised as follows ;
Step 1 : Identifying the Gap in Knowledge The researcher, on the basis of experience and observation realises that some students in the class do not perform well in the examination. So he / she poses an unanswered question : ―Which factors are associated with students‘ academic performance?
Step 2 : Identifying the Antecedent / Causes On the basis of experience, observation and a review of related literature, he / she realises that students who are either very anxious or not at all anxious do not perform well in the examination. Thus he / she identifies anxiety as one of the factors that could be associated with students‘ academic performance.
 Step 3 : Stating the Goals The researcher now states the goals of the study :
1. To ascertain the relationship of anxiety with academic performance of students.
2. To ascertain the gender differences in the anxiety and academic performance of students.
3. To ascertain the gender difference in the relationship of anxiety with academic performance of students.

Step 4 : Formulating Hypotheses The researcher may state his / her hypotheses as follows:
1. There is a significant relationship between anxiety and academic performance of students.
2. There is a significant gender difference in the anxiety and academic performance of students.

3. There is a significant gender difference in the relationship of anxiety with academic performance of students.
Step 5 : Collecting Relevant Information The researcher uses appropriate tools and techniques to measure anxiety and academic performance of students, selects a sample of students and collects data from them.
Step 6 : Testing the Hypotheses He / she now uses appropriate statistical techniques to verify and test the hypotheses of the study stated in Step 4. Step 7 : Interpreting the Findings He / she interprets the findings in terms of whether the relationship between anxiety and academic performance is positive or negative, linear or curvilinear. He / she finds that this relationship is curvilinear i.e. when a student‘s anxiety is either very low or very high, his / her academic performance is found to be low. But when a student‘s anxiety is moderate, his / her academic performance is found to be high. He / she now tries to explain this finding based on logic and creativity.
 Step 8 : Comparing the Findings with Prior researchers’ Findings At this step, the researcher tries to find out whether his / her conclusions match those of the prior researches or not. If not, then the researcher attempts to find out why conclusions do not match with other researches by analysing prior studies further.
 Step 9 : Modifying Theory

On the basis of steps 7 and 8, the researcher speculates that anxiety alone cannot influence academic performance of students. There could be a third factor which influences the relationship between anxiety and academic performance of students. This third factor could be study habits of students. For instance, students who have very low level of anxiety may have neglected their studies through out the year and hence their academic performance is poor. On the other hand, students who have very high level of anxiety may not be able to remember what they have learnt or cannot concentrate on studies due to stress or may fall sick very often and hence cannot study properly. Hence their academic performance is poor. However, students with a moderate level of anxiety are motivated enough to study regularly and systematically all through the year and hence their academic performance is high. Thus, the loosely structured theory on students‘ academic performance needs to incorporate one more variable, namely, study habits of students. In other words, it needs to be modified. Step 10 : Asking New Questions Do study habits and anxiety interact with each other and influence academic performance of students? i.e. we can now start with a fresh topic of research involving three variables rather than two.

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